The Disciples Voice – March \ April , 2018
Prayer with fasting is good, but better than both is almsgiving with righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than wealth with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold. Tobit 12:8
The Christian church has many traditional practices during the Lenten season: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. One scriptural justification of these three comes from Tobit above (one the Hidden Books of the Bible is covering); these practices were normative for Israel’s faith and became part of Christian tradition (see Matthew 6:1-18). Interestingly enough, Tobit’s ranking of almsgiving over prayer and fasting is repeated in Matthew’s ordering of these three practices. These practices have stood the test of time within both Judaism and Christianity, and are also part of Islam (as we discovered in the Christianity & Islam study last fall).
Why do these practices have such longevity and breadth of practice among the Abrahamic faiths? It is because they address all aspects of the human condition, covering all the relationships we have as those made in God’s image.
Consider the relationship of prayer. Lent is an opportunity to (re)place ourselves once again in right relationship toGod. It’s joining Jesus in the wilderness of temptation, where Satan promises us the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worshiping him. It is hearing Jesus say, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” Prayer helps us evaluate what idols hinder us from worshiping and serving only the Lord God, and no other. Are our hearts burning within us in adoration? Are our sins clinging tightly to us, unconfessed and not repented? Do our days begin and end with thanksgiving? Are we petitioning God on behalf of others—family, church, neighbors, friends, strangers, and enemies?
Consider the relationship of fasting. Lent is an opportunity to (re)place ourselves once again in right relationship with the world. It’s joining Jesus in the wilderness of hunger, where Satan holds before us the lie of self-sufficiency and invites us to turn stones into bread. It hears Jesus say, “One doesn’t live by bread alone, but every word that comes from God’s mouth.” Fasting weans us from the things that don’t satisfy so that our appetite for what does might increase. Does a fixation on Facebook, being always online, being a news junkie, continually running—what might fast from them mean? What if instead…we feasted on God’s Word?
Consider the relationship of almsgiving. Lent is an opportunity to (re)place ourselves once again in right contact with the needy. It’s joining Jesus at the pinnacle of the Jerusalem temple, where Satan invites us to turn our faith into a spectacle to be admired, even quoting Scripture to bolster his appeal. It is hearing Jesus say, “Don’t put the Lord your God to the test.” Almsgiving divests of the illusion that we aren’t our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers or that our faith will be admired and instead places us in the muck and mire of suffering humanity where we find the hidden Christ who invites us to meet him in works of mercy.
Where is the hidden Christ in your neighborhood? How might God be calling you to act this Lent mercifully?
MISSION & MINISTRY
25 Eco-Palm Sunday
30 Good Friday Service, 7:00 p.m.
1 Easter Sunday Brunch, 9:00 a.m. at Mueller, followed by Worship Service
March 25, 2018, ~ Eco-PALM SUNDAY
Each year, CCC orders palm fronds for Palm Sunday. This year, we ordered the fronds from a different source. The information below comes from the Lutheran World Relief website and explains why we made the decision to do so.
A Better Choice for Your Palm Sunday Celebration
When your congregation purchases Eco-Palms, the harvesters are paid fairly, and you help protect essential forests and sustainable livelihoods in the harvesting communities.
In the typical palm trade:
à Large floral export firms encourage over-harvesting: they pay by volume for palms and then throw away large amounts that aren’t export quality.
à Over-harvesting damages forests where the palm plants thrive. Forests are depleted, and palm-selling communities lose this critical source of income.
How is Eco-Palms different?
à The palms are gathered and sold in a socially and environmentally just way.
à Harvesters are paid a fair price per palm based on quality, so they take fewer palms out of the forest, which protects critical nature reserves.
à Community members sort, package and sell the palms themselves — not via middlemen — so more of the money paid for the palms stay with the people who worked the hardest to provide them.
à Because there is a steady market for the palms, locals are motivated to protect the forests (their source of income), ensuring harvests well into the future. Harvesting communities receive 5-6 times the standard payment per frond.
March 29, 2018, ~ Maundy Thursday
March 30, 2018, ~ Good Friday
April 1, 2018, ~ Easter Sunday
Brunch, 9:00 a.m. at Mueller Funeral Home, followed by Worship Service 10:30 a. m. at Compass Christian Church
Ablaze Choir (Youth Choir)
On Easter Sunday, the Ablaze Choir will sing “Jesus Saves” and on Youth Sunday, they will sing “Chainbreaker” by Zach Williams (recommended by Luke B). Lots of opportunities for solos! Contact Deborah T for more information.
