June 28, 2022

A Message From Rev. Carl Robinson
It has been a difficult few weeks for those of us who were hoping that this season of emerging from COVID might serve as symbol of new things coming. If anything, the signs that we see are regressive instead of progressive. There seems to be a malaise in the churches that reflect a deep weariness, too long a time spent in grieving and despair, and a deep hopelessness about the future.

Clergy have been affected. Our pastors are all suffering it. Couple that with Congressional hearings on the January 6 insurrection, the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, economics that see gasoline at an all-time high, inflation at an impossible rate, a war in Ukraine, the casual threat of greater violence, yet more mass shootings, train derailments, and all the pressure placed on us to do more and more for less and less, and we have all we need for some serious depression.

It reminds me of those escaped slaves who fled Egypt in about 1250bce. By the time they left the land of Midian and headed toward this ethereal “Promised Land,” the people had become dissatisfied with their newfound freedoms. Everything was going wrong. The food was snot-like morning dew and the directions were hardly clear. When they finally arrived, they found the land inhabited by “ites,” indigenous peoples of the land who would have to be conquered in order for the followers of a God with no real name to control it.

“I will just sit under this tree until I die.” Elijah said to himself. “Why does this people despise me?” asked every prophet, throughout time. The psalmist sings about 63 pslams of woe. Lamentations is an expression of such deep despair that we hesitate to even read it.

But there it is. We join Jeremiah in lament. We cry to God for deliverance from these times. We weep for all that has been lost. We cry out for new times, different times, other times.

But soon there will come a time to get up from under the tree of woe. There will come a time to go, to serve, to repair damage done, to reach out to those whose hope had all dried up. Apostleship opens anew in those days.

Get ready, for those days are right at hand.

IRS Mileage Rates
The IRS announced it has implemented a new reimbursement rate for the second half of 2022.

For mileage from January 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022, the rate is $0.585.

For 2022 mileage beginning July 1, 2022, the rate is $0.625.

Details here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-22-13.pdf

Ecclesiastical Council – Russell (Rusty) E. Andrews Junior
There will be an ecclesiastical council for Rusty Andrews on Sunday, July 10th at 3 p.m. at First United Church of Christ in Springfield, OH. All are invited to attend. You may read Rusty’s ordination paper here.

Festivals Of Faith Cincinnati
Here is a wonderful outreach and educational opportunity for you and your congregation.

The 5th annual Festival of Faiths is a week-long, hybrid celebration from July 31 – August 7, 2022. More than 30 faith organizations representing 13 world religions will collaborate to bring meaningful, entertaining, and educational programming.

The festival, hosted by EquaSion, is free, open to the public, and features faith-based conversations, dialogues, workshops, meditations, and music programs.

Please join in the celebration Sunday, August 7, noon to 5pm at Xavier University’s Cintas Center to enjoy cultural foods, merchandise, youth and adult activities, cultural and ethnic music, and entertainment.

This year we are a sponsor and will have a SONKA table (thanks to those who support the Mission Priority Board!) The theme is “Compassion through Action: Working for the Common Good.” We will share our UCC efforts to engender caring, ease suffering, promote inclusion, equity and justice, build community, create opportunity, and foster hope.

Sign up link here if you would like to help person the SONKA table and extend extravagant welcome!

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0E48AFAD22A5FBC34-uccsonka

If you cannot attend and you or your church has information to display, you can send or drop off to MiMi by Thursday, August 4.

You can view the Festival of Faiths flyer here.

Or Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CincyFoF

St. John Church – Bellevue, KY – Part-time Administrative Assistant To Pastor
Please view the job listing at the St. John website here.

Dayton Recovery Workgroup Opportunity
The Heartland Conference Disaster Recovery Network is currently working in the Dayton, Ohio area and needs volunteers for the week of July 25-29.

This build is a cooperative effort between the Christian Church Disciples of Christ (DOC) and the Heartland Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC).

