By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Thursday December 29, 2022
Dear Christian Church in Ohio members, leaders, and friends, Blessed Holiday Greetings from your Regional Church Staff and Regional Church Council! We pray that as we celebrate Christmas and New Year's you know exactly how much we appreciate each and every one of you, how we rejoice in the ministry of clergy and lay leaders alike and we celebrate the mission that pours forth from our congregations, our camp, and our ministry partners. For all of this, we hold you close in prayer. Just as God became present with humanity in an exciting and powerful way in Christ Jesus, so we as the Body of Christ try to bring God's presence to those we serve in our families, our communities, and in the world. As John's gospel proclaimed it, "And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory…, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
By - Friday October 7, 2022
The Christian Church in Ohio seeks to honor, educate about, advocate for, work alongside, and celebrate our Hispanic/Latinx members, leaders, and communities all year long, and we use this special month as a way to focus our appreciation and efforts.
By Camp Christian - Wednesday September 7, 2022
The Free Store at Camp Christian is in need of some donations to replenish the Food Pantry and Blessing Box. The Free Store at Camp Christian has served over 2,300 people in need over the last eleven years. It has been a meaningful ministry and much needed resource for folks in the surrounding area around Camp Christian. It is a blessing to be able to serve our community with this ministry. Thank you for your continued support of The Free Store at Camp Christian! The most needed items right now are:
By Christian Church in Ohio - Thursday August 4, 2022
Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ
Congregations Unite In Festival Of Sharing!
PLUS, there will be a special collection at the Regional Assembly!
For years both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Ohio and the Heartland Conference of the United Church of Christ have participated in Church World Service’s annual Festival of Sharing. This year we are joining together to amplify our efforts. We have set a joint goal to collect 2,022 kits for this important global disaster relief effort this year.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Friday July 15, 2022
In response to some very helpful feedback the Regional Assembly Planning Committee has redesigned our Saturday, September 24 Regional Assembly, "A Family Reunion” at Camp Christian. It is now going to be shorter and FREE!* Through the generosity of a donor, all of the food costs will be covered. We are hoping to still receive other donations to cover the program, utility, administrative, and staffing costs for Camp Christian, but the Regional Assembly Planning Committee is thrilled to offer this day of celebration at no cost to those who pre-register. *For persons who register the day of the event, or show up on site without pre-registration, a $5.00 registration fee will be required. We are also asking exhibitors and vendors with booths to register for the original $40 to help underwrite the costs. A new Registration Form is now available on the Regional Assembly page of our website.
By - Wednesday July 6, 2022
I offer the family, friends, and community of Jayland Walker my deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers. Even more so, I am committed to following the updated reports of what happened in order to seek to ensure that justice is secured. I also recommit myself to the work of our Pro-Reconciliation/Anti-Racism Commission in the Christian Church in Ohio and to hearing and responding to the concerns of our African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and racially-diverse clergy, congregations, and communities
By - Wednesday June 15, 2022
We know many of us, especially parents and students, were so busy getting things finalized for the end of the school year that we may have forgotten to register for one of our wonderful and inspiring Christian Church in Ohio camps, conferences, or retreat. After all the hustle and bustle slowed down and the dust settled, you may have thought to yourself,
“Oh golly gee wilikers! It’s too late to register for camp!”
Well guess what?
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO REGISTER FOR CAMP!!!
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Friday June 10, 2022
Hopefully by now you have seen one or more of our wonderfully successful social media posts celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander month in May. We lifted up four leaders across Ohio who shared in their own words a bit of their history and why such a month of celebration and education is important. I found them absolutely fascinating and deeply moving, even though I thought I already knew these leaders. You can find their stories and pictures on our Regional Church website here: https://www.ccinoh.com/ccio-blog/2022/june/7/asian-american-pacific-islander-month.aspx
Similarly, June is considered Pride Month for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. This time of education and celebration is important to the Christian Church in Ohio for many reasons, but first and foremost we have congregations who have done the faithful and good work of studying, prayerfully discerning, committing themselves, and proclaiming the good news that, like Peter after his vision in Acts 10, “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.” They are officially Open & Affirming Congregations in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). These congregations include:
By Allen V. Harris - Tuesday June 7, 2022
May was Asian American Pacific Islander Month. The month of May has been designated as a month to lift up and celebrate the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and to highlight significant achievements by persons with such identity and heritage. Of course, we celebrate and support Asian Americans and Pacific Island people year round, so this is just a chance to focus our appreciation and educational efforts.
Throughout the month the Christian Church in Ohio highlighted on our social media platforms some of the church leaders from around Ohio who identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander. We also want to encourage persons to learn about the North American Pacific/Asian Disciples of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. Led by their Executive Pastor, Rev. Chung Seong Kim (pictured left,) this General ministry helps local congregations and individual church leaders affirm the cultures and heritages of Pacific/Asian peoples within the historic and living Christian faith. Find out more about NAPAD here: http://www.napad.net.
By Tom Bowerman-Jett - Wednesday May 25, 2022
One of the priorities our Campsite Manager, Tom Bowerman-Jett, has named is to focus on deferred maintenance projects and to address them in as cost effective way possible. He is committed to the best possible good stewardship of the Regional Church's resources and your financial gifts.
In this (below) article Tom describes a significant repair project that has been needed for some time in which he not only did an excellent job repairing the damage, but did so with incredible cost savings!
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Tuesday May 17, 2022
We have a favor to ask of you... would you invite someone to consider attending one of our wonderful retreats, camps, or conferences this summer? As much as we thank you for your volunteer efforts at our Camp Work Days, and as much as we are grateful to you for your gifts to our scholarship fund or capital improvements or endowment funds, what we REALLY need is for you to invite someone to attend one of our wonderful summer retreats, camps, and conferences. We have something for everyone of any age!
