Dear CCCU friends,
One of my deepest concerns for CCCU is the decline of our missions program and our declining number of missionaries. In 2003 we had 50 missionaries. Today we have 29. With pending retirements, that number will fall even lower very soon. Over the last ten years we have only had ONE new missionary application.
"Yet in thy dark streets shineth,
The everlasting light,
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in Thee tonight."
These profound lines from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” capture for us the hope of Advent – a Savior, Emmanuel – God with us – who will redeem and restore mankind.
Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” The Lord has commissioned us – you and me – to proclaim the hope of Advent to every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Our theme for the offering this year is Hope for the Nations. The goal this year is to raise $75,000.
These funds will be used to recruit new missionaries, serve our current missionaries working around the world, equip churches for Great Commission impact, develop resources like our new Kids on Mission curriculum, and relieve the suffering of those affected by natural disasters.
Your generous gift by December 31st will help proclaim the hope of Advent to those who have never heard! You can give online at using the link below, mail a check to the General Missionary Department at 1553 Lancaster Pike, Circleville, OH 43113, or give through your local church.
You may not feel called to another country to share the hope of Advent, but we can all lighten the load of those who have responded to the call God has given them. Let’s work at making this offering the best yet!
Click below to download the 2018 Advent Offering Poster.
2018 Advent Offering Prayer Calendar - Coming soon!
2018 Advent Offering Bulletin Insert - Coming soon!
2018 Advent Offering PowerPoint Slides - Coming soon!
The General Church Extension Department is excited to announce the Spring 2016 Church Extension Offering. Beginning on March 20th, churches across the denomination will begin receiving this offering to launch new churches, support the training of church planters, assist church plants with start up costs, and enable new churches to launch effectively.
Considering the urgency of the times, the imminent return of Jesus Christ, and the uncertainty of world events swirling around us, the church must take seriously the command of our Lord to preach the gospel and to advance His kingdom at any cost. When I consider the sacrifice that Jesus made for us offering salvation for all that believe through His sacrificial death on the cross, could He ask anything from us comparable to His sacrifice? As challenging as planting new churches can be considering the commitment, dedication, and hard work necessary for success, can any opportunity to spread the Good News be tossed aside? When we approach our involvement in the ministry of planting churches as optional, we settle for passive rather than an active participation in the overall commandment of The Great Commission. Currently we are setting goals in cooperation with Ohio Christian University to establish new churches and 1000 leaders by the 2025. Some already consider this an impossible task and without the sacrifice of those God is leading into this ministry and without financial support, it probably is. Let us never forget however, planting churches and taking the message of the cross to the lost at any cost has always been the first priority of God. It cost God everything including the death of His only Son.
But, nothing is impossible with God! The Word of God has not changed. The need for churches alive with the presence of the Holy Spirit through anointed preaching and worship never diminishes. Therefore we need to ask ourselves, is there any logical reason not to be involved in launching new churches? Is there any viable excuse for not participating physically or financially in planting a new church? If our response is no to each of these questions, then what excuse can we possibly have when we see Jesus face to face?
No matter the cost, no matter the time and commitment it will take from all of us, let's plant churches for the glory of God taking the message of the cross as we go.
On Sunday, May 15th, 2016, churches from across the CCCU will gather for the first Pentecost Sunday Prayer Summit. General Superintendent Dr. Thomas Hermiz is calling all of our churches and members to be involved in these two hours of blessing and intercessory prayer. We will be praying for a great variety of needs including the desperate need for revival in our nations and denomination. We will also be praying for the sick.
The service will include three remarkable answers to prayer including Rev. Mark Murphy's healing from cancer at last year's Mount of Praise Camp Meeting. Mark will also sing one of his Christ-exalting songs before my message. A highlight will be Dr. Melvin Maxwell's closing prayer of blessing.
II Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
CCCU churches in various regions will serve as host sites and simulcast the event. For those unable to attend in person at a simulcast site, the service will be streamed live online. The live stream address is www.sundaystreams.com/go/CrossroadsCCCU.
"Our goal is to work on establishing a closer relationship between CCCU congregations and Ohio Christian University," says Rev. David Dean when asked about the purpose of OCU's Regional Weekend events. The first of these Regional Weekends is coming up in just a few weeks and promises to be a win-win for local churches and OCU. On Friday November 20th the New Covenant CCCU in Waverly will kick the Regional Weekend off at 6PM with a "thank you" banquet for local churches in recognition of their support over the years. Dean explained, "All we need people to do is RSVP for the event by letting their pastor know they plan to attend or contacting my office; we just want everyone to know how thankful we are for their support at OCU."
The Regional Weekend events, which will take place throughout the remainder of 2015 & 2016, are also an opportunity to share with local congregations about the Toler Leadership Institute. "What a better way to kick the Toler Leadership Institute off than to offer some free training (and CEU's) to pastors and local churches," explained Dean. This free training will also be at New Covenant CCCU in Waverly and will begin at 8:30AM on Saturday November 21. The training will feature two main sessions and a number of break-out workshops focusing on things like evangelism and teaching for life impact.
