Disciples Voice Newsletter – Nov-Dec, 2017

To view our newsletter PDF version click HERE

All of our events listed are free and open to the public.

Live Nativity Event Dec 9 from 1-4 pm. Come visit the manager and listen to the Holy story surrounded by live animals this December 9th (outdoor walk-through). Nativities exhibit, Ten Thousand Villages: a global marketplace of fair trade goods, cookies, cocoa, and Christmas carols indoors. Plus handmade Christmas Quilt Raffle, $1 ticket, $5 for 6!

Sun. Dec. 24

Regular Service ~ 10:30 a.m.

Bethlehem in Mason  Play Christmas Eve, 5 p.m.

In this original production written by Rev. Dr. Sybrant and directed by Michelle McKay, a series of modern characters discover they’re unexpectedly part of the Christmas story. Our cast spans generations and will bring a new appreciation to the old, old story of the birth of Jesus.


Jesus disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in the cross. Colossians 2:15

On November 5th we remembered All Saints Day and Veterans Day These words of St. John Chrysostom’s from my daily devotional leaped from the page:

Have you seen the wonderful victory? Have you seen the splendid deeds of the Cross? Shall I tell you something still more marvelous? Learn in what way the victory was gained, and you will be even more astonished. For by the very means by which the devil had conquered, by these Christ conquered him; and taking up the weapons with which he had fought, he defeated him. Listen to how it was done.

A virgin, a tree, and a death were the symbols of our defeat. The virgin was Eve: she had not yet known the man; the death was the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the death was Adam’s penalty. But behold again a Virgin and a tree and a death, those symbols of defeat, become the symbols of his victory. For in place of Eve, there is Mary; in place of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the tree of the Cross; in place of the death of Adam, the death of Christ.

 Do you see him defeated by the very things through which he had conquered? At the foot of the tree the devil overcame Adam; at the foot of the tree, Christ vanquished the devil. And that first tree sent men to Hades; this second one calls back even those who had already gone down there. Again, the former tree concealed man already despoiled and stripped; the second tree shows a naked victor on high for all to see. And that earlier death condemned those who were born after it; this second death gives life again to those who were born before it. Who can tell the Lord’s mighty deeds? By death we were made immortal: these are the glorious deeds of the Cross.

 Have you understood the victory? Have you grasped how it was wrought? Learn now how this victory was gained without any sweat or toil of ours. No weapons of ours were stained with blood, our feet did not stand in the front line of battle, we suffered no wounds,  witnessed no tumults, and yet we obtained the victory. The battle was the Lord’s, the crown is ours. Since then the victory is ours, let us imitate the soldiers, and with joyful voices sing the songs of victory. Let us praise the Lord and say, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”

 The Cross did all these wonderful things for us: the Cross is a war memorial erected against the demons, a sword against sin, the swords with which Christ slew the serpent. The Cross is the Father’s will, the glory of the Only-begotten, the Spirit’s exultation, the beauty of the angels, the guardian of the Church. Paul glories in the Cross; it is the rampart of the saints, it is the light of the whole world.

Thurs. Nov. 23


(office closed Thurs. & Fri.)

 CCC has so many active volunteers who tirelessly work each week. We are grateful for all their time, treasures, and talents, we are blessed beyond measure.  These are just a few thank you;

Sun. Nov. 26

Hanging of the Greens

Ongoing this season: Cozy Comforts for Kids

Do you know a child who needs some extra comfort? Maybe there’s a problem at school or a medical procedure that’s a bit scary.

Whatever the trouble may be, you can give an extra bit of comfort.

Please choose a cuddly comfort quilt for a little (or not so little) one.

These can be found in the bin located by the Kids’ Korner in the back of the sanctuary. Deliver it with our love & concern from the Cozy Comforters of Compass Christian. A note is included with each quilt explaining why these were made and it also has laundering instructions.

(PS ~ If you’d like to help create more quilts,  contact Maureen M.)

Nov 22 – Dec 10:

Sun. Dec. 3

Youth Activities Kick-Off

Deadline to bring in Angel Tree gifts and Sponsor or Donate online:

Reach Out Lakota’s 2017 Holiday Giving Program is underway!

You can sponsor a child online or donate monies for Reach Out Lakota to purchase gifts.  Click on the following SPONSOR or DONATE links:

SPONSOR Buy a new toy or gift card valued at $25

DONATE Make a monetary donation, and we’ll shop for you

Show that you care this Christmas – share what you can with those in need and give back to the West Chester and Liberty Township community! This year we expect to serve 800 local children and their families, and we need your help to ensure they experience the joy of the season.

Compass Christian Church is once again partnering with the Reach Out Lakota Holiday Giving Program through our Angel Tree project.  Forty “Angel” gift tags were hung on a “tree” in the church.  On each tag is written the age and gender of a child in the Reach Out Lakota program.  Donors/sponsors take a tag and then select a gift appropriate for that age and gender child.

Of the original 40 gift tags,  only a few remain.  Please take one and help a child this Christmas.