Share with your family members, neighbors, or coworkers this link https://www.ccinoh.com/camp-christian/summer-programs.aspx and help them choose the right event for themselves or their children. If they say money is an issue... it doesn't need to be! We have abundant scholarship funds that anyone can have access to! Our Summer 2022 Camp, Conference, and Retreat program is only great if people attend, so please consider registering today and invite someone else to attend. It can be life changing!
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Sunday April 17, 2022
In the wonderful way of a four-gospel faith tradition, the details of the resurrection of Jesus Christ are mixed and perhaps even muddled. Exactly who arrived first and what they saw there, who talked to whom and how many were present, how they felt about the experience and what they did with the information they received is simply not clear. I find this variety of details in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John quite refreshing, for it keeps us from worrying so much about the literalism of scripture and instead seeks to capture the deeper meaning as well as the multiplicity of perspectives that make faith real and transforming for all of us.
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Sunday April 10, 2022
Holy Week has such mixed emotions for most Christians, and it’s place in the life of individuals and communities of faith is central as evidenced by the larger number of worshippers in Palm/Passion Sunday services (onsite and online), the time and attention given to planning and leading such services as Maundy Thursday or Tenebrae Services, Good Friday Services (often done ecumenically or by groups of churches in a district or area), as well as the growing number of Protestant congregations offering some variation on a Easter Vigil service on Holy Saturday. I firmly believe that Holy Week remains central to the spiritual life of the vast majority of Christians, no matter what particular tradition, language, culture, or part of the world in which they live. Its importance can be verified by how many faithfully participate in some form at least one aspect of this sacred span of six days. You reading this devotional illustrates my point!
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Friday April 8, 2022
Video message from your Regional Pastor and President, Rev. Allen V. Harris
By Rev. Tyler Andrew Thompson - Sunday April 3, 2022
“Give the winds a mighty voice, Jesus saves, Jesus saves; let the nations now rejoice, Jesus saves, Jesus saves; shout salvation full and free, highest hills and deepest caves, this our song of victory, Jesus saves, Jesus saves.” -We Have Heard A Joyful Sound - The Messianic Hope, that salvation would be shouted full and free, a song sung of victory, that all of creation, even the stones would sing out. That has been, and is, the hope. And the question of this deepest longing… “What is Messiah saving us from?”
By Rev. Kristin Wolf Peters - Sunday March 27, 2022
Matthew 12:18 says, “‘Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.” ~ Divine Love
~ This scripture recalls Isaiah 42, a proclamation of hope to a post-exilic people who were upset with God. They had lost faith after the Babylonian exile. They felt defeated and abandoned by God. The people were weary and questioning the power and presence of divine love in their lives. I believe the writer of Matthew borrowed this scripture from Isaiah because the people he was writing to struggled with the same feelings and questions, and he wanted to give them hope.
By Rev. Dr. Deenabandhu Manchala - Sunday March 20, 2022
“Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” ~ “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred…. Or we can walk through lightly, …ready to imagine another world”, writes Arundhati Roy, a well-known Indian public intellectual.
By Rev. Bere Gil Soto - Sunday March 13, 2022
My granny’s table has always been more than a place to eat, it is a place where the soul and the heart are nurtured too. The table is the most sacred place at their home; back in the day, when a friend or family would visit them, they would not sit in the living room. My granny would always invite them to table. She would offer them café con pan (or a whole meal!), and then they would talk for hours. Most visitors used to be folks from the rancho where they grew up; and names such as María, Juan, Marta, or José were common during that time. They would always refer to them as “Juan de…” and the street they lived in, or the parents/spouse they had, so they could know who they were talking about.
By Rev. Monique Crain Spells - Sunday March 6, 2022
In the time of Jesus and well before, a name meant plenty. It built a narrative about a person that one could not develop by simply looking at them. Names are sometimes a story, a hope, an answer, or prophecy. We call Jesus by many names. The biblical writers offer us ample descriptions for our Beloved. Depending on our congregational upbringing, we may only be in the practice of hearing or referring to the “popular” names of Jesus. Like in most families, we have formal names and nicknames. In the church, it can be easy to nickname Jesus and in doing so, there is a risk we box him in. There are endless life-giving attributes we can attach to Jesus. Those found in the bible and in our lived experiences are ripe for more circulation in our meditations and community conversations. It is fair to say Jesus is much more than any of us have understood him to be.
By Camp Christian - Wednesday March 2, 2022
The Camp Christian Summer 2022 Camp and Conference registration forms and information are now available through our website. They are all available for download in one place on the Summer Forms, Downloads, and Links page. They can all also be accessed through each of the Ministry's web pages and on each of the corresponding dates on the Regional Calendar. Please feel free to post and share this information with as many people as possible.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Wednesday March 2, 2022
Today is Ash Wednesday, which begins the liturgical season of Lent. Many of our congregations across Ohio come together tonight for an Ash Wednesday Service. One of the traditional scriptures for the worship is Psalm 51, a prayer to God of confession, repentance, and a plea for renewal. Verse 10, perhaps the most famous line of the Psalm, reads, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” (NRSV) While it was written in a personal tone, with what is happening in our world at this moment in history it takes on a powerful communal quality.
By Camp Christian - Wednesday February 23, 2022
Every summer our Christian Church in Ohio Camp and Conference program needs Summer Camp Staff to ensure the facilities are maintained, meals are prepared, and the camp office is managed. This summer we will hire ten Summer Camp Staff members to help our existing Regional Church Staff to do just that.
