World Conference (Community of Christ)

The Community of Christ auditorium

World Conference is the highest legislative body in Community of Christ and is empowered to act for the entire church. It operates according to a principle known as "common consent" and is presided over by the First Presidency. The functioning of the councils, quorums and orders of the church are also considered an important part of the World Conference.

Delegates to the conference are elected by Mission Center conferences. Motions are often debated vigorously and the results are sometimes close and controversial. World Conferences are traditionally held at Community of Christ World Headquarters, with the legislative and main worship services held in the Auditorium in Independence, Missouri.

Contents

History

World Conferences were originally known as "General Conferences." The first General Conference of the church, then known as the Church of Christ, was held on June 9, 1830—only two months after its organization. Convened in Fayette, New York, it was presided over by Joseph Smith. The conference included a gathering of the 27 members of the church.

Originally held semiannually, or as need arose, the church switched to an annual meeting in the late-nineteenth century. With many members desiring to meet more than once a year, summer gatherings were held, starting in 1883, as reunions (a tradition that continues to this day). In the twentieth century, the church decided to meet biannually. Then, at the 2007 World Conference, it was decided that World Conferences would be held tri-annually. Switching to a conference every three years, instead of every two, was anticipated to be less taxing on church resources, and to provide for greater participation by members who reside abroad.

The most recent World Conference was held April 2019.

Agenda and format

The World Conference Opening Ceremonies traditionally include a ceremony featuring the flags of the nations where the church is organized and often include a welcome address by a featured speaker from another denomination, as well as welcomes by local elected officials. The councils, quorums and orders of the church hold separate meetings during World Conference as do several delegate caucuses. The usual agenda calls for these meetings during weekday mornings, with most of the general legislative sessions of the World Conference in the afternoon. Evening worship services often include a contemporary worship service, an outreach service, and a service in whi... ...read more

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