Issue # 38 | September 30, 2021
"The Vine"
An email update.... Keeping Us Connected in Christ"
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"Blessings Always"
Rev. Daniel L. Busch
Association Minister Message
September 30, 2021

INTEGRITY. “Establish justice for me, Lord, because I have walked with INTEGRITY. I’ve trusted the Lord without wavering.” (Psalm 26:1 CEB). The Bible is filled with descriptions of both saints and sinners encountering different, difficult, dangerous situations AND encountering love, inclusion, generosity and affirmation. During these days of pandemic and isolation, relationships suffer as loneliness and fear often prevent reaching out to one another. Shared words have a dangerous and accusatory nature to them and trust of others has diminished.
     So many voices have been raised and there is even shouting at one another (and shouting at God) in disagreement often wondering if what is being said is heard by others. We are speaking past each other and not with one another. So many differing opinions are being shared that have false claims or truth. It is a matter of the INTEGRITY or reliability of what is being said that is causing the conflict. Warren Buffet, investor and financial advisor to many said, “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: INTEGRITY, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”
     How do we live our Christian faith with INTEGRITY? Can what we say and do be trusted? Is their honesty and reliability in how we live and act in our relationships with one another? Biblical language uses the word “uprightness” as a description of Christian living. Jesus reminds us that love of God, others and ourselves takes our entire being “to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.” It is more than the “letter” of the law: it is the “intent” of the law in establishing relationships with INTEGRITY.
     May we walk in the presence of God and with one another “without wavering” as we walk in God’s truth as people of INTEGRITY. BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
Oct. 2 - Ordination at Memorial UCC, Toledo 1:00 pm
Oct. 3 - Preaching at Sycamore UCC, Sycamore 10:30 am
Oct. 3 - Ordination at St. John's UCC, Genoa 3:00 pm
Oct. 10 - Preaching at Lyme Congregational UCC, Bellevue 8:15 am
Oct. 10 - Baptism at Trinity UCC, Tiffin 10:30 am
Oct. 17 - Preaching at Calvary UCC, Crestline 10:00 am
Oct. 24 - Preaching at Buckland UCC, Buckland
Oct. 31 - Preaching at Trinity UCC, McCutchenville 10:00 am
Philip Balla will be ordained on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at Memorial UCC, 1301 Starr Ave., Toledo beginning at 1:00 pm. Hosted by the Northwest Ohio Association, Heartland Conference and Memorial UCC, Toledo. Attendees must wear masks due to size of the sanctuary. Clergy are invited to wear red stoles. A reception to follow. All are welcome!

Dawn Balduf will be ordained on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at St. John's UCC, 1213 Washington Street, Genoa beginning at 3:00 pm. Cake, punch and finger food will be offered during a reception time after the service. Mask are optional. All are welcome!
Rev. David Culp retired from ministry officially early 2021. The congregation at St. John's United Church of Christ, Fostoria where he served, was the host for the farewell celebration with Rev. David Culp on September 19, 2021 in person.
Rev. Culp is pictured with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister during the morning service.


Rev. Lenore Kure, First Congregational UCC, Sandusky was honored for her 25th Ordination Anniversary and her 25th year of ministry with First Congregational UCC. The celebration was held on Sunday, September 26, 2021 during the morning worship. Congratulations.

Pictured is Rev. Kure and Rev Daniel Busch, Association Minister.

Prayer Concerns/Request

Continuing prayer for : Pastor Dee Schroer, Pastor Bill Kerr, Jim Huckemeyer, Pastor Tom Kagy, Rev. Marty Stiffler, Rev. Daniel Johnson, Rev. Becky Sunday, Rev. Adrian Sunday

The Northwest Ohio Association, Heartland Conference UCC send our deepest sympathy and love to the family of Alice (Jeanie) Perl. Jeanie passed away on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at her home in Tiffin - Elmwood at the Shawhan. Services are in the planning for Saturday, October 16, 2021. Complete obituary can be found with the Hoffman Gottfried Mack Funeral Home when available.

2021 OCWM Giving Goal - $280,000
2021 Giving through August - $146,436

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
The NWOA Cabinet has approved a new name for Stewardship and Caring Team—It will now be designated as the Stewardship and Generosity Team. The new name better describes the work of the Team as the Team provides resources for Stewardship and a faith understanding of Generosity. Please note that there are now five short videos below which will soon be on the NWOA website about Stewardship and there are 14 videos on the Heartland Conference Website about “Extravagant Generosity” as resources for stewardship theology and campaigns.
***From the NWOA Stewardship and Generosity
Ministry Team
Dear NWOA Faith Family, 
The Stewardship and Generosity 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. 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
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 - Fundraising During a Crisis:
Tugging at the Heartstrings to Open Up the Purse Strings CLICK HERE

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

Video # 5 - Plan!? Who Needs a Plan??CLICK HERE
Setting the Tone for Your Congregation Giving
***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.

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

Chicken BBQ (drive thru only)
St. Paul's UCC, Bellevue
Sunday, October 31st 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Tickets $12.00
BBQ Chicken, Potatoes, Vegetable, Homemade Pie, Roll, Beverage
Call the church office for tickets 419-483-6490
428 Kilbourne Street, Bellevue
Join in the Annual Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk sponsored by Church World Service! Sunday, October 3. Registration/Send Off beginning at 1 PM at First Presbyterian Church, 96 South Monroe, Tiffin. Walk as an individual or part of a team. Set-up your walk and enlist gifting to your walk online. Together we can change the world, for the better, one step at a time! Thank you, Tiffin CROP Walk organizer, Rev. Pam Easterday. Find more information and links at
Sylvania UCC
Open Positions

Faith Formation Director

Connection & Engagement Director

Please send a cover letter and resumes to: Sylvania UCC, Attention: David Walker and Rev. Dr. Vern Swett, 7240 Erie Street, Sylvania, OH 43560 or email
Special Offerings
November 14- Stewardship Sunday
December 19 - Christmas Fund
Quick Links
With prayers of thanksgiving, it's our great joy to announce that Rev. Dave Long-Higgins, who served these last few years as our Transitional Conference Minister has been elected at Saturday's Annual Gathering business meeting as our settled Conference Minister!

We are looking forward to more of Pastor Dave's guidance and goodwill as our Conference lives into its future. Read about Dave and the process that brought us to Saturday's vote by clicking below.
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
Fall into Templed Hills!
Property Volunteer Opportunities!

Fall is a great time of year to get some outdoor work done! Check out our list of current projects that need to be done to see if one is just right for you! Contact Miranda to schedule: or 419-741-4695 or 1-800-282-0740 ext. 104. 
Jill Frey, Executive Director of Outdoor Ministries is currently scheduling visits to congregations across the conference either in person or virtually, whatever is most comfortable for you, to share the special experience of Outdoor Ministry!

Schedule a visit today so that your congregation can get to know her, Outdoor Ministries, and Templed Hills Camp more fully.

Please contact Jill Frey to schedule a local church visit virtual or in person at or 1-800-282-0740, ext. 103, or 740-901-0734.
2022 Weekends are filling up,
reserve yours today!

Thank you for your
continued support! 
HPfM: Ethical Practices in Hybrid & Online Church
This event will satisfy NWOA Boundary Training
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