During the last two weeks I've been writing one of the lessons for preparing youth for baptism and confirmation (not children; I'm writing for junior high and senior high). Its focus is "Shalom, God's Vision for Creation." As God's plans unfold in unique way, last weekend Nancy and I went to see "The Lorax." It's a new movie based on the Dr. Suess classic. What a great illustration of God's vision for creation (at least in part). The movie is filled with illustrations of Community of Christ Enduring Principles: Grace and Generosity, Worth of All Persons, Responsible Choices, Blessings of Community and especially the Sacredness of Creation. While not everyone will enjoy an animated feature-length film, once it is on DVD, it will be a convenient way to teach many of the Enduring Principles to children. Of course, you could just read the book--it's been available since 1971. The doctor was ahead of his time.
Understanding God's Vision for Creation and the Sacredness of Creation goes beyond the environment however. The news this week has included many stories of senseless killings: from Afghanistan to Florida to Phoenix. One of the most important parts of creation is human life. One way of fulfulling the call of the Mission Initiative of Pursue Peace on Earth is to teach children about the sacredness of human life. I am blessed to have been raised and developed in such a way that I understood the link between the Worth of All Persons and the Sacredness of Creation (even if I could not explain it in these terms). Learning this connection is important. It instills in us a respect for human life understanding that each and everyone of us is connected to God. And what we do to one (like the trees in The Lorax), we do to all.
This year's plan for youth camps in Arizona are underway. Our theme is "Sharing the Peace" focusing on how we can learn to share the peace of Jesus Christ with the world. Plan now to send you children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, your neighbor, and anyone else who wants to receive the blessings of youth camp.
On the homefront, we've been getting videos of Farrah over our I-Phones. I continue to be amazed and grateful for technology. One only has to look at a child to see why we need to work on lessons for baptism and confirmation, why we need to care for the environment, and why we must teach others about the sacredness of creation (and encourage them to go to youth camp when they are old enough!)
May God bless you this week as you seek to share shalom.
We are the Arizona Mission Center of Community of Christ, nine congregations and hundreds of disciples across Arizona. Upcoming events, forms, and contact information are listed in the left column.
To find out information about our congregations in Arizona, use the "Congregation" tab at the top of the page. To find out more about our faith community, including our Basic Beliefs, Enduring Principles, Mission Initiatives, use the tab at the top "Who We Are."
The Arizona Mission Center ministry includes three teams: Adult Ministries, Young Adult Ministries, and Youth Ministries, with tabs for each across the top of the page.
Our ministry includes camps, retreats, and conferences at Whispering Pines Campground, Prescott. To find out more about the campground, including how it can host your event, check out the tab at the top. Thanks for visiting our website.