Disciples Voice Newsletter
To see the PDF version of this newsletter click HERE
Upcoming Events: MISSION & MINISTRY
- 17 Christmas Cantata ~ “Wonder & Glory” 10:30 a.m. Old-Fashioned Christmas Party @ Debora Cook’s home ~ 1:00 p.m. until…
- 19 College Dinner at Blaze Pizza, 7:00 p.m.
- 23 Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen, 9:00 a.m.- 2:oo-ish
- 24 Regular Service, 10:30 a.m.
- 24CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE, 5:00 p.m.
- 7 Unhanging of the Greens
- 8 Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen
- 30 Stepping Forward Dinner
“THE LONGEST NIGHT: A SERVICE OF LIGHT IN THE MIDST OF DARKNESS, Tues. Dec. 19, 7:00 pm at St. Anne Episcopal Church on Tylersville Road.
There will be no Worship & Wonder this Sunday (Dec. 17) so that everyone can hear the Cantata. Activity booklets will be provided for the children.
The Women’s Bible Study group will be meeting on Dec. 19 at The Rusty Bucket off Mason-Montgomery on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. instead of their regular meeting. Bible Study will resume on Tuesday, January 9.
Local ~ For continued efforts to find & offer programs for our growing opioid addiction problem.
Regional ~ For political leaders to come together with programs to serve all our citizens.
Global ~ For nations to work toward the common goal of peace with one another.
Come Celebrate An Old-Fashioned Christmas!
If you have never been to Debora’s house your in for a treat…Mairi
The party starts at 1:00 p.m. or immediately following Christmas Cantata on Dec. 17.
At the Home of Debora Cook in Xenia, Ohio
(Carpool if you can ~ Map available at church ~ GPS doesn’t work for finding this location.)
Lunch: Please bring a dish to share ~ Debora will provide sandwich fixin’s, a bowl of wassail, eggnog, other warm drinks & cookies.
Afterward, we’ll trim a tall tree in the “drawing room,” make ornaments in Debora’s art studio, sing Christmas carols (bring your musical instruments), board games, strolling along the bike paths at Xenia Station ~
PLEASE JOIN US!!!
Every year we dust off boxes of ornaments and lights, put up a Christmas tree, bake holiday foods, and give and exchange gifts. We remember the birth of Jesus, but we may sometimes wonder, “What does Christmas have to do with my life?”
This question will be explored in different scenes with children carrying gifts, a shopper, a scientist, and a gas station attendant. Each scene is found in and around our own neighborhood in “Bethlehem in Mason,” an original play written by Rev. Dr. Sybrant and produced with generous help from director Michelle McKay and a talented cast of children and adults.
Correction to the PDF version of the newsletter:
This is not a Ten Thousand Villages table, but another free-trade organization. They will offer 10% of their sales to CCC.
Come see familiar faces take a fresh look at the treasured story of Christ’s birth!
A Note from Darlene of Ten Thousand Villages:
I was happy to be at your event again this year. With the weather, it seemed like you had a little less traffic than less year which resulted in lower sales. The total was $1100.00 which means we will donate $165 to your congregation. Thank you so much for the opportunity to partner with you!
DOUG KENNEDY ESTATE GIFT
Thank You from Samaritan’s Purse
At the request of his wife, Barbara Kennedy, CCC sent a donation from Doug’s estate to one of his favorite charities: The Samaritan’s Purse. Below is a response from its president, Franklin Graham:
Thank you so much for the gift you sent to Samaritan’s Purse in memory of Doug Kennedy.
In the book of Acts, an angel told Cornelius, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God” (10:4, NIV). By supporting the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, your prayers and gifts are also helping the poor and honoring God. As we work to meet physical needs, our ultimate goal is to lift up the Name of Jesus Christ and spread His life-changing Gospel around the world.
We would appreciate your continued prayers. Thank you again for your support. May God richly bless you.
Thank You Reach Out Lakota
Dear Compass Christian Church,
Thank you for your compassionate donation of gifts collected by the families at Compass Christian Church to help local children and their families this holiday season. The holidays can be an especially difficult time for those facing financial hardships so your generosity could not have come at a better time.
I’m delighted to report that our 2017 Holiday Giving event was a tremendous success! Thanks to you and many generous members of our community we were able to provide over 1500 gifts and stocking stuffers to more than 750 children in West Chester and Liberty Township.
There is no doubt that together we can make a difference for our neighbors in need. And thanks to you, this year we did.
Wishing you a joyful Holiday and an even better New Year!
& Sue Cheney
Christmas & Back to School
I personally want to thank everyone who gave so graciously to make the Angel Tree program a wonderful success. Bringing the gifts over to Journey Church is one of my treasured Christmas blessings. Sincerely, Mairi
Live Nativity Thank You’s
Thank you to all the wonderful people that made the Live Nativity happen, and a special shout-out to Sarah F. for coordinating this event!
In spite of snow & cold, 234 hardy humans, several goats, a miniature donkey, a llama and Moses the camel attended the 2018 Live Nativity & Ten Thousand Villages event on Dec. 9.
Thanks to all those hardy people who came out to enjoy our event.
