Keeping You Connected

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She's here!
Please welcome Rev. Nayiri Karjian,
our new Associations General Minister.
A Message from Our New AGM
Greetings, and thank you for the warm welcome many of your continue to extend to my since my arrival on February 1. I am deeply grateful to experience, in this frigid February climate, the warmth and heart of your extravagant welcome. I am excited to be in OH, to be part of the active, engaged ministry of EOA and WRA. I am delighted to be part of the ongoing journey of "imagining a new conference." I am glad to be where God is still speaking, Christ is still living, and the Spirit is still transforming and doing a new thing.

Thank You from Mark Frey
It was my pleasure to serve our Associations as Acting Associations General Minister for two months while we anticipated Nayiri Karjian's arrival. Nayiri has started her ministry among us and I think you will enjoy getting acquainted with her. There will be several "Meet & Greet" events coming up.

Imagining a New Conference
Your opinion is essential to the shaping of the future of the UCC in Ohio, West Virginia and Northern Kentucky. The goal is to create "one nimble and responsive judicatory that is faithful in mission and responsible in stewardship". Discussions in our Associations are scheduled as follows:
  • February 22, 2PM, Congregational UCC (1530 Easton St NE, Canton)
  • February 22, 7PM, Congregational UCC (1530 Easton St NE, Canton)
  • March 3, 10AM, Central Congregational UCC (71 Park St, Madison)
Members of the Vision Team will be present at each session to share developments so far and to invite your reflection and suggestions.

Lenten Book Reading Event
The Opiate Crisis Prophetic Witness Team invites you to join in an association-wide Lenten book reading event. All churches are invited to read the book which chronicles the rise and development of the heroin crisis: Dreamland by Sam Quinones. Congregations are urged to host a weekly book study during Lent. New, used, e-book and audio books are available from Amazon. Each Wednesday during Lent the Prophetic Witness Team will present a new meditation based on the book, life experiences and issues of recovery. The meditations will be on the Opiate Prophetic Witness Team's page.

You are invited to an evening Roadmap at Pilgrim UCC (130 Broad Blvd, Cuyahoga Falls) on Thursday, February 15. What are the signs Youth Directors need to look for that may indicate a teen is contemplating suicide? Karen Abel Jepsen will lead a discussion on teen suicide prevention. Karen is an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant/Advanced Certified Trauma Practitioner and has served on the Canton City School District Crisis Response Team. Take-home resources will also be available. The evening will begin at 6PM with a light dinner, followed by the discussion.
Teeter Totter Marathon
People of all ages come together to keep the Teeter Totter in continuous motion for 42 hours in winter weather and to collect donations from the community. This year's event will run from 6PM on Friday, February 16 through noon on Sunday, February 18 and will benefit Church Street Ministries and One Great Hour of Sharing. Junior/Senior High Youth will teeter totter all through the night, but volunteers are still needed. Service hours documentation available upon request. For more information, please call Middleburg Heights Community UCC (7165 Big Creek Pkwy, Middleburg Heights) at 440-842-7743.
Black History Month Celebration
Join West Park UCC (3909 Rocky River Dr, Cleveland) on February 18 at 11:30AM. Dr. Padmore Agbemabiese, Associate Professor of English and African American and African Studies at Cuyahoga Community College, will offer a presentation on Renewing the American Dream for African Americans. Problems of violence, lack of education and mass incarceration are intimately linked to black America's job crisis. Chronic unemployment and underemployment fractures families and neighborhoods and chokes off hope. But what are some of the programs that can renew the pursuit of the American dream? RSVP to West Park UCC is appreciated, but not required.
Arts Renaissance Tremont
3PM, Sunday, February 18, the Amici String Quartet performs Beethoven as Arts Renaissance Tremont continues its 27th season. Donald Rosenberg presents a 2PM concert preview. Founded in 1985 by members of The Cleveland Orchestra, the Quartet has appeared on series such as Chamber Music at Stan Hywet, the Columbus and Cleveland Museums of Art, as well as performances in Pennsylvania, Florida, Japan, Scotland and concert halls/college campuses throughout Ohio. Concerts presented at Pilgrim Congregational UCC (2592 W 14th St, Cleveland). Admission by freewill donation. Reception follows.
Lenten Conversations
You are invited to United with Cookies and Conversation. Rev. Neal Sadler will moderate a Lenten series of speakers and discussions exploring the identity of the United Church of Christ. Come to First Congregational Church (85 Heritage Dr, Tallmadge) to hear the speakers and share your thoughts and eat cookies on Wednesday mornings 10-11:30AM or evenings 7-8:30PM.
  • Feb 21: Our Roots - Rev. Rip Noble
  • Feb 28: Our Relationships - Rev. Nayiri Karjian
  • Mar 7: Our Faith - Rev. Gene McAfee
  • Mar 14: Our Fellowship - Rev. David Loar
  • Mar 21: Our Mission - Rev. Mark Frey
Lenten Film Series
During the season of Lent, we are called to contemplate what it means to follow in Jesus' footsteps. Emanuel UCC (16 Eastern Rd, Doylestown) will offer a free and open to the community film series to contemplate our impact on the world around us. The first film will be shown February 25.

