By - 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 - 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.
By Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea - Sunday March 7, 2021
Psalm 19: Heart Happy Laws ~ “The law of the Lord is perfect…rejoicing the heart.” (Psalm 19:7-8)
~ Hello—and warmest greetings in this chilly season to you all in the Christian Church in Ohio. I am Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, and I’m deeply grateful to work with Disciples Home Missions as your Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) PLEASE come (as many of your youth have in the past) to our office in DC to work together—and I pray to be again in Ohio with many of you soon, too! Our devotion for today takes us to Psalm 19.
By Lectio Divina - Saturday March 6, 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 John 2: 13-22
By Global Ministries - Friday March 5, 2021
Sharing in God's Abundance ~ Please reflect on this Responsive Reading from Global Ministries ~ John 10:10 ~ 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. ~ Leader: The essence of God's nature is love and righteousness. There is no division with God. God does not abandon people.
By Rev. April G. Johnson - Thursday March 4, 2021
The Journey toward Christ’s Marvelous Light
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NRSV)
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,[c] in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10 Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
By Scripture Reflection - Wednesday March 3, 2021
Scripture for Reflection: Joel 2:12-13
“Yet even now,” says the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts and not your clothing.”
Return to the Lord, your God,
for God is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Tuesday March 2, 2021
Through the season of Lent, we journey together through stories and experiences of death and resurrection, grief and hope. Over the past year(s), we have experienced all of these in our Region and congregations -- and through it all, God's presence among us and invitation into hope persevered. As one superhero recently put it, "What is grief if not the perseverance of love?" This is what leads us through the process of transformation from death to new life. Friends, we are so delighted to share that we are entering a time of NEW LIFE for the Christian Church in Ohio!
By Rev. Cynthia Klingemier - Tuesday March 2, 2021
"I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.” Leviticus 26:13 ~ My hands hold the thirty-eight-inch-long double yoke securely in my lap. Family lore says that it was made for my great-great-grandfather's oxen by my great-grandfather when he was a young man and learning the craft of farming from his father. Now the wooden yoke finds its home above the fireplace mantel in my sister's house. A heavy, gently curved wooden bar holds in place the two irregular ovals that awaited the oxen's necks. A sturdy iron yoke ring lies between the two ovals. The yoke's notable feature is that one of the oval hickory stanchions is smaller than the other, no doubt designed for a younger ox to be placed next to an older and more experienced oxen team worker.
By Rev. Alan Dicken - Monday March 1, 2021
Tomorrow, Tuesday March 2nd, we will begin to accept RSVPs for our camps and conferences at Camp Christian this summer! We are thrilled that we will be able to have Camp this summer and are hopeful that you are excited too! There are going to be a lot of program and schedule changes to make sure that we can have camp safely. Attached, please find the working document regarding the current policies and procedures for Camp Christian 2021. As we continue to learn more and take advice from the Union County Health Department, this document will be updated and we will share any updates with you as they come out.
By Rev. Allen Harris - Monday March 1, 2021
Greetings! I am the Rev. Allen V. Harris and I am once again honored to have been asked to offer a devotion for the Christian Church in Ohio this Holy Season of Lent. The Revised Common Lectionary text for today is from the New Testament book, the Acts of the Apostles, which is the chronicle of the development of the Church following the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us hear today’s text: Acts 10:23-33
By Week of Compassion - Sunday February 28, 2021
Letting Love Grow in Nicaragua ~ Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind, For the Compassionate One guides them, takes them to the best springs.– Isaiah 49:10 ~
Imagine not knowing where your next meal will come from. Imagine the constant fear of political unrest. Imagine working hard to produce crops to feed your family and earn a living, but constantly battling the effects of climate change threatening your ability to bring those crops to harvest. Imagine all of these things happening at once.
By Rev. Yvonne T. Gilmore - Saturday February 27, 2021
Please read Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-17 - 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, "Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
- "Small Wire” by Anne Sexton is one of my favorite poems. It begins, "My faith is a great weight hung on a small wire,” and poetically navigates worrisome concern for small and thin containers alongside confidence in the things that cannot be concealed.