Ask anyone who has ever been on Summer Camp Staff before: this is more than just a summer job, it is an opportunity for personal spiritual growth, leadership development, and lots of fun.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Wednesday February 16, 2022
The Clergy Support Group provides a safe encouraging environment where clergy share their faith and spirituality while they experience worry, irritability, loss of motivation, or fatigue in their daily life. This group will discuss coping strategies, share information, and find relief from isolation that may be experienced through life’s challenges. Meets on the third Thursday of the month at 10:30am - noon. This group meets once month beginning in February through October.
By Camp Christian - Friday February 11, 2022
Following the work of a subcommittee of the Camp Christian Committee and the Personnel Committee, Bruce Bowerman-Jett was called to be our next Camp Food Services Director. Bruce officially began this last week. His culinary efforts will include three kinds of food service: Summer Camp and Conference, Christian Church in Ohio Events (non-camp), and rental groups (congregations and outside groups.) You can contact him via his new email address email@example.com starting next week.
Here is Bruce's introduction:
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Monday December 27, 2021
Dear Members, Friends, and Partners of the Christian Church in Ohio,
Blessed Holiday Greetings from your Regional Church Staff and Regional Church Council! We pray in this week between Christmas and New Year’s you know exactly how much we appreciate you and hold you close in prayer. As Romans 12:5 so simply and confidently reminds us, “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” While the sinews of the body have been strained and the weaker members are hurting even more, this year has reminded us nonetheless that we are interconnected by covenant love, and those bonds of faith are stronger than anything the world brings that could threaten to pull us apart. Thank you for staying connected in community.
By Rev. Allen Harris - Saturday December 25, 2021
Please read Luke 2:1-20
Verse 17 reads, “When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child.”
While Matthew and John both have something to contribute to the Christmas narrative, whether it is in further details about the famous and not-so famous people around the blessed birth, the lineage of the Christ Child, or a theological poem of epic proportions, In Luke’s Gospel we have the most complete and detailed description of what we now call “The Christmas Story.” I’m taken by these 20 verses, especially since almost two thirds of them are devoted not to Mary or Joseph or, most pointedly, the baby Jesus, but to the shepherds who were out in the fields, “keeping watch over their flock by night.”
By Rev. Denise Cunningham-Doggett - Friday December 24, 2021
“Imagine God’s Love Revealed in a Name”
Each year I fall in love with a hymn that shares in the narrative of the Birth of Christ. My joy is this is that as a minister and a musician I can meditate and reflect over what the true essence of the Advent season is for me. One of my favorite songs of the Advent season is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”" It is a Christian hymn for Advent and Christmas. It is a translation of a Latin hymn, "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel." The 1861 translation, by John Mason Neale, from Hymns Ancient and Modern is the most notable in the English-speaking realm, but other English translations also endure. Adaptations into other modern languages (particularly German) are also in broad use.
By Camp Christian - Thursday December 23, 2021
The Christian Church in Ohio - Camp Christian located in Marysville, Ohio is currently seeking a Food Service Director (Part Time/Full Time during the summer camp season). The full job description can be viewed...
By Rev. Cynthia Klingemier - Thursday December 23, 2021
“Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.” James 1:17 ~ Imagine this with me. It’s like a package. It arrives on your porch. Do you leave it on the porch? Do you call the carrier and request a pickup? Do you carry the package inside? It’s entirely up to you. As for me, I want to see what’s inside.
By In Memory of Mary Beth Cascio - Wednesday December 22, 2021
Please read Isaiah 40:1-11 ~ “Hope in the Wilderness” ~ We all have times in our lives when we feel like we’re in a wilderness; whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual, or even a bit of all three. There are times when we find it hard to trust in God. We struggle to see the bigger picture. We search for our escape but it is if we are in a maze and we keep hitting dead ends. We are lost in a world that is constantly changing.
By Hymn Reflection - Tuesday December 21, 2021
Reflect on the Hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel: Chalice Hymnal 119 ~
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here,
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
By Rev. Dr. CJ Koen - Monday December 20, 2021
The Love of God Revealed ~ In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1John 4:9 (NKJV) ~ The heart of God is revealed to us in a Spirit of Love. He has shown His love for humanity in numerous ways, however the incarnation of His Dearly Beloved Son in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the most brilliant and significant demonstration of God's love for humanity. The love of God is not only seen through the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made upon the cross, but is also shown to us in the Father, Who sent The Son of His Love as a Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world.
By Dr. Irvin W. Green - Saturday December 18, 2021
“A Visit from the Lord” ~ In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be[e] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:9-45 NRSV
By Rev. Cynthia Klingemier - Friday December 17, 2021
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in God, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 ~ Disappearing Hope OR God’s Love Revealed? ~ At last I was ready to begin. The project had been on my mind for a few days, but I had been unable to locate the needed supplies. I was certain I had a small paint brush with narrow bristles somewhere in the house. Where in the house was the question. I tried the laundry room. Then looked in the plastic bin on the shelf that holds miscellany. Then checked out the junk drawer in the kitchen that seems junkier at each opening. Then descended the basement stairs and searched the small work bench there. I had no success in my search until I finally slid open the top drawer in the upstairs desk in the back bedroom. And there it was.
By Reverend Audrey Connor - Thursday December 16, 2021
"People with little or no patience for communing with stones, flowers, pets, or human beings will probably not have much more patience communing directly with God." ~ Father Richard Rohr from What the Mystics Know ~ I love the Psalm for today as it captures honestly the human struggle of being in relationship with God. The Psalmist says, “You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us” (Psalm 80:6). Then later writes, “Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved”(80:3). So often we stand before God with our struggles, unsure how we ended up in this place of pain and suffering. If we are honest with ourselves, we wonder how God could love us and yet let us suffer. We call out, “Save us from broken relationships, addiction, sickness, death, and not having enough! Make your face shine on us that we may be saved!”