Guidelines for purchasing gifts:

  • … Each gift should be new and valued at $25-$30.
  • … If the item requires batteries, they should be included with the gift.
  • … Avoid purchasing clothing, stuffed animals, or combinations of gifts (unless they go together like a baseball & mitt).
  • … Do not wrap the gift, but attach the sponsor tag to it when you bring it to the church.

You may also give monetary or gift card donations.

Deliver the gift to the church no later than Sunday, Dec. 3. If you have questions, please contact Mairi H.


Thurs. Dec. 7

Cincinnati Civic Orchestra Concert 

The concert is free & open to the public.  Please join us for a joyful evening of holiday music!

7:00-8:30 pm

From Hildy Bonhaus of The Cincinnati Civic Orchestra:

Our 89th Season Holiday Concert

We hope that you will join The Cincinnati Civic Orchestra for our Holiday Concert where we will Ring in the Season, including Carol of the Bells, Song of the Bells, Silver Bells, and a new arrangement called The Bells of Christmas.

These concerts will feature 2 world premieres~ Bells, Bells, Bells composed by our own Richard Eshom and Chimes, adapted by Ed Howard from a piece composed for calliope by Homer Denney, who played on the Island Queen and was the great uncle of one of our violinists, Dexter Denney.

The orchestra will perform the Pastorale from the Christmas Concerto by Archangelo Corelli, featuring Larry Bonhaus and our Concertmaster, Janet Fedders, playing the solo violin parts, and Hildy Bonhaus playing the solo cello part.

The concert will conclude with our traditional finale, Festive Sounds of Hanukah and Leroy Anderson’s A Christmas Festival.

Sat. Dec. 9

Live Nativity & Ten Thousand Villages


Sat. Dec. 9, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Thanks to all who participated —from dropping pennies in the “Live Nativity” jar, o selling baked goods on Election Day, to purchasing raffle tickets—we reached our fundraising goal to bring live animals back to this year’s Live Nativity!  Come visit the manger and listen to the holy story surrounded by live animals, then go inside & buy some Fair Trade gifts!


We need shepherds & little shepherds, wise men, Joseph, Mary & a few angels.  See Sarah F. sign up.


Ten Thousand Villages 

Once again Ten Thousand Villages will bring “a global marketplace of fair trade items” to Tylersville Road.  Purchase lovely, unique, hand-made gifts and support the vision of Ten Thousand Villages, “a  non-profit social enterprise that partners with   independent small-scale artisan groups, co-ops, and works, ops to bring their wares to our  markets.”


Come inside to see our nativity set displays:

Nativity Set Display

A CCC tradition is sharing and displaying family Nativity sets during the holiday season. Besides providing Christmas decorations for the church, the Nativities give opportunities to share interesting stories about the set and any particular significance it has for our family.  Sign up to reserve a place this year to share your Nativity set.




Sun. Dec. 10

Quilt Raffle Drawing

Second Quilt Raffle.  Tickets on sale through Dec. 9 Drawing on Dec. 10. Proceeds from raffling off a   beautiful handmade Christmas quilt will be divided equally between Heifer International & the cost of paying for animals for the Live Nativity.







Sun. Dec. 17

Christmas Cantata


Sat. Dec. 23

Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen

 Spread some Christmas cheer serving a hot meal in the Over-The-Rhine Soup Kitchen. To signup to volunteer see Kurt F. or phone our office 513-754-0777.

For Additional information on this ministry :


Sun. Dec. 24

Regular Service ~ 10:30 a.m.

Christmas Eve Service ~ 5:00 p.m.

Bethlehem in Mason  Play Christmas Eve, 5 p.m.

In this original production written by Rev. Dr. Sybrant and directed by Michelle McKay, a series of modern characters discover they’re unexpectedly part of the Christmas story. Our cast spans generations and will bring a new appreciation to the old, old story of the birth of Jesus.

Other News:

Happy One Year Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to our church library. One year ago we rededicated the transformed library to the glory of God. Many of you have used the library for Bible study, research, and spiritual growth. Hallelujah!

This month’s selections focus on transformations.

For our little ones, there’s God Made Me Special, a Happy Day book.  Everyone is different & that’s just as it should be. Avery & Marsh sing, “Different is beautiful, God bless variety.” This book shows that even though we’re different, we all are needed.

George Barna wrote Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions. Our society bombards our children with messages that often go against our Christian values which can be deadly to their moral development. Many parents are at a loss on how to train their kids in Biblical studies that would empower them to make good choices. This book will help us all to think & act like Jesus.

Growing in Christ s a book of essays by various religious leaders discussing spiritual disciplines for everyday life. Again, this is a focus on how to improve our own lives to reflect the life of Christ.

Happy reading everyone!  CCC Librarian, Maureen M.



In two wicker baskets on the Welcome table at the back of the church, you will find a potpourri of adult Advent devotionals now available for your reading pleasure. A variety of family devotionals for those with younger children is also available.

Choose the one that speaks to you to read &  prepare your heart & spirit for the Advent season.

December PRAYERS

 Local ~ Finding solutions for the homeless for this coming winter season.

Regional ~ Finding solutions to stop the use of violence as an outlet for troubled people.

Global ~ Finding solutions to rising tensions and militarism in the world.


