Issue # 23 | June 17, 2021
"The Vine"
An email update.... Keeping Us Connected in Christ"
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"Blessings Always"
Rev. Daniel L. Busch
Association Minister Message
June 16, 2021
 “DESTINATION.” “On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’” Mark 4:35. Traveling with Jesus must have been an adventure for the first disciples. Trivia from Google: Jesus walked 400 miles from Egypt to Nazareth as a child, 3,125 miles during his ministry, and it is estimated that He walked 21,525 miles over His lifetime, almost the equivalent of walking around the entire world. As an itinerant preacher and miracle worker, He was an easy target from religious and government leaders who questioned His authority and were challenged by His words and deeds. Crowds followed Him expecting “the greatest show on the earth,” overlooking God’s Spirit in Him that called for change of heart and transformational power.
     Going to “other sides” can be treacherous and fearful, or transformational and life changing. It is how we make the journey that is important, not the DESTINATION. To have peace we need to be peacemakers. Faith is a life-long journey of experiencing God’s amazing grace and unconditional love. Resurrection is now and forever. Forgiveness leads to reconciliation. Generosity begins with thankfulness and understanding that what we have is a trust and a gift to bless one another.
     At the conclusion of teaching to the crowds using parables, Jesus turns to His disciples and wants to get away from the crowds. The DESTINATION is the “other side.” While going on their boat to the “other side,” Jesus and His disciples experience a “great windstorm.” The storm beat the boat and swamped it with water that caused the disciples to be afraid. Through all of this, Jesus was “asleep on the cushion” oblivious to the raging storm. The disciples woke Jesus up, asking, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus calmed the storm and they were awed that “…even the wind and the sea obey him…”
     The disciples’ journey and DESTINATION to the “other side” was more than a boat trip: it was life-changing, awe-inspiring and filled with God’s Holy Spirit. We, too, journey to many “other sides” that can be blessings or curses. Encountering Jesus, the Christ, affirms in us that we do not journey alone or have to solve everything ourselves. Even the “wind” and the “sea” are calmed in our lives by Jesus’ words, “Peace! Be still!” Live the journey. Be transformed by the Spirit. Love without ceasing. BLESSINGS ALWAYS!

Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
June 20 & 27 - Preaching at Sycamore UCC 10:30 am
July 11 - Attending worship at St. John's UCC, Tiffin 10:30 am
July 25 - Preaching at St. Paul UCC, Wapakoneta 10:15 am
Prayer Concerns/Request

Continuing prayer for : Keith Huizenga, Rev. Steve Voelker, Rev. Diane Christopherson, Rev. John Miller, Pastor Dee Schroer, Pastor Bill Kerr, Tim Metz, Jim Huckemeyer,
Pastor Tom Kagy, Rev. Marty Stiffler, Rev. Doug Williamson, Rev. John Rainey
2021 OCWM Giving Goal - $280,000
2021 Giving through May - $84,702

Church Remittance Form - please use this form when sending donations to/through the Association office.

Date: Saturday, October 9, 2021
Location: VIA Zoom
Time: 9:00 am - Noon
***From the NWOA Stewardship and Caring Ministry Team
Dear NWOA Faith Family,
The Stewardship and Caring Team is pleased to offer you a series of conversations with Don Hill, a specialist in Stewardship and Fundraising. The team met with Don one Saturday morning in April and from that meeting came 5 separate videos for your consideration. A new video will be posted each week so you might take time to linger over each one (about 15-20 minutes in length). If you wish to follow up with the team with questions or wish to be put in touch with Don for a follow up consultation use the Association email or phone number to send a message and someone will be in contact with you. We hope you enjoyed these “conversations” and that Don’s thoughts prove useful to all as we continue to engage our local church Stewardship practices.
Blessings to All, The NWOA Stewardship and Caring Team

Video # 1 - Post-Pandemic: Is this the time to ask for money? CLICK HERE

Video # 2 - A Church Member's Legacy:
How to Support the Church after You've Gone CLICK HERE

Video # 3 - Coming Soon!

Video #4 - We are Back!
Church Giving after the Return to the Sanctuary CLICK HERE

***From the NWOA Witness and Proclamation Ministry Team
To the clergy and lay people of the Northwest Ohio Association…..

I am the Chair of the Witness and Proclamation Team, and we have been working to keep you informed through The Vine of ways in which we can witness to the salvation we have in Jesus Christ and proclaim it in the corner of Northwest Ohio where we live and worship. Please note that we are also trying to keep you informed through our Facebook page, and please LIKE / FOLLOW us so that you can stay engaged with us and others.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 New International Version
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

What a “season” this Covid pandemic has imposed upon us and which continues to influence us in ways that we are conscious of, and in other ways which are deeply unconscious or subconscious!! The long-term effects of this “season” will appear and reverberate for decades to come, with many of these revelations being rather shocking to us when they come, I imagine.

God blessing and peace to all,
Pastor Scott Johnson
***From the Pastoral Relations Working Group
of the NWOA Church and Ministry Team
Covid Resources
The coronavirus pandemic has revealed and exacerbated places of pain and injustice throughout our institutions and communities, and clergy have borne the weight of this. The Pastoral Relations working group has listened to the pain that exists in our local clergy and have been trying to pay close attention to mental health and family concerns. Included here are links to resources for clergy and churches to be aware of.  Read more
Spiritual Director
Ongoing Covid 19 issues and other daily life processes can get in the way of mental health and happiness. We are in the process of gathering names and email addresses of spiritual directors. The names we have so far are: 

Rev. Ed Heilman Pastor at Park Congregational UCC, Toledo; 

Please contact them if you would like to explore what spiritual direction is and how it can help in your day to day life.