By Rev. Dr. Pamela Barnes-Jackson - Wednesday December 15, 2021
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ This Scripture begins with My Grace is sufficient for you. Sufficient is defined as something that is adequate, enough, and the second line states and My Strength is made perfect in weakness. Strength is defined as the state of being physically strong, being able to withstand great pressure. It is good to know that God’s grace is more than enough to handle any problem or issue that we face.
By Rev. Kristine Eggert - Tuesday December 14, 2021
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
Their young shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
And the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
On all my holy mountain;
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.
~ It’s December 14 -- our son and daughter-in-law’s 9th wedding anniversary. Through the gifts of technology and a November deadline for this devotional, we’re with them in Seattle in their home that is a blaring cacophony of the sounds of a baby and a 3 year old – sounds that bring such joy to their grandparents’ ears!
December 14 brings another memory to mind, for it’s also the 9th anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. What began as an ordinary Friday morning changed the lives of the entire town of Newtown, CT, most especially the families of the 20 first-graders who were killed that day.
By Rev. Jeff Gill - Monday December 13, 2021
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
~ James 1:17 (NRSV)
Before the reforms of the Western calendar, December 13 was effectively the winter solstice date, the shortest day and longest night of the year.
It was also the feast of Sancta Lucia, St. Lucy’s Day, and the connections of “lux” or light with Lucia meant that from Sicily to Sweden, in early Europe the celebration of this date meant folk traditions to ask for vision, light, and the rebirth of the daytime hours which would become visibly longer about December 25th, at Christmas.
By Rev. E. Regis Bunch - Saturday December 11, 2021
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” As a Pastor, Advent invites reflection on the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into the Roman Empire, where Joseph and Mary lived under Roman colonial rule. From early childhood memories of Sunday School, Sermons, and Bible Studies about the arrival of a child named Jesus, in a manger in Bethlehem, is the tension between Herod's mighty power to seek and destroy the baby Jesus and the birth of God's love revealed through the Christ child, Jesus, Immanuel, God with Us! The question that emerged was, Is the Boy Safe?
By Rev. Timothy McCollum - Friday December 10, 2021
Today with a message for December 10th. We are coming near the halfway point of Advent with a thought and a message from the scripture today or something for our minds to be thoughtful of. I'm reading from 2nd Corinthians chapter 9, so I invite you to hear these words from The New International Version. “There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
By Advent Daily Devotional - Thursday December 9, 2021
On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. ~ Matthew 2:11 (NRSV) -
Advent and the magi have an uneasy relationship, especially for liturgical purists who might even ask that they and their camels stay out of the manger scene until Epiphany. Yet in the melange of nativity tales that makes up most of our Advent observances, they tend to sneak in as pageant members wearing cardboard crowns, cut-out figures in plywood and paint on the church lawn, or figurines in our crèche sets.
By In Memory of Rev. Dixie French - Wednesday December 8, 2021
Please read Isaiah 6:1-13
Will we be among the lucky ones who actually see the Christchild this Christmas?
Isaiah was like us—a man of unclean lips living among others just like us—and yet he saw the King, the Lord of Hosts.
That gives us hope as we approach another Christmas season. Even the most blind among us can hope to somehow come into the presence of the most high as we eagerly await the Christ event.
By David Long-Higgins - Tuesday December 7, 2021
Today’s Advent Devotional is a musical meditation from the Rev. David Long-Higgins.
The song is the carol “In the Bleak Midwinter” from the poem of the same name written by Christina Rossetti. The musical arrangement was written by Gustav Holst.
By Jeff Gill - Monday December 6, 2021
…When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
~ Matthew 6:3-4 (NRSV)
Myra was a Greek city on the southern coast of what’s now Turkey, in which it’s a small town called Demre. But as part of Lycian Greece, it was an outpost of Grecian culture, a seaport with cosmopolitan connections, and in the early Fourth Century the Christian community of Myra had its own bishop, a fellow named Nicholas.
By Bruce Bowerman-Jett - Saturday December 4, 2021
Shine The Light! - John may be taking us back to the beginning of creation. Genesis 1:1-2 tells us: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. John develops the theme throughout his gospel of light and darkness. Light brings us comfort. Knowing that those who hear about him and believe in him don't have to walk in darkness any longer. LOOK AT THE SECOND PART OF THE VERSE: the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. This is an awesome truth! God brings great peace to you for no matter where you are, no matter what circumstance faces you, God's Spirit is present hovering over the waters.
By Rev. Cynthia Klingemier - Friday December 3, 2021
“What marvelous love [God] has extended to us! Just look at it – we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.” - I John 3:1 (The Message translation) - “Imagine God’s Love Revealed” – The theme for this year’s advent devotional book from the Ohio Region of the Christian Church. I toss that four-word phrase around in my mind, chew on each word, savor the flavor of the four-word combo. I feel the sweet taste of it and smell its pleasant aroma. Imagine-God’s-Love-Revealed is cooking in my kitchen right now. I am cooking up a big batch of it as I imagine God’s love made known. Even an extra big batch so that I can share it with a hungry world.
By Rev. Sarah West - Thursday December 2, 2021
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” - Matthew 1:23 - This year our family is going to travel to Indiana/Illinois the day after Christmas to spend a week with my parents and my sister’s family. It will be the first time since before the pandemic that we will all be together and the first time the cousins have been together in over 2 years. Hands down it is the Christmas present we are looking forward to more than any other!