31 Christian Men’s Fellowship Breakfast Meeting
Compass Christian Church CMF – (Christian Men’s Fellowship) will meet for breakfast on Saturday, March 31st at 9 AM at the Wooden Barrel restaurant, 9303 US-42 (Cincinnati-Columbus Rd.) West Chester. Location is one block South of West Chester Rd, on the West side of US-42. Please notify Ed V. if you will be attending so that we can advise the restaurant beforehand.
1 Easter Sunday Brunch, 9:00 a.m. at Mueller, followed by Worship Service Youth Choir will perform “Jesus Saves.”
3-5 Ohio Council of Churches trip to D.C.
5 Pastor @ Panera, noon-1:00 p.m.
13-15 CYF Youth Retreat at Camp Christian
Join other high school youth from across Ohio in discussing
- current events,
- social justice,
- and gun violence.
Josh Baird will be leading a study on “The Holy Spirit for the Common Good,” along with small groups led by Alan Dicken and others.
22 Youth Sunday
On Youth Sunday, the Ablaze Youth Choir will sing “Chainbreaker” by Zach Williams (recommended by Luke B).
Enjoy the pictures from last year’s Youth Led Service: (If you have trouble viewing them click HERE)
27-29 Pastor’s Youth and Adults Class Trip to Lexington, KY
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JUNE 9-10
Camp Christian Mini-Mission Trip
Come One, Come All – All Ages Welcome
A group is being organized to go to “Camp Christian” on Saturday morning, June 9 to arrive by 10 a.m. There will be opportunities to carpool. You can come for the day or stay overnight to work on Sunday morning. We will be finished by 2 p.m. on Sunday or earlier.
We will be cleaning the cabins, and whatever else needs to be done to make Camp ready to meet new campers for the following week. Also, there may be one or two small tasks to complete at the discretion of the Camp Superintendent, Al Channel.
Please contact Daun S.or Dave D. if you have questions. Additional information regarding what to take will be emailed to those who sign up. See sign-up sheet on the clipboard at church.
Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic 2019
In February some members of our congregation met at the home of Deborah T. to get information about an upcoming mission trip to Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic. The mission of LAFWA is to establish new Haitian ministries in the Dominican Republic under the leadership of missionaries Rev. Wilby and Lisa Romain.
The mission trip is scheduled for June 11-June 19, 2019. Deborah says “We are excited about this opportunity … LAFWA means “Faith” in Creole, and this is a mission trip of faith in God to use us to be a blessing to these Haitian ministries in the Dominican Republic.” Below is information on the trip presented at the February meeting; another meeting is scheduled for April. If this mission calls to you, see Deborah T.
What will participants be doing?
Mornings will be dedicated to carpentry work, painting, pulpit building and other tasks as needed. Afternoons are free for rest and sight-seeing. Evening activities will include training sessions on how to lead men’s, women, youth and children’s Bible studies. On Sunday through Tuesday afternoons, June 16-18, participants will have some R & R at a local resort.
A budget for the Trip
- Airfare to and from Santa Domingo, DR (tickets to be ordered in Oct./Nov, 2018 for best price – $600-$650. The earlier we purchase the tickets, the better the price.)
- $500.00 to LAFWA for meals, cooks, water, electricity, supplies and paint for work.
- $150.00 for 2 days all -inclusive resort fee (price could be lower if the group is more substantial and length of time is negotiable which would then cause us to come back a day earlier).
- $100.00 non-refundable trip deposit for adults and $50.00 deposit for children 17 and under—the nonrefundable deposit goes toward the expense of the trip; due 4/1.
LAFWA will supply t-shirts for all mission participants.
Fundraising for the Trip – Per Wilby and Lisa
- Most fundraising should occur outside of the church.
- Letters for sponsorship can be sent out using a GoFundMe account.
- Look for creative ways in the community for outreach to raise funds.
- Airfare monies need to be raised by Oct/Nov.
- Church financial officers will need to be approached about setting up a separate church account to receive funds.
- One Compass Fundraiser to raise money for the purchase of curriculum. This fundraiser would be planned with church leadership so as not to conflict with other fundraisers being held by the church. Can occur as late as early spring of 2019.
Formation of a Mission Task Team of 3-4 to:
- Plan Fundraisers.
- Help plan prayer focus in preparation for the trip.
- A select curriculum which will need to be in French (see poster above).
- Work at keeping the trip on track.
Additional Community Outreach –
THE BLESSING BAGS by Aaron S.
Editor’s note: “Knapsacks of Love” or “Blessing Bags” have been a CCC ministry for some years. Extras were distributed after the Feb 25 message on “Hellacious Hospitality” as an opportunity for us to extend hospitality, love, and blessings to people we meet. Aaron shared the following stories during the Mar 11 service.
