The Disciples Voice – May / June 2018
Click HERE to see the PDF version of this newsletter.
Dear CCC Friends ~
I’m excited to share with you about my three-year appointment in Haiti! My official title is Program Assistant on Christian Education, Children Ministries and International Networking (sounds fancy, huh?)
The Mission Co-worker (that’s me!) will be in charge of assisting CONASPEH at their main offices in Port-au-Prince. I will be in direct contact with school and projects sponsored by CONASPEH. I will assist with Christian Education, Administrative and International matters, helping the organization to better achieve its goals of funneling human, educational and strategic resources to the communities; as well as assisting CONASPEH on international visits and interpretation of the work of the CONASPEH with congregations, Regions, Conferences and church leaders from the U.S. and Canada.
It sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? It’s like the position was created just for me! This is just another nod to God who has been working to set His plan in place long before I showed up on the scene.
I am so very humbled and honored to have been selected for this incredible responsibility. I am grateful to Compass Christian Church who has encouraged me, prayed for me, supported me and allowed me to use my talents over the past years. You have shaped me to be ready for this next step in my journey. Though I think I feel “ready,” please don’t stop praying for me! I will need the full armor of God for what I will encounter in Haiti and we know that prayer is a very powerful weapon.
You can follow the work of God through CONASPEH and my journey by signing up for the Global Ministries newsletter at globalministries.org.
Mesi Anpil, Thank You Very Much,
We welcomed Kirk & Lacey into membership on April 15 by reaffirmation of faith. They shared the following:
Compass Christian’s congregation is so welcoming that it doesn’t seem possible that there are people left we haven’t met yet, but for those of you to whom we have not introduced ourselves: Hi! We are Kirk Terrell and Lacey Stewart. We are newer to the Deerfield/Mason area, where we just moved with our dog, Penny, in late 2016.
Both of us grew up in the Christian church. In fact, we met in 2003 when our respective churches were doing a combined mission trip. Nine years later, we were married at Lacey’s family’s church by one of the ministers who led that mission trip.
After getting married, faith fell by the wayside to work schedules and the stresses of life. This past winter we decided to fix that by reprioritizing God and reaffirming our faith in Him. The first church we visited was Compass Christian. After just one Sunday we saw that it was a perfect fit for us. A few weeks later we decided that we needed to jump right in and become members. So here we are!
We feel so blessed to be part of Compass Christian Church, and we look forward to being involved in the community you all have created here. Thank you all for being so welcoming, and we look forward to getting to know everyone better!
In Loving Memory
How Will You Help the Earth?
- We had 39 post-its on the globe. Here they are, in no particular order. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by the ideas of others in our church to help the earth in other ways!
- Care for the earth by recycling.
- Shine my light.
- Use more reusable utensils.
- Eat organic, recycle.
- Not use plastic bags.
- Not sure yet what I will do differently—but I will commit to being careful to recycle all that I can.
- Buy veggies locally grown.
- Eat more vegan meals.
- I can start composting to give back to the earth.
- Better consumer choices.
- Eat a more plant-based diet.
- Pick up at houses of people that can’t get out and their yards are a mess.
- I will buy more organic produce.
- Eat more local fresh sustainable fruits and veggies. No pesticides or chemicals on anything I put on my family’s plate. Renewable water source. Write to all my representatives to make changes to our agriculture.
- Going to make a diligent effort to be conservative with home water usage. Plan to participate in the campaign for clean water in poverty.
- Plant more flowers. Reuse, recycle, repurpose, restore. Nurture the trees and all living things.
- Eat a nearly all plant-based diet for my health, and for the health of the planet!
- No plastic bottles.
- Organic foods.
- Avoid plastic.
- Plant flowers, trees, vegetables.
- Conserve water resources, reduce plastic use by using reusable containers.
- Recycle more.
- Sell local produce.
- I will buy more local produce by shopping at farmers markets & local produce stands.
- Ask my apartment complex to put a recycling bin on our property.
- Serve at the soup kitchen.
