An Invitation to the Church

20 06 2014

By the IYF Committee

International Youth Forum (IYF) will run July 15–18 in Independence, Missouri. IYF events also will happen in the Dominican Republic and Honduras this summer. We invite you, as members of Community of Christ, to hold these events in your prayers and spiritual practices that allow this type of intentional focus.

Why are we asking you to place IYF in your prayers and spiritual practices? Because it is through the Blessings of Community that events like this are possible. Two statements from the Enduring Principles, Blessings of Community, may help frame this (www.CofChrist.org/ourfaith/enduring-principles.asp):

  • We are called to create communities of Christ’s peace in our families and congregations and across villages, tribes, nations, and throughout creation.
  • We value our connections and share a strong sense of trust in and belonging with one another—even if we never have met.

IYF is about creating those communities of Christ’s peace. We all are connected to those communities, and by entering into prayer and spiritual practice for those communities we strengthen that connection. Though we may not have met, or may never meet, we all are part of the fabric that creates Community of Christ.

Three areas that might be highlighted during your reflection:

  • Those who are planning and preparing to serve at IYF
  • Leaders of delegations who will be shepherding the youth
  • Most importantly, the youth of our church

While it would be natural to focus more intentionally on those youth who will journey to IYF, we also ask you to hold up those who cannot attend. You also may feel led to focus on some other aspect of IYF in your reflection. That also is welcomed. May all know that God’s Spirit is with them as they prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually for this IYF experience.

Thank you for the time you put into this invitation. May it bless you as you share in the IYF community.

Shalom.

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Pray, Fast, Give

22 02 2013

BY JENN KILLPACK, Integrated Communications

Though our team and many others have been preparing for over a year, it’s hard to believe that in fewer than three months people from all over the world will be here at International Headquarters. World Conference is one of my favorite gatherings of the church!

As part of our preparation this month, the entire church is invited to participate Sunday, February 24, in a Day of Preparation. What is that, anyway?

The Day of Preparation includes three important elements: prayer, fasting, and giving.

Pray
Something praying handsis powerful and sacred in knowing our prayers unite with those of our brothers and sisters around the world. When I close my eyes, I can imagine our prayers knitting together, one at a time, and eventually encircling the globe with our desire for peace.

As we prepare for Conference, each of us is called to pray daily for our leaders, our delegates, and for the entire World Conference. Include these things in your personal prayers and as part of your congregation or group’s worship experience.

Fast
The Bible holds numerous references to fasts, and many refer to refraining from food and drink. But one that especially caught my attention is in Isaiah 58. There are striking similarities between this passage and our focus scripture in Luke 18. Phrases like “loose the bonds of injustice” and “let the oppressed go free” jumped off the page.
This scripture seems to challenge us to think beyond abstaining from cookies, smartphones, or other things that keep us from fully obeying God’s command to care for the poor and oppressed. However you decide to observe this day of fasting, I encourage you to think about what keeps you from fully living Christ’s mission.

Give
Registration fees will cover only a portion of costs (about US$554,000) related to World Conference. Your contribution to the World Conference special offering will help provide sisters and brothers from around the world access to the events of this important week by keeping registration fees affordable.

To help your congregation, a specific Disciple’s Generous Response resource for the Day of Preparation is at www.CofChrist.org/wc2013.

To contribute, use the World Conference special-offering envelope (USA and Canada contributors) or contribute online at www.CofChrist.org/give.