Keeping You Connected

This newsletter is brought to you by your OCWM contributions.

Just a reminder that we're getting ready to close out the Associations' books for 2017. The deadline for 2017 OCWM and special offerings giving is December 31. Contributions to be credited to the year 2017 must be made online, received in the office, or postmarked by December 31. If after December 31, they will be credited to the year 2018.
Our New AGM
At a special meeting of the Eastern Ohio and Western Reserve Associations at Bethany UCC on December 9, the Rev. Nayiri Karjian was considered to become our next Associations General Minister. A quorum being present, a vote was taken. Rev. Karjian was affirmed by an overwhelming majority of the delegates. She'll start on February 1. Rev. Mark Frey will be the Acting General Minister through the end of January. Rev. Dr. Gary Halstead will continue as Associations Associate Minister. Thanks to the Search Committee, and to Bethany UCC and Rev. Sprite Johnson for hosting the meeting.
Our Associations Coming Together
Rev. John Gant, Ohio Conference Minister, and Cathy Green, Ohio Conference Board Moderator, attended our December 9 special meeting. The Board received our formal request to become one Association, which they considered at their December 8 board meeting. The Board affirmed our request and additional work will need to be done to work out details. Final approval will be an item of business at the next Conference Gathering. We plan to live and work as one Association. Watch for a contest to decide upon a name for our collaboration.
NEOSOM Winter 2018 Classes
The Northeast Ohio School of Ministry (NEOSOM) is offering two classes for Winter 2018: Worship and An Introduction to Christian Theology . The classes are open to students of the program and available for audit to non-students. The deadline to register is Wednesday, December 27.

Williard UCC Closes
After 103 years of serving God, Williard United Church of Christ in Akron has sold its building and the congregation will dissolve on December 31. The current membership of Williard UCC is happy to announce that the building will continue to be a church home serving God and community. The new church will be called "The Akron Christian Assembly at the Williard Building". Its membership is made up of Christians from Nepal who have been searching for a permanent church home. May God bless this new ministry on this old site.
MLK Overnighter
All Senior High Youth are invited to attend this overnighter. It will be everything you would expect at a typical overnighter - games, pizza, little sleep, music, craziness - plus an opportunity to explore the life and the faith and the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth must be accompanied by youth leaders or chaperones. The cost is only $10 per person. Pizza, snacks and breakfast will be provided. Please bring a sleeping bag, pillow and a snack to share. Pre-registration is not required, but is appreciated.

A Call for Sermons in Solidarity
Twenty-one youth have taken our federal government to court demanding accountability and action in response to the damage done to our climate and the immense impact this damage has on their generation. Ultimately, the case brought by the youth is about seeking justice for #EachGeneration. To further the compelling and inspiring efforts of the youth, the UCC Council for Climate Justice has initiated a call for more than a thousand sermons to be preached in solidarity with them. Youth are especially encouraged to preach.

Open Position
First Congregational Church in Akron is seeking an Acting Organist and an Acting Choir Director on an interim basis from January 7-April 1, 2018 for the 11AM Sunday worship service.

In Our Prayers
A memorial service for Joyce Strommen, widow of former WRA Association Minister Rev. Robert Strommen, will be held at Lakewood Congregational Church (1375 W Clifton Blvd, Lakewood) on January 13 at 10:30AM.
Your Associations' Staff
Mark Frey
Acting Associations General Minister

Gary Halstead
Associations Associate Minister

Machelle Miller
Office Manager & Bookkeeper

Cheryl McGraw
Communications & Administration

Committee on Ministry Registrar

Margaret Borrelli
Faith Formation Coordinator
Mark Frey
Pastoral Excellence/Communities of Practice

Don Hill
Financial Development Consultant

Gene McAfee
Dean of Northeast Ohio School of Ministry

Bob Richardson
Coach Coordinator

Maureen Webber
Spiritual Formation Coordinator

Lori Wick
Youth Ministries Coordinator
Submission Guidelines
If you'd like to share information about an upcoming event or past event sponsored or co-sponsored by a church in our Associations, please send your article of 100 words or less in paragraph format to by Tuesday noon of each week. Be extravagantly welcoming by including in the article the name, location, address, date, time and contact information of the event. Items will run for two consecutive weeks. Fliers may be sent in addition to the 100 word article and a link will be provided in the article to the flier. Fliers should be less than 5MB and in Word or PDF format. Photos (which display next to your article) may be sent in addition to the article. Photos should be less than 5MB and in JPG or PNG format.