By Advent Daily Devotional - Wednesday December 1, 2021
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! ~ II Corinthians 5:17 (NRSV) _ It’s getting to be an old person thing, like liniment, or doilies on the back of the upholstered chair, or a four legged cane. It’s having an unbent paper clip somewhere in a desk drawer, or around your personal work station. They used to call it a “hard reboot,” and you would only do it as a last resort, when the computer was locked up and unresponsive. Poke that paper clip end into a small hole, narrow for your protection, but with a switch at the bottom you could press with your high tech paper clip prong and the whole computer or laptop went “zzzzthunk.”
By Rev. Denise Cunningham-Doggett - Tuesday November 30, 2021
Tuesday, November 30th - Can You Imagine a King? During this Advent season, it allows me an opportunity to reflect and meditate on the hymns of the church. As a minister of the gospel, we represent Christ, to a dying world. But what does that look like in this season of a pandemic? What does it look like in time as this when some may not think that we need a Savior. The scripture God has encouraged me is Luke 2:34; “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Isreal.
By Rev. Connor L. Thompson - Monday November 29, 2021
Monday, November 29th - This devotion is the written accompaniment to a video Advent message that can be viewed on our YouTube Channel by clicking HERE. - 90 1-2 God, it seems you've been our home forever; long before the mountains were born, Long before you brought earth itself to birth, from "once upon a time” to "kingdom come”—you are God. 3-11 So don't return us to mud, saying, "Back to where you came from!” Patience! You've got all the time in the world—whether a thousand years or a day, it's all the same to you.
By Candis Wilson - Sunday November 28, 2021
First Day of Advent - Hope in the Midst of Despair - Please read Jeremiah 33:14-16 - When we look at the state of our world today, what comes to the forefront is the immense chaos, division, restlessness, injustices, war and a world that seems to bring out the worse of humankind on a daily basis. It appears to be a world living in a state of despair, lacking all hope for a better future.
By - Saturday November 27, 2021
The Christian Church in Ohio 2021 Advent Devotional Booklet is now available!
The complete booklet is available for download by clicking HERE.
As usual, we will also be posting the meditations as daily devotions through email, our website, and on our social media pages.
Once again we've included several video devotions this year. We hope that you enjoy these videos and also subscribe to the CCIO YouTube Channel.
We also wanted to let you know that the College of Regional Ministers has also put together an Advent Devotional Booklet, which can be downloaded in English, Korean, and/or Spanish HERE on our website.
May you all have a blessed Advent Season!
By Christian Church in Ohio - Friday November 26, 2021
The College of Regional Ministers has put together an Advent Devotional Booklet this year. It has been published in English, Korean, and Spanish. Each version is available to download through the links below.
By Camp Christian - Friday November 19, 2021
There are a couple events and outreach opportunities coming up for the Free Store Camp Christmas Program.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Wednesday November 10, 2021
The Christian Church in Ohio's 2021 Renewal Initiative has passed the half-way mark of our $100,000 goal! As of November 5th, the details for the Renewal Initiative are:
By Christian Church in Ohio - Friday October 15, 2021
We are so excited to share with you the 2022 Summer Program Schedule. There are Summer Programs at Camp Christian for Children and Youth from Kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as Advance Conference for Young Adults. You will also note the two Disciples Fellowship Retreats which are open to all ages. We have also included Adult Conference, which is open to all adults and is held at Northwest Christian Church in Columbus.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Wednesday October 13, 2021
The Christian Church in Ohio is delighted to invite you to participate in a Regional Church Celebration and the Installation Service for our Regional Pastor and President, the Rev. Allen V. Harris. The celebration will take place on Saturday, October 23rd at 2 p.m. and will be accessible both in person (with COVID protocols in place) and online. The General Minister and President for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, will be our special guest preacher. The theme for the service is “The Lord Is Near: Rejoice! Do Not Worry. Keep on.” Based on Philippians 4: 4-9.
By Camp Christian - Thursday October 7, 2021
We are so excited to announce to you, after a search process led by our Personnel Committee, we have formally hired our *settled* Camp Christian Campsite Manager Tom Bowerman-Jett!! Tom previously was called as our Interim Campsite Manager, but as of September 1st he was called to the full-time settled position. Many of you got to know Tom and witness his gifts this summer, whether it was when you volunteered to help with maintenance and upkeep or when you visited camp for one of our summer camp programs. As one volunteer said at our June Work Day, “Tom has the heart of a shepherd and the mind of a technician.” This is so true! ~ Here is a message from Tom:
By Christian Church in Ohio - Wednesday October 6, 2021
Greetings in the name and by the grace of Jesus Christ! As the Regional Church Staff and Regional Church Council we come to you with gratitude in our hearts for who you are in God’s beloved creation and all you are doing in Christ’s name during these challenging yet hope-filled times. We are living in a time in our world, and especially in our church, that is “both/and.” Our congregations and Regional Church are by now both thoroughly versed in what it means to live in a global pandemic and yet we are still learning new ways to manage it creatively and to integrate learnings into our future routines. We are both starting afresh with a new Regional Pastor and President and yet we are still aware of the fragility of our Regional Church finances and programming. This “both/and” world is most likely familiar to you in your own family, work, and community life as well.
By Rev. Alan Dicken - Wednesday September 8, 2021
When I was called in January 2020 to serve as the Regional Program Director, we had no idea that in a few short months, our world and our church would be forever changed by a global pandemic. Together, we did our best to follow the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, trying to follow where God was leading us through this season of living in wilderness.
Together, we began monthly clergy zoom calls to support one another, share resources and ideas, and to give encouragement during a difficult time. We responded to the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd with leadership from our Anti-Racism Commission and the Ohio Black Pastors. We made the tough decision to cancel the 2020 Camp Christian schedule. We had Christmas and Lenten video devotionals. We worked hard to bring back Camp Christian programming in 2021. We did our best to be the church.