Live animals update: (Live Nativity Dec 9)

… Live Nativity Bake Sale total raised $435.45!!! ($362.45 on Voting Day, $68-morningawakenings, $5 after church)

… Children spare change collection during service 11/12 $67.41! (*plus $50 from the Matterns for Troy’s Xmas gift of a sheep) $117.41 + $435.45 = $552.86!!!!

… THIS BRINGS OUR TOTAL OVER OUR GOAL (Last coloring on wall poster $450 + 552.86 =$1,002.86!)


 Flourishing in Faith

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, planted in the house of the Lord.

Psalm 92:12-13

On CONSECRATION SUNDAY 2017, CCC Members & Friends pledged their ongoing support of the church.

Current tally (as of Nov. 22):  27 “giving units” have pledged $34,000+ toward the Capital Fund, and 36 “giving units” have pledged $130,000+ for the General Fund.

Many thanks to the Phillips Family for providing sub sandwiches for our Celebration Lunch and to all who brought side dishes to share.



Dear Ohio Disciples,

The Regional Church Council has concluded the last of the three investigative tasks set for us in March 2017.  This is the report and recommendations of the Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) related to the ministry of Dr. Edwards.


This group spent six months sorting through the allegations researching the issues and many secondary documents, broadening its focus beyond the individual issues to include systemic and cultural problems facing Ohio Disciples that relate to the issues of concern.

Complainants offered the following concerns:

  • That Dr. Edwards was brusque & uncommunicative in his professional actions as Regional Pastor & President;
  • That Dr. Edwards was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a member of the regional staff;
  • That Dr. Edwards unjustly favored that staff member in financial considerations stemming from his oversight of regional processes and budgets;
  • That Dr. Edwards was a poor steward of the region’s financial assets, possibly misusing those assets for himself or others.

Our response is as follows:

  • Dr. Edwards had a pastoral style which created negative impressions for some. To call his approach to pastoral relationships unethical or unprofessional does not appear to be supported by the facts available to us.
  • Both Dr. Edwards and the staff member named as being in an inappropriate relationship have strenuously denied that there was any personal relationship until on or after March 1, 2017. There is no clear and compelling evidence before us t  contradict this assertion, which therefore must be allowed to stand.
  • We have extensively reviewed the New Church Committee minutes as far as possible, going back to 2011, to determine if special considerations or unfair dealing was evident between Dr. Edwards’ actions and said staff member. We find none.

The regional finances are in a condition that is indeed troubling. Deficits and shifts of funding to deal with declining income that consistently was far below expenditures were obscured, perhaps, but not hidden. A fair and thorough review of the RCC minutes and the financial records, going back almost a decade, reveal a consistent pattern of deficit spending and unsupportable withdrawals from invested and reserve funds. From the thorough financial review by Wells, CPA and our own researches in the regional archives, minutes, and records, what becomes startlingly clear that our region has had no real system of financial accountability, particularly for trust funds, for quite some time.


We present the following three negative recommendations, and three positive recommendations for the consideration of the Executive Committee & the RCC [NOW ADOPTED]:

  • That Rev. Dr. William Edwards be admonished for his willful indifference to the appearance of impropriety in his relationships with staff, which damaged both staff effectiveness in regional work and his own stature and authority in the practice of his ministry.
  • That the Regional Church Council be admonished for its willingness to approve poorly supported actions relating to trust accounts and expenditures in the face of clear deficits versus income, operating on more wishful thinking than faith.
  • That the Christian Church in Ohio, as a regional body in covenant together, be advised of a long-standing pattern and practice of allowing expenditures to exceed income and admonished for the expectation of regional staffing to provide services and support far beyond the financial support given.

The positive recommendations we would offer are [NOW ADOPTED]:

  • We would recommend that the regional office maintains a formal official record of minutes for the RCC and its functional commissions and task forces, with the authority to review and request clarification before filing them as an official record.
  • The detailed investigation into the formal written record has resulted in the conclusion that we as a region have no trust policy for gifts, no RCC approved policies and procedures for the Commission on Ministry and no conflict of interest policies for committees responsible for distributing funds. We must have them.
  • That the Christian Church in Ohio, having failed to maintain trust accounts and permanent funds given with designated intentions in good faith, will commit to placing such gifts in the future with a trusted third party such as the Christian Church Foundation.


In closing, we would state for the record that our task force has done a procedural review, not an evidentiary investigation. However, if anyone were to ask for a criminal investigation or a detailed financial audit, it is our considered opinion that such a request would be spending money the region does not have to seek evidence that does not exist.

This has been a trying year for our regional church. May the conclusion of these investigations and the subsequent actions become acts of restoration and renewal as we continue in mission.  As always, I and Interim Regional Minister Rev. John Richardson, are available to talk further should you have comments or questions.

In faith, hope and love,

Rev. Dr. Tom Stephenson,

Regional Moderator


 Website:  compassc.org

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cccdoc

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6771 Tylersville Road, Mason OH 45040

On the south side of Tylersville between Butler-Warren and Snider.

Entrance is off of Fireside Drive.

Google Maps for Compass Christian Church A Disciples of Christ community


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