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 30, 2020 - Issue # 23
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 29, 2020

SCARCITY…ABUNDANCE. “We have nothing to eat but five loaves and two fish…and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.” (from Matthew 14) . Matthew gives us a behind the scenes discussion among Jesus and His disciples. Jesus earlier in the day was trying to find a place of rest away from the crowds “to a deserted place by himself.” The crowds followed Him “…and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.” Later that evening the disciples wanted to send the crowd away, but Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat,” an act of hospitality and care. How could they provide food for “…about five thousand men, besides women and children.” You want us to feed them with just five loaves and two fish? Really? There is not enough, they thought (SCARCITY). Jesus asks for the loaves and fish to be brought to Him and He blesses what seems to be a meager solution. When leftovers were collected after the crowd was fed, there was more than what they initially had. ABUNDANCE. The meager offering became a blessing of extravagant care and nourishment. 
This story is more than about loaves and fish. It is more than the ABUNDANCE of things or wealth. ABUNDANCE includes words, opinions, judgments, and “isms” that can either be affirming or condemning. It is about hospitality, generosity, sharing, caring, and believing. There is a fine line between good and evil, thoughtfulness and thoughtlessness, kind and hurtful, or SCARCITY and ABUNDANCE.
During this time of pandemic, racial tensions, and hurricanes, it is easy to wonder if we have enough to share when we are trying to survive ourselves, let alone dealing with those forces that are trying to intimidate or destroy us. It would be so easy to be like the disciples and send the problems away and not deal with them. It is not too late to be generous with our time to work on reconciliation and healing. God has entrusted us to be stewards of the creation and we offer ourselves as caretakers of God’s world. Our financial sharing can support those in need. God blesses us with the ABUNDANCE of faith, hope and love for grace-filled living. Thank you for turning SCARCITY into ABUNDANCE. Together we can make a difference. BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

57th NWOA Annual
August 1, 2020
Virtual Meeting

Read ahead, all materials for the meeting business at

Know someone that wants to join by phone, call the Association office for details.

"I have registered but see
no way to get on the meeting"
Watch your email for an invitation.

Benediction..... Service
Have buckets or personnel care kits ready? Please call the Association office for delivery options. 419-447-8323
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, Bucyrus was a recent patient at Ohio State University Hospital caring for medical issues. Please keep John in your prayers.
Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
Aug 2 - Preaching at St. John's UCC, Tiffin 10:30 am
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. 30 - Preaching at Sylvania UCC, Sylvania
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


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  
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.
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!
Thursdays for the Soul:
A webinar series to care for the whole church. Topics are wide ranging and are focused on the spirituality and care of people. Prayer, worship, music, psalm readings, or compassionate teaching are included.
The United Church of Christ actively believes that youth and young adults are vital to the church and society and to that end, we are dedicated to creating leadership development opportunities, resources, events and programs for those from ranging from sixth grade through their mid-30s.

Youth and young adults within the United Church of Christ will be gathering virtually with special guests to host a 75 minute rally around the topic of Race Relations & Justice as a starting place for future engagement and leadership development opportunities.
Thurday, July 30th
3:30 - 4:45 pm ET
We have been hearing from our young people who have said this is a priority. They are interested in dialogue with each other across racial barriers and leaders about their experience(s), steps to create a just world for all and addressing the unrest we see around racism, the abuse of power by some uniformed officers and the helplessness many are feeling regardless of age, race or gender. This rally will be geared to hearing and equipping white allies to engage in the racial justice efforts in America but it is important that people of color of all ages be present to hear as well. This rally, in conjunction with part one to be held on July 28th, will provide immediate actions as well as the development of a long-term strategy to engage dismantling racism.
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