I would like to tell you about a couple of situations when I have been blessed because of this small bag.
The first story involves David whom I met outside of a Speedway gas station in Covington, KY when it was about 10°. He had no gloves, so I gave him one of the blessing bags and a pair of gloves.
Now, this is why I love these bags. I’m not an in-your-face-I’m-going-to-shove-God-down-your-throat-type Christian. But this bag just opens the door. In the bag, there’s a little letter telling David we care and will be praying for him. When I leave I tell him I’m praying for him. But almost 6 months later I still see David, and we will have a cup of coffee together and chat about the day. What I came to with David is that he just wants to feel human again, to chat, to feel part of something. I’m blessed to have met him.
Okay, Story Number 2. I was picking up my boss’ son, Carver, from school and as we were driving back to the shop we saw Kim on the corner holding a sign that said: “Anything helps.” So I stopped, talked to her for a sec, gave her a blessing bag, and asked her name so I could pray for her.
When we got back in the car and on the road to the shop, Carver was very interested. I told him the Number One rule is to get the person’s name. It lets them know you care if you get their name and give them yours. Then you need to pray for them every day. I gave Carver the rest of my bags, and I have needed to restock his supply a few times.
A little background about Carver’s family. They don’t believe in what they call “organized religion”; they believe in love and being kind to everyone. That’s about it. Carver’s dad, my boss Steve, came to work one day and asked, “What bags are these that you gave Carver? Also, he stops us every night before we eat dinner, so he can pray for KIM.” This little bag helped Kim, but it also helped God get into Carver’s heart and into his home. They still pray every night.
Would like to thank Aaron for such an inspirational story and outcome! Thank you to Aaron, and all that continue to serve in this mission.
CCC Hosts “Ohio Poor People’s Campaign” Info Meeting
On Saturday, Mar 10 we hosted a gathering of 22 representatives representing 50+ organizations throughout Ohio and northern Kentucky.
Facilitators Carole Womeldorf and Mary Aguilera helped orient participants, some as far away as Toledo, to the goals of this broad-based movement for justice here in Ohio and 34 other states.
This campaign is to address issues of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation.
If you’d like more info, or to find out how you can participate, see Troy.
Alert: Tax law changes
for those Ages 70 ½ with RMD’s
Chuck W. passed along some info that he verified with a Fidelity financial adviser and CPA; please corroborate this with your own financial advisers and tax preparers.
Recent tax law changes raise the standard deduction so that contributions written off in the past will no longer be eligible for itemization for most taxpayers. There’s a workaround for those receiving required minimum distributions(RMD) payments from pension funds. Any person with an IRA, 401K, or pension above 70 ½ has to receive a percentage of these savings as part of their annual incomes. Those funds can be diverted by your financial institution to charities of your choice and will not be reported as income at years end, effectively making those contributions tax-free.
Camp Christian Summer 2018
Camp & Conference Forms
The Camp Christian Summer 2018 Camp and Conference registration forms and information are now available on our website. They are all available for download in one place on the Summer Forms, Downloads, and Links page. They can all also be accessed through each of the Ministry’s web pages and on each of the corresponding on the Regional Calendar. Please feel free to post and share this information with as many people as possible.
Each Congregation will also receive a packet of hard copies of the forms and information in the mail over the next week or so [See Donne in the CCC office if you need a hard copy of the forms.]
To access online registration & forms go here:
Local: For the 1 in 5 kids in Greater Cincinnati living in poverty.
Regional: For the Christian Church in OH to find its way to new pastoral, financial, and ecclesial health.
Global: For a successful summit in May between North Korea and the USA that diplomatically resolves issues
THE CCC LIBRARY CORNER
March – April Library Info
More Donations for our Library!
Thanks to Michelle McKay for donating several new titles to the library.
Believe by Randy Frazee walks you through the ten key Beliefs of the Christian faith, the ten key Practices of a Jesus-follower, and the ten key Virtues that characterize someone who is becoming more like Jesus.
Also by Randy Frazee, Think, Act, Believe Like Jesus helps readers grasp the vision of the Christian life and get started on the journey of discipleship.
What difference do it make? Ron Hall and Denver Moore, unlikely friends and even unlikelier coauthors―a wealthy fine-art dealer and an illiterate homeless African American―share the hard-to-stop story of how a remarkable woman’s love brought them together.
The Love Dare Cards contains a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare s a journey you need to take. It’s time to learn the keys to finding true intimacy and developing a dynamic marriage.
Also in Michelle’s donations was a Holy Bible.
You’re all invited to stop by the Library Corner to see these books on display and browse the shelves for what might interest you.
Your friendly CCC Librarian, Maureen M.