By OWM Co-Presidents - Friday February 26, 2021
Bethany Christian Church in Columbus’ Annual Fast was scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of February 2020. Our beloved pastor had been soliciting as much participation as he could muster. During the weeks preceding the fast he reminded us of the reasons God calls for us to fast and pray. He encouraged us to join the fast and pray for a better relationship with God and with each other. Fasting and praying can help lift the heavy burdens of sin that too many of us carry around for too long and can help all of us with spiritual problems.
By Lectio Divina - Thursday February 25, 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 Romans 4:13-25
By Rev. Seth Stout - Wednesday February 24, 2021
Please read Psalm 77; Matthew 4:1-11 ~ The Psalmist (or Psalmists) prays for some awful things. Selfish, hateful things. We can be tempted to see the world that way, as a place where it is “me and God versus everyone else.” Judging others is something we do when we feel insecure about ourselves and are convinced that we are not enough.
By Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri - Tuesday February 23, 2021
1 Peter 3:8-9 NRSV - 8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. ~ Peter and his community offer challenging words in chapter 3. Having a “unity of Spirit” is challenging enough and being tender hearted and humble minded are anomalies these days.
By Rev. Kristine Eggert - Monday February 22, 2021
Please read Psalm 77. The Message translation ~ I think I could have written a 2020 version of the first 7 verses of Psalm 77. My language would be much like The Message Translation – pretty raw. I could write this because beginning March 13 – the day that sheltering in place became pretty much our only plan of action not just for a month but for nearly a year now– I’ve exhibited all those behaviors. I’ve yelled. I dismissed any notion that everything will turn out all right. I’ve hung my head and wrung my hands. Some days I couldn’t even say what was bothering me exactly. I remembered better years gone by.
By Rev. Rick Spleth - Sunday February 21, 2021
Lessons from a Quarantine ~ But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred fifty days the waters had abated; and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Genesis 8:1-4
By Week of Compassion - Saturday February 20, 2021
How Far Will You Go to Let Love Flow? - Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind, For the Compassionate One guides them, takes them to the best springs. – Isaiah 49:10 ~ How far are you willing to go so that your family will not thirst? For Namanu Macharia, that distance was twelve miles. Twelve miles of walking with her children; twelve miles of the heat beating down on them; twelve miles of carrying empty five-gallon containers to retrieve water, then rolling those containers back to her home.
By Rev. Audrey Connor - Friday February 19, 2021
“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”~ Daniel 9:18 ~ Lent is a time we join together with other Christians around the world to remember the source from which we come as we journey to the cross with Jesus. The first church I served as an associate minister, I clearly remember my first Ash Wednesday service. Senior Minister Scott Rollins and I administered ashes to each congregant delivering the words, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” At the end of the service, Scott turned to me and said this will be the last time we do this for some. Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.
By Lectio Divina - Thursday February 18, 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 Isaiah 58:5 ~ 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 Rev. Thaddaeus Allen - Wednesday February 17, 2021
Please read Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 ~ God calls us to return with “all your heart” and to “Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” The good news, church family, is that we are being called together (for we are too important to be left alone on this journey) again this Lent. Lent can be a very powerful time of renewal.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Tuesday February 16, 2021
The Christian Church in Ohio 2021 Lenten Devotional Booklet is now available! As we have done previously, we will be emailing the daily devotions out as well as posting them through our website and social media pages. If you are not already on the daily devotional email list and would like added, please send us an email to let us know. This year's booklet is filled with devotions written by amazing people from around the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ,) as well as Scripture and Hymn reflections, poems, and guided meditation and prayer.
