By Rev. David T. Chafin - Friday February 23, 2024
A thought on 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 - We are preparing in most of our communities to enter into a solemn night of remembrance and thanksgiving. It is a high moment in the midst of Holy Week as we claim for ourselves the life that has been given to us in the offering of Jesus to his people in the upper room. In doing so, we are taking our places in a tremendous chain of liturgy and prayer that binds us with God's people across the whole Church through the ages.
By Heather Schimmel - Wednesday February 21, 2024
Lonely! ~ There are times when being alone is a blessing! After being in a crowd or being overwhelmed by the world, being alone is a gift. But then there is the profound sense of loss I found in lonely lostness. Definitely not the blessing of quiet alone time! ~ We had taken Bekkah to College. I was all excited for her and knew she would be AMAZING! Moving her into her new dorm, meeting her roommate and her parents, walking the campus and watching her start this new chapter was good. Then I went home.
By Rev. Kara R. Swartz - Tuesday February 20, 2024
“Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have wrestled with God and with humans and have overcome.”” - Oh, these words from Genesis 32:22-32 and this story have been one I have turned to often over the years. For those that may not know I was a wrestling statistician in High School. Yes, that is a thing, and it basically meant that among other things I kept score of the matches. Points are awarded based on what you do against someone…and it is also important to know that that person you wrestle against is generally in your same weight class.
By Rev. Bruce Bowerman-Jett - Sunday February 18, 2024
All Roads Lead To The Cross!!! ~ This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 ~ As I turn 40 years old, I would think wisdom comes with age, right? Or at least that’s what we hope; to get not only older but wiser, too. Over time, we start to integrate the experiences we've had so far into more informed decisions and healthier practices. My childhood was anything but normal with my mother being a single hearing-impaired individual who had limited support. As I grew up in the church I didn’t follow the normal path. My pastor at the time at FCC was Jeff Bartlett who would become a mentor to me during my young years.
By Gladys Davis - Saturday February 17, 2024
When we were asked to write a devotional for this booklet, it was suggested we reflect on how God has been with us on our personal journey over the past couple of years. During that period of time, I have been completing the Master of Divinity program at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, anticipating graduation in May 2024. I will graduate from seminary 40 years after graduating from high school. That’s forty years wandering in the wilderness of trying to find my niche, my purpose, my calling. I wandered through careers in non-profit, accounting, teaching and instructional design but I still had not found the “promised land,” that role in life where my talents, my passion, and the world’s need all aligned.
By Vera Burton - Friday February 16, 2024
Serving ~ In the fall of 2011, over a dozen years ago, I had a once in a lifetime experience of going to Africa my very first time. I may return but I am sure it will not equal the first trip. The opportunity to go came out of the blue as a coworker challenged me to travel to Benoni, SA to check on the progress of a sizable grant from my employer’s trust to an organization located there. After considering the opportunity, it seemed unaffordable. I decided that since I was retired, I should stay for more than a few days, maybe a month.
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Thursday December 28, 2023
Our theme for Advent and Christmas this year has been “abide with us,” taken from scripture and the Christmas Carol, “O Little Town Of Bethlehem.” As I have said elsewhere, the concept of “abiding” is a beautiful expression of being fully present with another, whether it is us asking God to abide with us, as in the carol, or the Divine inviting us to abide with God and Jesus, God-In-Christ. In any case, abide means much more than simply “drop by” or “pop-in” for a visit, but to dwell or reside with, to journey alongside, to deepen relationships.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Friday December 15, 2023
The much loved Christmas Carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” includes the words central to our Advent and Christmas theme this year, “abide with us”: “We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, our God, Emmanuel.” While “abide with us” is a bit of an old fashioned phrase, the notion of abiding is as beautiful as it is comforting. It is a well-used word in Holy Scripture and can be found upwards of 96 times in the Bible. To abide is to “dwell,” “remain,” “be present,” and to “be held and kept,” and many of the uses refer to us abiding with Christ, however, the Christmas Carol urges the opposite, and voices our plea to Christ, Emmanuel or “God-with-us,” to abide with us. And isn’t that so much of what the season of Advent is about, inviting the Christ Child to come, once again, to our hearts, our communities, our world so very much in need of the presence and peace God has promised us?
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Friday October 27, 2023
We are stronger together - “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other…. And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - Dear Ministry & Mission Partner, From my earliest childhood days growing up in my home church I was aware there was a larger church beyond the people and the building I knew and loved on South Main Street in Roswell, New Mexico. What made me aware of this were the many times the broader church connected with my local church in positive and helpful ways. Whether it was in the study materials prepared for the women’s group, the assistance and insight given when the congregation was looking for a new pastor, the education, worship, and fellowship activities with other Disciples of Christ congregations around our area and region, or the summer camp program that was so formative for my own Christian faith and leadership skills: the Regional Church was supporting us!
