Issue # 37 | September 23, 2021
"The Vine"
An email update.... Keeping Us Connected in Christ"
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Your generous gift makes our ministry possible

"Blessings Always"
Rev. Daniel L. Busch
Association Minister Message
September 22, 2021

SIDE. “If it had not been the Lord who was on our SIDE…” (Psalm 124:1) There are many claims today about who God supports: politically, sports teams, religious assemblies, country, companies, military establishments, etc. Years ago religious leaders were invited to give an invocation at high school sporting events. Some teams invited a spiritual leader to pray just for the team and God’s power was invoked on that team for a victory with God on their SIDE. Ironically, the other team also prayed for God to be on their SIDE and the game began.
     Historical wars have been fought praying for God to lead their SIDE to victory. The Crusades, for example, were initiated, many thought, with God’s blessings to rid the Holy Land of followers of unholy gods, false religions, counterfeit and bogus religious practices. Today in our country, there are those who claim God is on their SIDE of politics, business and, yes, even Christian groups. So many claim visions from God to support their faith understanding. Christian history shows many so called denominations have been formed by claiming a vision from God or a phrase or two from the Bible for the basis of their group. Cult leaders such as Jim Jones, Charles Manson, David Koresh, and Victor Paul Wierwille (New Knoxville) have claimed God on their SIDE. They gave their followers a strict regimen of religious and living practices to follow. Many cult followers have been abused and even killed because they did not live up to the expectations of the cult leader.
     The “God is on my/our SIDE” is not the way of Christian faith. It is not about God on MY SIDE or on OUR SIDE, rather, are we on GOD’S SIDE? There is a hymn from mid 1800s that asks, “Who Is on the Lord’s SIDE?” that offers a challenge to serve God, to be God’s helpers, to hear the call of mercy by God’s grace divine. We are called to proclaim by our words and deeds the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and live in fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit. Jesus summarizes the commandments and calls us to “love God with our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.” “OUR help is in the name of God, the maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8). Not our SIDE but together we are on God’s SIDE. “Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God.” BLESSINGS ALWAYS.

Travel with Rev. Daniel Busch, Association Minister
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
Rev. Lenore Kure will celebrate her 25th Anniversary of Ordination and her 25th year of ministry with the congregation of First Congregational UCC, Sandusky on Sunday, September 26th during the morning worship at 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!
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
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
***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

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
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)
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. 

Are you or your family
looking for a small, safe,
“self-contained” retreat space?

Thanks to a generous donation, the Parker Cabin now has a microwave and a small refrigerator.   
Click the button below to register, choose “overnight use”, the date, 1 or more nights duration, and choose Parker Ridge Cabin – Parker. Or register for one of the other weekend family events here. Please make reservations at least one week ahead. 

Updated protocols for Templed Hills camp can be found here
We have many Rapid Antigen Covid-19 Tests available that can be used before October 10th. They may be used free of charge as a screening tool for your next event. Please contact Jill Frey if you would like to use these at camp or at another location. 
2022 Weekends are filling up,
reserve yours today!

Thank you for your
continued support! 
Free Advent Planning with Marcia McFee
Brought to you from your generous donations to OCWM!

Help your churches get excited and equipped for Advent,
even as the pandemic lingers and plans need to stay flexible.

Get through Advent feeling energized instead of exhausted!

Advent-ure Design Camp

A 6-Week Continuing Education Experience
with Dr. Marcia McFee and the Worship Design Studio

October 3 - November 12, 2021

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
Vine Logo 2
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