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 
August 7, 2020 - Issue # 25
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
August 5, 2020

GHOST(S). “But when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’” (Matthew 14:26) The disciples by this time had been with Jesus almost three years and still they did not recognize Him. It would not be the first time they did not recognize Him. After Jesus’ death, He walks with the disciples and they explain to the “stranger” what happened in Jerusalem with the crucifixion of Jesus. After inviting “the stranger” to stay with them a while, at the meal Jesus took the bread, blessed and broke it—and they recognized Him.
GHOSTS. Figments of our imaginations? Are GHOSTS real? When something happens that is unexplainable, it is easy to think that GHOSTS did something or GHOSTS haunt us or make us uncomfortable when we have bad experiences. It just may be it is our conscience bothering us. Something we have done to hurt someone, or maybe something we have done unethically in the past, haunts us over and over again. These are the GHOSTS that interfere with abundant living. The church has at times alienated people from being part of the community of faith because “they” did not fit in. There has been and is social ostracizing of people who look or sound or act different than those in power, including Christians who judge other faiths with contempt. White privilege, Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, racial discrimination, holier than thou attitudes—these are the GHOSTS that we need to deal with in light of Jesus’ call to inclusion, extravagant welcome, generosity, love, forgiveness, hope, and peace.
The disciples saw a GHOST. Who is Jesus to them—and to us? Jesus’ important question asked of them is also asked of us throughout the centuries: “But who do you say that I am?” This GHOST “terrified” them “…and they cried out in fear.” GHOSTS in our lives terrify us, also, but until we deal with them we will continue to be afraid. “Immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’”
Jesus promises us the “Comforter” to be with us—the Holy Spirit (Holy GHOST). It is God’s presence with us in all conditions of life and we do not have to be afraid or terrified or alone. This GHOST offers renewal of life, relationships, and peace. Welcome the power of God’s GHOST in all of life and you will find God’s amazing grace and love. BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

57TH NWOA Annual Meeting
August 1, 2020
"Benediction.... Service"
The 57th NWOA Annual Meeting was a virtual meeting on August 1, 2020. We want to thank in particular those persons who were part of the planning team and technicians who made this virtual meeting possible and successful. It took many hours of planning, discussion and implementing ideas that allowed participants of the Annual Meeting to have the meeting run smoothly. Thanks to Pastor Ryan Shield (Trinity, Elliston) whose technical support enabled screen sharing of pre-meeting information, music, documents and videos. Rhonda Mahaney (Trinity, Elliston, secretary) shared her skills and expertise with us so that logistics were possible. Rev. Kathryn Helleman (Sylvania and Winebrenner Seminary) was part of the planning team and shared her expertise on how to conduct virtual meetings. Rev. Scott Cunningham (St. Paul, Oak Harbor) and Rev. Diane Carter (St. Paul’s, Bellevue) were available to help if there were technical problems that participants might have had.

Rick Flechtner (St. John’s, Tiffin) was at the NWOA office available should someone have trouble getting into the meeting. Doug Ricci (St. Paul, Oak Harbor) was in charge of messages on the chat room and relaying the message whenever motions were considered or if anyone had a question. Deb Long (NWOA bookkeeper) was part of the planning and took care of allowing registered participants into the meeting. Joan Davidson (NWOA Office Administrator) was the overall coordinator of planning and of the Annual Meeting. We were blessed by their gifts and skills shared with us for a successful Annual Meeting. Also, thanks to all who registered and were part of the meeting with your patience and understanding. Everyone contributed much in response to the theme of the day: Benediction (we were blessed) and Service (we joined together as a “community of communities).
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Lay School of Religion - starting soon......
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.

This class will be offered virtually through Zoom!

Fall Class: New Testament I
Beginning: September 8, 2020
Instructor: Rev. Mark Bishop
Cost $90 by Sept. 1
$100 after Sept. 1

Changes & Celebrations
Ordination in the planning......
Katie Jackson will be ordained on September 13th at 3:30 pm at St. Paul UCC, New Bremen. Details will follow.....
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, Rev. Darrin Harvey, Priscilla Jo Kries-Isaacs, Rev. John Miller

Pastor Dee Schroer, AP - St. Paul UCC, New Bremen is under doctors care for un-none medical issues and would appreciate prayers.
Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
Aug. 9 - Preaching at First UCC, Marion 11:00 am
Aug. 16 - Attending Zion UCC-Fireside morning service 9:00 am
Aug 16 - Preaching at St. John's UCC, Tiffin 10:30 am
Aug. 23 - Attending Trinity UCC-Tiffin recognition service 8:30 & 10:00 am
Aug. 30 - Preaching at Sylvania UCC, Sylvania
Housing Services Donor Recognition Awards
Annual donor and volunteer appreciation dinner was virtual this year of 2020. See below those award winners and by clicking on the link under each donor award, view the YouTube Video.

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
Chicken BBQ - Carry Out Only
Trinity UCC, McCutchenville
Sunday, August 23th 11 - 1 pm
$8 for 1/2 chicken, backed beans, potato salad, roll
Tickets purchased in advance by calling the church at 419-981-5808
no later than Wednesday, August 19th.
Disasters in El Salvador


Dear NWOA churches and members:

  Thank you for your support of the Lutheran Synod of El Salvador. 
Over $15,000 was collected and sent to the Lutheran Synod from churches and persons from NWOA. A lot of disasters recently occurred and Covid-19 is still very bad.  They experienced seven days of rain and wind storms, the pandemic, homes lost, mud slides, lots of death, and several earth quakes. The $15,000 was used to buy food for the hungry, and corn and bean seeds for farmers so they could replant their fields. Plastic sheeting was purchased and given to people to make shelters since a lot of homes were destroyed. Also, money was given to the church’s soup kitchen, clinic, and to a church in a remote very poor section of the country. The money was much appreciated and a thank you letter was received from Bishop Gomez.
       Thank you, John Gilberg  Chair of El Salvador Coordinating Team


Give to our friends in El Salvador. Remittance Form 
Digital Church
Healthy Practices
For Authorized Ministers Only

Attend this event for NWOA Boundary Training credit.

FREE Clergy Retreats from the
Ohio Council of ChurchesRegister

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.

Heartland Conference Happenings

Conference Minister's Reflection
Rev. David Long-Higgins (Click Here)

Conference Moderator's Reflection
Rev. David Plant (Click Here)

Executive Director for Outdoor Ministries
Jill Frey (Click Here)

August Faith Formation Zoom Meetings
"You Are Not Alone!" (Click Here)

One Heart Working Group (Click Here)
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