Keeping You Connected

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Rev. Dr. Rita Root is on sabbatical for the month of December and Rev. Mark Frey is Acting Associations General Minister. You can reach him at 330-940-2220 x102 or by email at
Special Meeting Called
The council of the Eastern Ohio and Western Reserve Associations calls all authorized ministers and delegates to attend a Special Associations Meeting on Saturday, December 9 at 10AM at Bethany UCC (1235 Broad Blvd, Cuyahoga Falls) for the purpose of presenting a candidate for election as the Associations General Minister. All congregations are encouraged to send two delegates. Churches with more than 400 members may send one additional delegate for each additional 400 members or fraction thereof. Each authorized minister can cast one vote. The candidate recommended by our Associations Search Committee is Rev. Nayiri Karjian .

Spring Creek Band
Christ UCC at Myers (2709 Pigeon Run Rd, Massillon) is proud to announce that the Spring Creek Band will bring its special brand of seasonal music to the church. This unique band is made up of six members who play stringed instruments, including psalteries. Myers Church warmly invites all those who like traditional music to come to the 10:45AM worship service on December 10. Fellowship hour will follow the service. You can preview the Spring Creek Band on YouTube. For further information call 330-212-0718.
Kristmas Keyboards
Please join Middleburg Heights Community UCC (7165 Big Creek Parkway, Middleburg Heights) on Sunday, December 10 at 4PM for the Kristmas Keyboards concert. Seasonal tunes will be performed by organist Jarred Sorauf and pianist Carol Konet. Free admission with a good will offering taken to support UCC Disaster Ministries to assist hurricane relief efforts. Email the church office for more information. Join and share the Facebook event !

Candle Lighting Ceremony
A Candle Lighting Ceremony will be held in cooperation with the Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting® at the First Congregational Church of Tallmadge (85 Heritage Dr, Tallmadge) on Sunday, December 10 at 7PM. All families who have experienced the death of a child, sibling or grandchild are welcome as are friends. Participants are encouraged to bring pictures or mementos of their loved ones to share. These will be returned at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Police Safety Workshop
Due to nationwide concerns about safety in our churches and schools, West Park United Church of Christ (3909 Rocky River Dr, Cleveland) will host "Active Shooter and Violent Intruder" training. Sergeant Tim Higgins of the Cleveland Police Department will lead a 90 minute session on Tuesday, December 12 at 6:30PM. The workshop will take place in the sanctuary.
Prayer Vigils
Trinity UCC (215 High St, Wadsworth) will hold a candlelight prayer vigil on December 13 to remember the victims and survivors of gun violence in America. The vigil, beginning at 6PM, is part of a nationwide movement in December to mark the fifth anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Trinity will participate with more than 500 houses of worship nationwide in conducting services during the period of December 6 through December 17. Trinity's vigil will conclude with candlelight singing on the front lawn of the church.

Federated Church (76 Bell St, Chagrin Falls) will hold a candlelight vigil to #EndGunViolence on Thursday, December 14 at 7PM in the chapel. This is in remembrance of the five year mark of the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy as well as the 500,000 American victims and survivors of gun violence since December 2012. Pray, sing, light candles and hear speakers: Rev. Chris Eggert, founder of God before Guns and retired Christian Church Disciples of Christ pastor and Rabbi Susan Stone, D.Div, Chaplain at Hillcrest Hospital. Questions? Email Susi Kawolics for more information.
Remembrance of Christmas Truce
You are invited to attend this unique Christmas time of prayer on Friday, December 22, 7-9:30PM. It is co-sponsored by 89 Hartford UCC and held at United Church of Christ Congregational (217 E Liberty St, Medina). Christopher Reynolds will present a concert filled with meaningful rituals guiding us toward peace, healing and the true spirit of Christmas. Remember the movie Joyeaux? During World War I, enemy forces left the safety of the trenches to the song Silent Night. Soldiers wanted peace beyond understanding. This year, we remember and proclaim the same desire for the world. Peace.

Abundant Aging Retreat
Join United Church Homes' Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging for a clergy and lay leader retreat. The theme is "Aging and Opportunity for Congregations and Ourselves". Facilitators are Susan H. McFadden, Ph.D. and John T. McFadden, M.Div. The conference will be from 9AM to 3PM January 8 at Dublin Community UCC (81 W Bridge St, Dublin). Registration begins at 9AM with the program to follow at 9:45AM. Registration is $20 and includes lunch and the program. Register online by December 29.

Does Our Pastor Need a Job Description?
The Parish Paper is a wonderful resource to which the Ohio Conference has subscribed on behalf of all Ohio UCC churches. Each issue stands alone as a topic of interest and importance to being a living and growing congregation. With the Conference subscription, we in local churches and the associations have permission from the copyright holder to use the material per copyright restrictions. Please distribute only in its unaltered entirety.

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.