• Community of Christ World Conference begins Sunday

  • Every three years, people from throughout the world converge on Independence and Eastern Jackson County for the Community of Christ World Conference.

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  • Every three years, people from throughout the world converge on Independence and Eastern Jackson County for the Community of Christ World Conference.
    “The Community of Christ World Conference is a great benefit to Independence and the Eastern Jackson community for economic reasons as well as the enrichment of cultural diversity,” said Jenn Killpack, a communications department representative with Community of Christ. “Thousands of visitors from all over the world will patronize local restaurants, shops and hotels. On any given day in restaurants and shops near Independence you might overhear conversations in French, Spanish, Tahitian, Swahili, Bemba, Korean and more.”
    The 2013 World Conference begins Sunday and continues through April 18. Representatives of the church’s 250,000 members will travel from more than 50 nations to come together for community formation, dialogue, discernment, worship, fellowship and to consider church business.
    About 2,800 of these people will serve as delegates. Hundreds more will come to participate and thousands more will join through live webcasts. On site, conference events will be simultaneously translated into French, Spanish, Tahitian, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, German, Mandarin Chinese and Oriya.
    All legislative sessions and worship services are open to the public. In addition, several events will be webcast live from www.CofChrist.org. These include the First Presidency worship service at 7 p.m. Sunday, a temple worship service at 7 p.m. Monday, an event Tuesday night when the Tahitian Choir will sing and the World Peace Village.
    “The community is invited to attend all parts of the world conference. One of the highlights is the World Peace Village where people can visit booths sponsored by countries where the church is located and organizations affiliated with Community of Christ,” Killpack said. “Delegates from around the world gather as a worldwide family of faith.”
    One of the more popular events is the International Hymn Festival, which is at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Visitors are asked to be there by 6:45 p.m. for a video in which a song of peace is sung and played by musicians around the world. The festival will begin 15 minutes later with silence.
    The first piece will be another spiritual, “Go Down, Moses.” This will illustrate the theme of the evening, “Let the Oppressed Go Free,” by silencing all 5,000 voices in the worship space except for one. Some then will join in a song of lament, “By the Waters of Babylon.” Even more will join in singing another spiritual, “Wade in the Water,” and then everyone will sing in four languages “All Creatures of Our God and King.”
    Throughout the evening visitors will sing in 10 different languages and many different styles of music, led by a variety of musicians from different cultures. The idea is to create a celebratory evening. Community of Christ Principal Organist and Director of Music Jan Kraybill will lead the festival, along with Joey Williams and Ben Spalding. The hymns will be from “Community of Christ Sings,” the church's next hymnal to be released in October.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This exciting event features choral pieces, drums, instruments, solos, dance, congregational hymns, drama and more,” said Killpack. “Together, we listen and dialogue, deepen our understanding of what it means to live Christ’s mission and do the essential business of the church.”
    For more information about the Community of Christ World Conference, visit www.CofChrist.org/wc2013/ for a complete schedule and daily updates.
    For more information about Community of Christ, visit www.CofChrist.org or call 816-833-1000, ext. 3041.

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