The work consists of rehabbing a house that will provide affordable housing for a family displaced by the tornado that passed through the Dayton, Ohio area on Memorial Day weekend, 2019. The house is located at 418 Smith Street, Dayton, Ohio 45417. This is approximately 1 hr. 13 min. drive from downtown Cincinnati.

Volunteers are needed for Monday, July 25; Tuesday, July 26; Wednesday, July 27; Thursday, July 28; and Friday, July 29. Volunteers can work for one or more of those days, but we would want to coordinate partial week workers to align days as much as possible.

Volunteers are responsible for providing their own lunch and drinks for the work day.

The work begins at 9:00 am (Eastern Standard Time) and finishes around 3:00 pm. Most volunteers from the Cincinnati area choose to drive back and forth each day, but overnight accommodations can be arranged at United Christian Church (DOC) on Hoke Road in Clayton, Ohio for a nominal fee. The church is 25 minutes north of the job site. Contact Ken Weidinger (859.380.4140) if you would like to pursue that option.

While things change daily on job sites, the hope is that the house will be ready for flooring and finish trim work by the last week in July. Volunteers could bring their own basic carpentry tools for this kind of work if they choose (hammers, nail aprons, squares, pencils, nail sets, etc.) or use tools that are provided on site.

Construction experience is not necessary. Jaye Herrick is the Construction Site Supervisor and she will be assigning tasks to the volunteers who have experience and coaching/teaching volunteers with little to no experience.

Anyone interested in volunteering for this build can contact Ken Weidinger (859.380.4140) or go to https://heartlanducc.org/disaster-response-network/ for information regarding registration for this site.

Western Kentucky Restoration And Recovery Efforts
One last “Thank You” to each of you for your hard work and willing spirit last week in Western Kentucky.

Last week our team logged 361 volunteer hours at our work site. Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving  programs, has established a volunteer’s hourly value at $29.92 for 2002. Using that value, our team’s labor contribution last week was $10,812. That is but one measure of the contribution of time, talent, and spirit that you made to the Western Kentucky restoration and recovery efforts. Good work, my friends. You made a difference!

Our next trip to Western Kentucky is scheduled for October 23-29, 2022, and will be following the pattern of this past trip. Please let me know if you would like to join us in October.

With Gratitude and Hope,
Ken Weidinger

Future Boundary Training Opportunities
“Position of Trust” a basic course of boundary training/healthy ministry relationships for authorized ministers. 9 classroom hours— Two opportunities, fall or spring:

Fall: Wed and Thurs, Oct 5 and 6, 2022 12-4:30 ET

OR, Spring Friday and Sat, March 3 and 4, 2023 12-4:30   ET

“Healthy Ministry Relationships and Pastoral Transitions for Retired & Retiring Authorized Ministers”. 3 hours. Two opportunities, fall or spring:

Fall: Wed, Sept 21, 2022 10-1 pm ET

Or, Spring: Monday, Feb 6, 2023 10-1 pm ET.

Faith Formation News
Have you run out of ideas? Looking for progressive curriculum? Maybe you’d like to explore OWL (Our Whole Lives) or a collaborative Vacation Bible School? A SONKA wide Adult Book Study? Well, The Faith Formation Team of the Ministry Council invites you to join us at the Spring Gathering for a conversation about how we can help be a resource for you as you plan the important work of Faith Formation- in your setting, or with other churches.

What are your challenges? Can we work together as churches to share the burdens and joys of this ministry? Come and talk to folks who have established collaborative faith formation opportunities, let’s share the wisdom around the table. We want to know what is important to you as we all move church into the future.

We are excited to hear from you, excited to share resources. We are here for you. What can we do to best help you in your Faith Formation work?

We are:

Ruth Hopkins
Mark Roeder
Debbie Stinton

2022 Remittance Form
Please see the updated remittance form for 2022 here.

We are blessed with regular contributions from voices across the Association. Click the links below to read the latest from: