Issue # 22 | June 10, 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 9, 2021
 SURPRISE. “So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, CEB) It is amazing how green has appeared around us so quickly. It seems just yesterday that earth-tones dominated the area. On one side of my house are hostas that disappear after freezing temperatures. Every year I wonder “Will they return?” And the SURPRISE happens and within a few days they appear and all is well again in greater number than the year before. I have separated them and transplanted some to other areas of my yard and I always wait for the SURPRISE to appear there, too.
    Northwest Ohio is blessed with farms that become witnesses to the Creator’s blessing us abundantly. Every year farmers plant with the hopes of a harvest in the fall. Farmers are agronomists, scientists, weatherpersons, mathematicians, gamblers, mechanics, dreamers, optimists, pray-ers, realists and faith-filled believers. Every seed (or plant) put in the ground has potential. God has blessed farmers to be co-creators with the divine. They certainly are witnesses to Paul’s words about “…old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived.” Yes, there is SURPRISE in how things will turn out, but they also have the true meaning of faith word HOPE that production will happen. So, thank you farmers for being the Spiritual guardians of the faith in your work. Gifts and graces are yours from God and without you, new things would not happen.
    In Mark’s Gospel, chapter 4, Jesus teaches followers by using parables—earthly stories with spiritual meaning. Jesus says someone “scatters seed on the ground” and patiently waits for the harvest. “Whenever the crop is ready, the farmer goes out to cut the grain because it’s harvest time.” (Mark 4:28, CEB). Again, God is full of one SURPRISE after another with blessings beyond our imaginations. Even the smallest of seeds, mustard seed, SURPRISES us by becoming a plant where birds can nest.
    There is an older hymn, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, to see what God has done” (and continues to do). We are, shall we note, God’s human seeds that do produce an amazing harvest of love, compassion, hope, generosity and spiritual transformation as resurrected people. As Resurrected people living the Pentecostal experience of the Spirit, God calls us to be the new creation as the Body of Christ. The pandemic brought with it challenges and SURPRISES; a new era has begun. Be open to God’s SURPRISE of harvest to nourish our minds, bodies and spirits. BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
June 13 - Preaching at Calvary UCC, Crestline 10:00 am
June 20 & 27 - Preaching at Sycamore UCC 10:30 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, John Gilberg

Rev. John Rainey & Gene Finnegan were in an auto accident May 13 in Illinois, their car was a total loss. John was recently in hospital. 6 cracked ribs and cracked sternum plus pneumonia. Home now recovering. Prayers for a speedy recovery.

William (Willie) Buehrer, living in Archbold, father of former NWOA Pastor Rev. Sam Buehrer passed away. Visitation for William will be held from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 Noon, Saturday, June 12, 2021 in the Fellowship Hall of St. Johns' Christian Church in Archbold. A memorial in celebration of Willie’s life will immediately follow at 12:00 Noon, Saturday, June 12, 2021 in the Sanctuary at St. John's Christian Church in Archbold, with Pastor Erich Christman, officiaint. Interment will follow in the Archbold Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Christian Church or Habitat for Humanity. Online condolences may be offered to the family at Grisier Funeral Home in Archbold has been entrusted with the arrangements. NWOA extends our Christian Love & Sympathy to the family.
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
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

Chicken BBQ (1/2 chicken) $10
Trinity UCC, McCutchenville
Sunday, June 13th 11:30 - 1:30 pm
Carry Out only with a ticket order by Wednesday, June 9th.
Call the church at 419-981-5808
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.

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

After more than a year of isolation and disrupted social schedules, what we need most is time and a safe space to gather and re-connect! Summer camp has always been a great place for everyone to connect on a deeper level with each other and with Christ and for children and youth to do so under the supervision of caring and loving adults. This year we need this more than ever. We know that Covid-19 is still among us and we are taking lots of precautions for all events happening on site and are offering family events, as well as virtual events to meet your family’s needs. For on-site events we are asking participants to monitor their health and avoid risky exposures two weeks prior to camp, pass a screening upon arrival, wear masks consistently, and participate at camp in the same small group of 10 or less for their activities, including eating and sleeping. 
If you have potential campers who are not sure which camp is for them, Faith Adventures is a great place for a 9–11-year-old to start and try it all at camp! check it out.
UCC Webinar—Taking a Stand with Indigenous Water Protectors
Buses and carpools are being organized from around the country to go to the headwaters of the Mississippi in Northern Minnesota, so that people of conscience can join Indigenous-led nonviolent actions to stop the expansion of a massive oil pipeline. While not all of us can go in person, all of us can act in other ways to support this vitally important cause. The Line 3 Expansion is a tar sands oil pipeline project under construction that, if completed, would cross a hundred waterways. It would also pass near the border of multiple Native nations and across hundreds of miles of treaty-protected land, which those communities depend on for drinking water and wild rice gathering. In the UCC’s next Creation Justice Webinar, we will learn more about Line 3 and what faith communities can do to stop it. Featured speakers will include the Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs from the Minnesota Council of Churches, Nina Berguland from the Youth Council and Indigenous Council for Earth Guardians, and Joe Meinholz from Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. Even if you can't make the webinar’s scheduled time on Monday, June 14th, at 1 pm ET, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording of it. Sign-up now for the webinar!

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. 

Planning to attend the UCC’s first virtual General Synod in July? Be sure to register for our ONA Love Feast at 7 to 9 pm EDT on Tuesday, July 13. This Synod event will celebrate the launch of the Coalition's 50th anniversary celebrations. Keynoter is Carmarion Anderson, a vibrant transgender activist and co-leader of the “TransSaints” movement in the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She is also Alabama director of the Human Rights Campaign’s “Project One America.” Coalition executive director Andy Lang will speak on the “State of the Open and Affirming Movement,” and the famous Coalition Choir will perform. Please note: the Love Feast is one of the “optional events” when you register for General Synod.
The ONA Coalition Choir has been a feature at every General Synod since 1985. This year, the choir will perform virtually at our General Synod Love Feast. To learn more, contact Kimi Floyd Reisch.

June 27 is National Open and Affirming Sunday! Always celebrated on the fourth Sunday of June, the Coalition created ONA Sunday as an opportunity for congregations to renew their commitment to support LGBTQIA+ neighbors and their families. On June 7, we'll release an inspiring worship and music video, along with worship resources to help you build your own ONA service. Let’s celebrate the rapid growth of our movement, hold our 1,700 ONA churches and ministries in prayer, and commit to growing our movement until the UCC is not just 33%, but 100% ONA!
Heritage Sunday

The first annual Evangelical and Reformed Heritage Sunday is a dedicated day for each church to celebrate and share their unique heritage and continue the traditions of the former Evangelical and Reformed Church. We will celebrate this day on Sunday, June 13, 2021.  Resources are available on our website. Visit the Heritage Sunday page for a sample order of worship, bulletin covers, suggested hymns, and various historical resources.  

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