The Disciples Voice – December and January Edition
Service Online Only
As we continue our service ONLINE ONLY at this time, let us know how we can keep connected to your family. You can contact Perry M, Elder chair, Pastor Troy, or the office with joys, concerns, and life achievements. We will have communion cups ready to be picked up on Jan 4th and 6th for the month of January. We will also call those homebound to deliver that week to you.
Online Tech Support Team
Having trouble accessing Zoom for Wednesday night book studies or Sunday morning worship? Fear not, for Perry M and Steve Se are offering their skills to guide you through. Please contact them for help.
Stewardship Campaign Update
- As of December 13, we received pledges of $170,550 with 42 pledges for the General Budget.
- The Capital Campaign pledges were $37,080 with 31 pledges.
Watch the weekly emails for when you will be able to see the budget for 2021. We will be voting on the budget on January 31st.
|10:30 a.m. Virtual Service Rev. Dr. Troy Sybrant
See Facebook for the link Senior Pastor
Office Hours Susan Hartman
Monday & Wednesday Director of Music & Accompanist
6771 Tylersville Road, Mason, OH 45040
The office will be closed for the holiday from noon on December 23rd through January 3rd. We will be back in the office on January 4th. Phone messages will be checked and followed up as they come in. Admin email will be checked daily.
Teach us to number our days that we may gain wisdom of the heart. Psalm 90:12
As 2020 comes to a close, many of us are feeling disoriented. Like the melted clocks in Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” our sense of time has been altered. Before COVID, time felt solid, but since then time has become more insubstantial. At times it feels like it’s frozen and we’ve been living the same day again and again like the movie Groundhog Day, only without any humor. At other moments when we look back on the year behind us, it seems like the nine months since March was nine years ago.
Shannon Stirone’s New York Magazine article “2020 was a Time Warp” explains why we’re so discombobulated. She writes, “Whatever comfort we once derived from considering the past is gone. Now it’s a stark reminder of all that we had, all that we took for granted, and what we must still reckon with — that our future is not likely to look like what we’re used to.” The loss of markers for time outside the home, and having brains hardwired to plan for the future but unable to do so—these exacerbate our confusion. Despite the turbulence in time we’re currently experiencing, she remains hopeful that we can forge a new relationship with time. She concludes, “We are in a profound moment of being human. As we approach another significant marker of time — the new year — we are faced with a real challenge. How do we contend with our nature, which fundamentally longs to predict the future and to protect and plan for it, while we face an indeterminate bleeding-together of days?”
Stirone’s question is an apt one for Advent as we live into this New (Church) Year that is at odds with the calendrical year. As Christians, we have some practice with being out of step with the larger world’s measurements of time. We can also reframe our expectations to align with the current reality and discover new opportunities.
Where might we find hidden gifts of God’s presence in these days ahead? What of 2020 do we wish to carry into 2021 or to leave behind? Who do we wish to have as fellow travelers in this new year? How might we develop habits of patience and trust moving through the unknown? When do we start forging a new relationship with time? Why has God brought us to this profound moment of being human?
In this season of gift-giving, Christian Theological Seminary is delighted to share with your congregation the gift of Las Posadas: On the road with Mary and Joseph, which will be broadcast on Sunday, December 20, at 4:30 PM Eastern Time.
Las Posadas, which means “The Inns,” is a traditional Advent celebration in Latin America, particularly Mexico, and among many Mexican Americans. It dates back more than 400 years to Spain when Catholic priests found they could best teach many of the biblical stories to believers by using drama. Las Posadas traditionally is celebrated for nine nights from December 16 through 24, culminating in the Christmas Eve worship service. It is designed to reenact the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for lodging.
This beautiful celebration invites us all to examine our lives to see how much we have incarnated the love of God for the world. Please join us on Sunday, December 20, at 4:30 PM as we journey together here.
December 13 & 20
Our finest gifts support the work of regional ministries this Christmas. Your regional ministry works to:
- Connect congregations to each other
- Foster faith development
- Gather Disciples in camps, conferences, and assemblies
- Nurture the development of a new generation of pastors
- Assist churches in calling new ministers
- Interpret the global mission of the Church
- Represent the Church in ecumenical gatherings
- Counsel and pray with those who are troubled of spirit
- Lead the Church to address racism
- Inspire leaders to experiment and create
- Witness to the power of God to make things new
The Christmas Special Day offering supports all of these and many other ministries of our regions.
On Monday, Dec. 21st…a “Christmas Star”!
During the upcoming winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will line up to create what is known as the “Christmas Star” or “Star of Bethlehem.” This conjunction does not happen every year. No this is not the Star of Bethlehem but scientists have called this the Christmas Star. Check your local news for a time in your area to best see this wonder.
Want to Help Someone in your Community? Dec. Outreach
Mason Food Pantry = the picture says September but the list is still required for December.
Compass Christian Church received a letter from Mason Food Pantry asking for contributions of money for their Year-End Campaign to help more families that are in desperate need of help this year for basic food and health care items.
Checks can be sent to the church with a Mason Food Pantry reference and checks will be issued to Mason Food Pantry from the church.
If you cannot bring supplies to the church please contact email@example.com or if you have any Outreach questions.
