Join us this spring as we raise $22,000 to fund four young adults in the Alma Blair Internship Program.
Spring has arrived at Community of Christ historic sites and soon twelve young adults will take their first steps on to the historic properties surrounding the Kirtland Temple and the Joseph Smith Historic Site. The students will join generations of young adults who experienced the historic sites in life-changing ways. From Cecil Ettinger and Maurice Draper to Heather Frey and Art Smith, young adults have served and shared the sacred story at the historical properties for over a century.
Like the young adult interns who have gone before, this summer’s students will acquire public speaking skills, a deeper understanding of Community of Christ theology and history, meet people from all over the world, and explore a new and exciting area of the United States. It’s a summer experience that will create memories and friendships that will last long after summer’s end. One summer has the potential to expand into a lifetime of new perspectives and passions for preserving both the past and present Community of Christ. Many of the former interns have gone on to serve in Community of Christ as leaders in their congregations, mission centers, and at International Headquarters. This important young adult program, known today as the Alma Blair Internship Program, continues to impact future church leaders. It is truly a life-changing experience as you will discover from the testimonies enclosed.
Young Adults at the Historic Sites Need Your Support
We invite you to consider a gift in support of the “$22K by 22 May” campaign. When you give to this young adult program, in many ways you are making an investment in the future. Future church leaders, future historians, perhaps your future Mission Center president or pastor. For indeed, history is just as much about the past as it is about the future.
Thank you for your consideration and for helping preserve church heritage through your support of the Alma Blair Internship Program.
The role of the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation permeated the church's World Conference in Independence, Missouri.
The biggest influence in the April event was seen in a crowded Temple Sanctuary for a Storytellers session that featured six people with profound tales about the Temple's influence in the past, present, and future.
"I was excited by the stories of impact that the Temple has had," said Karen Graham Wade, the foundation's board president. "It re-enforced my appreciation for our Enduring Principle of Pursuit of Peace."
But though this was the most visible event, the foundation's presence was felt in many other ways.
Consider the Village Expo, a gathering of booths representing church groups, affiliates, and like-minded organizations. The foundation shared a space with the Church History and Sacred Story Team.
Banners attracted passers-by, who soon found numerous resources, pamphlets, and brochures that touted foundation activities. An iPad demonstrated the new 3D virtual tours offered at the Kirtland Temple. A flyer described the Alma Blair Internship Program. A small book focused on Joseph Smith Jr.'s family in Nauvoo, Ill. Another book, Tuesday Tales in Church History, brought stories alive.
"It's nice to have a booth of good size," board member Sally Roth said. "We hope to achieve awareness of who we are and how to reach out. We want people to realize there are resources here, and we can help them connect with history."
Traffic at the booth, which also featured life-size cutouts of historic figures (wearing Conference lanyards and badges), was beyond brisk.
"We have been busy," admitted Barbara Walden, executive director of the foundation. "Yesterday we just about got run over! "To me this is continuing our sacred story," Walden continued. "Coming to an event like World Conference and seeing people from all over, you can see that we're a global church."
This isn't the first time the Joseph Smith Historic Site has dealt with a high Mississippi River, but that doesn't make the situation any less worrisome.
Christin Mackay, site director at the site in Nauvoo, Illinois, said the river is expected to crest the week of April 15. The staff plans to begin reinforcing the levee with sand and sandbags this week.
She said that Highway 61, which connects Alexandria, Missouri, to Keokuk, Iowa, and Nauvoo, is closed because of high water. However, other routes to Nauvoo remain open.
Mackay noted that the historic site would be open Tuesday and Wednesday this week before closing until April 15 for the Community of Christ World Conference in Independence, Missouri.
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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