7 April 2024


Second Sunday of Easter

1 John 1:1-2:2

Easter People Witness


Additional Scriptures

Psalm 133; John 20:19-31; Acts 4:32-35; Doctrine and Covenants 162:3a-b



Refer to Toronto Centre Place, online church, for a list of hymns that are available on YouTube. This might provide accompaniment for hymns. Prepare to share the audio YouTube version of the song, “Easter People” by Nash Revival, with permission.

For the Disciples’ Generous Response, secure a copy of the storybook, Charlie’s Walk, by Francine Inslee, ISBN 0-8309-1073-5. 

Make the announcement found in the Collage as Spiritual Practice below. This relates to the next three services. Distribute the announcement to participants through all the communication channels available during the coming week.



Ministry of Music: “Easter People” by Nash Revival, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJVPXl2tsDo   

Make sure you have permission to use this recording.


“He is risen!” This is the good news proclamation as we continue the Easter season of the Christian liturgical calendar. Easter includes the fifty 50 days that began last Sunday and continues until we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

On the very first day of Easter, the disciples were mourning and confused. The teacher they had followed had been crucified. They lost not only their leader and teacher but their friend.

Jesus taught love and acceptance. His nonviolent response to authorities was confusing and unexpected. Jesus did not lead and die in a battle to overturn the powers and principalities ushering in a new way of life. It looked like Jesus had lost. Further, the hope of the Lord’s Prayer to create “God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven” had seemingly died on the cross with him.

The disciples’ experience of the Resurrection was not at all like our Easter celebrations. The disciples had more questions than answers. The announcement of the empty tomb was shocking. Although Jesus had foreshadowed the events, the news that he had risen was surprising. I would love to know what the disciples were thinking and doing during this time, but the New Testament only gives us a few glimpses of what happened between day one and day fifty of the first Easter season. What will we think and do, as we once again hear the good news proclaimed, “He is risen”? Unlike the first disciples, we expected this celebration even as we started Lent. For us, the importance of the Resurrection might get lost because it is not a surprise that forces us to seek meaning.

“He is risen” is not just a proclamation of a singular event. This good news invites and sends us. God invites us to shape our lives anew as Easter people. God sends us with the blessing of the Holy Spirit to embody and share the message and ministry of the Living Christ. He is risen when we live Christ’s mission. Today, our focus is on how we, as Easter People, witness to our world.

            —Stassi Cramm, Daily Bread, April 17, 2022


Hymn of Praise 

Use the vocal recording found on Community of Christ Sings Audio Recordings, available from Herald House, to lead the singing.

“Mfurahini, Haleluya/Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia”                                      
CCS 471

OR “Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate”                                                                 
CCS 474

Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.


Prayer for Peace

Scripture Reading: John 20:19-31

Light the Peace Candle. 


Spirit of the unbelievable,

As humans, it is hard to believe the injustice, the hatred, and the disharmony we witness in the world. We don’t want to believe it is real. We don’t want to believe because it is so painful. We relate to Thomas’s disbelief—his desire that what he sees ought to make sense. Spirit, remind us that despite Thomas’s disbelief, he stayed with his community. He didn’t give up.

We pray that you would grant us the persistence and hopefulness of Thomas–that in our darkest moments, we might stay the course, pursuing justice and peace even in the face of our own doubts. Resurrection was once unbelievable, and yet we follow a resurrected one. Peace and justice for all seems unbelievable, and yet we follow the path of peace!

In the name of Jesus, the resurrected One, Amen.    

                                                           —Tiffany and Caleb Brian


Proclamation of the Word

Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:1—2:2

Ministry of Music OR Congregational Hymn

 “Sing to God as Sings the Ocean"
CCS 104

OR “Restless Weaver"
CCS 145


Based on 1 John 1:1—2:2



Disciples’ Generous Response


The first Sunday of the month focuses Disciples’ Generous Response on one of our Mission Initiatives, Abolish Poverty, End Suffering, which includes Oblation ministry.


Read the storybook, Charlie’s Walk, by Francine Inslee, available from HeraldHouse.org. 

