What Story Is Your Life Telling?
Rev. Dave Long-Higgins
Transitional Conference Minister
Dear Friends in Christ,

            As you receive this message from me, we are already remembering the crucial final days of Jesus’ life as he journeys in Jerusalem, the city of peace that forever struggles to realize its truest identity.  As the gospel narratives remind us, Jerusalem is not only a city in Israel/Palestine, but also every intersection where the world of empire and the fear it perpetrates must be countered by the Reign of Love.

“I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”  (John 17:26)

Our Conference Connections eNews is so aptly titled for this time in our history.  I was 7 years old when the UCC was formed and awareness of such things as Associations and Conferences were always associated with the relationships and connections in each of our regionally named bodies.  I grew up in the Eastern Ohio Association, my wife in the Western Reserve Association, (now together Living Waters Association), attended college in Northwest Ohio Association, attended seminary in Central South East Association with extra course work in Southern Ohio Northern Kentucky Association.  The Ohio Conference, now the Heartland Conference, gave birth and substance to my entire life. 
Rev. David Plant
Conference Moderator
Jill Frey
Executive Director, Outdoor Ministries
Outdoor Ministries April = “To Open” 

“April” is derived from the Latin word aperit, which means to open. This is so appropriate for Templed Hills Camp and Outdoor Ministries. April is traditionally a month where we are flung open in so many ways!  This year is no exception. As we emerge from the long winter cooped up in our houses, this year more than ever, we look forward to gathering again in God’s great Outdoors!
Eden Seminary will be celebrating the inauguration of Deborah Krause as the seminary’s 14th president. April 6th at 5:30 pm CDT. We hope that you might be able to join in this online worship and that you can invite your congregation.

The Worship Service with the Inauguration will be part of a week-long series of online events that is this year’s Eden Spring Convocation, April 5-9, 2021.

“This is What Theology Looks Like – Public Ministries of Resilience and Solidarity. A Celebration of Eden Seminary in the Progressive Christian Movement.”
Celebrate the second Sunday of Easter with the gift of worship from the wider UCC. A complete worship service and/or component parts will be available soon. The link information was unavailable at the time of publishing. Watch for a special email from the Heartland Conference with the links to access this special worship.
Historically, the United States has released more global warming pollution than any other country, and it remains the world's second highest emitter. With its immense wealth and power, what are the moral obligations of the U.S. in confronting the climate crisis? In short, what's fair?

Three leaders in the effort to address this question will present in this webinar: Sivan Kartha from the Stockholm Environment Institute, Jean Su from the Center for Biological Diversity, and Susannah Tuttle from North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light.

Even if you can't make the webinar’s scheduled time on Wednesday, April 14th, at 1 pm ET, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording of it.
As we approach Earth Day, join the UCC as we co-host an environmental justice candidate forum for those running to represent Ohio’s 11th district in Congress.

Click the link below to Sign-up to attend this virtual event on Wednesday, April 21st at 3 pm.
Hope is on the horizon! And so is travel across the world.
Rev. Tim Ahrens is excited to lead two trips in 2022.
The first trip is March 11-21, 2022. It is called: "In the Footsteps of Paul and Jesus." We will go to Turkey, Ephesus, Israel, and Palestine. If you add Jordan, it is two more days. There are 25 openings left on this trip.
The second trip is June 2-14, 2022, we will see the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany before heading to Israel and Palestine. If you add Jordan, it is two more days. There are 21 openings on this trip.
Rev. Ahrens would love for you to travel with him once or twice in 2022! Questions? Contact Rev. Ahrens by email at tahrens@first-church.org.