I have seen many people ask for a sort of “starting place” to become acquainted with Community of Christ. I have had various things that I have pointed people to, but I thought it might be a good idea to create a centralized place for all of my recommendations!
Please be aware: I have compiled a lot of resources here. This is as simple or as comprehensive as you want it to be. If you are going for simple, I would read Sharing in Community of Christ and pick out Project Zion Podcast episodes which interest you.
Sharing in Community of Christ
“Sharing in Community of Christ” is probably the best starting place. It is the collaborative result of many leaders, teams, and individuals to concisely convey and explore CoC’s identity, mission, message, and beliefs. Some particularly noteworthy extracts include:
The Mission Initiatives, which we believe are the aspects of Christ’s mission, and therefore our mission.
The Mission Prayer, which is a commonly-used mantra for us to meditate on as we pray.
Basic Beliefs, which touch briefly on many different topics
Temples as Life-giving Symbol, which summarizes what the temple is and what it means to us. There are no secret rituals which are performed in the temples.
We Proclaim Jesus Christ, which is a summary of our relationship with Christ.
The 9 Scripture Affirmations, which summarize what scripture is and isn’t for us.
Perspectives on Church History, which summarizes our relationship with our past.
Content I’ve Created
I joined Community of Christ, specifically the online Beyond the Walls congregation, on February 6th, 2021, and was confirmed over a streamed service which you can watch here. I have been passionately studying Community of Christ history, theology, and culture since then! I have created a number of things which i feel are valuable resources:
“Joining a Church You’ve Never Been to” is my 2021 Sunstone presentation. It is a summary of my spiritual journey and Community of Christ history.
The Book of Mormon: Plain and Precious Truths, which is my project to create an inclusive and plain english version of the Book of Mormon.
John Hamer Lectures
John Hamer grew up LDS and has since joined Community of Christ and become a Seventy and also the pastor of the Toronto, Canada congregation. He is a historian, mapmaker, and graphic artist who has done a wonderful job of conveying many topics which span our history, theology, and culture. He has appeared on many podcasts, but also helps posts weekly lectures on his congregation’s YouTube page (and are consolidated in a list here). The following are some of my favorite videos he has helped produce:
Undefining ‘God’, which helped me give up pre-conceived notions of who and what God was and allowed me to explore healthier conceptions which better resonate with me.
The Bible As Seen through Reformation Lenses, which drastically shifted my understanding of scripture.
The Historical Jesus, which provides an overview of what can and cannot be known about the historical Jesus and will talk about the difference between the portrait painted by academic history, the portraits painted by scripture, and the experience of the divine Christ as understood by Christians.
Homosexuality and the Bible, which takes a look at what the Bible does and doesn’t have to say about homosexuality. In contrast to the claims of many Evangelical Christians, the component texts of the Bible do not condemn same-sex orientation.
Joseph Smith the Seer, which seeks to cut through the mythic portrayal of the young Joseph Smith Jr. to try to understand him in his historical context.
Community of Christ’s Special Calling in the 21st Century, where he outlines his belief in the value of inclusive community institutions in a polarized world that is rapidly turning its back on progressive institutional churches
Project Zion is a coffee-themed podcast which talks about Community of Christ culture, history, scriptural interpretations, current events, church finances, life experiences, and all sorts of stuff. It frequently features seventies, apostles, and members of the first presidency. A full list of its 400+ episodes can be found here, but here are some of my favorites:
Beyond the Walls Social Hour, a place to chat every Thursday at 7PM (Mountain time)
Beyond the Walls facebook group, the digital wing of the Toronto, Canada congregation – NOTE: You are able to join and be an active member of this congregation from anywhere you are in the world.
Latter-day Seekers, a Community of Christ group for people with an LDS background
Bishop Carla Long’s YouTube channel, where she tackles common and important topics
The Faithful Disagreement Policy, which affirms our right to dissent
Temple Tuesday, which explores the temple in Independence, Missouri with all of its meanings
Community of Christ Dialogue, the largest general-purpose Community of Christ facebook group
Latter Day Truth, which has digitized a huge portion of historical church resources
Herald House, which is the church’s publishing arm and has many good books.
World Conference Resolutions, which are statements that the delegates of the church have voted to pass
Our Ministry Tools, which is a consolidated place for policies and procedures