By Christian Church in Ohio - Friday October 6, 2023
Greetings in the name and by the grace of Jesus Christ! We pray you are well and that the mission and ministry of your congregation is healthy and serving your community well. We hold you regularly in prayer and are eager to learn from you how the Regional Church Council and Staff can serve you more fully. We are aware that sometimes it feels like the ministry of the Regional Church is not well known by or connected to the leaders and members of our local congregations and faith communities. We are working diligently to improve lines of communication, both through rebuilding personal relationships and upgrading our communication methods and insuring the highest excellence and regular frequency of the flow of information.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Thursday October 5, 2023
Celebrating And Honoring Our Clergy All Year Round – And Especially In October - Clergy who have committed their lives to serving God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, whether it is as a chaplain, an educator, a non-profit leader, a local church pastor, or who are retired from ministry are to be honored and celebrated. This should take place all year round, but the month of October has been designated as “Clergy Appreciation Month” so that a special emphasis can be made on showing appreciation for their service. We hope that church members and leaders across Ohio take this opportunity to lift up and honor the clergy in their lives.
By Week of Compassion - Thursday September 21, 2023
Week of Compassion Refugee Resettlement Informational Workshops around Ohio, October 23, 24 & 25 - Have you or your church ever wondered if there are ways you could support Afghan evacuees, people displaced from the war in Ukraine, Sudanese refugees, or any other refugee population? Ohio as a state is ranked 16th in refugees resettled per capita, ahead of states like Texas, Florida, California, New York, and Illinois. Tens of thousands of refugees call Ohio home and that number will only be increasing in the coming years.
By Rev. E. Regis Bunch - Wednesday September 6, 2023
Fifth Christian Church of Cleveland, Ohio ran a Children's Defense Fund Freedom School this Summer serving over thirty children in the historic Lee - Harvard area of Cleveland, OH. The mission of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is to ensure every child a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. The CDF Freedom Schools® program provides summer and after-school enrichment through a research-based and multicultural program model that supports K-12 scholars and their families through five essential components: high quality academic and character-building enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational servant leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health.
By Rev. Dr. Kate Gillooly - Wednesday September 6, 2023
While the threat of rain drove us inside, our 2023 Porch Talk was a success! Heights Christian Church (HCC) partnered with East View UCC and Plymouth UCC to present a talk by the Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle to the community of Shaker Heights and greater Cleveland. Begun in 2019 by HCC alone, this annual event continues the call to racial and social justice described by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he spoke from the steps of the church in 1965. His visit was not without controversy — when some members of the congregation heard he had been invited to speak at their church, they announced it was time to renovate the sanctuary and remove the pews. Undeterred, other congregational leaders arranged for him to speak from the church porch, which resulted in many more people able to see and hear him. There were protests and police presence, but his words carried the day and continue to inspire.
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Tuesday August 8, 2023
To say it has been a busy summer for the Christian Church in Ohio is to understate a huge reality. In addition to a full summer camp season, with a dedicated but innovatively pieced-together cadre of newer and well-seasoned individuals serving as Summer Camp Staff, we also had several projects going on including the General Assembly of the Christian Church in the United States and Canada. This biennial event did not happen on site two years ago because of the pandemic, and so many were especially looking forward to us being physically together again. I have been attending General Assemblies since I was in high school going to my first one in St. Louis in 1979. I have continued to attend because I think it is the very best place to witness the mission and ministry of the entire church and to engage with those involved in ministry on our behalf, whether across the United States and Canada or around the world. Plus it is just plain old fun!
By Rev. Allen V. Harris - Monday July 24, 2023
General Assembly 2023 - In just over a week thousands of members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will gather in Louisville Kentucky for our biennial General Assembly, and a healthy portion of those will be from our very own Christian Church in Ohio. We are looking forward to showing Ohio pride throughout the Assembly. We do hope those who cannot attend in person will join worship via live stream or get the digital access package, both described elsewhere in this special newsletter. - If you are attending the Assembly in person, whether you currently live in Ohio or formerly lived here, we hope you will be ready for the Regional Roll Call that will happen at Saturday morning's opening session. Please plan to wear a shirt/T-shirt representing any institution in Ohio you would like to celebrate such as your local congregation, Camp Christian, Hiram College, the Methodist Theological School of Ohio, OSU, the Cleveland Christian Home, or any school or institution in Ohio.
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.