They’re back, and they brought smiles, memories, and insights with them.
Fifty-one guests who joined a tour to the Holy Land sponsored by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation, shared in a memorable pilgrimage.
The event, the foundation's first to the land where Jesus walked, featured three stages.
The first, a "pre-tour" October 20-23, included visits to Petra and the Dead Sea. The main tour, scheduled October 22-31, featured Jerusalem, Nazareth, Caesarea, and Jericho. Finally, the “post-tour” event, Oct. 30-Nov. 4, treated guests to the pyramids and the Red Sea. Some even got to ride camels!
Along the way, guests heard stories and learned about the church’s history in the region.
The Joseph Smith Historic Site is renowned as a draw for visitors to the city of Nauvoo, Illinois. On Saturday, October 26, guests not only will have a chance to visit the site one more time before it closes for the winter, but they’ll be able to enjoy the city's annual Pumpkin Walk and parade.
The event, a Halloween treat suitable for the entire family, will feature hundreds of unique, hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns that will be displayed along Mulholland Street, route of a delightful parade. Many merchants will extend operating hours and offer special treats.
In just days, travelers will begin a milestone tour to the Holy Land sponsored by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation.
The event, the foundation's first to the land where Jesus walked, will feature three stages.
The first, a "pre-tour" October 20-23, will include visits to Petra and the Dead Sea. The main tour, scheduled October 22-31, will feature Jerusalem, Nazareth, Caesarea, and Jericho. Finally, the “post-tour” event, Oct. 30-Nov. 4, will treat guests to the pyramids and the Red Sea.
Highlights will include stories about the church’s history in the region.
School’s back in session. Labor Day’s past. Temperatures gradually are cooling.
But as we leave summer behind and enter autumn, you still have a chance to visit properties supported by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation.
At the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, Illinois, hours will remain 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday through October.
Through October at the Kirtland Temple in Ohio, hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Each year, Community of Christ members have a unique opportunity to honor their past while worshiping in the present and moving into the future.
Worship services for Church Heritage Day, observed annually on the third Sunday in September, help us see the direction our denomination is heading.
Numerous worship-service outlines are available simply by going to the home page of this website and clicking on the Resources tab. Feel free to explore any of the many outlines offered. You may use any or all of the elements in your own congregation.
Suggested materials include readings, hymns, and of course, a look back in our history.
Themes focus on each of our Mission Initiatives and other topics.
Sometimes it just takes time. . . and the talents of the right person.
Sister Jan T. (Myrberg) Isaac, co-director of the Historic Kirtland Visitors' Center operated by the LDS church, recently finished a labor of love started many years earlier.
Her work on two portraits will be unveiled at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, August 25, at the Kirtland Temple Visitor Center operated by Community of Christ.
The portraits feature Sally Waterman Phelps (1797–1874) and Sarah Jackson Whitmer (1809–1873). The paintings complete “The Kirtland Temple Portrait Series.” It was started in 1997 by Henry K. Inouye Jr. He died before doing the last two of the 18 paintings, an artistic reproduction of originals painted about 1837. The original artist is unknown.
Officials say at least some—perhaps all—of the original paintings were displayed in the Kirtland Temple in the 1830s. Today, the reproductions are in the Kirtland Temple Visitor Center’s theater.
In the end, the Mississippi River wasn’t strong enough to overcome the love of dedicated staff members and volunteers who protected the Joseph Smith Historic Site from spring and summer floods.
Because of their sweat, dedication, and passion, no severe damage was done to historic properties in Nauvoo, Illinois. That’s not to say there wasn’t lots of worrying.
Apostle Lach Mackay, Community of Christ’s historic sites director, said the concerns began with March blizzards in the upper Midwest. The worry didn’t dissipate until the US Army Corps of Engineers said it was safe to remove flood-prevention structures in mid-July.
“For several months, heavy rain in the middle of the night meant getting up and starting the gasoline-powered pumps that supplement the electric pumping system for the Nauvoo House cellar,” Mackay said. “Once started, we had to put on life jackets and scale the levee to inspect the hoses and make sure they were not cutting through the plastic protecting the levee from erosion. We would also need to refuel the pumps as needed.”
The five pumps and plastic weren’t the only protective efforts. Workers used 125 tons of sand to fill hundreds of white, nylon bags and provide other protection.
Volunteers included members of the Community of Christ RV Association, World Conference delegates passing through Nauvoo on the way to Independence, Missouri, and 25 sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Combined, they raised the levee by two feet.
“We are extremely grateful for all of the help we received,” Mackay said.
Staff, Smith family members, and guests joined together June 27 in two events that remembered the passing of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
The events, at the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, Illinois, marked the 175th anniversary of the brothers' death in 1844 in Carthage, Illinois.
The early afternoon featured a memorial service at the Smith Family Cemetery. That evening, the site near the Mississippi River provided time for reflection by candlelight.
Community of Christ owes deep gratitude to the many volunteers who help run the properties supported by the church's Historic Sites Foundation.
But there are never enough. Especially this year at the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, Illinois. "We have significant volunteer needs," Lach Mackay reported to the foundation's board in March. "We are significantly shorthanded in Nauvoo. We need couples to move there, and make it their home. We would provide housing."
If interested, please call (217) 453-2246.
It's great when a difficult goal is achieved, and it's even better when it's surpassed.
Such was the case with the "$22K by 22 May" fund-raising campaign this spring by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation.
The original goal was set for the purpose of funding four internships at the historic sites. But generous donors exceeded the goal, contributing $30,499.26. That amount will enable five internships to be funded.
Interns, of course, primarily serve during the busy summer months. But operation and maintenance of the sites are year-round obligations. If you'd like to continue to help, go to the home page of this web site and click on the "Donate" button. In the meantime, please accept our thanks for all of your help.
The Forum, the Foundation newsletter, is an excellent source on continuing news, feature stories, and the impact of your donations on the preservation of church heritage. If you would like to receive The Forum, make a donation to the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation today!
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