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 11, 2020 - Issue # 18
Due to COVID -19 the Association office doors are closed to visitors.
Office staff are 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
June 10, 2020

SURPRISE!!! “The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:13) This faith story is filled with surprise(s). “Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.” We might say, ‘past their prime.’ Abraham fathered other children with a servant and another wife, but Sarah was sad not to have a child of her own and not providing a “legitimate” heir to the family’s future. She could only watch as servant Hagar and child Ishmael (fathered by Abraham) dance before her and “rubbing it in” that somehow she was not good enough. Wonders never cease and Sarah, in her old age, becomes pregnant and gives birth to Isaac. SURPRISE!!! Again, “Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” Sarah’s story is a story of dreams realized, possibilities becoming realities, and hope made certain. Will the pandemic ever end? What will happen next? Church worship has changed—have we? Times of protests have made us aware of dreams shattered, possibilities unrealized, hopes uncertain, and for some, their being created in the image of God has limitations and a sense of disparity and unworthiness. The dialogue should and must continue. HOWEVER, talking needs to turn into actions of inclusive hospitality, equal educational and employment opportunities without prejudice or discrimination, and equal justice and respect under the law with grace boundless. If we believe that the creation is God’s doing, when we limit, downgrade, malign, insult or judge that certain people are not in God’s image, we distort and make God’s creation in our own image. We are awed by God’s rainbow in the sky with its varied and beautiful colors. Humanity is also God’s rainbow with varied and beautiful colors, each given unique and complimentary gifts and graces that have, do and will bless one another. SURPRISE!!! Now is the time to be joined together as brothers and sisters as part of God’s family. Now is the time to reject religious bigotry, racism, sexism and all the other “isms” that would divide us and justify superiority over those who look or act different than our select community. We are called to live and share God’s Shalom—God’s peace—that transforms us to be peacemakers and love-sharers with and for all God’s children. Hope is fulfilled by God and brings new life into the community of faith. We can do no other. SURPRISE!!! BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

UCC Resources offer mask
Pandemic Grants for Churches
Resource Guide
August 1, 2020
Virtual Meeting
in the planning
registration coming soon

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
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
Sunday morning services continue streaming
See HERE how this is happening
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
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 Luncheons
Elmore Group & Attica Group
Cancelled until further notice
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
June Focus: Faith Formation Zoom
In the midst of COVID-19 and the killing of George Floyd, what's on your heart?
Monday, June 15, 2020, at 1 p.m.
Password (if prompted): heartland
Telephone:  1 (470) 869-2200
Meeting ID: 148 393 9390
Password: 546753
Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at 7 p.m.
Password (if prompted): heartland
Telephone: 1 (470) 869-2200
Meeting ID: 148 161 6862
Password: 010888
***Please note that these video calls will be using "Ring Central" and not Zoom. The interface for Ring Central and Zoom is the same (the Ring Central video-call feature was actually created by Zoom), but a small application will need to be downloaded before using it the first time.***
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 .
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.

A New Resource Included In Your Current Policy:
During this webcast you will learn how to access: News Alerts & Analysis Human Resources Forms & Notices Handbooks, Policies, Documents & Templates Employment Law Training (podcasts, webinars, etc.) Employment Law (Federal & State) Reference Manuals ComplianceHR (Minimum Wage, Overtime, FMLA & more) Littler GPS™ (50 state legal analysis on about 300 employment law topics)   
JUNE 23rd @ 2pm Eastern
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. 
UCC Weekly Webinars
Check the page weekly for new scheduled webinars and register through the button below!

UCC Webinar
Instead of becoming suppressed by the pandemic, the spirit of justice has arisen with fierce determination and become embodied in countless ways. This webinar will reflect upon how protest has manifested itself during this time and the lessons that can be learned for communities of faith dedicated to answering the unrelenting call of justice. Three panelists will share what they have learned: Sophia Benrud from the Black Visions Collective in Minneapolis, Lindsay Harper from Arm-in-Arm in Atlanta, and Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick from the University of San Diego.  Register now!
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

Deborah Long, Bookkeeper 

OFFICE PHONE 419-447-8323