Huge thanks to Dave D. our photographer extraordinaire who takes pictures for us weekly. If you can not see this slideshow click on the following link: DAVES HYPERPERFORMANCE
Youth Service Project & Ice Skating!
Who: CHI RHO (6-8 grade), families, & friends. All are welcome!
What: Volunteering at Matthew 25 Ministries & Ice Skating!
When: Wednesday, December 27
11:45 a. m. – 4:30 p. m.
Where: Matthew 25 Ministries, Summit Park Ice Rink in Blue Ash
Why: To help others and have fun!
For more information and so we can let Matthew 25 know how many will be coming, please contact Annmarie at email@example.com
Youth Activities Kick Off (Summary)
On Sunday, Dec. 3, the Baird and Ferguson families and Abbey Sybrant enjoyed a meal and fellowship as we learned more about prayer through crazy games that everyone can play! If you see Silas, Asher, Matthew, Cameron, or Abbey, ask them what a magic carpet, hungry hungry hippos, and knocking down towers with a Q-tip shooter has to do with prayer!
Thanks to those signed up to help with the Live Nativity ~ this is one of many opportunities in our church in which our youth play a vital part in making the event a success!
What is coming in January and February? Good question! We need a family from CCF (grades 2-5) and a family from ChiRho (6th-8th grades) to pick one of those months to plan and lead! (The ChiRho Youth Service Project & Ice Skating is a good example.) No worries, you won’t be alone in planning! Just let me know which month you would like to lead & your ideas for activities.
CYF youth (grades 9-12) should watch for upcoming announcements from Laura D.
~ Carol Y.
HELPING HANDS – REACH OUT TO THOSE IN NEED!
ABOVE: Cecelia, the granddaughter of Gerry & Leeann W., has spent her share of time in hospitals. She attended church with her grandparents on Sunday, Dec. 3 and received a Cozy Comfort blanket.
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 Children’s Corner 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.)
WELCOME TO THE CCC LIBRARY CORNER
We have been given several new titles for our CCC library.
Debora has given us The Message of The Qur’an. This is written in both Arabic and English. It is a beautiful three volume set and will be very interesting to read.
Another special offering is Max Lucado’s Because of Bethlehem. Mr. Lucado always gives his readers a special insight into Biblical studies.
Well-known author Rick Warren gives us insights into the origins of Christmas, describing it as an opportune time to welcome peace into our lives.
Philip Yancey offers compelling, true portraits of grace’s life-changing power. He asks, How can Christians contend graciously with moral issues that threaten all they hold dear? And he challenges us to become living answers to a world that desperately wants to know, What’s So Amazing About Grace?
These books are on display and ready to be checked out in the library. Come find our little quiet corner and see what is there for you!
CCC Librarian, Maureen M.
Thank you to Maureen for making these quilts and the Christmas quilt raffle and organizing our library. We are truly blessed to have her and her talents in our church family.
Year-End Gifts & 2017 Taxes
As many of you know, throughout the year the Financial Secretary (Rich E.) enters individual weekly giving amounts into the computer, using software purchased by the Church.
If a person writes a check, the contribution is entered either by Envelope # (more easily tracked by the software) or by their name. (The Financial Secretary does not offer Envelope #s except to new members or unless asked; please let Rich know if you would like to have an Envelope # assigned to you.)
In January, the Financial Secretary provides each contributor with a summary of their giving for the previous year.
If you wish to claim donations to CCC as tax deductions for 2017, the Financial Secretary must receive them by SUNDAY, Dec. 31, 2017.
Flourishing in Faith
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, planted in the house of the Lord. Psalm 92:12-13
Current tally (as of Dec. 10): 37 “giving units” have pledged $46,100 toward the Capital Fund, and 49 “giving units” have pledged $147,450 for the General Fund.
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Flabbergasted. Dumbfounded. Gobsmacked. Just a few words to describe my reaction on December 3rd when presented with the $7,270 pastoral appreciation gift. Not just the incredible generosity or the amazing thoughtfulness, but the inspired timing of this gift toward a new vehicle!
When my 19-year-old Saturn died on November 18, I had been concerned knowing that the possible repairs for my vehicle would cost more than any resale value. Your gift alleviated those concerns and opened up new vistas for imagining my next vehicle! My family and I are deeply grateful for this generous, thoughtful, and inspired gift; may God richly bless you all for your kindness and caring.
And now as we make our way through Advent:
God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts, brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly. God has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. Luke 1:51-53
Many of us recall writing letters to Santa, listing the many items we would like to find under the tree on Christmas morning. Often many of the gifts we asked for would be there. Larger presents from Santa would be unwrapped with a shiny bow or velvet ribbon around them. Yes, there were always some surprises on Christmas morning, but nothing that absolutely flabbergasted, disturbed and challenged us.
Now imagine in your child’s mind that you come to the Christmas tree expecting a plethora of presents beneath it and find it barren except for some envelopes with your name on it. Confused, you open those envelopes to discover inside, not gift certificates to your favorite toy store, but thank you notes from charitable organizations.
