Unity in Diversity: Congregational Life

It’s an odd thing to move to a new congregation. I think that most Community of Christ members expect change, subtle to dramatic, should they move and change congregations. But with my previous background as a Latter-day Saint where everything—and I mean everything—was correlated at the general (or world church) level, I knew exactly what to expect when we moved. While the people are different from congregation to congregation, the programs, buildings, and worship are all consistent.

So when a Mormon moves into a new ward (congregation), they can expect that their Sunday School and other class instruction will be from the exact same book, and often the lesson plans will be the same from week to week no matter which church you attend anywhere in the world. Worship formats never change, and the physical spaces where the worship is held, the actual buildings, are often identical to other buildings of the same period for the last thirty years or so (with most of Mormon growth occurring in the last three decades). Older buildings exempted, I can walk into a Mormon chapel just about anywhere and know exactly where the bathroom is, the bishop’s office, the chapel, etc. Continue reading