By Bruce Bowerman-Jett - Friday September 3, 2021
The Free Store at Camp Christian has served over 2,200 people in need over the last eleven years. It has been a meaningful ministry and much needed resource for folks in the surrounding area around Camp Christian. It is a blessing to be able to serve our community with this ministry.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Tuesday July 27, 2021
This year, we are introducing an exciting new way to support Camp Christian by joining in our "Sponsor-a-Camper” program! This is a way for those who might not have their own camper or be coming to camp themselves this summer, but would like to help another young person come to experience the power of the Holy Spirit at work in Camp Christian! With the Sponsor-A-Camper program, anyone can pay full or partial camp fees to go towards the cost of a week at camp. You can make a donation to CYF, Chi Rho, Junior, or Advance or any combination you would like. Your donation will help that Camp or Conference cover costs associated with their specific 2021 summer program at Camp Christian. Click "Continue Reading" for Matching Gift information!
By Christian Church in Ohio - Monday July 19, 2021
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT - Christian Church In Ohio Campsite Manager (Full-Time) - The Christian Church in Ohio is currently recruiting a Campsite Manager for Camp Christian located in Marysville, Ohio. This person will perform all duties related to our camp facilities maintenance and management.
By Camp Christian - Friday May 28, 2021
We wanted to remind you that the Early Bird registration discount deadline for all Camp Christian Summer Camps and Conferences is next week. In order to be eligible for the discounted Early Bird Rate, everything must be postmarked and/or paid online no later than June 1st, which is next Tuesday! You can absolutely still register for Camp after June 1st, you just won’t be eligible for the reduced Early Bird rate afterwards. As with previous years, there are scholarships available. We don’t want cost to ever be a reason someone doesn’t come to Camp.
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Tuesday May 18, 2021
Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for persons who are fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus and several persons have reached out to me to ask what I and the Regional Staff advise for our local congregations in response to this news. Here are my thoughts:
A Covenant Network Of Congregations
Let me begin by reminding us of the obvious, and that is the beauty of the theology and polity of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and our covenantal nature is that all individual Christians are called to be responsible before God for exploring and following the path of life and faith to which God calls them. The congregation, the Region, the denomination, and even the ecumenical church are companions on this journey, but none seek to usurp or dictate the conscience of the individual. When we offer advice and counsel, it is just that: advice and counsel. I can assure you that I and other Disciples of Christ leaders understand the limits of our authority and simply work to provide the best guidance we can based on the resources available to us. This does not supersede the necessity of individuals and communities to do their own thoughtful research and prayerful discernment.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Thursday May 13, 2021
The Adult Conference of the Christian Church in Ohio is pleased to invite you to our 2021 Summer Virtual Retreat from June 21-24. Our theme, "The Time is Now" based on 2 Corinthians 6:2: “For he says, ‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!” The Rev. Dr. Rick Lowery, current president of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, will present our bible lectures while Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, former General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and current serving minister at historic Bethany Memorial Church, will provide our Vespers message. Like any year, summer conference will feature a host of classes delivered by voices with our region and larger movement.
By Camp Christian - Thursday April 29, 2021
We have an exciting Public Statement!! Summer registration forms are here!! Linked HERE please find the forms for the various weeks of camp as well as the health and scholarship forms. There are a few differences between previous years’ forms and this year’s forms due to changes we have had to make around Covid-19, so please take your time to read over the documents carefully.
By - Wednesday April 21, 2021
After ongoing conversations with the Union County Health Department, attending webinars provided by the American Camping Association and working diligently with our own Christian Church in Ohio staff, we believe it is possible to safely hold overnight programming at Camp Christian this summer. If we are advised that it is unsafe to hold programs, we will not open Camp. *Please click "Continue Reading" below for all of the details!*
By Camp Christian - Wednesday April 14, 2021
We are so excited to introduce to you our Interim Campsite Manager Tom Bowerman-Jett!! Tom started this week and is already diving into the work out at Camp Christian. As most of you know, the grass never seems to stop growing at Camp!
Here is a message from Tom:
“Greetings Ohio Region! My name is Tom Bowerman-Jett and I am from Bellefontaine, Ohio, though I grew up in a small town north of Lima called Gomer. When I was a child, I loved to take old electronics and appliances apart to understand how they work. I also enjoyed learning to build completely new things from the parts left over (or repair what was ailing them in the first place!)
By Rev. Allen Harris - Sunday April 4, 2021
Resurrection is not only possible, it has already happened! The Christian Church in Ohio has begun a new chapter in its history and Easter is a most appropriate occasion to celebrate this new life. The Regional Moderator and Regional Staff, including myself as your new Regional Pastor and President, have created a video to introduce ourselves to you and to celebrate the Good News of Christ’s resurrection. We invite you to share this video with the members and friends of your congregation or community as part of your Easter celebration. You can share it as part of worship, either virtually or in person, add it to your website or social media, and/or send it out in an email. However you share it, know that we appreciate it greatly.
By Rev. Alan Dicken - Saturday April 3, 2021
Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24 (Inclusive Bible Translation)
I am the one who has known grief under the rod of Most High’s anger. I am the one who was led away – left to walk in the night, far away from the light. The hand of God has been turned against me again and again, both day and night. God has torn away my skin and muscle and broken my bones. God has surrounded and besieged me with bitterness and calamity. God has cast me out into the darkness like those long dead. God has walled me in – there is no escape- and has weighed me down with shackles. Even when I call out for help, God ignores my plea. God has obstructed my path with huge boulders and blocked my ever step. I remember my woes and wanderings – the wormwood and the gall. Those memories are so clear to me, and they fill me with despair. Yet it is because I remember all this that I have hope. YHWH’s favor is not exhausted, nor has God’s compassion failed. They rise up anew each morning, so great is God’s faithfulness. “YHWH is all I have!” I cry. “So I will wait in patience.”
