Keeping You Connected

This newsletter is brought to you by your OCWM contributions.

Why Donate to Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM)?
Why should you bother doing your church's annual report? There are a lot of reasons. One is you're creating an historical statistical record for your congregation that will long outlive current generations and that historians will be able to learn from in the future. Misplaced your packet? Download another!
Meet & Greet: Nayiri Karjian
You are invited to stop by the Associations office (960 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls) on Wednesday, February 28, 1-3PM, to meet and get acquainted with Nayiri Karjian, our Associations General Minister. Share a beverage, have a snack and enjoy the company.
Webinar on Climate Change
Twenty-one youth are suing the federal government over climate change, and one of them is the son of a UCC pastor. Hear a personal perspective on the case in a live webinar featuring Kiran Oommen and his mother the Rev. Melanie Oommen of First Congregational UCC in Eugene, OR. A brief legal update on the case will be provided by Coreal Riday-White of Our Children's Trust. The webinar will take place on the evening of February 28th.

BGSU Men's Chorus
The Bowling Green State University Men's Chorus, America's Finest Singing Machine, will present a dynamic concert of male choral music at The Bath Church United Church of Christ (3980 W Bath Rd, Akron) on Thursday, March 1 at 7:30PM in the sanctuary of the church. The chorus is en-route to the Intercollegiate Men's Choruses Seminar in Washington, D.C. Their unparalleled musical excellence has been thrilling audiences for over 40 years. The ensemble encompasses students from all majors; over half are non-music majors, representing all seven colleges at the University. A free will offering will be taken.

Lenten Practices: Music as Healing
You are invited to an interactive presentation by Kira Seaton, Assistant Professor of Music at Cuyahoga Community College, on Sunday, March 11 from 1-2PM at West Park UCC Education Building (3909 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland). How do experiences in music, both listening and participating, make a difference in our physical, mental and emotional well-being? Research made fun and experiences galore give an overall picture of this most interactive of art forms. For info, please call 216-671-7228.
Mt Zion JOBS
JOBS (Job Opportunities Breakthrough Services) is a free faith-based 10 week program designed to help the unemployed and underemployed get into the workforce and obtain meaningful employment. JOBS mission is to provide excellence in educational and career readiness within a Christian community through creation of an exceptional academic model that supports all individuals. Who should attend?
  • Individuals seeking employment
  • Employers who are seeking qualified employees
  • Organizations and individuals who have contact with people who are seeking employment
JOBS benefit training consists of topics such as job etiquette, conflict resolution, professional goals, resume writing, interviewing, etc.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself?
The Culture of Peace Prophetic Witness Team invites you to a workshop April 13-15 at Camp Y-Noah. Participants will gain helpful tools to enable them to be peacemakers in times such as these, be asked to step out of their comfort zones, stand their ground in love, to love others as they love themselves, to keep confidentiality. Cost is $100 per person and includes lodging, snacks, 3 meals on Saturday and 2 meals on Sunday. If you need a scholarship, you may apply for one when you register. This is not an introductory workshop.

Save the Date
Ohio's Interim Ministry Working Group invites both interim and settled pastors to a 2-part workshop entitled Diagnosing Congregational Health & Sacred Stories: Continuing the Congregation's Legacy, Recognizing the Signs on Monday, April 30, 9:30AM-4PM, at Camp Christian. The morning session on diagnosing your congregational health and what to do next will be presented by Rev. Dr. Gary Halstead. The afternoon session on "Sacred Stories: What do you do when some of the signs or conditions of your congregation's imminent closing seem to exist?" will be presented by Rev. Enrique Ocasio. Watch for registration information coming soon.
Camp Registration Open
Interested in camp this summer?  The 2018 summer camp registration portal is now open! There are opportunities available for people of all ages, so check your calendar and get ready for a summer of fun! Be sure to check out the Outdoor Ministries page on the Conference website for helpful information as you begin to plan for camp!

Message from Jim Cunningham
I'd like to thank my colleagues and friends in our Associations for your ministry to me and with me during the last 29 years. Charlie and I will be moving to Phoenix in mid-March to be close to Charlie's 86 year old father escape the cold! I am so blessed to have served with many of you around the Associations, with Fairview Hospital, and with so many congregations. Thank you! I will treasure this chapter of my life and ministry always. I will hold you in my prayers. Blessings and Peace.

Rev. Jim Cunningham
Open Position
United Protestant Campus Ministries in Cleveland (UPCaM) is seeking an Executive Director to serve students at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College-Metropolitan Campus. The successful candidate will be an ordained minister with a Master of Divinity or equivalent degree. Experience in campus ministry desired, including creating programming for traditional and non-traditional college students, in multicultural and multi-faith environments, with a commitment to interfaith collaborations. This is a full-time, year-round position. For more information and a job description, email or visit the website . Application deadline: March 30, 2018.
In Our Prayers
Please keep the following people in your prayers.

The family of Wayne Pressler. Wayne, who was very active in the work of the Associations, died Wednesday, February 7.

Rev. Dr. Gary Halstead and family on the death of his mother. Muriel Halstead died Thursday, February 15.
Ordinations & Installations
Installation of Karin Wright
March 4 ♦ 9:30AM
United Church of Christ ♦ 1115 SR 43 ♦ Suffield

Installation of Robin Stanley
March 18 ♦ 11AM
Hartsgrove Community UCC ♦ 5260 US 6 ♦ Rome

Installation of David W. Brown
May 6 ♦ 10:30AM
Trinity UCC ♦ 915 N Main St ♦ Akron

Ordination of Molly Bolton
May 27 ♦ 10:30AM
St Paul's Community Church
4427 Franklin Blvd ♦ Cleveland
Association Ministers' Schedules
Here's where your Association Ministers will be the next few Sundays.
March 4
United Church of Christ
1115 SR 43 ♦ Suffield

March 18
Hartsgrove Community UCC
5260 US 6 ♦ Rome
March 4
1375 W Clifton Blvd ♦ Lakewood
Your Associations' Staff
Nayiri Karjian
Associations General Minister

Gary Halstead
Associations Associate Minister

Machelle Miller
Office Manager & Bookkeeper

Cheryl McGraw
Communications & Administration
Don Hill
Financial Development Consultant

Gene McAfee
Dean of Northeast Ohio School of Ministry

Bob Richardson
Coach Coordinator

Committee on Ministry Registrar
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 a paragraph 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.