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 
July 23, 2020 - Issue # 22
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

Rev. Daniel Busch
July 22, 2020

TREASURE. “…for the realm of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”  Matthew 13:52. Hoarders alert--Declutters beware. Can we have it both ways? Old and new TREASURE is an interesting twist from Jesus’ parable explaining the realm/kingdom of heaven. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus begins His ministry by being baptized that led to a wilderness experience. He then began preaching, called disciples, was the teacher of spiritual good news and proclaimer of wisdom using parables. Please allow me to be personal.
     TREASURE. I will admit that I can tell you who gave me various items in my home. Some of the things I have were given to me because the “giver” did not want old stuff anymore; I now benefit from their beauty and historic connection and value. Someone’s junk has become my TREASURE. I also admit that I remember the giver’s relationship with me whenever I use or look at those things. I have added many new things that are also TREASURES. Old and new bring memory and comfortable surroundings.
     Hoarding. Declutter. It is a matter of perspective. What I consider a treasure may not be a TREASURE to anyone else. TREASURE can be a blessing or curse. TREASURE is also found in thinking, attitudes, relationships, and spirituality. So many persons have influenced me in my thoughts, words and deeds. I can “hoard” them and not share them with others. I can “declutter” them and loose the value they bring into my life. For instance, if I hold onto love for myself, it really is not love and becomes selfish desire. I can hold grudges that destroy relationships or others. Hatreds and bigotry can undermine justice and peace. Love opens possibilities for forgiveness and reconciliation.
     During this time of pandemic, I could be so concerned about my well-being that I neglect caring or ignore safe social practices that might lead to illness. I have learned new ways of communicating and keeping in touch with family and friends. I have found new TREASURE in relationships, yet aware of the TREASURE of being with others. I have thoughtfully and prayerfully prayed for strength and comfort for those around me and in every country who face covid, racial tensions, poverty, political and religious extremism. My faith challenges me to share my TREASURE so that others might have life and have it abundantly. The UCC declares, “Our faith may be 2000 years old. Our thinking is not.” God’s testament continues and the story is new and fresh in every generation. God blesses us with TREASURE both old and new. Thanks be to God! BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

57th NWOA Annual
August 1, 2020
Virtual Meeting

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.

Do you want to do a test run on Zoom?  Join Joan on Monday, July 27th for a Zoom meeting practice session! The call will be open from 10 am-11 am. Joan can help you get your camera and sound ready, and answer questions. Join the meeting on July 27th anytime between 10 am - 11 am by clicking here .
Have buckets or personnel care kits ready? Please call the Association office for delivery options. 419-447-8323
Changes & Celebrations
Rev. Mark & Susan Bishop, Bellevue have two new grand-babies. Astrid Jaraslava Bishop born March 15th to Lee and Stana Bishop & Jonathan James Bishop born June 23rd to Andrew and Catherine Bishop. They all live in Berkeley, CA.

Rev. David & Rev. Dr. Marian Plant, Defiance are new grandparents. Wyatt Patrick Plant was born to Christine (Christi) and Jordan Plant on July 9, 2020. Jordan, Christi & Wyatt live in Defiance.
Retirement Celebration
Rev. Gale Green
First UCC, Marion
July 26, 2020
Parking Lot at 930 Harding Memorial Parkway, Marion, OH
11:00 am Outdoor Worship & Farewell Service
12:15 pm Drive-by Goodbye

Prayer Concerns/Request
Continuing prayer for: Georgiana & Keith Huizenga, 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, Karen Culp, Rev. Darrin Harvey, Priscilla Jo Kries-Isaacs
Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
July 26 - Preaching at Zion UCC-Fireside 9:00 am (outside with video)
Aug 2 - Preaching at St. John's UCC, Tiffin 10:30 am
Aug 16 - Preaching at St. John's UCC, Tiffin 10:30 am
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

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
Local Church News
Feeding God's children!
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, St. Paul UCC, Wapakoneta has lived into its mission of feeding God’s children. The church has hosted four large-scale food distribution events in coordination with the West Ohio Food Bank and the Ohio Army National Guard. Beginning in March, the congregation launched a weekly carry-out and delivery meal to serve church members, which was quickly extended to the community at large as local needs increased.
That program continued until late May, when St. Paul UCC’s daily Summer Lunch Program began. Through this program, St. Paul UCC has been serving roughly 1,350 “grab and go” meals each week to adults and children in the Wapakoneta and Cridersville communities. The congregation of St. Paul UCC, Wapakoneta truly feels blessed to be a blessing!
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     

Give to our friends in El Salvador. Remittance Form  
Open Door Resource Center
212 W. Wyandot Avenue
Upper Sandusky, OH 43351

FREE Clergy Retreats from the
Ohio Council of Churches Register

As your ministry navigates through COVID-19, you may find yourself looking for information to help your ministry continue to thrive. Click below to view our COVID-19 Resource Page, and sign-up to download our COVID-19 Toolkit. Insurance Board protects your ministry by offering resources to support it. For more information, please visit our website.

Leading Through a Pandemic:
A Message to the
United Church of Christ
by Rev. John C. Dorhauer

Joy. Grief. Anger. Sorrow. Loss. Receiving and accepting these feelings is part of the collective experience as we move through the trauma of these times. The Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, offers a message of solidarity and hope as the emotional highs and lows of these times are navigated.
UCC Webinar: The Green New Deal and Reparations
When it comes to justice-oriented policy proposals that seek to fundamentally transform our society, the Green New Deal and reparations currently rise to the top. Yet, often they are discussed separately, despite clear and compelling connections. The Green New Deal Resolution proposed in Congress sought "to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression." At the same time, the demand for reparations compels our society to address the historic injustices of systemic racism, including environmental racism. To explore such connections and how faith communities can work to advance just policies, this webinar will feature three panelists: Congresswoman Barbara Lee,’s North America Director Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, and the UCC’s Economic Justice Minister Sekinah Hamlin.
August 5 - 1:00 pm Register now!
Redesigned Doctor of Ministry Program
Winebrenner Theological Seminary is pleased to share with you that the Doctor of Ministry program has undergone extensive revision. The Professional degree program is designed to integrate critical thinking, theological reflection, leadership skills and personal information.
For more information contact
Amy Kinney, Director of Enrollment Management or 419-434-4241 or visit
Stay Connected
Rev. Daniel L. Busch, Association Minister cell phone: 419-934-5386
Joan Davidson, Office Manager/Search and Call Coordinator

Deborah Long, Bookkeeper 

OFFICE PHONE 419-447-8323