By Rev. Alan Dicken - Friday February 12, 2021
Thank you so much for your patience as we have worked on the plans and details surrounding Camp Christian this summer. We sent an update at the end of 2020, asking you to plan on having Camp and we have been hard at work to make sure that we can safely have our summer programming this year! It has taken a lot of work and conversations with the Union County Health Department, Christian Church in Ohio staff, volunteer directors for the various weeks, and a whole lot of prayer! - To be clear – if the situation changes, or if the Union County Health Department recommends we do not have Camp, we will not have Camp this summer. The only reason why we are planning to have camp is because we believe we can do so safely. Safely having camp will mean a lot of changes to our normal schedule and programming. It will certainly feel and look different this year more than any other year. But we still look forward to being able to gather together again safely at Camp Christian for our summer programming!
By Camp Christian - Thursday February 4, 2021
Our beloved Food Services and Local Outreach Coordinator Wendy Taylor has decided that her call to serve as a paid employee of the Christian Church in Ohio has come to a close. We wanted to share this brief letter from Wendy addressing her decision to leave. ~ Dear Friends, I do not think it is a stretch to say I feel as if I was born to do the work I have been doing the last 11 years with The Free Store at Camp Christian. I feel so honored and privileged to have been able to serve our church in this outreach ministry over the years. It has been a joy getting to know so many of my fellow disciples and working with such generous congregations.
By Rev. Alan Dicken - Wednesday December 30, 2020
Dear Ohio Region, As 2020 draws to its close, we wanted to offer a brief word from the Ohio Region, thanking you for all you have done this year. Together, we were able to have Lenten and Advent Devotionals, support the Green Chair Fundraiser, give to the Renewal Initiative, receive grants for the free store, speak out against racism, gather together via zoom calls, and now we are getting close to being able to call a new Regional Minister! Despite all of the twists and turns of this year, we have been able to be faithful in our shared ministry as the Christian Church in Ohio. Thank you for all that you have done to help us live out our calling as Disciples!
By Rev. Ralph S. Wearstler - Friday December 25, 2020
This year the Advent and Christmas season has been a very different one for most of us. Our traditions of preparation and celebration have caused us to be more intentional and creative. For some of us we have experienced a sense of isolation much like Mary and Joseph, with just a few people stopping by to help us celebrate.
By Rev. Thaddaeus Allen - Thursday December 24, 2020
Please read Luke 2:1-20 ~ This day is a most holy of days. This night is a most special of nights. This season of Advent is about to climax with an announcement, a birth, and a song for all of creation to hear. This day God and the Church invite us into a renewed participation with the Incarnation. God is with us, and lives with us, and forms us ever new and always.
By Rev. Michael Doerr - Wednesday December 23, 2020
REJOICE! ~ For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:11-14
By Rev. Jeff Gill - Tuesday December 22, 2020
Micah is an under-appreciated prophet of Advent. Isaiah and Amos would have known of Micah’s message as contemporaries, and Jeremiah speaks approvingly of him from the generation just after him. One thing we get from Micah’s preaching is that there were obviously other prophets speaking in his era, and that they were speaking a word more congenial to what the kings and princes wanted to hear, whose “prophetic” word was comforting to those in power, even in support of those who oppressed the people.
By Anne C. Sowell - Monday December 21, 2020
Rejoice ~ Even though this year has been like one I’ve never seen, tumultuous, filled with a virus that has taken many lives, made many sick and denied many of us the right to assemble in the Lord’s house.
By Rev. Dean Phelps - Sunday December 20, 2020
Gifts That Change Lives ~ And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28, NRSV). ~ I was 12 years old that Christmas. Under the tree, I found an envelope with my name on it. When the time came, I opened the envelope to find only an index card with an instruction on it. Too many years have passed for me to recall the exact instructions or sequence, but they were simple instructions like, “Look under the milk.” Under the milk carton, then, was another index card with another instruction.
By Rev. Eugene James - Saturday December 19, 2020
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. Matthew 2:10 ~ Advent is a season of joyful anticipation. The Magi entered a season of anticipation when they saw that unique star in the east and discerned that it would lead them to the Christ child. It was not stationary, they had to follow it and when it stopped over the place where the child was, the Magi rejoiced. The season of anticipation had concluded, the place where the Christ child lay had been found. They entered in, worshiped him, and presented him their gifts.
