The Vine
"An email update...
Keeping Us Connected in Christ"
Northwest Ohio Association
Heartland Conference, United Church of Christ
416 Wentz Street, Tiffin, OH 44883
phone: 419-447-8323 fax: 419-447-6727
Proclaim God's Word in Worship and Worshipful Ways
Strengthen our Witness to the Gospel in the World
Discern God's Will for Faithful and Effective Ministry
Manifest Faithful, Wise and Responsible
Stewardship of all God's Gifts
Demonstrate Care, Compassion, Forgiveness
and Accountability to and for One Another 
June 26, 2020 - Issue # 19
Due to COVID -19 the Association office doors are closed to visitors but be assured the
Office staff are available by email or phone and working virtually from the office.
See contact information below.
This newsletter is brought to you by your OCWM contributions.
Message from the Association Minister

“BLESSINGS ALWAYS!”
Rev. Daniel Busch
June 25, 2020

HOSPITALITY. Jesus says, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” This is rather an amazing statement. Jesus urges His disciples to practice HOSPITALITY, welcoming, including, reaching out…not something spectacular, heroic or great. Even the offering a cup of cold water, Jesus implies, “to one of the little ones ...” is an act of HOSPITALITY. It is reaching out to the stranger and the outsider and bringing them into the family of God. A clergy friend said, “We, who were strangers and outsiders, are included in God’s family.” We all desire to be faithful disciples of Jesus. It is difficult to be HOSPITABLE to others during this time of fear and isolation. Many are not being careful or following protocols and there is an uptick in covid cases. How does one practice extravagant welcome when there is suspicion that covid might invade “my” space? It is not just “the little ones” who need water. There are folks who look different or have a different color or who speak differently than we are accustomed who are to be included in our welcome. Many observers of our society have concluded that we live in a nation of strangers. Walls have been built between people. Racism continues to make us uneasy because someone is different than me or us or any special interest group. We live in a time that preaches “self-protection” or “my rights” or “my….” I lived in a neighborhood that one of my neighbors said she did not know the family across the street who had lived in the neighborhood for over 25 years. HOSPITALITY. In an uncaring world, a world where many receive only rebuke and rejection, our little, unspectacular acts of kindness and open generosity can make all the difference. Several years ago there was a campaign that expressed “Practice Random Acts of Kindness.” That is HOSPITALITY, but for Christians acts of kindness are not random. Jesus has given us a glimpse of the world as God created it to be. It is not this uncaring, walled-off, separated and exclusive place where people who seem different are a threat or a nuisance. It is a world where there is kindness, mercy and respect for all God’s children. Christ invites ALL to His Table of love. Here we find HOSPITALITY, both human and divine.


UCC Resources offer mask
Pandemic Grants for Churches
Covid-19
Resource Guide
57th NWOA Annual
Meeting
August 1, 2020
Virtual Meeting
in the planning
Complete information about this meeting and ways to register
can be found at
Online registration will close
on July 30th.
Paper registration will need to arrive
at the Association office by
Monday July 27th.

All attending must have email to receive the invitation to join the meeting through Zoom.

"Benediction....Service"
Have buckets or personnel care kits ready? Please call the Association office for delivery options. 419-447-8323
Team/Committee Nominations Needed

Volunteers are needed to fill the following Northwest Ohio Association, UCC teams/committees. Please take a minute, read over the openings available on each team/committee of the Association. It is important that we have good leadership for the Association. Such involvement strengthens the local church. Click HERE for a complete list.

Food Pantries are a necessity during this time of the Coronavirus – Covid 19 epidemic. To assist those Northwest Ohio Association (NWOA) Churches who support Our Churches Wider Mission (OCWM), a $200 grant is available by request, to those who host a food pantry or are affiliated with a community food pantry. Complete  this form  to apply.




Funding for this grant will come from the NWOA Disaster Gifts Fund
given by many Northwest Ohio Association Churches
during any given time.

*Please provide a written letter from the Local Church Leaders stating information you think is relevant to your request
and will make your application stronger.

Return application to:
Northwest Ohio Association
Heartland Conference, UCC
416 Wentz Street
Tiffin, OH 44883
OCWM Giving
(Our Church's Wider Mission)
2020 OCWM Giving Goal - $310,000
2020 Giving through May 31st - $74,064

Church Remittance Form - use this form when sending donations to/through the Association office
Prayer Concerns/Request
Continuing prayer for: Georgiana & Keith Huizenga, Ruth Booster, Rev. Joy Skeel, Terry Tangeman (husband of Rev. Jeanette Tangeman), Rev. Steve Voelker, John Cox (husband of Rev. Kay Mooney Cox), Rev. Diane Christopherson, Rev. Don Corbin

Pastor Dee Schroer, Associate Pastor St. Pauls UCC, New Bremen would appreciate prayers as she is up against more health issues.

Kristine Maas, St. John's UCC, Holgate was hospitalized recently and would appreciate prayers. Kristine assisted NWOA with bookkeeping in 2017.

Karen Culp (spouse of Rev. David Culp) had a short stay in the hospital recently and would appreciate prayers.

