Issue # 34 | September 2, 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 1, 2021

REPUTATION. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth; high esteem is better than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1, CEB). “(Jesus) does everything well! He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who can’t speak.” (Mark 7:37, CEB). It seems that there is no pause in the election season. There are already exploratory committees being formed for the 2024 presidential campaign. Prognosticators are taking polls on the chances on who might be the president. Reporters are digging up all kinds of information, especially “dirt” or flaws, about each candidate’s character and REPUTATION.
     The Book of Proverbs is ascribed to King Solomon due to his legendary wisdom. Proverbs is a collection of “wisdom sayings” from the religious elders who attempt to instruct the faithful, especially youth, on how to cope with life. We might understand the words as instructions on ethics and morality and how important it is to live life with integrity, honesty and trustworthiness. One’s REPUTATION is important and any scandal, or even a whisper of scandal, can ruin a person’s life. Rumors have a way to destroy someone’s REPUTATION and now with Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, it is easy, in an instant, to pass on false information that could, and does, ruin someone’s REPUTATION. At times jealousies and assumptions of what a person is or not doing can cause disrespect and accusations of faithlessness.
     Having a good REPUTATION is based on relationships of respect and a welcoming spirit. It is touching lives with love and care that honor God’s diversity of creative genius in every person, honoring others as brothers and sisters of God’s family. It is seeing the good and holy in each other, honored and worthy as a child of God.
     In Mark’s gospel, it is said of Jesus, “He does everything well!” Jesus’ REPUTATION was that He cared about the people He met. He was a healer, comforter and preacher of peace and goodwill. It was His living life with integrity and love that challenged the powers of His day. The arrogance of their positions focused on developing REPUTATIONS of their own creations, loving the things of the world rather than doing good for God’s sake. Jesus challenges us to examine ourselves and find a resurrection faith of integrity and unconditional love for one another. May it be said of our REPUTATION, “He/she does everything well!” BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
Vacation until September 9
Sept. 12 - Preaching at Sycamore UCC, Sycamore 10:30 am
Sept. 19 - Attending the Farewell Service at St. John's UCC, Fostoria 10:00 am
Sept. 19 - Joining St. Peter's UCC, Millbury for a 3:00 pm Installation
Sept. 26 - Preaching at First Congregational UCC, Sandusky
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

Philip Balla will be ordained on Saturday, October 2nd at Memorial UCC, Toledo beginning at 1:00 pm.

Dawn Balduf will be ordained on Sunday, October 3rd at St. John's UCC, Genoa beginning at 3:00 pm.
Prayer Concerns/Request

Continuing prayer for : Keith Huizenga, Rev. Steve Voelker, Pastor Dee Schroer, Pastor Bill Kerr, Tim Metz, Jim Huckemeyer, Pastor Tom Kagy, Rev. Marty Stiffler, Rev. John Rainey, Rev. Daniel Johnson

Rev. David Culp had surgery on Monday, August 30, 2021. Prayers for quick recovery would be welcomed.

Rev. Becky Sunday had foot surgery on Wednesday, September 1, 2021. Prayers would be welcomed for a quick recovery.

Rev. Adrian Sunday is preparing for an upcoming surgery. Please keep Adrian in your prayers.
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
It’s hard for friends and family of pastors to understand the special demands and responsibilities of ministry. The calling can be lonely and the pandemic has only added to the isolation ministers may experience.

In the Northwest Ohio Association, Excellence in Ministry groups provide opportunities for pastors to be encouraged by collegial support while renewing and expanding their practice of ministry. Eight groups meet monthly, usually from September to May. Each is unique but all are facilitated by clergy colleagues who are committed to fostering these communities of practice.

You are invited to join the 50 pastors currently participating in ministry groups. For more information contact the Association office or complete the sign-up sheet.

***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.

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

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

Special Offerings
November 14- Stewardship Sunday
December 19 - Christmas Fund
Quick Links
** Please note that you will need to click the translate button in your browsers address bar to view the registration in English.
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
Interim Ministry Workshop
for Authorized Ministers
Monday, September 27, 10am-2pm, via Zoom
Spiritual Practices for Those Weary and Wondering
Zoom link will be sent to all registrants on September 24
Registration fee: $15, scholarships available upon request
Sponsored by Interim Ministry Network 
Heartland Conference UCC and Christian Church in Ohio (DOC)
HPfM: Ethical Practices in Hybrid & Online Church
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