This is the story of a girl who gave all of her money to those in need, leaving her nothing to give during the offertory at church. She is regretting her choice to give freely when her friend, Charlie, reminds her that Jesus has asked us to give to those who need what we have to give…and in her giving, she “walked the talk” of giving to our true capacity.

OR Ask someone to share a time when they experienced someone who gave freely.

After the story/testimony discuss:

  • What does this story/testimony say to you about giving? 
  • How does giving at church teach us to give in our everyday lives?

Our theme today is “Easter People Witness”…how do we, as Easter People, show through giving that Jesus lives in us?


During the Disciples’ Generous Response, we focus on aligning our heart with God’s heart. Our offerings are more than meeting budgets or funding mission. Through our offerings we are able to join in making God’s work visible in the world.  

As we share our mission tithes either by placing money in the plates or through eTithing, use this time to thank God for the many gifts received in life. Our hearts grow aligned with God’s when we gratefully receive and faithfully respond by living Christ’s mission. 

If your congregation is meeting online, remind participants they can give through CofChrist.org/give or at eTithing.org (consider showing these URLs on screen). 

Hymn of Generosity

 “Can We Calculate Our Giving”                                                                   
CCS 617

OR “God Who Cares for All Creation”                                                        
CCS 14

                        For a four-part arrangement of this tune, see CCS 198.

 Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes


Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Communion Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26          

Communion Talk

OR Video

Show one of the “Witness the Word” videos based on 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Dale Luffman: Youtube.com/watch?v=IL_oTQUgzFo&t=12s

Carlos Enrique Mejia: Youtube.com/watch?v=FMkJYPfdMT8&t=145s

Natalie Harper: Youtube.com/watch?v=8boVJBycIyg&t=10s

Jane Gardner: Youtube.com/watch?v=Lzr8xF8T21k&t=627s


Hymn of Preparation

“In the Quiet of This Day”                                                                            
CCS 161

OR “Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive”                                                         
CCS 215

OR “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart”                                                             
CCS 531


Invitation to Communion

All are welcome at Christ’s table. The Lord’s Supper, or Communion, is a sacrament in which we remember the life, death, resurrection, and continuing presence of Jesus Christ.

In Community of Christ, we also experience Communion as an opportunity to renew our baptismal covenant and to be formed as disciples who live Christ’s mission. Others might have different or added understandings within their faith traditions. We invite all who participate in the Lord’s Supper to do so in the love and peace of Jesus Christ.

Blessing and Serving of Bread and Wine

For guidelines on the Lord’s Supper, including online participation, see

Pastoral Prayer


“To Be Your Presence"
CCS 351

OR “For Such a Time"
CCS 376

OR “Go Forth”  Sing twice.
CCS 654

Collage as Spiritual Practice

During our next three Sunday gatherings, we will be engaging in a spiritual practice that might be new to many—the making of paper collages. A collage is an artistic composition of pictures, most often from magazines. This is a practice in which we invite the Spirit to inspire us. The theme of our collages will be “Easter People.”

Today our theme was “Easter People Witness.” In the coming weeks, themes will be “Easter People Believe,” “Easter People Act,” and “Easter People Love.” Spend time in prayer and meditation as you consider…What does it mean to be an Easter People? Find the pictures or words that can express who we are as we welcome the resurrected Christ living in and through us. Please bring pictures you find next week.   

Sending Forth: Doctrine and Covenants 162:3a-b




Year B—Letters

Second Sunday of Easter

1 John 1:1—2:2

Exploring the Scripture

The author of John’s first letter reminds us of God’s generous grace revealed in Christ Jesus and our call as disciples to live ethically. Faithful interpretation and responsible application of this text invite exploration of the frame of reference of its first hearers and the environment of Christ-centered communities today. Some recognize the second Sunday of Easter as Low Sunday, because it was thought the lesser of two Sundays within the eight festival days of Easter, the greater being Resurrection Sunday. One might argue that after the hallelujahs of celebration fade from Resurrection Sunday, the work of Easter begins.

