a second World Conference experience?
A week from tomorrow, I’m heading to Independence, Missouri to attend a few days of the 2023 World Conference of Community of Christ—and to act as a voting delegate in any of the legislative sessions that take place during my short time there. This is the first time since my confirmation into Community of Christ that a World Conference has taken place (the last one was in 2019), so I’ve been thinking about this for several months as “my first World Conference experience.”
In the past week, though, a couple of chance encounters—a brief conversation wtih my mom and going through a collection of old email conversations with a friend—have reminded me that I’ve been in Independence, Missouri during a previous Community of Christ World Conference. In 2004, my family spent time in Missouri for our spring break, including visiting Mormon history sites in the Independence area. As a family full of practicing Mormons, we obviously didn’t attend any of the Conference events, but based on what my mom mentioned (but I have obviously forgotten), it was pretty obvious the Conference was going on from the sheer amount of people who were in town.
Despite the title of this post, it’s pretty clear that my visit to Independence next week is still going to be my first experience with World Conference. However, it’s fun to remember that I had a chance encounter with a previous World Conference—and to think about how 19-years-younger Spencer could never have imagined coming back into town to participate in an event for what I thought of at the time as “that other church.” Flipping through my copy of the Community of Christ Doctrine and Covenants, I even notice that Section 162 (one that I particularly like) was voted on at that Conference. I don’t know if I was in town when that happened, and I’m skeptical of happy coincidences, but it’s still a fun little bit of happenstance.
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