The Work of Christ Community
called by the Lord to be his work and to do his work
by Jerry Munk
.The Work of Christ Community, located in Lansing, Michigan, USA, traces its origins to the beginning of the charismatic renewal and covenant community movement in the late 1960s. Jerry Munk, a coordinator of the Work of Christ and one of the early members, recounts the history of this pioneer community. The Work of Christ Community today is a service center for the North American region of The Sword of the Spirit communities located in the United States and Canada.Early roots
The Work of Christ Community traces its beginnings to the late 1960’s when a movement known as the charismatic renewal began to sweep through Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox churches in the United States.
Our Sword of the Spirit president, Steve Clark, along with Ralph Martin, were working for the East Lansing Newman Center at Michigan State University (MSU) in 1967. They started a weekly charismatic prayer meeting at their place, attended by a growing number of Christians, many of them students at Michigan State University.
The chaplain of the Catholic Newman
Center at MSU was not pleased to find a charismatic group led by two of
his pastoral staff, so he fired Steve and Ralph—unceremoniously. They then
moved on to Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the invitation of the Newman Center
chaplain at the University of Michigan, where they teamed up with Gerry
Rauch and Jim Cavnar, both recent graduates from Notre Dame University—
but that is the story of the founding of another Christian community.
together by the Lord
The name, Work of Christ, was given to the community prophetically when the Lord told the leadership team that this community was being called to be his work and to do his work.
from the start
with children and young adults
During the middle-school years, the young teens meet every other week for prayer and sharing. They also participate in a two-week, high-adventure program called the Ultimate Trip. Whether the Ultimate Trip involves a wilderness trek, climbing mountains, or canoeing the boundary waters of Minnesota, the children develop new skills, deepen friendships, and grow in their relationship with the Lord.
The youth program continues in high
school. Teens meet every other week for a large prayer meeting and on alternate
weeks for small-group sharing. A high percentage of the teens make a commitment
each year to an ideal that includes daily personal prayer, reading the
Bible, honoring their parents, attending the youth group, and relating
as brothers and sisters in the Lord. As one young man put it, “Making that
small commitment prepared me to make the larger commitment to the community
when I grew up.” Members of the high school group regularly attend the
youth retreats and conferences of The Sword of the Spirit’s North American
service for communities in North America
Ten years ago, the Work of Christ purchased a building just across the road from Michigan State University. The community center has been a tremendous asset, accommodating administrative offices and both small and large meeting space. Recently about 600 members from all of the communities in Michigan squeezed into the large meeting room for a state-wide gathering—this seems to be the maximum capacity.
The Lord has blessed the Work of Christ: he has preserved us, he has healed us, and he has made us prosper. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
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