- I will not waste water. I will encourage my coworkers to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I will plan errands carefully to reduce my carbon footprint.
- I would help the world by not wasting water.
- In the summer I throw fruit cores (apples, pears) out on the ground.
- Be more mindful of what I purchase to eat.
- Eat more local greens.
- Taking care of the land.
- Be diligent about recycling.
- I worship and pray to God.
- Bring your own mug to church.
- Pick up trash.
To be a better ambassador of God’s stewardship in this community and beyond.
Vacation Bible School 2018
JUNE 26-29 / 9:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
IF YOUR CHILD IS GOING TO PRESCHOOL (AND POTTY-TRAINED) – 5TH GRADE, WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THEM JOIN US AT SHIPWRECKED VBS!
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER:
Stepping Forward Dinner
Faith Alliance Summer Lunch Program
Volunteers are needed to help children with lunches supplied by the Lakota food bus. Volunteers are encouraged to interact with the children by bringing a book to read, a game to play or by using the supplies provided at the site.
Sign up on the Summer Lunch webpage (see below) to work at one of three sites:
- Countryside Mobile Home Park (5126 Hamilton-Middletown Rd (Rt 4), Liberty Twp );
- Lakota Pointe Apartments, 6840 Lakota Pointe Lane, Liberty Twp, OH 45044 ;
- And Meadow Ridge Apartments, 5270 Aster Drive, Building 14, Apt. 12, in West Chester (off Mulhauser).
To help with this important ministry, sign up using the link below.
Please plan to arrive by 10:00 a.m. You can come for the day, or stay overnight to continue working on Sunday morning. We will be finished by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, or earlier.
Our mission will be to do whatever needs be done to make Camp ready for new campers the following week. We will be cleaning the cabins and grounds and doing other small tasks to be assigned by Camp Superintendent, Al Channel.
Some folks will be carpooling from the church if you need a ride. Additional information regarding what to take will be emailed to those who sign up. Please contact Daun Seitz or Dave Diehl if you have questions.
Tools of Hope – Fathers Day
Click on the link to make a donation:
Queen City Kitchens
Interfaith Hospitality Network Run 4 Home 5K
Interfaith Hospitality Network of Warren County will host the 12th annual Run 4 Home 5k on Independence Day 2018. This event serves as a critical fundraiser for the shelter and bridges a seasonal resource gap during the Summer months. In 2017, the Run 4 Home 5k allowed IHNWC to operate at full capacity for the entire year. Please see our Community Impact Report from 2017 to see what services you are helping to provide!
The race will be held at Warren County’s ARMCO park once again, providing a beautiful, shaded landscape perfect for runners of all abilities. The race will begin at 8:30 am with walkers immediately following the runners. Water stations will be placed at the halfway mark and finish line.
We are looking for event sponsors. If you or a business owner or organization you know of may be interested – please consider supporting the event! More information and registration are available here.
If you have any more questions, please contact Linda Rabolt at
CCC LIBRARY CORNER
MAY Library Info
More wonderful donations have come into our library.
Ruth P. has given us Facing Your Giants and its companion study guide by Max Lucado. This Bible study delves into the life of David, and how his story can help us face our own scary giants.
Our church secretary, Donne H, has given us several issues of Christian History magazine. Each one focuses on a different topic, like The Reformation, The Wonder of Creation, Faith in the Foxholes and much more. Each issue offers a variety of articles on the same theme, with colorful illustrations, maps, and photos.
Thank you, ladies, for these interesting additions to our church library.
For communities to faithfully help families struggling to put food on the table and kids without access to summer lunch programs
For greater care for those struggling with mental health issues
For distrust and isolation among neighbors and nations to be uprooted by the truth and love of God’s people
Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman. Ezekiel 3:17
Recently Christian leaders across the theological and cultural spectrum gathered to pray, lament, repent, and confess their faith. Included were former General Ministers & Presidents, Rev. Drs. Dick Hamm and Sharon Watkins, and Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale from Ray of Hope CC. That gathering produced Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis. Here are excerpts:
We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.
