Issue #34 | October 16. 2020
"The Vine"
An email update.... Keeping Us Connected in Christ"
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"Blessings Always"
Rev. Daniel Busch
Association Minister
October 15, 2020

ENTRAP. “Then the Pharisees went and plotted to ENTRAP Jesus in what he said.” (Matthew 22:15) One of my favorite TV shows was (and is) Perry Mason. Perry was a defense attorney and it was always assumed that he would successfully prove his client innocent. Watching the show was more about the twists and turns for 50 minutes and skills of Perry to prevail. There were only two shows that his clients were found guilty because it was about clients deceiving Perry. At about three minutes before the final commercial and epilogue, Perry would be questioning someone and get (ENTRAP) that person (or someone else would jump up) and declare, “I did it, I did it” or some other words of guilt.
     ENTRAP. Those Pharisee were the perpetual antagonists of Jesus. Jesus was a threat to their position in the religious and social community. They were the authorities on religious law and looked down on others who they thought were not following the law. Jesus encountered their legalism and spoke of the intent of the law versus the letter of the law. The Pharisees could see the speck in other people’s eyes but failed to notice the log in their own eyes. Jesus seemed an easy target and they thought Jesus not worthy or not faithful or a sinner. They used words to try to ENTRAP Jesus.
     Some news these days are about political jousting going on in political debate, congressional hearings, and pandemic understandings. In testimonies and announcements, many of the questions are aimed at discrediting “the opposition” by TRAPPING them to admit that they are wrong, incompetent or not qualified. Information asked for and information given have a mean tone to them. There is lack of respect for differing opinions and sometimes misinformation or no information is part of the “game” of conversation. Respectful dialogue has been replaced by wanting certain positions to be victorious. Truth, honesty and clarity are moving targets.
     The art to ENTRAP/TRAP others is a way for some to think of themselves better in social settings or worthy before God. The Pharisees claimed for themselves authority that should only be God’s authority. Jesus’ authority always pointed to the God who was the source and giver of creation, our lives and all blessings. God calls us to be stewards and caretakers of the creation, our lives and the gifts and graces so that we can share them as blessings with one another. When we make gifts and graces only for ourselves, they TRAP us from celebrating life as holy and whole. If life’s goal focuses on “getting” rather than on abundance of generosity, relationship building with God and others is destructive and selfish. It is time to let go and not be TRAPPED by our vanity or selfishness or self-importance. Jesus said, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God things that are God’s.” BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

Last Minute Registering
Call Today by 3:00 pm
Islam within the Abrahamic Tradition
For Lay Persons and
Church Professionals

Monday, October 19, 2020
Zoom Meeting
9:30 to 12:00 pm

Cost - Free

Sponsored by Northwest Ohio Association &
the NWOA Lay School Board

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. John Miller, Pastor Dee Schroer
Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister

Oct. 18 - Preaching First UCC, Marion 11:00 am
Nov. 8 - Preaching Lytton Zion UCC, Delta 9:15 am
Nov. 15 - Preaching Spencerville UCC, Spencerville
Food Pantry Grant - 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.
Quick Links
(Our Church's Wider Mission)

2020 OCWM Giving Goal - $305,000
2020 Giving through Sept. - $150,536

Church Remittance Form
(use this form when sending donations
to/through the Association Office)
Boundary Training Offered
November 11, 2020
9 am - 12 pm - via Zoom

Weekly Facebook Live Discussion

Join Transitional Conference Minister David Long-Higgins on Thursday for weekly Live discussion. This event will be streamed via Facebook live 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.

Nollau to You: A One Day Virtual Leadership Retreat
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Fee & Online
Space limited to 25 participants
Make a Difference Grant
(Child & Family Services)
With your help, Crossroad
has been creating special holiday memories for children
for nearly 137 years.
See how you can help!

Meet the General Synod Working Group

How will the United Church of Christ National Setting program a virtual General Synod with moving worship, interesting workshops, educational intensives, church business, youth programming and service projects? There are working groups for that.
Get Involved in General Synod
People who want to submit nominations for moderator and assistant moderator of the General Synod of the United Church of Christ now have an added month to do so. The nomination deadline for those two leadership positions has been extended to Saturday, Oct. 31.

Relive the Excitement
Relive the excitement of General Synod 32 in Milwaukee! We are looking forward to a virtual - but every bit as exciting - General Synod 33 next July!

Proclaim God's Word in Worship and Worshipful Ways
Strength 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
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Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
cell: 419-934-5386 email:

Joan Davidson, Office Manager/Search Coordinator email:

Deb Long, Bookkeeper

OFFICE PHONE 419-447-8323