By Shelby Baxter-Andrews - Friday December 18, 2020
Scripture: Psalm 126 (CEB) ~ The book of Psalms is all about humanity's relationship with God. In times of trouble, joy, war, exile, and triumph, the people of God express themselves in this book through Poetry. Psalm 126 is both testimony and prayer. It is reassurance that God has done and can still do great things! It reminds us that when things seem like they will never get better, God has the power to use our pain and our tears to yield a bountiful harvest. God can make rivers flow where before there was only waste.
By Rev. Cynthia Klingemier - Thursday December 17, 2020
Read Psalm 119:89-90: “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.” (NIV) ~ I’ve been watching the skies lately. Paying attention to the cloud formations. Searching for breaks of light in the glowering gray. Looking for distant sun rays to make their way my way. Watching angry storm clouds approach, unleash their fury, and travel on, soon enough making ways for calmer days. Enjoying the movements and beauty of puffy, fluffy fly-swiftly-across-the-sky wind driven clouds or flow-lazily-and-gently-overhead soft-as-cotton clouds.
By the Regional Minister Search Team - Wednesday December 16, 2020
The Regional Minister Search Team continues to be so very grateful for your prayers as we move forward in the process of discernment for our next Regional Pastor and President. We carry the hope and understanding that we represent you in our discernment each step of the way.
By Rev. Jeff Gill - Wednesday December 16, 2020
Every year, no matter your own personal situation, each of us has a store of memories, many delightful and always a few awkward and painful ones, about what Christmas has been before in our lives. We also all know and anticipate how this year’s observance will be different. “Empty chairs around the table” has usually been just a metaphor, since we rarely leave a chair empty, but in many homes a standard table will simply not have enough people physically present to fill them. So for many of us, for the first time perhaps, we literally will have empty chairs at the table.
By Kevin Poe and Jennifer Berlyoung - Tuesday December 15, 2020
1 Timothy 4:12, NIV: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." ~ Youth are the future of the church. The youth are a symbol of hope. To have youth in our churches makes us happy but to see youth serving, side by side with adults year-round, is something that elevates it to true joy. Youth have so much to give the church and are particularly placed for ministry as they are developing their own skills and figuring out where they can excel. We thank God for the blessing of the youth, and rejoice in the privilege of hearing their important voices.
By Rev. Kristine Eggert - Monday December 14, 2020
Please read Habakkuk 3:17-19 ~ December 14 is a date etched in my brain and occupies permanent space in my heart. It was on Friday, December 14, 2012 that a lone gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School just as classes started and killed 20 first-graders and 6 school staff members. On Saturday morning, I tore the sermon I’d written into shreds and began again. It was the 3rd Sunday in Advent – the morning when we would light the Joy candle.
By Rev. Deborah Saxe - Sunday December 13, 2020
Please read Psalm 126:1-6 and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 ~ Leading into this Advent season the world has been in a time of wilderness: so much isolation, such dry spirits. In preparation for this time I couldn’t help but reflect on how alone we have each felt, and it made me consider the Nativity story from a deeper and truer place. I considered how alone each one of these characters must have felt in their individual circumstances, decisions, geography, power structures. It reminded me of a wider truth about the Scriptures, that these are a collection of the stories of ordinary people, the ancestors of our faith, teaching how we can better respond to our own experiences of isolation or complication.
By Rev. Chris McCreight - Saturday December 12, 2020
Matthew 21.28-32 - Wait, is Jesus talking about us? - The Parable of the Two Sons - 28 'What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, "Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” 29He answered, "I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, "I go, sir”; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?' They said, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.
By Rev. Jim Bane - Friday December 11, 2020
It was just over a year ago, and I was running through a wooded trail in a small-town park in the middle of Tennessee. The temperature was about freezing, and it was about midnight. My headlamp was dim, and the running flashlight I was holding was going out. And I wasn’t 100% sure I was even on the right path. Other than the cold and the darkness and the confusion things were going fairly well.
