PROVIDENCE BAY—The Community of Christ Church in Providence Bay welcomed a new pastor at the beginning of the year. Dawn Dawson, of Spring Bay, became the church’s pastor and has great plans for her church.
“As the person in the role of pastor,” she said, “I hope to see the Providence Bay congregation grow. Our congregation is very active in various aspects of community life, from nursing home musical visits to shifts at Treasures in Mindemoya. We are a group that shares God’s word by the actions we take. I would like to see this continue and grow.”
“We are the last church here in Providence Bay and we would like to use our geographic position on the water as a beacon of light shining for others to find,” said Pastor Dawson. “Our mission is to proclaim the peace of Jesus while creating a community where all are welcome.”
Pastor Dawson came to Manitoulin from Sault Ste. Marie in 1994. She took online courses through the Temple School of Independence Missouri and became an Elder in July 2013. She explained that everything is your mission then, that you have a calling that is beyond your career and noted that there are seven members of the priesthood for her church and any of those adherents can speak at the services.
The Foundation of this church is God, Christ and the Holy Spirit and members share Enduring Principles including grace and generosity, a belief in the worth of all persons, the sacredness of creation, the belief that all are called to do good and share in God’s purposes, continuing revelation of divine will, responsible choices as human choice contributes to good or evil in our lives and in the world, the pursuit of peace, unity in diversity and the blessings of community. The Enduring Principles, the church states, are at the heart of how members express themselves. When they become the descriptors of one’s behaviour, rather than just ideals, then members will become the Community of Christ that God is calling them to be.
The vision statement as expressed by the Church’s leadership reads ‘We will become a worldwide church dedicated to the pursuit of peace, reconciliation and healing of the spirit.’
This church has indeed become worldwide with members in 60 countries. Missionary work is done in many areas and each year the church gives out a Community of Christ International Peace Prize. This award was given in 2005 to Canadian Craig Kielburger of Toronto, the founder of Save the Children and the youngest recipient, at age 22, of the award.
Pastor Dawson has plans for the community for the upcoming Family Day. On Sunday, February 18, a family service will be held with music, poems and readings from the Bible. She will also be busy this summer, with plans for five weddings already in the works. “The Church is not just Sunday morning,” she said, “we are a community of faith.”
Everyone is welcome to join the Community of Christ Church. Service is held every Sunday at 11 am. You can contact Pastor Dawson at 705-377-5003.