Lenten Spiritual Spa Days
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew.
That I may love as you do love,
And do what you would do.

Take some time away during Lent to experience the "Breath of God" through contemplative prayer, a labyrinth, qijong, drumming, art/music, massage, and/or Reiki. Two Spa Days from which to choose:
You can come for all or part of the day. You may also register for the $10 lunch or feel free to brown-bag it.

40th Anniversary
On Sunday, March 4, Rev. Mark Thomas will celebrate 40 years of UCC ministry. Lakewood Congregational UCC (1375 W Clifton Blvd, Lakewood) invites you to the 10AM worship service which will be followed by a coffee hour reception in the social hall.
Healthy Practices for Ministry
All authorized ministers are invited to attend Healthy Practices for Ministry: Ending Racism and Understanding White Privilege on March 6, 10AM, at Richfield UCC (4340 W Streetsboro Rd, Richfield). This event will focus on the new Sacred Conversation to End Racism curriculum and will be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Velda Love, Minister for Racial Justice, UCC. The event is only $ for pastors who retired from ministry. Lunch is optional and is $10. All commissioned, licensed and ordained persons are required to attend Healthy Practices once every two years to maintain standing in the Association.

Spring A.R.T. Retreat
You are invited to attend the Spring Artistic Expression, Reflection, and Time with God Retreat. A "Tree of Life" Creatively Grows in You! is the theme for the 13th biannual A.R.T. Retreat at Olmsted Community Church (7853 Main St, Olmsted Falls) March 17, 10AM-3PM. Focusing on God's amazing gift of life through trees, we will reflect on the diversity of trees and the many ways they benefit our lives. Cost is $25; register by February 26 for a $5 discount. Deadline for registration is March 12.

Open Positions
Richville UCC in Navarre is seeking a part-time organist. Presently has one Sunday ("traditional") service at 10:30AM. Available: 80 stop Allen organ and Kimball grand piano. Special arrangements may be made for weddings/funerals. Must be able to work in cooperation with the Pastor/Spiritual Life committee. June-August off. Competitive per performance salary and independent hire. Position available immediately. Please send resume and references to Richville UCC, Attn: Karen Gerber, 6125 Richville Dr SW, Navarre, OH 44662. For questions or a copy of the job description, email the church or call 330-465-7912.
Best Practices for Church Members Serving as Staff
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.

Ordinations & Installations
Installation of Brent Gundlah
February 18 ♦ 9AM
St Paul UCC ♦ 21 Wooster St NW ♦ Navarre
Association Ministers' Schedules
Here's where your Association Ministers will be the next few Sundays.
February 18
21 Wooster St NW ♦ Navarre

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.