Children’s Moment for All Ages
There are so many songs that we sing at Christmas time. Some are hymns, some are fun and lively, and some are just pretty. There is one that most children learn from a very young. Martin Luther wrote it a long time ago and called it the Cradle Song or what we call Away in a Manger. The song sings about Jesus sleeping on the hay. When God sent his Son to the world, he did not send him as a full-grown man but he began life just as we do – like a baby! By sending Jesus as a baby, God taught people to open their hearts to love. By sending Him as a baby, Jesus would grow up knowing all the challenges we face as a toddler, a young child, a tween, a teen, and an adult. Jesus really does understand everything we are going through because he has lived as all of these. He knows how you feel and He understands when you talk to him about your joys and your troubles!
There are two versions of Away in the Manger. The first is the Cradle Song. The second one we hear is a hymn or different artists have recorded it. Listen and think about all that Jesus experienced, just like you!
Holy Moly Videos
We will be showing Holy Moly Videos for families to share beginning in January. Date and time to be announced so watch for a coming announcement. Check with Carol Y. if you would like supplemental materials for your children to use following the videos of New Testament Stories.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
and Martin Luther King Service
Monday, January 18, 2021, 7:00 p.m.
The Faith Alliance is sponsoring an online gathering of churches to commemorate the life and witness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to inaugurate the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The theme for the latter is “Abide in my love…you shall bear much fruit” (Jn 15:1-17). Dr. King’s work, witness, and legacy is a prophetic voice calling us to work together so that God’s justice might be known.
Similarly, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “especially after the anguish of Covid-19 and other events of 2020, reminds us all of the need to be attached fully to the vine of Christ and become his body, the Church.
We know that the sin of Christian division has no basis in the truth. By our diversity, we show the many faces and cultures of Christianity, but by our divisions, we only sow doubt, confusion, and competition. The one vine is surely an excellent description of how we can abide in Christ’s love.
Remaining or abiding in his love powerfully enables us to love one another. Again, the branches reach out in different directions but they are all rooted in the everlasting Word of God. And that word is clear: do not succumb to rivalries and factions, but seek justice and peace together.” From: https://geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/art_poster/commentary_on_art_piece.html
Book Study for Leadership & Congregation
Wednesdays in January @ 7:15
As the next step from our “Guess Who’s Coming to Supper” series, the leadership is inviting the congregation to join in the Inclusive Church Resource study on Sexuality. Our study will resume on January 6th. It is small chapters so you don’t need to have read or participated early to join in. The book is Sexuality the Inclusive Church Resource by Susannah Cornwall.
Want to Help Someone in your Community? Outreach 2021
Community Cupboard at Mason United Methodist Church
In January we’ll collect food for the Community Cupboard at Mason United Methodist Church. Community Cupboard needs are canned vegetables, personal items, and baby supplies. Please email the church admin for a pdf of the list to be sent to you.
Queen City Kitchen
We will also continue to collect bottled water for Queen City Kitchen. In November Kurt delivered another 10 cases of water and a bunch of laundry pods and dryer sheets to Queen City Kitchens today. They were out of the water and very grateful for our donations.
Please drop off items at CCC during office hours or contact the God Hub for pickup and delivery. God Hub – firstname.lastname@example.org
Interfaith Hospitality Network of Warren County (IHN)
“Our IHN Ministry is kicking off again on Saturday, January 30th! We need 2-3 volunteers to prepare, package, and deliver meals to Heritage Presbyterian Church by 5 o’clock that evening. Due to ongoing concerns about COVID, we will not be serving meals on-site. Instead, IHN will pick them up from HPC for delivery to the hotels where the program’s guests are located. If you are interested in serving, please contact Kirk T at 513-503-6827 or email@example.com.” Kirk T
Sign up to be a Winter Buddy!
Send a card, make a phone call, offer assistance, or just say hello…Help those who may feel isolated this winter. Every week from December – March. All ages welcome! Sign Up Here, or call the church office at 754-0777.
Thank You’s and Notes from Friends
- Interfaith Hospitality Network – Christmas card “With appreciation this Christmas season for all that you do. The Board & Staff of IHN of Warren County”
- Christmas Wishes from Schoumann Farm. Their newest additions are a llama, pony, two lambs, and a puppy.
- Reach Out Lakota sends their sincere thanks to all of you who donated to the Holiday Giving Program. Donations through the Faith Alliance have helped to spread cheer to the 833 children registered for this program. The parents are extremely grateful for your help in providing gifts in celebration of the season.
- Comforts to the Free Store. Since our church has been shuttered for the past few months, our Cozy Comforts have just laid in their box all alone & forlorn. But no more! The 12 that were so lonely plus 4 new additions are on their way to the Free Store at Camp Christian. They will be distributed to local families for Christmas. Special thanks to Daun & Steve S. for delivering these and other items for us. Thank you to everyone who made these gifts possible!
- Thank you to our congregation, I am sending love and blessings your way for a healthy, happy, merriest of all Christmas to you. We sure miss our Church Family. Love to All Suzan D
- Thank you to those who have worked extra hard this year to bring our services to new light; Susan H., Steve Se., Dave Di., Mairi H., Perry M., Sally E., Carol Y., and any others who have contributed behind the scenes.
- Christmas Wishes from the Staff. We wish everyone a safe, healthy, and blessed Christmas! May the gifts of this holy season—Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love—be experienced and celebrated in new ways. We are grateful for your partnership in this ministry we share. May the richest blessings of the Christ child be with you and yours as we follow his Light into 2021.
Local: Strength & determination for health professionals to continue their lifesaving work & for homeless people to find food & shelter in winter.
Regional: Wisdom & understanding for elected officials to do what’s best for the country, not for personal gain or power.
Worldwide: Courage & collaboration for global leaders to stop wars & work for peace so all can live in harmony.