Dear Christian Church in Ohio Friends,
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.
As we plan for the new program year we wanted to offer our own “both/and” to both celebrate your gracious generosity in 2020 and to invite you to again give to support the mission and ministry of the Christian Church in Ohio in 2021. Your gift will both keep us on solid ground and move us forward confidently as we reimagine new ways of being Christ’s church at work and in witness to the world.
In 2020 you far exceeded expectations for the Renewal Initiative by giving $120,028.44 towards our goal of $75,000. Your gifts were designated:
- $20,523.75 towards the Regional Church Operating Expenses
- $55,334.69 towards the Camp Christian Operating Expenses
- $44,171.00 to where we needed it most
Abundant thanks go out to the 23 congregations, 65 clergy, and 156 laypersons who gave to the initiative. You have made the ministry we are doing possible.
Our hope is to raise with the Renewal Initiative at least $100,000 this fall, and already you have given $34,450.00 toward this goal. Once again we are asking for your generosity through your prayers and financial support. You will remember that you have your choice to designate all or a portion to Regional Church Operating Expenses, Camp Christian Operating Expenses, or where needed most.
One of the critical needs we have now that we have called a new Regional Pastor and President who has named a goal of reimagining Regional Ministry staffing for the needs of the 21-century Church is to undergird the Regional Church Operating Fund in such a way that new staffing in creative new patterns can be made real. You will note that the Rev. Alan Dicken, who was called in January of 2020 as our Regional Program Director, concluded his time with us at the end of September 2021 as was planned and budgeted. The ministry he offered still very much needs to have staff support, and other ministry needs in the Region not yet supported will need staff guidance as well. Of course, this is in addition to the generous gifts of volunteer time, energy, and wisdom that you and others provide. Both current staffing and new staffing will need our financial gifts to make our ministry a reality in 2021.
One of the great successes of this year was our ability to effectively hold a limited but vibrant Camp & Conference Season. This was made possible because of the wise and diligent work of the Rev. Alan Dicken and the Camp Christian Committee, as well as the incredible work of Tom Bowerman-Jett, our interim, (now permanent) Camp Site Manager and a multitude of volunteers helping him. Our beloved Camp Christian is in very good hands with Tom on board! The cash flow of Camp was in the black primarily due to the generosity of First Christian Church, Athens, whose outright gift of $5,000 and matching gift of $10,000 helped inspire generosity across the Region.
Your generosity has enabled our Regional Church to confidently call a full-time Regional Minister and again hire a full-time Camp Site Manager, to sustain the critical work of our Regional Administrator, as well as to ensure a high-quality virtual office for all staff during the pandemic and beyond, all while maintaining a balanced budget. Additional giving will enable us to imagine and provide for expanded ministry to our congregations, clergy, and lay leadership.
We continue to seek to earn the confidence and trust in you, our Regional supporters. Visitors are always welcome at our Regional Church Council meetings (currently virtual) and minutes are posted on our Regional website at /about-us/regional-church-council.aspx. Likewise, our financial reports, diligently overseen by our Finance Committee under the leadership of Gladys Davis, can always be found at /about-us/regional-church-council/ccio-financial.aspx. Our Regional Minister, Rev. Allen Harris, is available if you have questions, ideas, or concerns about the ministry of the Christian Church in Ohio and our Regional Administrator, Jennie Stoddart Bernard, can answer your questions about your gifts and giving.
Please look over the brochure (linked HERE) and prayerfully consider giving to support the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ through the 2021 Renewal Initiative.
The Christian Church in Ohio Regional Church Council and the Staff & Leadership of Camp Christian
Online donations to the Renewal Initiative for the Region, Camp Christian, and/or Where Needed Most can be made at www.ccinoh.com/donation.
Up to date information about the status of the 2021 Renewal Initiative
can always be found at /other-pages/renewal-initiative.aspx.