Ruth Booster (spouse of Mark Booster, former pastor at St. Jacob's UCC, Republic) passed away on Monday, June 22, 2020. Ruth is survived by her husband, Mark of Republic, a daughter, Sarah (Philip Manteuffel) Booster of Lakewood, CO, a son, David Booster of Denver, CO, a grandson, Frederick Manteuffel of Lakewood, CO, two brothers, nieces and nephews. There will be a memorial service for Ruth held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bread for the World Fund, the ELCA - World Hunger Appeal or to Stein Hospice. Blessings to her family. Complete Obituary HERE
Sympathy and love from The Northwest Ohio Association, UCC to the family of Rev. Dr. Ralph Quellhorst (former Ohio Conference Minister) in his passing on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. He is survived by his daughters: Mindy (Jeff), Cindy (Harry), Pam (Chris), and his grandsons: Brad, Rob, AJ, Andy (Miranda). There will be a private graveside service now and a celebration of his life to follow, when larger groups are safe to gather. Memorials can be given to Heidelberg University, Eden Theological Seminary and United Church Homes. Complete Obituary HERE
Lay School of Religion
The Northwest Ohio Association of the United Church of Christ and the Lay School Board offer classes to expand knowledge about the Christian faith to those folks in congregations who are actively involved in the life of the church.
Next Class: New Testament I
Beginning: September 8, 2020
Instructor: Rev. Mark Bishop

Local Church News
Doors begin to open for Sunday services
but continue streaming
see HERE how this is happening
Seneca County Fair (Tiffin) prepares to open -
Fair Gate Volunteer Workers Needed

Fair gate volunteer workers are needed for Thursday July 30, 2020. Please contact Sue Rainey, Small Church Cluster Coordinator at 419-710-9148 to volunteer.
ORGANIST NEEDED
St. John United Church of Christ in Defiance, Ohio, is seeking an organist/pianist. Year-round position beginning Sept., 2020. Primarily traditional sacred music. Regular duties include Sunday services, weekly choir rehearsals, occasional special services. High degree of musical competence required; degree in music preferred.
Send inquiries with resume to St. John UCC, 950 Webster, Defiance, OH 43512, or to fred.coulter@gmail.com
Periodic Support Consultations

Saturday - October 10 at the NWOA Association Office,
416 Wentz Street, Tiffin, OH

9:00 am to noon (lite snacks available)

Disaster Response Coordinator Needed!
Call the Association Office if you are passionate about disaster relief and have the time to be the NWOA Disaster Relief Coordinator. This is a hands on volunteer mission. Packing kits, storing kits, delivering kits to locations of need. 419-447-8323
Retired Clergy Meeting through Zoom
Elmore Group is meeting through Zoom Conferencing.
Contact Rev. John Bock if you would like to be included. irishtar@aol.com
Disasters in El Salvador

Hello friends;
  We, here in the US, think things are really bad because of Covid-19, the unemployment, the protests and unrest in the streets, and the political environment.
   Our troubles seem small compared to what our friends in El Salvador are dealing with. Covid-19, a storm from the Pacific coming into their country with wind and rain for five days, and then a storm from the Gulf side with more rain caused much damage.  During these storms, several earth quakes occurred. The rains caused mud slides, killing many people and washed out many roads. Many homes were destroyed by the wind, by flooding and by the mud. To add to the trauma, El Salvador’s poverty level is one of the highest in the world.
  How do you recover from all these catastrophes? Our friends at the Lutheran Synod of El Salvador are trying their best. Many people come to the church and ask for help. The people ask for food, clothing, sheets of plastic to cover their roofs, money, and also psychological help.
  Our Northwest Ohio Association had in its EL Salvador account over $2000. This money has been sent, as well as other funds from some churches and individuals, which is now over $5,300. If you would like to contribute to this fund, you can send money to the NWOA office and mark it for El Salvador relief.
  Our friend, Rev. Christian Chavarria, who many of you know, is the point person for the church in their recovery efforts. He is being stressed over these problems. Please pray for Christian and the people of the Lutheran Church who are trying to help their people recover.
  Thank you, Northwest Ohio, for all you do!
        John Gilberg, Chair of El Salvador Coordinating Team      
  
Stewardship Resources
Electronic Stewardship resource files found on the NWOA web page, Resource Page.
Giving to OCWM,
One Great Hour of Sharing,
Strengthen the Church,
Neighbors in Need,
The Christmas Fund each year
January - December
constitutes recognition
at the Annual Meeting.

Heartland Conference Happenings
Jill Frey Heartland Conference Executive Director for Outdoor Ministries
Heartland Conference Faith Formation
Video Resource Gatherings
July Focus: Faith Formation Zoom
Summer check-in and preparing for fall




Monthly Faith Formation Resource Zoom calls are the  3rd Monday  of the month at  1 p.m.  and the  3rd Wednesday  of the month at  7 p.m.
General Synod 33:
A Virtual Experience

For the first time ever, the United Church of Christ General Synod will gather virtually in 2021. The biennial gathering is moving entirely online next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Church of Christ Board made this historic decision this week after considering a number of factors. 
Vacation Bible School
Looking for Curriculum?

