I've been a member of Community of Christ (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) all my life, but yesterday was a first for me. Before yesterday, I'd never attended an ordination service for a young adult, and it wasn't until I was in the midst of live-streaming it and leading the congregational support portion of the service that I realized it was happening.
There's something deeply moving about anyone accepting a call...whatever that call may be. It could be deciding to move closer to home to help an ill parent or loved one. It could be the fulfillment of a dream that you've worked so hard to achieve. It could be a lot of things, and in this single case...it is a lot of things. Accepting a call to the priesthood is like asking for daily - perhaps even hourly - disturbances to your everyday life rhythm as a true servant to others. It isn't a status that suddenly denotes respect, and it certainly isn't going to get you a raise.
Watching someone in their twenties accept a call was moving, because it is probably one of the most selfless things a person can do..and let's face it, when we're in our twenties...we aren't always terribly selfless, am I right? The community came together to celebrate this call as well with lots of cake, singing, laughter, tears, and testimonies of support for this call. Family members drove in, secular friends made a point to attend, and the congregation smiled. This call has been a long time coming - we heard that several times from several different people. I'm very grateful that Caitlin said 'yes' when she was ready. She is going to be an incredible priest.
Caitlin saying 'yes' will be one of those moments in my "Community of Christ life" that I'll likely never forget.
If you missed the service, I've uploaded the live broadcast to YouTube and included it below.
To commemorate Father’s Day, the Calgary congregation held its services last Sunday among the trees at Bow Habitat Station. If the change in venue wasn’t enough to clue you in, this obviously wasn’t going to be your traditional worship service! We met on a beautiful morning at the park adjacent to the Bow Habitat Station and immediately staked out some perfect picnic tables and began setting up our potluck lunch that we’d be enjoying later. We had so much wonderful food (which makes sense with all the great cooks we have!), and the location was a beautiful wetland covered with trees, marshes, and a pond. The smell of sunscreen and bug spray mingled with the smell of damp bark, plush grass, and the delicious smell of bar-b-que.
As if the location weren’t enough fun, Caitlin d’Esterre took it a bit further, having planned out the day with our Generation Now families in mind. With 21 in attendance, we enjoyed fishing lessons and fishing, nature walks, plenty of running around, great discussion, and a tasty potluck. Lots of fun memories were made, and the weather could not have been better. (After several days of constant rain, I think we were all excited to have warm sun!)
As a denomination, we believe that community is truly a blessing…so it is important that we foster meaningful relationships with all of our members and friends – young and old. We recognize that sometimes, a fun weekend event/activity can be easier for our younger families to make it out to, but I can assure you that the meaningful relationships formed at these off-site events are just as critical as the ones formed at our Sunday morning legacy activities.
Generation Now continues to be a wonderful form of mission and ministry for the Calgary congregation. To learn more about this program, click here.
Calgary Spark is a collection of stories told by members and friends of the church alike. Each person's story is helping to shape our community in new ways.