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 
September 11, 2020 - Issue # 29
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
September 10, 2020
WELCOME. ACCOUNTABLE.  “WELCOME those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.” (Romans 14:1). It is surprising to read Paul’s message about inclusion, for we read about Paul’s earlier endeavors to hunt “Christ-followers” to persecute them. After becoming a “Christ-follower” himself, the early members of the church were suspicious of him and were afraid to WELCOME him into their midst because his reputation as a tormenter of Christians went before him.
     The words “weak in faith” seem to describe persons who have doubt, fear, helplessness, and not being good enough to be a follower of Jesus Christ. However, upon careful reading of Paul’s words following the WELCOME, Paul is witnessing to the Christian faith that includes a diversity of people who express faith differently. The United Church of Christ has a saying, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” Simply put, we are one in Christ, but diverse in how faith is expressed. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul describes the church as one body with many parts.
     We certainly have learned during this pandemic different and new ways of being the church. Whatever and however we are the church, Paul reminds us we are to “…honor the Lord and give thanks to God. We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.” (vs. 7) It takes all of together with our different gifts and graces to be the Body of Christ.
     Christ is the glue that holds us together. We have been blessed by God, both individually and together, with amazing and unique gifts both human and divine. Someone wrote, “It isn’t about ‘I’ or ‘You.’ It’s about ‘We’ and ‘Us.’” As children of God, it takes all of us—no matter who we are or where we are—to affirm this world as God intends it to be. “So then, each of us will be ACCOUNTABLE to God.” (vs. 12) We are ACCOUNTABLE to God and one another by loving one another, bringing hope in all circumstances, and being firmly or weakly grounded in faith. God shares with us the creation and calls us to be co-creators in relationship as stewards, caretakers and care-givers for and with one another and the creation. We are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength AND our neighbor as ourselves. BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

Islam within the Abrahamic Tradition
For Lay Persons and
Church Professionals

Monday, October 19, 2020
Zoom Meeting
9:30 to 12:00 pm
Online Registration by Oct. 15

COST: Free
Sponsored by Northwest Ohio Association & the NWOA Lay School Board

Changes & Celebrations
Ordination...… this Sunday
Katie Jackson will be ordained on September 13th at 3:30 pm at St. Paul UCC, New Bremen. This event will be in person by invitation and offered also by streaming via Facebook Live on the church's page: St. Paul United Church of Christ-New Bremen, OH. In accordance with church guidelines, attendees are asked to follow all social distancing recommendations including wearing a mask. A reception will follow. "Clergy are invited to wear red stoles". Katie was called as Pastor at Bethany UCC in Ephrata, PA.
First Congregational United Church of Christ, Berlin Heights will celebrate with Rev. Casey Cain, her ministry as she prepares to retire. Her last Sunday will be September 27th with worship beginning at 10:00 am.
Zoey Kyra Dirmeyer, granddaughter of Rev. Darla Metz was born this morning, September 11th at 12:53 am. Zoey weighed 8 lb. 1 oz. was 20" long. Congratulations to Zoey's parents: Wesley Dirmeyer and Kiana Garvey.
Prayer Concerns/Request
Continuing prayer for: Keith Huizenga, Rev. Joy Skeel, 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

News was received of the passing of Georgiana Huizenga, St. John's UCC-Elmore. Georgiana was a member of the NWOA Nominating Committee in years past. Sympathy and prayers to the family.

The Association offers sympathy and love to Rev. David and Janise Voll (Trinity UCC, Tiffin) & family, on the death of his mother Carol Anderson Voll.

Caroline M. Voll, 91, died September 7, 2020 in her home at Peace Village Senior Living Community in Palos Park, IL. Born January 6, 1929 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to Arthur and Hilda (Buscher) Anderson, Carol grew up in Sheboygan and has carried wonderful memories throughout her life of her times both on the farm outside Sheboygan (now Christopher Farms and Gardens) and in town. After graduating from Central High School in Sheboygan, Carol worked as a Bookkeeper. She met Clifford A. Voll when he was attending Mission House College and Seminary in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Carol began her life of supporting her husband in Christian ministry following their wedding on August 21, 1948. Carol hosted many church meetings in their home and immediately built lifelong relationships with people in the congregations they served. Carol is survived by six children: Linda (Larry) Gunter of St. Joseph, Michigan; John (Margie) Voll of Katy, Texas; Brenda (Gerald) Celmer of Midlothian, Illinois; Mark (Susan) Voll of Bella Vista, Arkansas; David (Janise) Voll of Tiffin, Ohio; and Beth (David) Oppenheim of St. Louis, Missouri. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. A Celebration of Life Service will be held when it is safe for a large group to gather. Per Carol’s request, memorials given in her memory to Peace Village, Palos Park Illinois will be greatly appreciated.  ( Obituary

Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
Sept. 13 - Preaching at St. Peter's UCC, Millbury 10:15 am
Sept. 13 - Attending Ordination for Katherine Jackson, St. Paul UCC, New Bremen
Sept. 20 - Preaching at Calvary UCC, Crestline 10:00 am
Sept. 27 - Attending the Farewell at First Congl. UCC, Berlin Heights 10:00 am
Join an
"Excellence In Ministry"
Group Today!

During these unusual times, the eight Excellence in Ministry Groups in our Northwest Ohio Association have been particularly helpful to members. Participants have shared problems and solutions related to the pandemic and provided meaningful personal support. Most have opted to continue to meet throughout the summer. New members are always welcome but fall is an ideal time to join a group. For more information... and ways to join... see form HERE
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
Feature Article in the Wapakoneta Paper.
They feature articles from 100 - 75 - 50 & 25 yrs ago everyday.

The United Church of Christ of Northwest Ohio visited four area farms to pick up several Holstein heifers for shipment to Indian (indigenous) farmers in Guatemala. In all, the church purchased 40 heifers throughout northwest Ohio for Guatemala. Those in this area involved in the project included John Schlenker, Route 3; Roger Elsass, Route 5; Reuben Hibner, Route 5; and R.Monte Smith, Route 1.
OCWM Giving
(Our Church's Wider Mission)

2020 OCWM Giving Goal - $305,000
2020 Giving through Aug.- $134,561

Church Remittance Form - use this form when sending donations to/through the Association office.
Digital Church
Healthy Practices
For Authorized Ministers Only

Attend this event for NWOA Boundary Training credit.

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.
Spring Class: New Testament II
Beginning: February, 2020
Instructor: Rev. Mark Bishop

Class Brochure (available later date)
FREE Clergy Retreats from the
Ohio Council of ChurchesRegister
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)

Tom Paton Award - Apply by September 14th

You Are Invited to Join:
The Heartland Conference Anti-Racism Network
The work of dismantling racism is a long urgency. We need each other in this vitally important work. Whether you are involved in this work in some way already or want to be involved, your presence and passion matter.  An anti-racism network is forming for inspiration, education, empowerment, and engagement as God leads us in the building of the Beloved Community. If you are interested in getting connected, let Rev. Dave Long-Higgins know by emailing him at  

Weekly Zoom Discussion - Thursday
This event will be streamed via Facebook live at
Annual Gathering
September 26
9 am - 12 pm via zoom
Fall 2020 Lantern Fellowship
Activities Virtual
Cost Free!
Dates: Friday, Sept. 18 to
Sunday, Sept. 20
Register at
October 5, 6, 7 & 12, 13, 14
6 pm to 9 pm
Online via Zoom
Cost $50
Registration ends on Sept. 30

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.

September 19 3:00 pm
With the climate crisis and the struggle against inequality, the younger generations have served as today's prophets in provoking a global reckoning of the dire situation faced. As the November 3rd elections approach, children and youth are raising their voices again with a moral urgency as they awaken us to how much is at stake. This webinar will present children and youth from ages 10 to 18 who have a message and perspective that needs to be heard before those older than them vote. Register now!
UCC Health Plan Premium Rates and Plan Enhancements for 2021
The Pension Boards announced the following premium rates and plan enhancements for the 2021 plan year, effective January 1, 2021:
·    Non-Medicare Plan: 5% Increase (no change to co-pays and deductibles)
·    Pharmacy co-pays: No change
·    Dental Plan: No Change
·    Vision Plan: No Change
·    Life & and Disability Plan: No Change
For more information about health plans and/or rates, please contact Frank Loiacono, the Director of Health Plan Operations, at
Consider highlighting products or services, sales or promotions, personal bios, and more. Use images that complement your message, and link your images to supporting resources.
Consider highlighting products or services, sales or promotions, personal bios, and more. Use images that complement your message, and link your images to supporting resources.
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