Issue #36 | November 5. 2020
"The Vine"
An email update.... Keeping Us Connected in Christ"
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"Blessings Always"
Rev. Daniel Busch
Association Minister
November 4, 2020

CHOICES. “…choose this day whom you will serve…” Joshua 24:15. As I write this article, the USA is waiting for results of an election. Surprises are everywhere. Questions are raised about why candidates succeeded or not. It has been a matter of CHOICES and many reasons are given why the electorate selected one person over the other.
     Joshua became the leader of the Hebrews after Moses’ death, chosen by God, and proceeded to lead the Hebrews into the Promised Land. It was time to settle in and claim a homeland that would give them freedom from slavery and a vision of a future “flowing with milk and honey.” Unlimited possibilities and yet when they settled in they had forgotten God and believed in gods of their own making. Forgotten was the Creator God who was faithful to them, bringing them “out of the house of bondage” and giving them a new identity as a people and nation. Joshua gathered “all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God.” (vs. 1)
     Our faith is dependent upon all who have gone before us, who are with us now, and we have the hope of a faith that will be shared with generations yet to come. Joshua spoke about faith in God who led them to a new beginning and, like a lawyer, presented the case for God. He spoke of the God who was not a made up idol, but a God ever present, ever compassionate and ever keeping promises. Joshua did not make the case for God as some kind of task; it was personal: “…but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (v. 15) or from another translation, “But my family and I will serve the Lord.”
     Choosing or voting, offers blessings or curses. Hopefully leaders are chosen to inspire others to embrace kindness, respect, generosity and a sense of community. As Christians we are called to decide, to make CHOICES that have meaning and purpose, “to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.” The prophet Micah spoke of the way of God, “God has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, CEB). CHOICES are before us; let us proclaim and do as God calls us to be in covenant with all holiness and wholeness. BLESSING ALWAYS.

Changes and Celebrations
Emily Howard was approved for Ordination by the Church and Ministry Team on October 6, 2020.
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, Rev. Bob Bottoms

Please keep the following in your prayers....

Pastor Amy Kinney, Union UCC-Bascom hospitalized.

Rev. Jeanette Tangeman, retired living in Wapakoneta had surgery recently and is doing well.

Rev. Diane Christopherson, Adrian, MI is taking radiation treatments.

Pastor Bill Kerr is home to recover after a stay in the hospital.
Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister

Nov. 8 - Preaching Lytton Zion UCC, Delta 9:15 am
Nov. 15 - Preaching Spencerville UCC, Spencerville
From the Association Treasurer, Larry Clausing

October 15, 2020
Dear NWOA Family,
           What a different year 2020 has been, so many disturbing things happening. They seem to hit you daily and can seem frustrating. There is, however, one constant in our lives. That is our Christian faith. God is still speaking and he is still hearing our prayers. You can rely on his love to keep you going. As churches of NWOA you have been faithfully sending in the OCWM offering. Even with the virus and churches closed, you have continued to support the missions of your Northwest Ohio Association.
           For this you deserve a big THANK YOU. Yes, giving is down, but we also have less expenses. The office remains open with limited access, and Dan, Joan, and Deb have made sure that all your needs are being met. They have gone out of their way to help us. They continue to do God’s work. Call the office if you have a question. 
           As of the end of September, we have received 50% of the anticipated OCWM budget of $305,000 for 2020. This is $17,000 down from 2019. In a comparison of income vs. expenses for this year, we are in the red $32,198 as of the end of September. What has helped us is the Federal PPP Loan of $33,853 that we received. As of now, this is a loan and we will need to pay it back when requested. We are hoping that this will be forgiven. That would be a great help.  I prayerfully encourage you and your church to help us reach our 2020 OCWM stewardship goal. If all churches pitch in, the goal can be reached. 
           Whether you are the pastor or a member of your church, please remind your treasurer to send in the 2020 OCWM dollars to the NWOA office by the cutoff date of January 8, 2021.  Please date your year-end checks with a 2020 date. 
Yours in prayer, Larry Clausing, Treasurer
(Our Church's Wider Mission)

2020 OCWM Giving Goal - $305,000
2020 Giving through Oct.. - $171,466

2020 donation deadline is January 8, 2021
Please see all 2020 donations are dated December 31, 2020 if sent between December 31st and January 8.
All donations after January 8 will be considered 2021 donations.

Church Remittance Form
(use this form when sending donations
to/through the Association Office)
Worship Ways
See what other NWOA congregations are offering in the way of Sunday Worship.

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.
Supply Minister Opening
The Parkvue Community, Sandusky is looking for a Supply Minister beginning November 22, 2020. For more information, please contact Mr. Dan Miller, Senior Executive Director.

phone: 419.621.1900
Quick Links
Healthy Practices
for Ministry

attend to satisfy
Boundary Training

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

Heartland Conference
is on the move.....

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.

UCC Congregations for Mental Health

Mental health conditions are common everywhere, including in our churches. People are dealing with a variety of mental health and substance use challenges every day. Due to stigma, many people may be reluctant to either seek professional help or to speak about it with their pastor or other members of their church. But we want to create a place of belonging, where all people…including those with mental health challenges…are welcome, no matter where they are on life’s journey.

Congregations are invited to explore becoming WISE: Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged for Mental Health by attending the WISE Congregations for Mental Health Fall 2020 Webinar
Make a Difference Grant - extended deadline
(Child & Family Services)
With your help, Crossroad
has been creating special holiday memories for children
for nearly 137 years.
See how you can help!

Letter from the Council of Conference Ministers

Dear Members of the United Church of Christ:

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ.

In August the National Setting of the UCC committed to hire a consulting firm to lead them through “an objective racial equity assessment” to hold the national setting of the church accountable to the ideals the church has espoused regarding racial equality and inclusion. 

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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Stay Connected

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