In addition to the opportunities provided by  Camp 2.0 , we would also like to draw your attention to the spy-themed VBS curriculum created by First Congregational Church of Tallmadge.

They are looking for Secret Agent Families (SAF) to do “training” to become secret spies. This is a weekly family based Vacation Bible School program. If you choose to partake in this mission, you will receive weekly clues in the mail. These clues will lead you to videos on our website to learn secret agent (Bible stories) and then family activities to do together.

If you would like to register, please  click here . The cost is $5 per family (to cover printing and mailing of materials), and the program can be done as an individual family or as a church community.

Children's Ministry Curriculum
Bloom! Children's Ministry Curriculum will be $50 for all congregations this fall due to the financial impacts of COVID-19. To support you more in the event of sheltering-in-place again, we'll also include a Story Intro video that you can send to families to use at home. It can stand alone or you can use it as an introduction to other Bloom! activities that you can put together for families to use as well.
 
There will be Children's Sermon videos that you can either edit into a worship video, or that you can use to get ideas from. Bloom! follows the Narrative Lectionary for our Bible story sequence, though it is great for all congregations. We offer ideas for PreK-6th grade (in sections of PreK, K&1, 2&3, 4-6) as well as for large group and a Christmas program. Check out more about it at www.bloominfaith.com .
Parish Paper

The Parish Paper is a resource to which the Heartland Conference has subscribed on behalf of all Heartland Conference churches. Each issue stands alone as a topic of interest and importance to being a living and growing congregation.

Join us on July 1, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern for a discussion on “Abuse Prevention: Creating a Safe Environment” to learn about resources and new tools to protect those in your care. Insurance Board’s partnership with Praesidium continues to offer resources to help churches navigate difficult times and maintain a safe environment for all at their ministry. Insurance Board protects your ministry by offering resources to support it.This webcast is free and open to all. To review our previous webcasts, please visit our website.
July 1, 2020
@ 2:00 PM Eastern

FREE Clergy Retreat from the
Ohio Council of Churches
Covid-19 has created drastic shifts for pastors, chaplains, and faith leaders. You have worked tirelessly learning new technology, providing pastoral care through illness, fears and death; while creatively loving God’s people through pandemic.

The Ohio Council of Churches offers all clergy a FREE interactive time of retreat. These 4 One-hour retreats, facilitated by Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell and Rev. Dr. Cheryl Lindsay, will open the way for God to anoint your life anew, engage the sense and gift you with tools from spiritual direction training to empower your ministry. We encourage full participation in the series as each session will build upon another, but they will also stand alone. Now is the opportune time to take a Breath and Take Flight.

Before each zoom meeting, you have opportunity to take a photo pilgrimage to capture the hidden beauty of God amid the pandemic. A simple smart phone is perfect for taking pictures. No previous skill needed.
Each week prior to the retreat session upload your favorite photo and email in advance to Dr. Brenda Buckwell:  brenda@livingstreamsflowingwater.com .

Be restored. Be renewed. Be refreshed. Take a breath. Take flight.
Zoom meetings will be interactive with small group discussion, music, visio divina and creative arts prayers. 
Are you living with a mental health challenge/diagnosis? Do you need a confidential space outside of your setting or clergy circle? Are you yearning for a place to share your strengths and your struggles with symptoms?
 
The  United Church of Christ Mental Health Network  is here to support you. 
 
National ONA Sunday is June 28!
UCC congregations around the country will celebrate National ONA Sunday on June 28. Visit our  worship page  for resources. We recommend that after the sermon, the congregation recites the words of your ONA covenant together as a reaffirmation of faith. And join us at 7 pm EDT that Sunday for an inspiring service in our Zoom Chapel at  zoom.us/j/5556624822 !
National ONA Sunday is June 28!
By popular demand, we're repeating our ONA webinar series this summer. Beginning with "ONA 101" with Coalition Executive Director Andy Lang this Thursday, June 25, our webinars are the perfect stay-at-home activity for ONA and not-yet ONA churches alike! Learn how to lead your church through an ONA process in ways that build consensus and reduce the risk of conflict. And existing ONA churches can learn new ways to strengthen your ONA covenant. During the pandemic, we're offering a special Season Pass that allows any number of your members to participate from their homes. All webinars begin at 8 pm EDT. Learn more at  www.openandaffirming.org/ona-webinars .
UCC Weekly Webinars
Check the page weekly for new scheduled webinars and register through the button below!
Many of the original NYE presenters are excited to be able to put together meaningful content which will be shared via the web and will include live chat features during and after each premier.
 
June 28 : Creativity and Justice in Quarantine video
July 24-25 : Unite Through the Extraordinary Interactive Experience
 
Stay Connected
Rev. Daniel L. Busch, Association Minister cell phone: 419-934-5386
  
Joan Davidson, Office Manager/Search and Call Coordinator
email:  joan@nwoa.org

Deborah Long, Bookkeeper 
email:  deb@nwoa.org

OFFICE PHONE 419-447-8323