If there are other spiritual directors you know who would be interested, please let us know by contacting the Pastoral Relations WG of the Church and Ministry Team by calling the Association office. 419-447-8323
Anti-Racism & White Privilege

Attached to the end of the newsletter is an additional list of available resources. 
We hope that these resources meet the needs of pastors looking for resources to begin conversations regarding anti-racism within their congregations. If you have other ideas for how we may assist in bringing resources / training to you regarding this topic, please contact Nanette Warnecke-Flood at


St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Marys is seeking a dedicated and energetic person to fill the position of Children’s Ministry Coordinator. This part-time position is part of a robust children’s Christian Education program.
Trinity UCC, Elliston has a large archive of choir music that is no longer of use there. If you are a passionate music archivist and interested to look into their selections, contact Pastor Ryan
Event: St. Stephen Rummage Sale
Date: Friday, June 25
Time: 8:30am - 6:30 p.m. 
Location: St. Stephen UCC, 905 E. Perkins Ave, Sandusky OH 44870
Director of Faith Formation Opening

Sylvania United Church of Christ is seeking a Director of Faith Formation to develop and provide spiritual, relational, organizational and administrative leadership to all faith formation programs and church activities, with a primary focus on children, young families, youth, and young adults. The candidate must have a passion for faith formation, desire to engage meaningfully with individuals of all ages and life stages, and skills in program and event development and implementation are essential to this role.

Please send a cover letter and resumes to: Sylvania United Church of Christ, Attention: David Walker and Rev. Dr. Vern Swett, 7240 Erie Street, Sylvania, Ohio 43560 or emailed to

Director of Connection
& Engagement

Sylvania United Church of Christ is seeking candidates for Director of Connection and Engagement. This position helps connect internally and externally through outreach, fellowship, worship and membership. In each area of connection, opportunities are provided for in-person and digital engagement. The Director of Connection and Engagement will be an active participant in outreach, inreach, and digital communication offerings. A demonstrated passion for people, desire to creatively communicate through digital and in-person mediums, and skills to foster connections both internal and external to the congregation's life are essential to this position.

Please send a cover letter and resumes to: Sylvania United Church of Christ, Attention: David Walker and Rev. Dr. Vern Swett, 7240 Erie Street, Sylvania, Ohio 43560 or emailed to

Small Church Cluster again this year will be selling tickets at the Seneca County Fair Gates on Thursday July 29th. Workers are needed from 8 -12 pm, 12 - 5 pm & 5 till closing. Please call Sue Rainey by July 10th if interested. 419-937-0500 or 419-701-9148
Special Offerings
November 14- Stewardship Sunday
December 19 - Christmas Fund
Quick Links
Join the United Church of Christ Musicians Association online for workshops, worship services, a wonderful concert, vendors and networking. We will be virtually hosted by the First Church of Christ, Congregational, UCC in the historic town of Glastonbury, Connecticut.

Conference Minister Nomination Announcement
Dear Heartland Conference Faith Family,

The Board of Directors of the Heartland Conference is pleased to announce the nomination of the Rev. David Long-Higgins to be called to the position of Conference Minister to the Heartland Conference, United Church of Christ.  Rev. Long-Higgins, currently serving as the Transitional Conference Minister, has distinguished himself during these last three years as an effective, engaging leader who is well suited to continue the conference efforts to live into its emerging future.

The background of this proposal from the Board of Directors to make this nomination, a redefined job description, along with a biographical sketch of Rev. Long-Higgins for those of you who do not yet know him are below. Continue Reading.

Camp is On!
Camp will be Safe!
Kids need Camp!

Join in conversations with local church pastors from across all three conferences as they share learnings from the long season of COVID and what those might suggest for emerging ministries going forward.

UCC Digital Programing
How to Attend General Synod
Meet.ucc will be the hub for all virtual Synod 2021 activities.
Virtual Exhibits
Click on an image, enter a booth in this summer’s virtual Synod exhibit hall.

Volunteer at
General Synod
Plan to share your time and talents as a General Synod volunteer. 
Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, General Synod Administrator, offers an overview of the workshops that are available at General Synod.


Each week we will highlight a few of the workshops that will be available for your engagement during General Synod. You can learn more about all 50 workshops here
Every fourth Sunday of June—June 27 this year—is National Open and Affirming Sunday! This opportunity—to celebrate your ONA covenant and renew your commitment to its values—is needed now more than ever. We live in a time when national campaigns to limit LGBTQ+ freedoms and reverse our gains are gaining momentum. Our community needs ONA churches to remember the promises they made when they adopted their covenants, and to celebrate in worship and song that we are one family in Christ. Especially in a time like this, we need these occasions of celebration. 
Visit the Coalition website for ONA Sunday worship resources written and edited by the Coalition’s ONA program minister, Kimi Floyd Reisch. We also offer our ONA Sunday video which congregations are welcome to use at any time. Additional resources here. And if you celebrate a Pride or ONA Sunday at a different time of year, you’re welcome to use these resources anytime!
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