Hello Church! I hope this newsletter finds you snuggled up somewhere, reading a good book, or enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and finding the beauty in these cold days of January. God does bless us even in these winter times! Over the next few months, in my articles for The Disciples Voice, I am going to share with you excerpts form a longer article entitled “Ministry Post-Pandemic Checklist: A Pause in the Dissonance” written by Gilberto Collazo, President of Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) and Lead for Hope Partnership Services. Not only is this excellent advice for us “post-pandemic,” I believe it is absolutely the perfect advice for us in this time of transition together. Let’s look at what he has to say!
Much of the conversation around post COVID-19 focuses on how to observe all of the social distancing guidelines suggested by the Centers for Disease Control.
But, what about the living witness of the believers? How can we better position ourselves to offer ministry in this new time? While we say the church has left the building and we claim the church has never closed, have we intentionally dedicated time to dream those new expressions of ministry for a time like this?
In music, many instruments together can eventually produce dissonance. Thus, a pause in the music results in harmony. With all of the noise we have been exposed to during this pandemic, maybe it is time for a pause in the midst of so much dissonance to find our consonance or harmony. Let us use this pause wisely. I would like to offer several movements in the midst of this pause for you to consider.
Use this time to reclaim your foundational purpose.
This might be a good time to spend in prayer, reflection, and bible study to remind ourselves of our original marching orders, captured so well in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19. Jesus said, “Go”. We know that when we lose sight of our purpose — our reason for being a church — we face decline, loss of relevancy, and so much more. This might be the time to go back to that conversation of why are we church, and how will that be expressed in our post-pandemic context.
Use this time to re-evaluate your ministry’s focus and motivation.
What had we been doing prior to this pandemic pause? How effective was it in producing fruit-bearing disciples? What are the transformation stories we can claim as a result of our community engagement? Can we with full transparency name what motivates our work? For some, institutional survival, protecting beloved ministries, or other well-intentioned goals have been the focus of their energy and efforts. But, as church, we are called to be and do more than that. Is there a yearning for a new, deeper experience in your walk with God as a result of these strange times? Do you feel called to disrupt the status quo and encourage something new to emerge? Just imagine if we could leverage all of this energy, time and effort into new expressions of ministry engagement!
And with that, we will pause until next month. Blessings!
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Beckie Linn
Love Remains (WOC)
Week of Compassion Special Offering ~ February 2022
February 20 & 27
Week of Compassion is the relief, refugee, and development mission fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Your gifts to Week of Compassion bring hope out of despair, find blessings amid devastation, and help transform loss into new life. Your contributions bring tangible relief and change the course of lives. When you give, you help rebuild communities recovering from disaster. You also empower farmers to grow new kinds of crops in a changing climate; you support refugees; you empower youth through education, and empower women through vocational opportunities. In so many different ways, your gifts of love have the power to transform lives. Love is shelter. Love is a listening ear. Love is community. Love is a hopeful future. Love is a path forward. When all else seems lost, love remains. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. — 1 Cor. 13:13
Dayton Disaster Relief Underway in the New Year
Accepting Volunteers Now
A tornado outbreak in May 2019 damaged thousands of homes in the greater Dayton, OH area. The Disciples of Christ agency for relief funding, Week of Compassion, is working with the Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Operations Groups on an innovative collaboration called the Tornado Survivors’ Pathways to Homeownership, which helps families displaced from tornado-damaged rental housing become first-time homeowners.
In partnership with the Ohio Disciples Region, the Heartland Conference of the United Church of Christ Disaster Relief Network, UCC Disaster Ministries, and DOC Week of Compassion, volunteer teams of 4-10 people are gladly welcomed this spring to finish interiors of new homes. Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older (mixed age groups must have 1 adult for every 4 volunteers under 18).
To register to volunteer, and for more information about staying in the Dayton area while volunteering, email Caroline Hamilton-Arnold at email@example.com with your preferred dates, a point of contact, and your group size (if known).
Other Volunteer Opportunities
IHN Family Promise
We will need 2-3 volunteers to deliver food to Heritage Presbyterian Church on Saturday 1/29 at 5PM. Anyone who is interested can reach out to me by phone, email, or in person. Kirk T.
Stepping Forward Dinner
Watch next month for more information on our next Stepping Forward Dinner on 3/29/2022
Camp Christian Summer Staff Applications
Do you know a young adult who would love to spend their summer at Camp Christian serving on Camp Staff? Perhaps, it’s you!!
The 2022 Camp Staff Application & Reference Forms are posted. Please share with anyone who may be interested in applying. Thank you!
More info and the documents are available at: https://www.ccinoh.com/camp-christian/summer-programs/camp-christian-summer-staff.aspx
Deadline to apply is February 28th.
Giving Thanks and Praise
Thank you, Sally E and her helpers, for setting up the sanctuary after Advent Season.
Thank you, Steve Se, for the hours which were put in keeping the office computers up to date.
Thank you, Dave D and Ed V, for giving of time to do projects around the church.
Reach Out Lakota’s Gift Program
Compass Christian Church,
Annmarie ~Thanks so much for helping the toy drive at Compass. Thanks to your group’s generosity we were able to help hundreds of children and their parents! I look forward to your continued partnership and wish you well for the coming year. Sue Cheney
Wednesdays @ 10:30 a.m. ~ Until our new book arrives, we will continue to look at various women in the Bible.
Welcome back! And a special welcome to our two new ladies, joining us: Brenda Th and Cheryl McK!
Pastor Beckie Linn (email: firstname.lastname@example.org); Nancy Th (email: email@example.com)
January 23 Congregation Meeting
February 1 Elders Meeting
February 8 7:00 p.m. MLT Meeting
8:00 p.m. Board Meeting
February 20 & 27 Week of Compassion Offering
Words to remember in this time…
Doctors widely urge that all children and adults who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated and boosted. This has been shown to significantly lower the impact of the Omicron variant. Those without vaccination are at a much higher risk of COVID contraction, serious complications, and death. While those who have been vaccinated and boosted may still get the Omicron variant, its impact is lessened, and death is much less likely.
Wearing masks for indoor gatherings continues to be an important practice to mitigate the spread of COVID. Wearing masks outdoors is also recommended when socializing with people outside of your immediate bubble (household) if social distancing of at least 6 feet is not consistently maintained.
Six feet of physical distance is still the ideal when groups gather in-person who are not part of your regular daily social bubble.
Regular hand washing (for at least 20 seconds) and not touching one’s mouth, eyes or nose is an important practice to prevent the virus from entering one’s body.