Where Do the Donations Go?
The proceeds from the sales of Phyllis’s art go to support the spiritual community she was a part of for decades.
There are approximately 200 independent Christian Community congregations worldwide, with 14 congregations in North America. Services are also held in Affiliate congregations when an ordained priest is able to visit. For most Affiliate communities, such as the one Phyllis belonged to in Chapel Hill, these visits average only a few times a year. There has long been a shortage of priests to serve existing churches and not nearly enough priests to expand services to Affiliates or indeed, build new churches – but this is what we hope to support with the funds generated by your purchases.
Each Christian Community congregation is financially independent and exists solely through the donations of its local members. There are regional and international administrative bodies to coordinate the work at more local levels but the Christian Community is not associated with any larger ecumenical body. Most congregations of the Christian Community are small and intimate with an average of 20-30 people in a congregation. This means that individual members are completely responsible for the founding, running and maintaining of their church life. The priest who is assigned to a congregation provides the services of performing the seven sacraments, offering educational classes to children and adult members and providing counsel to members in the form of the sacrament of consultation. Phyllis participated in all these offerings and found particular benefit from the sacramental consultation – a transformation of the old sacrament of confession. It helps us listen to Christ for guidance in the ordering of our destiny and the challenges of life.
We believe that through the indwelling presence of Christ in the sacraments, He replenishes our soul forces and strengthens life in community. Christ is seen as a universal spirit, accessible to all as as a ‘being of love’, who through his sacrificial life, death and resurrection, offers healing and guidance in our lives.
Until fairly recently, the only Seminaries where a priest could be ordained were in Germany. This meant there was always a shortage of priests for North American congregations. At present, many of our priests are past retirement age and there are too few priests to adequately serve the many Affiliate communities. This great need for new priests brought about the impulse for a Seminary to be born in North America; first in Chicago, then in NY and now in Toronto, Canada. Since the continuance of the life of all our congregations depends absolutely upon the graduating of new priests, we hope to give any funds generated through Phyllis’s artwork to serve the ‘Movement for Religious Renewal’ to the North American Seminary.
The Seminary of The Christian Community in North America offers a variety of programs that can lead to ordination over a course of years. Programs encompass: a Distance Learning Program, six month on-site programs, an off-site mission program and a six month ordination preparation program in Toronto and NY. Additionally, ‘open courses’ continue to be offered to a wider public, as well as webinars, a new format for connecting with a larger audience at a distance, which were added during the restrictions of the Covid pandemic of 2019. If you would like to make a donation to the Seminary of the Christian Community of North America, you can go online to: https://christiancommunityseminary.ca/donations/
If you would like to make a donation to the General Fund for the Christian Community, you can donate here: https://www.thechristiancommunity.org/donate-now/The North American work is coordinated by Rev. Craig Wiggins and the North American regional board.