My Bell…My Mission Initiative

Saturday, July 6

7-6By Louita Clothier of Lamoni, Iowa, USA

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

—Luke 12:34

When our church bell rings on Sunday mornings, I feel I own a part of that bell. During the two decades after the old brick church burned in Lamoni, the children in our congregation gave money to buy a bell for the new church.

As a child, I routinely brought a nickel and a penny to church, temporarily held at the Coliseum movie theater. The nickel was my offering, and the penny went into a little white wooden church with a slot in it, for the bell. So at a penny a week, from the time my family moved to Lamoni until we built the church, I figure I own about $3 worth of that bell, which 60 years ago cost about $200.

That feeling of ownership is one of the rich blessings of supporting our congregation budget. New parents do not decide whether to buy necessities for their baby. Rather, out of love, they provide food, clothing, and shelter. It is what they want to do. Because I love our congregation’s home, made sacred by the experiences we have there, I own part of our new heating system; I own some of the paper used to print our bulletins; I own the youth ministries.

It is more difficult to sense ownership when supporting the more distant needs of the World Church. The new offering envelopes allow us to earmark our offerings for one or more of the five Mission Initiatives. This enables us to claim ownership in a more direct way. It is true that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also. But I have found the reverse is also true: “Where our hearts are, there will our treasure be.” Because my heart is in Community of Christ, I now own part of the new church in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Prayer for Peace
Ever-present God, just as we experience our own congregation in mission, may we support these experiences in congregations throughout the world. We send our prayer everywhere, so no one will be denied the sanctuary and companionship of a congregational home.

Spiritual Practice: Experience Congregations in Mission
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 164:9a–d. Reread the sentence, “If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” Make a list of the issues you feel mattered most to Christ. Make another list of issues that matter to your congregation. Reflect on the similarities and differences. How can you help align the lists? Throughout the day, as issues arise, ask yourself, “Would this matter to Christ?”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will reflect on part of the worldwide church I claim as my own, and I will support it.

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1 Comment

  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  6 July 2013

    Good morning Louita, Your story today reminded me of my ownership in the Community of Christ. Because none of my family belong to the church (or any church) I can see the huge difference my belonging has meant to my life. My family often express surprise at the support church friends have offered to us as we have moved around the world. But your story also reminds me of my needed contributions, I will think of your bell as I prepare my envelope for this Sunday. God bless!

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