By Rev. Rick Spleth - Friday April 2, 2021
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. Luke 23:34 ~ I have had the occasion several times over the years to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This massive church dates from the 4th century and is built over the site that is believed to be Calvary, or Golgotha, the place of Jesus’ crucifixion and the tomb where his body was laid to rest. It is a very ornate building with a Medieval décor, filled with great hanging lamps and burning candles. Today it looks nothing like the place, outside the city walls, where Jesus was led to his death. If you go there you have to use your imagination to make the place fit the narrative of Jesus’ final day we read about in the Gospels, the day we call Good Friday.
By Rev. Dean Phelps - Thursday April 1, 2021
From a Distance, Still Together ~ Please read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you...” ~ Paul was not with Jesus and his disciples to celebrate the Passover with them. Yet, he describes for the fellowship of believers at Corinth some of the events of that evening. The Corinthian believers weren’t there, either, but they receive the story. Someone told the story to Paul, and he in turn relayed it to the church: This is the story as I heard it, so now I’m telling it to you.
By Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr. - Wednesday March 31, 2021
Isaiah’s Fasting Plan ~ In 1968, trumpeter Louis Armstrong released the timeless anthem, “What a Wonderful World.” This song’s message of hope and optimism makes me smile and think to myself, as Armstrong’s refrain goes, “What a wonderful world.” Hope and optimism. They form the vaccination that blocks fear and despair, and the requirement for persons to believe that if somehow forced to lie down, one day they will sit up; if they can sit up, one day they will stand up; if they can stand up, one day they will walk; and if they can walk, one day they will run! Hope and optimism: the higher society’s walls, the higher we’ll climb!
By Hymn Reflection - Tuesday March 30, 2021
Reflect on the Hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This”
1 What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
what wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul!
By Scripture Reflection - Monday March 29, 2021
Scripture for Reflection: Mark 1:16-20 ~ As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
By Life in Liturgy - Sunday March 28, 2021
Palm Sunday ~ Matthew 21:1-11 ~ Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem 21 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.[a]” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
By Scripture & Poem - Saturday March 27, 2021
Mark 11:1-11 ~ 11 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
By Scripture & Hymn Reflection - Friday March 26, 2021
Please read Matthew 21:8-11 ~ Reflect on the Hymn “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” ~ All glory, laud and honor
to you, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.
You are a child of Israel,
Great David’s greater Son;
you ride in lowly triumph,
Messiah, blessed One!
By Rev. Bruce Barkhauer - Thursday March 25, 2021
Deep and Wide: An Invitation to Give ~ The theme for the Easter offering for this year is Imagine What God Can Do. It celebrates how the ministries of the church reach deep and wide when we invest in the ways that God is working in the world. You may wonder, what exactly does that look like, and how, precisely does that work? To be honest, it works a hundred different ways – but it looks most like the work of discipleship. When a person is trained with special skills they go “deep” into the formation of the individual. As they learn, integrate, and begin to practice these new ideas, they also begin to share them with others, which is how they begin to go wide. God uses God’s people to do amazing things.
By Rev. Cynthia Klingemier - Thursday March 25, 2021
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise God, my help and my God.” Psalm 42:5 and Psalm 43:5 ~ This Lent I choose to fast from Despair and will instead hang out with Hope. This Lent I decide that my Hope cannot be taken from me by Despair. I say to Despair these things: “Despair, you can steal my home but you can’t have my Hope. Despair, you can have my health, but I’m holding onto my Hope. Despair, you can eat into my thoughts, but you can’t take over my thinking. Despair, you can haul me off to a dark place, but you can’t close the door that lets in the light of Hope.”
By Lectio Divina - Wednesday March 24, 2021
Follow the Lectio Divina phases for your devotion today ~ Praying with Scripture falls into the following four phases. These phases are not air-tight compartments with rigid transitions between them. Lectio offers a natural flow from one phase to the next rather than a lock-step march. ~ Please read Psalm 45 ~ Phase One - Lectio: reading. - What does the text say? TURN to the text and read it slowly, gently, out loud. Savor the reading, feel the words in your mouth, listening for the "still, small voice" of a particular word or phrase that says, "I am for you today."
By Life in Liturgy - Tuesday March 23, 2021
Loving God, through Jesus Christ you bring light and life to a dark and dying world. We give you thanks and praise for your love which he reveals to us, even today, and for the hope which his life and death and resurrection unfolds for our world. Even as you love the world so greatly and sacrificially in Jesus, help us in his spirit to live and to love your world today, especially as we lift to you the lonely, the hurting, the sick and the dying.
By Rev. Dr. Rick Lowery - Monday March 22, 2021
“Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me, there is no savior!” – Isaiah 43:10-11 NRSV ~ In these words, we find glimmers of hope in the grim reality of Babylonian exile (586-538 BCE) and an astounding theological breakthrough born of deep spiritual crisis. Exile is a devastating experience for any people anytime, but it took an especially heavy spiritual toll on Judeans exiled to Babylonia when Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed in 586.
By - Sunday March 21, 2021
Scripture for Reflection: Ezekiel 37:1-6 ~ The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
By Week of Compassion - Saturday March 20, 2021
Let Love Flow ~ To be inundated is typically not a good thing: the word carries a sense of too much. Water, a necessity for life, can at times be soothing, as a gently moving river or a placid sea reflecting blue skies above. Yet it also has the power to overwhelm, as when that same river overflows its banks or when an ocean surge is pushed before a storm. Too much water can inundate a riverbed, a floodplain, a surrounding community.