It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have the love for one another” (John 13:35).
When politics undermines our theology, we must examine those politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”
It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivities, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God.
This letter comes from a retreat on Ash Wednesday, 2018. In this season of Lent, we feel deep lamentations for the state of our nation, and our own hearts are filled with confession for the sins we feel called to address. The true meaning of the word repentance is to turn around. It is time to lament, confess, repent, and turn. In times of crisis, the church has historically learned to return to Jesus Christ.
Jesus is Lord. That is our foundational confession. It was central for the early church and needs to again become central to us. If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar was not—nor any other political ruler since. If Jesus is Lord, no other authority is absolute. Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God he announced is the Christian’s first loyalty, above all others. We pray, “Thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our faith is personal but never private, meant not only for heaven but for this earth.
The question we face is this: Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What does our loyalty to Christ, as disciples require at this moment in our history? We believe it is time to renew our theology of public discipleship and witness. Applying what “Jesus is Lord” means today is the message we commend as elders to our churches.
What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.
I. WE BELIEVE each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confer a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago Dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity. In particular, we reject white supremacy and commit ourselves to help dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate white preference and advantage. Further, any doctrines or political strategies that use racist resentments, fears, or language must be named as public sin—one that goes back to the foundation of our nation and lingers on. Racial bigotry must be antithetical for those belonging to the body of Christ because it denies the truth of the gospel we profess.
II. WE BELIEVE we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world—to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God. We lament when such practices seem publicly ignored, and thus privately condoned, by those in high positions of leadership. We stand for the respect, protection, and affirmation of women in our families, communities, workplaces, politics, and churches. We support the courageous truth-telling voices of women, who have helped the nation recognize these abuses. We confess sexism as a sin, requiring our repentance and resistance.
III. WE BELIEVE how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46) “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not “good news to the poor,” it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18).
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won’t accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programs for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. Budgets are moral documents. We commit ourselves to opposing and reversing those policies and finding solutions that reflect the wisdom of people from different political parties and philosophies to seek the common good. Protecting the poor is a central commitment of Christian discipleship, to which 2,000 verses in the Bible attest.
IV. WE BELIEVE that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. Truth-telling is central to the prophetic biblical tradition, whose vocation includes speaking the Word of God into their societies and speaking the truth to power. A commitment to speaking truth, the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16), is foundational to shared trust in society. Falsehood can enslave us, but Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The search and respect for truth is crucial to anyone who follows Christ.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined. The regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders can change the moral expectations within a culture, the accountability for a civil society, and even the behavior of families and children. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. In the face of lies that bring darkness, Jesus is our truth and our light.
V. WE BELIEVE that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. We support democracy, not because we believe in human perfection, but because we do not. The authority of government is instituted by God to order an unredeemed society for the sake of justice and peace, but ultimate authority belongs only to God.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it. Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.
VI. WE BELIEVE Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.
WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED for the soul of our nation, but also for our churches and the integrity of our faith. The present crisis calls us to go deeper—deeper into our relationship to God; deeper into our relationships with each other, especially across racial, ethnic, and national lines; deeper into our relationships with the most vulnerable, who are at greatest risk.
The church is always subject to temptations to power, to cultural conformity, and to racial, class, and gender divides, as Galatians 3:28 teaches us. But our answer is to be “in Christ,” and to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
The best response to our political, material, cultural, racial, or national idolatries is the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Jesus summarizes the Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:38). As to loving our neighbors, we would add “no exceptions.”
We commend this letter to pastors, local churches, and young people who are watching and waiting to see what the churches will say and do at such a time as this.
Our urgent need, in a time of moral and political crisis, is to recover the power of confessing our faith. Lament, repent and then repair. If Jesus is Lord, there is always space for grace. We believe it is time to speak and to act in faith and conscience, not because of politics, but because we are disciples of Jesus Christ—to whom be all authority, honor, and glory. It is time for a fresh confession of faith. Jesus is Lord. He is the light in our darkness.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).