Puzzled, you turn to your parents and ask, “What does this mean?” And they reply, “Honey, this year we thought we’d gift others around the world that need help more than you need toys. And this afternoon we’re taking all your unused toys, forgotten games, and outgrown clothes to the Salvation Army.”
(This is not what any child expects (nor what any parent or guardian would do. It is a reversal of what Christmas has become—a season of getting.)
The gift of Advent—a time that looks backward to Jesus’ birth and forwards to his return—is a disturbing gift that scatters the proud, brings down the powerful yet lifts up the lowly, and feeds the hungry, but sends the rich away empty. Advent is not so much about bringing gifts around the Christmas tree, but whether we are prepared to receive the Christ child in all his unsettling ways.
There is no way to put a pretty bow on this; Jesus comes to flabbergast, disturb, and challenge us. Because he knows that whether we want it or not, this is the gift we truly need.
Troy to CCC
Reflections on HOPE
In his 1982 Sabbath Poems, Number VII,
Wendell Berry speaks of hope:
The clearing rests in song and shade.
It is a creature made
By old light held in soil and leaf,
By human joy and grief,
By human work,
Fidelity of sight and stroke,
By rain, by water on
The parent stone.
We join our work to Heaven’s gift,
Our hope to what is left,
That field and woods at last agree
In an economy
Of widest worth.
High Heaven’s Kingdom comes on earth.
O dust, arise!
The genius of the sacred season of Advent is the way it captures our sense growing anticipation, as we travel together from shortly after Thanksgiving to the end of the Christmas season. An anticipation that culminates in a worship service with the community of faith on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Not everyone, for a variety of reasons, experiences the excitement, but for many, it is the “most wonderful time of the year,” as the song goes. The anticipation grows as we wait.
However, we live in a culture trained to not wait. We are the microwave fast living people, in our food and in our faith. Marinating and slow cooking our food is beyond the time frame of many folks, just as persistent, nurturing and deeply rooting our faith is too distracting for many.
As Berry suggests, some of what makes this world, and us, who we are created to take old light—the nutrients and wisdom of time—held in soil and leaf; it takes human joy and grief, and it takes fidelity of vision and work
As most members of the Christian Church in Ohio are aware by now, our regional church overspent our annual income for many years. In a sense, we did ministry as if everything was dependent on us—fast. The more we spent the sooner we would see positive results. We did not practice the fidelity of vision and work. Thankfully we have ended that unhealthy practice.
We are, once again, joining our regional church work and ministry of Heaven’s gift. In a sense, our HOPE is all we have left. But there is beauty and power and purpose in hope that is willing to wait.
It will take time for the Christian Church in Ohio to recover financially, but we must begin, even with small steps—with fidelity in vision and purpose. That is why I trust you will give generously to the Special Day Christmas Offering. This is a place, a significant place, to share our generosity, as “We join our work to Heaven’s gift, Our hope to what is left…”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting—that is, of hopefully doing without—will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment. . . . For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait.”
Generosity will make the waiting all the more fulfilling.
John M. Richardson
Interim Regional Pastor
Faith Alliance 2018 CALENDAR
Quarterly Liaison Meeting – Thursday, January 25, 7pm, Christ the King Lutheran Church
Quarterly Christ and Coffee Clergy Gathering –Tuesday, February 6, 10am-12, Crestview Presbyterian Church
Literacy Summit – Friday, February 23, 5pm-7pm, Bethany UMC (New date)
Feed our Neighbors in Need Community Food Drive – Church collection Sat/Sun, March 3-4; (Distribute flyers/grocery bags February 18 & 25)
Summer Lunch Kick-off Luncheon – Thursday, March 22, 11:30am – 1:00pm, Cornerstone UMC
Quarterly Liaison Meeting – Thursday, April 19, 7pm, Christ the King Lutheran Church
Quarterly Christ and Coffee Clergy Gathering – Thursday, May 3, 10am-12, Zion Global
X Days OR Community Service Day – One Saturday in April or May TBA
Summer Lunch Ministry – Wednesday, May 30 through Tuesday, August 7 (tentative)
Summer Lunch Literacy Program – Monday, June 4 through Friday, July 13 (6 weeks)
Quarterly Liaisons Meeting – Monday, July 9, 7pm, Christ the King Lutheran Church
Help a Child in Need Succeed Backpack Ministry Collection – Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29; (Distribute Sponsorship Cards July 15 & 22)
Quarterly Christ and Coffee Clergy Gathering –Tuesday, August 14, 10am-12, WC Hospital
Summer Lunch Wrap Up Luncheon – Wednesday, August 29, 11:30am-1pm, Saint Anne Episcopal Church
Sing Out Against Poverty Music Festival – Saturday, September 29, The Square at Union Centre
2018 Annual Celebration Dinner & Meeting – Thursday, October 25, 6pm-8pm, Crestview Presbyterian Church
Quarterly Liaisons Meeting – Thursday, November 15, 7pm, Christ the King Lutheran Church
Quarterly Christ and Coffee Clergy Gathering – Thursday, November 29, 10am-12, Saint Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church Rectory
“Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others.”
1 Peter 4:10
COMPASS CHRISTIAN CHURCH ONLINE
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.