After missing the last two summers because of the COVID-19 pandemic, properties supported by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation find themselves primed for the July 4 holiday.
The Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, Illinois, and the Kirtland Temple in Ohio opened May 1. Liberty Hall, in Lamoni, Iowa, opened a month earlier.
The return has been a blessing for school groups, caravans, and individuals who are seeking ways to deepen their discipleship and understanding of church heritage.
Visitors will notice some changes. During the closure some maintenance and landscaping were done.
The wait is over.
For some key properties supported by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation, a more-than-two-year closure will end Sunday, May 1.
That’s when the doors to the Kirtland Temple in Ohio and the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, Illinois, are scheduled to open for the first time since the pandemic forced the shutting of most church properties in March 2020.
Another site, Liberty Hall in Lamoni, Iowa, reopened at the beginning of April.
To be sure, visitors will notice some changes. During the closure some maintenance and landscaping were done. Also, reopening won’t be easy because the sites in Kirtland and Nauvoo still are short of help from interns.
The same board that so far has helped steer the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation through the pandemic will return in 2022.
At the November 13 fall board meeting, members voted to return to office:
President: Sally Roth.
First vice president: Jacquie Bethel.
Second vice president: Scott Britton-Mehlisch.
Secretary: Peter Smith.
Treasurer: Timothy Klocko.
Immediate past president: Karen Graham Wade.
The Fall Lecture Series will begin Thursday, October 7, with a panel presentation.
Among the participants in the 7:00 p.m. event will be John-Charles Duffy, Lachlan Mackay, Rachel Killebrew, and more.
Other events (all Central Time):
* October 14: Andrew Bolton and Phillip Caswell will focus on the life and legacy of Kisuke Sekine, 7:00 p.m.
* October 21: "Community of Christ History in France" with Chrystal Vanel, noon.
* October 28: "Community of Christ History in Wales" with Richard James, noon.
* November 4: "Community of Christ History in 20th-century Germany" with Eva Erickson and Kerstin Jeske, 7:00 p.m.
* November 11: "Community of Christ History in Australia" with Ben Smith, 7:00 p.m.
* November 18: "Community of Christ History in England" with Pete Gaffney, 7:00 p.m.
A recognizable face is back in Kirtland, Ohio.
Bruce Crockett returned this summer as a volunteer, focusing on programming for spiritual formation after for when the Temple reopens after the pandemic eases.
It’s a familiar setting for Crockett. In 2007 he began serving as the first full-time spiritual-formation coordinator at the Kirtland Temple. He held that position until he retired in 2013.
During his tenure, his efforts touched thousands of guests, pilgrims, and church members.
We need your help!
Properties supported by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation need volunteers to help prepare for reopening in 2022.
After a two-year closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the properties--especially the Kirtland Temple in Ohio and the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, Illinois, will be in dire need of friends to help with maintenance and tours.
Apostle Lachlan Mackay already is recruiting. For more information, contact him at lmackay@CofChrist.org or 440-339-6398.
It's Memorial Day weekend.
In most years, this is a busy time at properties supported by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation. Visitors marvel at the Kirtland Temple in Ohio, shop in the Red Brick Store at the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, Illinois, and gaze at Liberty Hall, once the home of Joseph Smith III, in Lamoni, Iowa.
But not this year. Not during a time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The historic sites are closed through at least the end of the year.
But there's hope.
ith the pandemic seemingly in retreat, it's possible to at least hope for visits next year. Meanwhile, volunteers and staff members are working so guests will enjoy their return, whenever that may happen. Hope abounds!
The 2020 lecture series, which started in response to the pandemic, was such a hit that the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation just had to offer you more.
So at 7:00 p.m. (CDT) April 22, you can join the start of the Spring Lecture Series to hear Richard Howard, who served as World Church historian from 1966–1994. He’ll reflect on research, 20th-century changes, challenges, and more.
Joining him will be Andrea Read-Davis, a board member with the foundation. The series will continue weekly into June.
To register for the April 22 event, go to the home page of this website and click on the registration button.
Sure, many of us are bummed that we can't visit inside the Kirtland Temple, Red Brick Store, Liberty Hall, or Heritage Plaza.
But even during the pandemic, you still can take advantage of a vibrant spring day to drive past. Checking out the exteriors of these historic sites is still of worth--and it might help prepare you for a visit next year, after the sites reopen.
Besides, a beautiful drive on a fresh spring day is a good way to get out of the house.
If you're yearning to visit one of the properties supported by the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation, you're going to have to wait a bit longer.
The church announced Friday, February 6, that because of the pandemic the historic sites and many other properties will remain closed through at least December 31, 2021.
The announcement said the "First Presidency made the decision based on current information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic with continued concern for the health and welfare of visitors, staff, and their families."
In addition, the announcement said field apostles are responsible for regional decisions about worship gatherings, camps, and other physical gatherings.
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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