By the Visiting Regional Ministers - Friday March 19, 2021
We greet you in this Lenten time with the hope that you and your family, and members of your congregation, are safe and well. We are pleased that the opportunity for vaccination has greatly increased and are hopeful that you and each of the members of your church will soon be fully vaccinated. While most of the counties in Ohio remain in the red zone, we are seeing infection trends moving in a positive direction. With that good news, many have asked for our counsel on when and how to resume in-person indoor worship. Some churches have already taken that step. The CDC continues to discourage medium and large gatherings of people at this time. As infection rates continue downward, we are hopeful that recommendation will change.
By Hymn Reflection - Friday March 19, 2021
Reflect on the Hymn “How Long, O God, How Long?”
How long, O God, how long?
The ancient cry is ours.
We wait in grief and ask how long before we feel your powers.
And why, O God, and why?
We ask with every age
And throw against your distant sky the force of grief and rage.
By Silent Centering Prayer - Thursday March 18, 2021
Silent Centering Prayer ~ In silence, we come to know God. ~
Today for the devotion, we would like you to take a few moments out of your day for Silent Centering Prayer.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Wednesday March 17, 2021
Great news for Congregations that have not yet been able to complete their Year Book reporting through the ALEX database – The deadline has now been extended to Thursday, April 15th!! We know that there has been some confusion around this new process, and several of you were having trouble with the site, especially on Monday. We hope that this additional month of time will help in getting your Congregation set up on ALEX and your reporting completed.
By Rubem A. Alves - Wednesday March 17, 2021
Bread and Justice ~ O God, just as the disciples heard Christ’s words of promise and began to eat the bread and drink the wine in the suffering of a long remembrance and in the joy of a hope, grant that we may hear your word, spoken in each thing of everyday affairs:
By Life in Liturgy - Tuesday March 16, 2021
God who has promised living water to all who will ask has called us to draw near and make our needs, our hopes, our desires known, that we might be transformed, and that our truest desires might be to live in closer communion with Christ and his people. Let us pray. For the word of hope that pours over us like living water, for the word of grace that leads us to encounter the living Christ, we offer you our thanks, O God. You are our hope. We have often lived as though you were so distant, so uninvolved with us, and so aloof. Yet in Christ you have shown us just how near to us you are—walking by our sides, risking all to be near to us—so much that you would come to be our servant, our Savior and our friend.
By Lectio Divina - Monday March 15, 2021
Follow the Lectio Divina phases for your devotion today
Praying with Scripture falls into the following four phases. These phases are not air-tight compartments with rigid transitions between them. Lectio offers a natural flow from one phase to the next rather than a lock-step march.
Please read Psalm 107: 1-22
By Scripture Reflection - Sunday March 14, 2021
Scripture for Reflection: Psalm 51:1-10
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
By Rev. Michael Doerr - Saturday March 13, 2021
It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose God’s temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, God embraced us. God took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. God did all this on God’s own, with no help from us! Then God picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
By Rev. Ralph S. Wearstler - Friday March 12, 2021
"Good Questions" Here we are in the middle of our Lenten Journey. So, how’s it going? How’s those Lenten disciplines working out for you? Did you choose something that would improve your relationship with Jesus Christ? Hopefully, each of us is journeying on a road that will lead us to a greater understanding of our faith. And it’s very natural that it be a time of questioning. You see, questions are important! Without questions the learning process develops no depth. And when there are no questions concerning a person’s faith, it becomes a Blind Faith, a weak faith, one that is easily distracted or easily mislead.
By Scripture & Hymn Reflection - Thursday March 11, 2021
Pease read Psalm 55:22-33 and then Reflect on the Hymn “If You Will Trust in God to Guide You” by Georg Neumark ~ If you will trust in God to guide you,
and hope in God through all your ways,
God will give strength, whate'er betide you,
and bear you through the evil days.
Who trusts in God's unchanging love
builds on the rock that will not move.
By Rev. Dr. CJ Koen - Wednesday March 10, 2021
The Chosen Fast ~ Is it such a fast that I have chosen? - Is this such a manner of fasting that I have picked and approved? ~ A day for a man, to distress his soul for a day. The reading in the text is the more correct; and the idea is, that of pain and awkwardness, experienced by the self-restraint, was not the purpose in fasting. This appears to have been the mistake which they made, they assumed there was something admirable in the pain experienced by such self-restraint. Do we not often feel that there is something commendable in the difficulties we experience in our feats of self-denial?
By Rev Heather S. Schimmel - Tuesday March 9, 2021
March 9, 2020 seemed like a normal Monday until my phone rang on the way to Bible study. It was my daughter telling me the Governor had declared a State of Emergency. Even after I heard the news and looked it up on the internet I had no idea what that was going to mean for the next year. We were in for a completely new journey! Quarantine, digital worship, Covid19 life complications and change became normal things over the next year. Then the world added Racial tensions and Political drama to the chaos. The world of March 8, 2020 was gone after March 9th. We were on an unchosen fast!
By Rev. Chad Delaney - Monday March 8, 2021
The Scripture today is 1 Corinthians 3:16. Listen, Listen, Listen for a word from God.
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Working from home all these many months has been a mixed blessing. I get to be close by to all the things I might need during the day. Since my kids are doing school online, I get a chance to help them with their homework and see them throughout the day. But there’s a downside too. I’ve found that my “office” is slowly spreading throughout the house. Mail on this end table. Computer in the corner. Mics and tri-pod in the spare room. A pair of headphones here and another one there. In other words, my work life is spilling out all over the house. For many of us, personal life and work life are colliding in challenging and messy ways. Part of this is a natural outflow of this time we are living in...part of it is my need for more organization...but in either case, I’m realizing that cluttered spaces--for me--are much harder to work and concentrate in.