“Lord, when was it that we saw you…?” -Matthew 25:37

Two Invitations to Change the World:
Take the 2022 Challenge and Rebuild Homes in Dayton!
Rev. Dave Long-Higgins
Conference Minister
Dear Friends in Christ,

           As we engage the Lenten journey there are two calls to service, I would like you to consider as we partner together to be channels of God’s extravagant healing love.  Both of these arise from our Disaster Response Ministry Network: 1. “Take the 2022 Challenge!” and/or 2. Send a Workgroup to Rebuild Houses in Dayton.

            The first opportunity I would like you or your congregation to consider is to “Take the 2022 Challenge”!  Our goal is to assemble 2022 Church World Service Disaster Response buckets and hygiene kits in 2022.  Given the recent disasters that have swept through our country, notably in Kentucky, there is a great need for buckets and kits to help replace those that were used so that we can help both with current disasters and future needs.  
In last month’s newsletter, Heartland UCC Conference Minister, Rev. Dave Long-Higgins, shared the document Heartland Conference 2022-2025 Priorities.  This work was the product of prayerful discernment on the part of the conference Board of Directors, the leadership of our associations which forms the Executive Teams and the input of our Leadership Roundtable, comprised of the association minsters and conference minister.  We hope that you took the opportunity to view the complete document which can be found by clicking here.
Tom Hathaway
Conference Moderator
Think Spring! Think Camp!
Camp Sunday!

Covid numbers are coming down!
Spring flowers are coming up!
 
Now is the time to come to camp.

Jill Frey
Executive Director of Outdoor Ministries


Covid numbers are coming down!
Spring flowers are coming up!
 
Now is the time to come to camp.
 
If your congregation hasn’t had a “Camp Sunday” yet this spring, now is the time to schedule it.
 
Click on the button below to learn about spring events, and Camp Sunday Resources.
 
Many have asked if there is a way in addition to our prayers that we may be of aid to those who are suffering in Ukraine. The answer to that question is “yes”! The Heartland Conference S.A.R.A. partnership will serve as a conduit for aid to partners in Ukraine who are suffering as a result of the war. Daily, our partners are bringing food and water relief to displaced Ukrainians in Transcarpathia. Those wishing to make a donation via this channel may do so by clicking below. Please know that your gifts of any size make a difference in this critical time.
Heartland Creation Care Network is Forming!

Do you have a deep love for the care of our planet and want to connect with others in this important work? Join us for a Zoom conversation on March 18th at 11:00 am.
Warriors’ Journey Home
Listen – Speak – Heal

An Invitation to a Local Church
Veteran Ministry
Healing the Invisible Wounds of War
Is your congregation hearing a ‘call’ to serve the soul-wounded veterans of your community? In 2001 a group of local church members heard that call and responded. The response was rooted in the mandate to care for those veterans who are hurting, marginalized, “un-moored,” and trying to find their way home. Could your congregation be that safe harbor? Could your church be a leader by example to others in the community? For most, if not all congregations, there is a connection to a veteran or a young person now serving in the military service, or to one who has served.  

Our sons and daughters who have served or are now serving are changed by their experiences. Frequently they return, but are not “home.” For many, the war may be over, but it is not finished. You and your congregation could make a difference in that person’s life; a difference of real welcome, and a difference of understanding. This could be as simple as how to express the welcome beyond a bumper sticker. It could be through an act of welcome through a liturgy in a service of worship that lifts up the qualities of sacrificial giving of “no greater love.” Or it could be an intentional ministry of healing, reconciliation, and forgiveness.  

There will be a First Conversation on May 11, 2022, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm where you will be invited to learn about this specialized ministry. This evening will be presented by The Rev. David Long-Higgins, Conference Minister of the Heartland Conference, and The Rev. Dr. John M. Schluep (Retired), Founder & CEO of Warriors’ Journey Home Ministry, Inc. 
Schooler Institute on Preaching
offers conversations on this unique time
March 16, 23 and 30, and April 6
Methodist Theological School in Ohio’s Schooler Institute on Preaching will feature four virtual conversations with MTSO alumni serving in a variety of church contexts. The theme is “Conversations on Preaching in a Unique Time.”
Gathering online from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern over four Wednesdays – March 16, 23 and 30, and April 6 – Schooler Institute participants will hear MTSO President Jay Rundell and two-person panels discuss how the events of the past two years have shaped their sermons, their worship services and the congregations they lead. They will discuss what was lost, what was gained and what will never be the same, along with theological insights and changes to their sense of vocation.
 
Thanks to the generosity of the Schooler Family Foundation, the Schooler Institute is offered to the public without cost. Advance Zoom registration is required for each of the four sessions.
Spiritual Life Retreat for Ministers
Spouses, Chaplains, Retired, and UCC Ministers are also invited.

March 28th – 30th, 2022
Camp Christian
10335 Maple Dell Rd., Marysville
Creating Community in a Divided Society
Led by David Belcastro

Thomas Merton wrote, "The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived." As clergypersons, the busyness of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany have passed, and the season of Lent is just ahead on our calendars with Ash Wednesday on March 2nd. During the busyness of the Lenten season, the Ohio Spiritual Life Committee invites you to take a break together and come away to the annual Ministers' Spiritual Life Retreat from March 28-30, 2022 at Camp Christian to explore "Creating Community in a Divided Society" as clergy colleagues.
Planned in the spring and fall each year by women of the 
Heartland Conference of the United Church of Christ, 
Lantern Fellowship is a time when women of all generations 
come together at Templed Hills to enjoy faith, fun, and friends. 
Reverend Christina St. Clair has written and published articles, essays, and many novels.  She is currently a supply preacher for First Congregational U.C.C., in Huntington, West Virginia.  

Writing, spirituality, and ministry come together in her latest novel: Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women.  Naomi and Ruth were Biblical examples of women from different times and different countries who through their strength, wisdom, and friendship teach us all about God's enduring love. 

We will have opportunities to listen deeply and prayerfully, reflect and share our stories to increase our awareness of the importance of women and build community.  Each registration will include a copy of Rev. St. Clair’s book:   Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women.
Global Ministries VBS
and children’s resources
are available for use in your congregation!

Whether you are planning a virtual, in-person, or hybrid Vacation Bible School or summer series for children and youth, consider using Global Ministries resources! Engage children and youth in God’s global mission and learn more about church partners and their ministries around the world. Each curriculum or resource includes ideas to engage children and youth, such as activities, games, music, crafts, how to cook favorite dishes from around the world, and giving opportunities. Click on the link below to browse a list of several current projects supporting children and youth around the world!
New Materials Available for Stewardship
 
“From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving” makes the connection between our experience of God and our generosity as disciples. It includes practical tools such as logos, commitment cards, bulletin inserts, and letters. The materials also provide resources for preaching and teaching about stewardship throughout the year. Campaign guidance and calendars help leaders make the best use of these robust materials for their specific context and size.
 
Video by Bruce Barkhauer about these materials: https://youtu.be/2x623Zx5yQU
One Great Hour of Sharing® is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries.

Communications Manager 
Position Description 

First Congregational Church,
United Church of Christ 
Columbus, Ohio  


First Congregational Church seeks to hire a full-time communications manager. The ideal candidate seeks a mission-driven environment with responsibilities for developing and implementing digital communication strategies. This person is an excellent communicator, an initiative-taker, and detail oriented. They are skilled at navigating a variety of personalities, prioritizing their time, and remaining focused on the big-picture goals, while being nimble and flexible as new opportunities emerge.