By Rev. Dr. CJ Koen - Thursday December 10, 2020
Joy brings us a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. it is an emotion that we experience When life seems good to us. The times when the sun is shining, the times when our team is victorious, when we feel health and strength. People hardly ever talk about happiness amid heartbreak, or pleasure in the midst of painful sickness, or the exhilaration of losing.
By Bruce Bowerman-Jett - Wednesday December 9, 2020
Let us Rejoice!!! ~ Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~ Think of this: Instead of worrying about problems we cannot solve, you choose to be joyful! We all have been on a journey in life. Consider the many struggles the Apostle Paul had and how he must have felt as he sat in one imprisonment after another.
By Gladys Davis - Tuesday December 8, 2020
Fellow Disciples, What a year it has been! The year of Covid-19 has brought challenges all around. We had to cancel in-person Summer Camps this year and switch to virtual. Instead of housing campers and retreat-goers, we have been working with the Union County Department of Health to prepare to potentially house individuals recovering from the virus or needing to quarantine.
By Rev. Mary Jo Bray - Tuesday December 8, 2020
We enter this season of Advent in the midst of a pandemic with 240,000 + lives lost to COVID-19. At the time of this writing, we do not have a clear winner in the US Presidential race, and even if we did, we have an angry nation divided almost equally in half. Churches are struggling, families are separated, holidays will be disrupted. Everything seems challenging, and out of balance. From this chaos, we hear the peaceful words of Psalm 27:
By Reverend Audrey Connor - Monday December 7, 2020
As a night chaplain at a hospital, part of my role is to round to the different nurse’s stations taking the emotional temperature of the staff and to hear of patients who may benefit from the presence of a chaplain. Each night I am asked by nurses, “How is the house?” I learned quickly that the question is never about where I go after work - the hospital is the “main house”. The people I talk with are usually seeking a bigger perspective to their night in the hospital.
By Rev. Rick Spleth - Sunday December 6, 2020
Within the hymnody of the church there are at least two familiar songs that liken peace to a river. One is the African American spiritual sung by many Sunday School children and youth at camp— “I’ve Got Peace Like a River.” That one continues the water imagery with subsequent verses affirming “love like an ocean” and “joy like a fountain.” Properly sung, that popular song, entails some hand motions done with a sense of exuberance. If you invite some first graders to sing this song, you are going to end up with some noise. So, if you equate peace with quiet, I would not recommend that you encourage the singing of this song.
By Manny Latio - Saturday December 5, 2020
Hi, my name is Manny Latio. You can call me a young adult leader. No matter where you are in the country, or the world for that matter, no matter what time of day it is, happy December 5th. I will be leading today’s devotional for Advent, and today’s devotional from Psalm 85:8-13. And…actually, I’ll read—yeah, actually I’ll read it…a little bit.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Friday December 4, 2020
Life does not always play out like we imagine. This is true for us individually and true for our Congregations. You plan for things to be a certain way but then “life happens.” We pray for the courage to dream, to believe, and to hope when circumstances have changed, and even in a time like this, to rejoice. Through the Christmas Offering, resources are provided that assist the Christian Church in Ohio in supporting Congregations, Ministers, and the ministries of Camp Christian and the Ohio Region.
By Rev. Cynthia Klingemier - Friday December 4, 2020
Please read Isaiah 43:1-3a ~ In the age before broken and torn things were so easily and simply discarded, and in the age when wounded things were mended if at all possible, the oval wicker basket was a fixture beside the grandmother’s worn, wooden rocking chair with the equally worn sky blue cushion on its seat. Maybe a foot deep, the basket with its woven, narrow wooden strips gave the appearance of small brown building blocks placed one on top of the other in alternating rows. The basket’s lid never rested on the top of the basket but always sat underneath the basket’s wickered bottom, cradling the work nestled inside with care. That basket was never empty.
