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Examiner
  • Restoration branch conference ends

  • International citizens, residents from across the United States and those who reside in Eastern Jackson County’s backyard gathered all week in Independence for the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches 2010 General Conference.

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  • International citizens, residents from across the United States and those who reside in Eastern Jackson County’s backyard gathered all week in Independence for the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches 2010 General Conference.
    Missionary outreach in foreign nations received the most attention among the conference’s more than 160 participants, including delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Liberia and other nations, said Independence resident and General Conference Secretary Rudy Leutzinger. Some African delegates were unable to attend because of visa restrictions, “but we have a good representation from around the world,” Leutzinger said.
    “That was real unfortunate for us this year, but I don’t want to be critical of any government,” he said. “That was a real disappointment to us.” 
    The conference began on Sunday and will conclude today.
    The weeklong General Conference followed last week’s Community of Christ’s 2010 World Conference in which about 3,000 people attended. Leutzinger said the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches “considers itself members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” citing its members who formed restoration branches about 25 years ago following changes in the Community of Christ.
    The RLDS changed its name to the Community of Christ in 2001. Community of Christ officials have said the church added an additional name – Community of Christ – to its legal entity and still retains the legal right and use of the name and trademark of the RLDS mark. 
    Leutzinger said the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches, which is based at 1100 W. Truman Road in Independence, represents about 6,000 to 7,000 members worldwide. The church adopted an annual budget of about $350,000 this week, most of which will go toward worldwide missionary work, Leutzinger said.
    The international General Conference meets annually in April. The church also has an Independence national conference that meets in October, as well as national conferences across the world.  
    Church branches send delegates to the conference, Leutzinger said. For every 25 members of a branch, one delegate may attend the conference, though that weighted number varies for international delegation. Additionally, church members may voice their opinion at conference without an official delegation voting right, Leutzinger said.
    Significant action taken during the conference included calling and ordaining those to the Office of Seventy and filling the Presidents of Seventy. No additional high priests were ordained, Leutzinger said, and any decisions related to new high priests will be postponed to a future conference.
    The church’s current high priests include Rob Rolfe, the General Conference president, Lamoni, Iowa; Carl Cederstrom, Blue Springs; Roger Gault and Dean Falconer, both of Independence. 
    “We’re more concerned with the revelation than anything else,” Leutzinger said. “We believe that the Lord will lead us in those particular areas. We’re not elevating men to office just to elevate men to office. We need to make sure it is to his will.”
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