May 23, 2023

A Message From Rev. Carl Robinson
Many of my friends and colleagues have been asking about my health issues, so I thought I would take a minutes and outline what has been going on.

It all started last summer, when my primary care doctor finally recommended a hip replacement and scheduled me with an orthopedic surgeon. The trek to that date had been twelve long years of pain and struggle with a hip that needed to be replaced, but that medical science and insurance determined to be less limiting than required surgery. We all knew that the wait to surgery was doing damage to my long-term health, but that was deemed less intrusive and expensive than the surgery.

I had the surgery on November 30 and made a pretty quick and complete recovery. There was a step backward when, on New Year’s Eve, I ended up in the Emergency Room with severe bleeding and bladder/kidney issues. (Something about a catheter and its use during my procedure). During that treatment, an abdominal CT scan showed some calcium build-up around my heart. This past week, I underwent a series of cardiac assessments that showed little to no blockage, yet raised some concern, given a grievous family history. I should also mention the sleep study that I was made to undergo. I will find the results of that study later this week.

I am continuing to make good progress with the hip replacement and a cortisone injection in the opposite knee, likely be on meds for the calcium build-up, and maybe for apnea. The bladder/kidney infection seems to have cleared with antibiotics and I am both thankful for and tired of doctors.

Celebration Of Ordination – Russell E Andrews Jr.
Dear friends and colleagues of the SONKA Association. You are Joyfully invited to Celebrate the Ordination of Russell E Andrews Jr.(Rusty) to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament On June 11, 2023, at 3 p.m. Service will be held in the First United Church of Christ Sanctuary in Springfield, Ohio. Clergy are asked to robe and stole. There will be a reception to Follow in the Church Mayflower Hall.

Seminary Scholarships
The window for Seminary Scholarships through the conference is open until Friday, June 16th! Please see the Google form here.

MESA Retired Clergy Boundary Training On Zoom – Wednesday, June 21

Learn more and register here.

One Body: UCC Sunday In SONKA
Our Ministry Teams are preparing videos, prayers, and other materials for our joint UCC Sunday venture on June 25, the anniversary of the denomination’s founding in Ohio. We invite all churches in SONKA to celebrate our covenantal relationship with each other. We’ll provide materials in June that each church can incorporate into their services that day.

Please set aside space that Sunday to remind our faith communities about our shared history and work. Together, we follow the example our parent churches set for us, and we create new spaces for the generations that will come after us. All of this we do together, united in one Spirit and working together as one Body.

Watch for more details as we get closer.

Join SONKA At Pride Events
Churches in SONKA will have a presence at every major Pride event in our region this June. You are invited to attend an event and help staff the booths and hand out information about Open and Affirming churches.

The major Pride events in our region include:

June 3: Dayton Pride, Hamilton Pride

June 4: Northern Kentucky Pride (Covington)

June 23: Middletown Pride

June 24: Cincinnati Pride, Springfield Pride

Among the information we’ll share at the booths are cards with the following message:

“Open and Affirming churches recognize and affirm everyone as an equally beloved child of God in all ways.

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have experienced emotional and spiritual injury in churches that refuse to affirm their capacity to love and be loved. Because ‘All Are Welcome’ hasn’t always been applied to them, they can’t assume that any church will be safe for them and their families.

“A public welcome by an Open and Affirming chruch sends a clear message to LGBT seekers that they have a home in the United Church of Christ.”

The card also contains a link for people to locate and Open and Affirming UCC church near them.

Let us know if you are interested in helping staff one of our UCC church booths. A member of our Collaborative Ministries team will be in touch with you.

Truth & Destiny 20th Year Anniversary Celebration Weekend
For more details and to register click here!

Tri-State Music Consortium – Building Peace In Community II Concert Series
We want to invite you to our next concert at Mt. Adam’s Eden Park Seasongood Pavilion on Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 5 PM. (In the event of cold or inclement weather, the concert will be held at Mt. Adam’s Holy Cross Immaculata Church- 30 Guido St., Cincinnati, Ohio.).

This concert is co-sponsored by The Cincinnati Park District, New Hope Ministries, Tri-State Music Consortium, Holy-Cross Immaculata Church & our corporate sponsor: Harrison Backyard Solutions.  The concert is free & open to the public.  All are welcome.

Tri-State Music Consortium & New Hope Ministries are pleased to offer SONKA Churches, Pastors, and Members in Connection our music ministry and worship facilitation and services to our association.  Tri-State Music Consortium was founded in 2021 as a music and worship support ministry to area congregations within our Tri-State Region.  This ministry is co-sponsored  by New Hope Ministries, (Est. 2005,) as an ecumenical outreach ministry in Ohio.

For more information, or assistance in furthering the Music Ministry of your congregation please contact: Reverend Bruce Ford at 513.255.3243 or via email at:

Opening To Grace Event
Learn more here!

Bus Trip To The Synod
Lakeview UCC has arranged a bus trip to the General Synod Worship Service on Sunday, July 2. The bus will leave Lakeview (8639 Columbia Road, Maineville, Ohio 45039) at 10 a.m. and return at 6:30 p.m. There will be a lunch stop on the way.

Cost is $40 per person. Reservations need to be made by June 5. Contact Karen Baumann for more information

2023 Adult Conference – Christian Church in Ohio
Since 1937 the Christian Church in Ohio has offered a week-long comprehensive Adult Christian Education experience in the form of our annual Adult Conference. This year’s Adult Conference will be Monday, June 19th through Friday, June 23rd and the programming will take place at Northwest Christian Church, 1340 Fishinger Rd., Columbus, OH 43221.  Hotel rooms are blocked off for the event at the nearby Hampton Inn & Suites on Olentangy River Road.  Our theme is “All Things in Common,” taken from Acts 2:42-47.

To learn more please view the flyer here. Registration form can be found here.

IRS Issues Mileage Update
Click here for more information.

2023 Remittance Form
Please see the updated remittance form for 2023 here.

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