John, the Beloved Disciple, is credited as the author of five New Testament writings, including the fourth Gospel, three letters, and Revelations. While scholars affirm John’s first letter, written in the late first century, was not written by the same author as John’s Gospel, it mirrors the evangelist’s theology and language. First John is written in letter format but is not addressed to a specific congregation.

It is written from a community, likely a group of authorized teachers in the Johannine tradition, to the broader Johannine community. Using “we” in the introduction reflects the group closely connected with John, the evangelist. In contrast, using “we” throughout the body of the letter refers to the common faith shared with the faith community.

Various forms of Docetism divide Christian communities today. The letter addresses a community divided by differing beliefs about Jesus. Some believed the life and ministry of Jesus set a moral standard to be followed. Others argued believing in the Word was enough.

Docetism upholds the distinction between spiritual and material and denies the spiritual Christ took on human form. John’s first letter challenges this belief by reinforcing the Incarnation, the Word becoming flesh, central to John’s Gospel. The opening verses affirm the Incarnation through the direct connection of seeing, hearing, and touching; the Living Word is God’s revelation. This letter serves to unite the community by reinforcing who Jesus is, what God has done in Christ, and the importance of living as a Christ-centered community. 

Light is an important symbol in John’s writings. In John’s Gospel, light is Jesus as God’s revelation. “…What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people” (John 1:3–4). In 1 John, walking “in [God’s] light” refers to ethical conduct (v. 7). Such conduct is what Jesus revealed and modeled as God’s light in the world. Walking in God’s light involves personal choices and conduct.

This passage upholds the importance of understanding ethics and relationship to God through relationships in the community. Verses 5–10 use light to symbolize holiness in the community. It stands in opposition to 1) those who walk in darkness, 2) those who claim to be without sin, and 3) those who deny sin as a human condition. This passage points to the universal nature of sin, as both an individual act and a human condition, and the universal nature of God’s forgiveness. While theologies of atonement are diverse, John’s theology affirms Christ Jesus as the one who deals with the problems of sin for the whole world. As in John 3:16, the universal nature of God’s love is obvious in this passage. Christ is an advocate for the whole world.

The invitation is to walk in God’s light by embodying Jesus, the peaceful One, in Christ-centered communities of justice and peace on and for the Earth. We understand the counsel in this opening passage of 1 John through the lens of revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 163. Jesus Christ embodies the light of God and invites all to receive divine peace, forgiveness, and wholeness.

“…That our joy may be complete” (v. 4) expresses the importance of oneness in community. Koinonia is a Greek word that expresses the mutuality of contributing to, and receiving from, a community of oneness. The joy of life as disciples is most fully realized in a loving and inclusive community living the ethics of Christ’s peace.           

Central Ideas

  1. The Incarnation is central to understanding who Jesus is, what God has done in Christ, and what it means to live as communities of Christ.
  2. Sin as an act and a human condition is universal, but so is God’s grace.
  3. Relationship to God is best understood through relationships in the community. To walk in God’s light is to live the ethics of Christ’s peace through communities of oneness, generosity, justice, and peace.

Questions for the Speaker

  1. Where do you see examples of beliefs about Jesus dividing your community?
  2. How does living the ethics of Christ’s peace (embodying Jesus, the Peaceable One) bring light to conditions of darkness in your community?
  3. What does the work of Easter look like, as disciples and communities walk together in the Resurrection’s light?




 Year B Letters

Second Sunday of Easter

1 John 1:1–2:2 NRSVUE




Today is the second Sunday of the Easter season. The Easter season lasts fifty days and concludes with the Day of Pentecost.

Prayer for Peace

Ring a bell or chime three times slowly.

Light the peace candle.

Creator God, embrace on this day, O God, those without power. Protect them from the whims of the world. Give them the courage to stand for the right to separate themselves from a world that offers no hope. Shine the light of your goodness in front of them and guide them into your vision for them. A vision of joy, satisfaction, and sharing in a world community of love. Help each of us spread this good news as we travel through our own lives. Amen.

Spiritual Practice

Centering Prayer

Centering prayer is a method of meditation used by Christians to sit in silence with God. This prayer helps us experience God’s presence within us.

This Easter Day we will focus on the word rejoice.

Slowly read the following instructions:

Sit with relaxed posture and close your eyes. We will spend three minutes in centering prayer.

Breathe in a regular, natural rhythm. As you breathe in and out, say the word peace in your mind.

Breathe in and out, focusing only on your word.

When we are done, we will sit for two minutes in silence, eyes closed, listening to the silence.

When time is up, share these closing instructions:

Offer a brief word of thanks to God, take a deep breath, and open your eyes when you are ready.

Sharing Around the Table

1 John 1:1–2:2 NRSVUE

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—what we have seen and heard we also declare to you so that you also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Time marches on. Easter comes, and Easter goes, and the question of the disciple is “How long Lord?” The first-century author of 1 John has not seen the unfolding of history and the thousands of Easters that followed the first. Yet we sense that the evangelist is coaxing his readers to remember that he tells only what he has seen, heard, and touched in Christ.

John asks readers to remember the sense of communion they experienced, the bond with each other and God. The early church knew this as koinonia, a oneness of community in Christ. In the light of this memory, we are challenged to renounce and walk away from the behaviors that separate us or destroy the communion that God has created in Christ and by the Holy Spirit.

The sacraments of Community of Christ are tangible ways that we come to understand koinonia. Each marks, in the life of the seeker and disciple, a significant aspect of our life together in Christ. The Lord’s Supper, practiced on a regular basis, is a time to examine ourselves, to adjust to our lives, and to better reflect the light we follow. John says there is no darkness in God, and that if we claim fellowship with God, then we must allow the light of Christ to shine into all the corners of our lives.

The Lord’s Supper uses two consumable emblems that symbolize that we are one, having eaten from the same loaf and having drunk from the same cup. We recognize the life of Christ in us, and we celebrate the movement of the Spirit in our community that binds us as one.

This text is reflective of the prayer of Jesus in John’s Gospel (chapter 17) in which he prays for the unity of his followers that we all may be one in him. Just as they are one. In the text today, the author challenges the reader not to bail out on our fellowship by instead participating in sinful behaviors that destroy relationships and faith. He shares that joy is the outcome of the life of faithful discipleship and that we should take joy, too, that when we fail and fall short of the mark, Christ is there to advocate for us and keep us in koinonia.


  1. Share a time when you felt a deep connection with the community of faith.
  2. Are you currently longing for that experience of koinonia?
  3. How can the church’s sacraments strengthen the bonds of the community?
  4. How has repentance changed your life?


Generosity Statement

Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.

—Doctrine and Covenants 165:6a

The offering basket is available if you would like to support ongoing, small-group ministries as part of your generous response.

            This offering prayer for the Easter season is adapted from A Disciple’s Generous Response:

God of rejoicing, we share our gifts joyfully and with thanksgiving in response to the generous gifts you have given us. May the offerings we share bring joy, hope, love, and peace into the lives of others so they might experience your mercy and grace. Amen.

Invitation to Next Meeting

Closing Hymn

Community of Christ Sings 576, “Sing a New World into Being”

Closing Prayer


Optional Additions Depending on Group

  • Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
  • Thoughts for Children


Thoughts for Children

Ask participants: Have you ever been left out from something? How did it make you feel? (Affirm all answers.)

Have you ever been invited to something? How did it make you feel? (Affirm all answers.)

Say: Being left out doesn’t feel good, and being invited and included can make us feel really good. The author of the letter in today’s scripture knew it was important to invite and include others. This author is telling people what he knows about Jesus so they can fellowship together.

Today, I want us to think about ways we can be more inclusive and make sure everyone is invited to participate. Close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere you spend a lot of time. Maybe you imagine school or practice for a sport. Wherever you are, imagine the other people you would see there.

Now, look around you and try to notice if any people in your place are being left out, not being included. Imagine walking to them and inviting them to whatever you are doing. What does their face look like when you invite them? Show me, using your face.

When you are ready, open your eyes. On the count of three, we are going to whisper at the same time the name of the person we thought of, the person we are going to try to include more. Then we’ll head back to our seats.


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