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May 2019 Tour: The Church of Jesus Christ

of Latter-day Saints

Newport Beach Stake Center & Newport Beach Temple

Location: 2150 Bonita Canyon Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2019

Time: 10:30am-3:30pm

Transportation: Not Offered


Overview of the Day

· Educational and enriching experience for all attendees

· Tour Temple grounds and Stake Center, including beautiful gardens and art gallery

· Attend Sacrament Meeting (Worship Service) in Chapel

· Attend Adult Sunday School , plus Q & A

· Enjoy "Linger Longer" lunch and interact with members of the congregation

· *Additional information and details will be provided after one registers for this HOWT

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes informally known as The LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members[3] and 67,000 full-time volunteer missionaries.[3] In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States,[7] with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018.[8] It is the largest denomination in the Latter-day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.


Our Host

Tom Thorkelson has served for 29 years as the Director of Interfaith Relations for Orange County for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was Bishop, during the mid 1970s, of a large congregation in Santa Ana that taught in seven languages.  He has a passion for fighting racism, bigotry and bias by building greater trust and understanding between different faith communities. As President of the Orange County Region of the NCCJ (National Conference of Christians and Jews), Tom worked to establish programs that brought people together and inspired youth to develop to their true potential. His work in interfaith has taken him to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Russia, China, Japan, Turkey, Pakistan and other foreign countries. Tom has been honored by the Orange County Human Relations Commission for his work in bringing people of different faiths together to learn about and come to appreciate each other both for their common values and their theological differences. Currently, he is the Vice-President of the Orange County Interfaith Network.


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To purchase and reserve tickets for our upcoming JUNE tour below, click here!

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Read about experiences of past House of Worship attendees!

June 2019 Tour: Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Location: 1600 East Acacia, Fullerton 92831

NOTE:* The Unitarian Congregation meets inside Temple Beth Tikvah at 1600 No. Acacia Ave., Fullerton 92831

Date: Sunday, June 2, 2019

Time: 10:00am-1:30pm

Transportation: Not Offered


Overview of the Day

Attend a service, which will include a homily, music, and other regular elements of a Unitarian service. This particular service will, also, include a special Unitarian Ritual, the “Flower Communion”, occurring that day. The Flower Communion is a spring or summertime ritual created by Czechoslovakian Unitarian Minister, Norbert Capek. In an effort to bring the diversity of Unitarian congregations together, Capek created the Flower Communion.  In the ritual, everyone attending brings a flower (originally from the roadside or their own garden, but more recently often from a flower stand or grocery store).  The flowers are placed in prominently displayed vases. Plainly visible is the diversity of color and shape of the blooms and, also, the beautiful picture they make when gathered together.  The communion is a time when each congregant comes forward and takes a flower, other than the one they brought, to take home with them.

  • *HOWT guests are invited to participate in this ritual if they wish and may bring their own flower or use one of the extras that will be provided.
  •  Interactive social time (with food) with members of the congregation
  •  Q & A with The Reverand Doctor Karen Stoyanoff
  •  Additional information and details will be provided to registrants

Our Host- Rev. Jason Cook

Cook began his journey at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, one of two such Unitarian institutions in the nation. “I returned to the place I ran away from,” he says of the Midwest. Cook eventually interned with [Rev. Karen] Stoyanoff in Anaheim before becoming an admission director at Meadville and an assistant minister in Walnut Creek up in the Bay Area.

Since taking the pulpit last August, the reverend has accomplished a number of feats: Fullerton is now the largest Unitarian church in OC and the second fastest growing midsized Unitarian church in the nation. Cook’s dynamic Martin Luther King Jr. Day sermon this year gave spirit to an active congregation that responded to Donald Trump’s inauguration by joining the OC Women’s March and protesting the president’s policies at LAX.

“These are complicated times,” Cook says. “I hope we’re able to hold on to our understanding of our common humanity across these lines of difference and division.”




About Unitarian Universalim

From Rev. Dr. Karen Stoyanoff:

Unitarian Universalism is a faith that has grown out of two Protestant traditions that started in this country when the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, MA.  Although originally part of the Christian faith, they have evolved over the years to not choose any one of the religious faiths as their story.  We welcome everyone to be a part of our community and regularly explore other world religions.  Although we draw wisdom from many sources, since the merger of the two traditions in 1961, we have chosen to live our lives governed by seven principles for living in our current day world.  We function with congregational polity and each congregation has autonomy in their governance.  Many congregations have called ordained clergy, but others serve without ongoing clerical leadership, choosing rather to fill their pulpit with guest ministers and speakers.

 -Rev. Dr. Karen Stoyanoff, Unitarian Universalist Community Minister in Orange County


Calling All Houses of Worship!

Are you an organization or location that would like to become part of our House of Worship Tour? If so, contact us for possible collaborations in 2017.