Community of Christ has a presence in more than 60 countries around the world, and yet becoming a worldwide church is a process that continues to unfold. Many blessings - and a great deal of spiritual enlightenment and growth - have been borne out of our international footprint; this is an ongoing experience in the life of the church that provides us with opportunities to continually learn and grow from one another as we seek to encounter the Divine in new and powerful ways.
The lived experience of Community of Christ is unique for our members and friends. As a community nearly 200 years old, we have developed a distinctive culture and established institutions that are woven into the fabric of our daily lives and annual traditions as Community of Christ members. This section gives a brief introduction to that lived experience concerning the World Church.
In Community of Christ, World Church is a very common term often used to describe a multitude of things such as the larger international church, its leadership, and the church’s headquarters in Independence, Missouri. While we use this term in a variety of contexts, we are almost always making reference to the worldwide community that makes up our faith tradition.
Our international headquarters located very near the original site our predecessors set aside as sacred ground in Independence, Missouri. Community of Christ has two facilities located here, the Temple and the Auditorium.
The Temple, built in 1994 and dedicated to the pursuit of peace, reconciliation, and healing of the spirit, has two functions. First, it stands as an international symbol of peace and provides a powerful experience for all visitors. It is open to the public. Second, it provides space for administrative offices where denominational leaders plan and discern the vision and mission of the church.
Completed in 1958, the Auditorium sits near the Temple and features a 5,800-seat chamber with an expansive domed ceiling. The chamber features one of the largest free-standing organs in the United States with 6,334 pipes. This facility is most often used to host World Conference events and other activities. It also houses administrative offices for denominational leaders.
Community of Christ organizes its congregations into regional groups known as mission centres. Some mission centres cover a vast territory, as in Africa or Australia, and others embrace a smaller area more densely packed with congregations, as is the case in the central United States. Boundaries are often drawn across lines of geographic or cultural significance, as these areas serve as vital support systems for the congregations within them. The mission centre is made up of congregations holding some sort of cultural, linguistic, regional, national, or even international commonalities.
In Canada we have two large mission centres, one including all of the western provinces, and one centred in the eastern half of the country. Not only do mission centres provide pastoral and administrative services to church members and congregational leaders throughout the region, they also provide a point of connection between church members who may live far apart.
Scarborough Congregation is part of the Canadian East Mission, or CEM for short.