Keeping You Connected

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The mileage reimbursement rate approved by the IRS has increased a whole penny for 2018. The new rate is 54.5¢.
Save the Dates
Healthy Practices for Ministry and Periodic Support Consultations are now combined into a single requirement to maintain standing and will be called Healthy Practices for Ministry. There will no longer be a distinction between the two. Authorized ministers will be required to attend one of these events every two years to maintain standing instead of one of each every three years.

New Community of Practice Group
A new Community of Practice group for Pastors Considering Retirement is forming. If you are an authorized minister and are looking to retire in the next two years, this is a group for you. The group will look at best practices for leaving your congregation, issues in navigating moving into retirement, and the concerns and joys of ending work. The group will have 5-7 members, meet monthly and be confidential. If interested, email Rev. Mark Frey by January 31st. 
Church Photos Needed
The Associations website has a listing of all the churches in our Associations. It lists reference info, pastors and has a place for your church photo! This Directory is a wonderful help to someone looking for your church. However, very few church photos have been submitted! As my legacy as your Acting Associations General Minister, I am asking you to send us an electronic photo of the exterior of your church. Photos should be in JPG or PNG format, a maximum of 64MB, and can be emailed to Rev. Mark Frey or to Cheryl McGraw

Civil Rights Mission Trip
Travel back to when leaders of faith heard God's Still Speaking Voice. The group departs Cleveland July 24 and returns July 30. Travel by bus to Alabama, visiting locations of significant importance in the struggle for equality in Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma. The cost is $1,500, based on the number of travelers, and includes bus transportation, entry fees to all locations, lodging and daily breakfast. Interested participants should email West Park UCC before January 16. A $250 deposit is due before February 1.
3 rd Sundays
West Park UCC (3909 Rocky River Dr, Cleveland) hosts a monthly Adult Education Program called 3 rd Sundays. All are welcome for the January program about Isa. That is the name our Muslim brothers and sisters have for one of their most revered prophets. Christians call him Jesus. Dr. Zeki Saritoprak, Director of the Bediussman Said Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University will offer a presentation on his most recent book, Islam's Jesus. The program will take place in the sanctuary at 11:30AM on January 21.
European Reformation Trip
There is still room for anyone who would like to join a group from our associations who will be traveling to Germany, Switzerland, France (briefly), and Holland next June 25 - July 7 to learn more about our Reformation roots. Questions? E mail Gene McAfee , dean of the Northeast Ohio School of Ministry or phone Faith UCC in Richmond Heights at 216-382-7227 . Deadline to sign up is Monday, January 22.

Candlelight Vigil
Come together...remember victims and survivors of gun violence. Grace UCC of Loyal Oak (3285 Cleveland Massillon Rd, Norton) will host a candlelight vigil and conversation on Tuesday, January 23 at 7PM.
Faith Formation Lunch
There will be a brown bag lunch for all those interested in Faith Formation on Tuesday February 6th, 11AM-1PM, at Middleburg Heights Community Church ( 7165 Big Creek Pkwy, Middleburg Heights) . Plan to come for relaxed conversation with your colleagues. Beverages and dessert will be provided.
Our conversation starter will be ideas for Spiritual Practices and Prayer Stations. Bring plans or visions that you have. Printed copies (a dozen) are a plus. Email Margaret Borrelli for more information.
Altar Clothes Needed
Bethany UCC (3388 W 41st St, Cleveland) is seeking to re-purpose altar clothes that you no longer use. Bethany's were mistakenly discarded. The over-zealous "cleaner" is willing to pay for these traditional additions to the sanctuary. Please email Carol Leahey.
Seminary Sunday
Our UCC seminaries are filled with faithful, committed students seeking the skills and wisdom necessary to lead the church in the 21st century. Our congregations need these students. In our region, we are blessed to have three fine UCC seminaries - Chicago, United, and Eden. Celebrate Chicago, United, and Eden Seminaries in your local church on February 25. If you would like someone from a CUE Seminary to visit your congregation to help with worship leadership for Seminary Sunday, please contact:

Open Position
Grace UCC in Uniontown invites applications for choir director and keyboard/piano player. Will consider them as separate positions or one person filling both roles. See the complete job description. Email resumes to
18 Questions for 2018
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.

In Our Prayers
Please keep the following people in your prayers.

The family of Rev. Dr. Lawrence T. Holmer. Rev. Holmer died Saturday, December 23. Condolences may be sent to Patricia Holmer, 2991 Ravineview Circle, Stow, OH 44224-5541.
Ordinations & Installations
Installation of Kathryn Ketchum
January 21 ♦ 10:30AM
Community of Faith ♦ 9716 E River Rd ♦ Elyria
Association Ministers' Schedules
Here's where your Association Ministers will be the next few Sundays.
January 21
Community of Faith
9715 E River Rd ♦ Elyria
Your Associations' Staff
Mark Frey
Acting 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 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.