Issue #33 | October 8. 2020
"The Vine"
An email update.... Keeping Us Connected in Christ"
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"Blessings Always"
Rev. Daniel Busch
Association Minister

“GUESTS.” Many protocols determine the GUEST lists for family gatherings and social interactions. Matthew (chapter 22) writes about the Parable of the Wedding Party and in it the king is having trouble getting guests to come to his son’s wedding party. It is significant that Jesus indicates it is the invitation of the king, the one who rules and has dominance over the GUESTS. Who would not want to be there, at least it seems that way. There is “the list” and the king sends out his servants that it was time for the party—and those on the list refuse to attend and “paid no attention and went away…” Some of the GUESTS even killed servants which lead to the king sending soldiers “to destroy those murderers and set their city on fire.” Everything was prepared for the party and no GUESTS.” The king then sent his servants to “invite everyone you find to the wedding party.” Matthew notes that the servants found people who were “both evil and good. The wedding party was full of GUESTS.”
    There seems to be a ranking of GUESTS for parties. Hosts try to seat together GUESTS who get along and making sure antagonists are at separate tables (or having thoughts that certain GUESTS not show up). It certainly is thought provoking that Jesus states that “both evil and good” are at the party. What kind of GUEST are we—wanted GUESTS who are on the prime list or GUESTS of dubious character? The wedding party happens and there is a celebration with “evil and good GUESTS.”
    There are many versions of the following prayer usually prayed at mealtime: “Come Lord Jesus be our GUEST, and let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.” What would happen if Jesus is invited to be present wherever we are? Can we categorize our lives with or without Jesus? WWJD (What would Jesus do?) is incomplete, for our intentionality, motives, and decisions come from within as we wrestle with what Jesus calls us to do and be in relationship with one another. Another insight from the prayer is to recognize that all we have been given, have now and will receive, are GIFTS. We say we “own” our houses, cars, bank accounts, the day—but in reality God has entrusted these things to our care and stewardship. We are just GUESTS of God on a journey of time from birth to eternity; it is how we live that in-between time as GUESTS of the kind and generous God. We are both the invitees to have the Triune God as our GUEST, and GUESTS of the Triune God who invites us to have blessings now and forever. It is time to celebrate with God and one another! In the 106th Psalm the psalmist declares, “Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord because God is good, because God’s faithful love endures forever.” 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 October 15

Cost - Free

Sponsored by Northwest Ohio Association &
the NWOA Lay School Board

Changes & Celebrations
Rev. Katherine Beckett is serving as Interim Pastor at St. John's UCC, Bluffton.

Rev. Paul Stark began as Interim Pastor at St. John's UCC, Tiffin on September 1st.
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. 11 - Preaching Sycamore UCC, Sycamore 10:30 am
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.
Local Church News

Bulletins available at no charge
Sycamore UCC has a box of bulletins which are no longer being used for worship. The bulletins are 8 1/2 x 11 size with print on the front cover. If you are interested please contact the church at 419-927-9707 or email

250 - Hearts Wide Open
200 - Wedding - Our Love
37 - Easter - Rejoice
60 - Ash Wednesday
500 or so - I am the Resurrection and the Life
150 - UCC
75 - Christmas Joy
45 - Remember Me
Quick Links
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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)
Weekly Facebook Live Discussion
3 pm Today
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
Feeling bruised, battered, or fatigued by this election season? Looking for a source of uplift down the home stretch to November 3rd? Then, this digital event is for you. This will be a time to renew our energies and our focus as we approach an election day with so many profound implications for those who care about the climate crisis and the many interconnected issues of justice that we face today. Our three featured speakers will include: Karenna Gore of Union Theological Seminary, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. of the Hip Hop Caucus, and the Rev. Gerald Durley of Interfaith, Power & Light. The webinar will be co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt of the UCC’s Environmental Justice Ministry and the Rev. Michael Malcom of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light. Even if you can't make its scheduled time on October 14th at 1 pm ET, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording of it.
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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