By Rev. Sarah West - Thursday December 3, 2020
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! - Luke 1:39-45
By Rev. Seth Stout - Wednesday December 2, 2020
Please read Psalm 79; Micah 5:1-5a; Luke 21:34-38 ~ The creators of the lectionary have put these three scriptures together on purpose. We often, especially during advent, assume that the scriptures go together because they are talking about the same thing. ~ That’s not the case.
By Rev. Brian Carr - Tuesday December 1, 2020
Please read Psalm 79; Micah 4:6-13 ~ The readings for today show a people in chaos and turmoil; a people lost in brokenness and in need of wholeness; a people struggling with the world around them and who are seeking restoration and a light at the end of the tunnel. Sound familiar?
By Rev. Eugene James - Monday November 30, 2020
Developing an understanding of the concept of whole church among clergy and congregations is a crucial task that Regions have. It is essential that they are able to perceive the fact that they share in ministry beyond their location. This understanding among congregations is crucial to enabling Regions to advocate and support the mission and vision of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
By Rev. Allen Harris - Monday November 30, 2020
Lectionary Readings: Psalm 79; Micah 4:1-5; Revelation 15:1-8 ~ It is helpful to remember before reading today’s lectionary texts that for much of the church’s history Advent was more akin to Lent than our modern-day festive celebrations would suggest. Even today in some religious traditions Advent is a time of sober assessment of who we are as people of faith and where we are in our faith journey, and spiritual disciplines such as confession and repentance are central to the season.
By Rev. Alan Dicken - Sunday November 29, 2020
Hello Ohio Region! Welcome to Advent. It is finally here. For many people, it is our favorite time of the year. For all of us, I imagine, we have been wondering just how Advent will look this year. No matter what exactly our church practices may be, this is sure to be a very different kind of Advent season. Still, it is a season of rejoicing. That is the theme for the Advent Devotionals we will be seeing and reading in the coming weeks. Rejoice!
By Christian Church in Ohio - Monday November 23, 2020
This upcoming Advent Season, we will be livestreaming several services from this facebook page.
Every Sunday for the next four Sundays, we will be hosting Taize themed contemplative Advent Vespers services.On Monday Dec 21, we will also be sharing a Blue Christmas Service.
By Regional Minister Search Team - Friday October 9, 2020
Greetings, fellow Disciples! As many of you saw at our virtual Regional Assembly, we were excited to share that the Regional Profile has been completed along with a Regional Minister Job Description. We believe that these are reflective not just of our current identity as a collective community of faith, but also as a foundational visioning document for going forward.
By Rev. Don Baird - Friday October 2, 2020
I've been struggling with the meaning of World Communion Sunday this week.
In Galatians 3:28 Paul writes
"28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
These were the three great issues of his time which Jews and some Jewish Christians believed separated persons from God and from each other - dividing lines which he insisted time and again were overcome in Christ. In our time the issues of religious diversity, gender equality, and racism and social class divide us still. In this season we would certainly add politics to the list.
By Christian Church in Ohio - Tuesday September 29, 2020
We had such a wonderful Virtual Regional Assembly on Saturday! We are so glad that so many of you were able to join us online. If you were not able to participate on Saturday, the content and videos (with the exception of the live Zoom gatherings) that were available on Saturday are still available for you to access at your convenience. There are also several ongoing Outreach at Home projects and donation opportunities. ~ We want to especially say THANK YOU to all of the people who assisted in pulling together the Assembly. Whether it was preparing content, providing or assembling videos, performing music, hosting Zoom gatherings or workshops, or any of the other behind the scenes work. We are so grateful for the time and work you put into this!
By the Christian Church in Ohio - Wednesday September 9, 2020
We have reason to be joyful in Ohio today! Today we celebrate that we have in just 7 weeks already exceeded our goal for the Renewal Initiative! As of 4:00pm today, we have received gifts totaling $75,506.11! Plus, we know that there are still generous donations from Congregations and individuals on their way to further exceed this initial goal.