Sunday November 22 the Regional Weekend will conclude with some activities in regional churches in the morning and an Evangelism Rally at New Covenant CCCU slated for 6PM featuring Stan Toler and The Guardians. Regional CCCU congregations are encouraged to reach out to Dean's Office of Church Relations at OCU to schedule an OCU representative to visit their church and share about OCU in morning worship on November 22, and to promote the Sunday evening Youth Extravaganza and Evangelism Rally at New Covenant. The Youth Extravaganza will feature the OCU drama team and will run concurrently with the Evangelism Rally.
Please schedule your speaker today by calling 740-474-8896 ext. 694.
"Exceeding abundantly above" (Eph. 3:20KJV) is the promise of God's ability to respond to our prayers. Your 2015 PRAYER & FAST Caucus Leadership Team has been asking as big as we can imagine! However, God's thoughts, plans and ways are so much greater than we are able to grasp. We believe that He is creating a fresh prayer movement among His people. Over 80 people are registered for the Caucus on September 26, 2015, at Lighthouse Ministries, in Columbus, Ohio. Registration begins at 8:30, and the event begins at 9:00 a.m. Churches at a great distance are preparing to watch and participate with a live stream. We believe even more people will come!
If you have not yet registered, please do so. No one will be turned away. To register, please call the West Central District Office at 740.420.5507.
For those participating via livestream, the livestream is available at http://ohiochristian.edu/live/prayercaucus.
Prayer & Fast Caucus Participant Materials
If you were a part of the Walk Through The Old Testament training last year at OCU you know it was an exciting day. It was the most successful training we had done in many years. You will be pleased to know that we are offering the Walk Through the New Testament on Saturday, September 12th. We will be returning to the campus of Ohio Christian University from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm for this training.
Two separate events will run at the same time. We will have an adult track for everyone twelve years of age on up and a Kids in the Book training for kids Kindergarten through 5th grades. (A sack lunch is provided for each child registered.)
This will be the most enjoyable, beneficial, Bible training event we will ever offer, and we don't want anyone to miss it.
I want to encourage you to preregister now so we can make sure we have an adequate supply of support materials on hand for both adults and children. You can again go to the C.E. website www.cedept.com and register online.
This event is being provided free of charge to every group of five or more. For groups of less than five the cost is $5.00 per person. This event is going to be awesome and we don't want anyone to miss it so we are covering the expense as completely as we can to make it possible for you to bring your entire church if you choose to.
Ms. Jackie Amlin, former CCCU Missionary and pastor's wife, passed away on Thursday, May 28, 2015. Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 31st, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Monday, June 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Urbana Church of Christ in Christian Union (1121 N. Main St., Urbana, Ohio). The funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m. at Urbana Church of Christ in Christian Union. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
General Superintendent Dr. Thomas Hermiz is proud to announce Mount of Praise Camp Meeting 2015. The camp will be June 23-28, 2015, on the campus of Ohio Christian University. "Your congregation will be blessed by the outstanding music and messages. I want to urge you to make our denominational Mount of Praise Camp Meeting a priority in your busy schedule."
Dr. James Diehl and Rev. David Gallimore will make a dynamic preaching team. Rev. Mark Murphy is a gifted and powerful gospel singer and will lead us in worship.
The 33rd Annual ECL Banquet will kick off our Mount of Praise festivities on Friday evening, June 19th, at 6:30 p.m. Becky and Jesse Keep will be the guest speakers. See the brochure for details. This will be held in the OCU Leadership Center.
A kick-off Global Impact Rally will set the Mount of Praise services in motion! Camp Meeting services will begin with the Global Impact Rally on Tuesday, June 23rd, and conclude with the 6:00 p.m. service on Sunday, June 28th. Dr. James Diehl will be the speaker for the Tuesday, June 23rd, evening service beginning at 7:00 p.m. Our ordination service will be on Sunday, June 28th during the 2:00 p.m. service. OCU will be featured on Thursday, June 25th. Camp evangelist Dr. James Diehl will be speaking.
Students entering 7th - 12th grade are invited to join our dynamic and growing teen ministry. Teens of Praise is the youth ministry of the Mount of Praise Camp Meeting, attracting over 100 students per year. Teens of Praise begins on June 23rd. The pre-registration price is $90.00 for students who register by June 1, 2015. After June 1, the regular rate is $120.00.
We hope that you will join us for in person for a great week of camp meeting. For those who cannot attend, all services will be live streamed. Go to www.OhioChristian.edu/live to watch if you are unable to attend.
For more information, visit the Mount of Praise website or call the CCCU Global Ministry Center at 740-474-8856. Click here to download the 2015 Mount of Praise Brochure.
The Evangelical Christian Ladies of The Churches of Christ in Christian Union have a wonderful night of fellowship and inspiration planned Friday, June 19, 2015. The banquet will be held on the Ohio Christian University campus in the Leadership Center. To order tickets, at $13.00, either visit the CCCU web page at www.cccuhq.org or send your order to The Churches of Christ in Christian Union ECL, 1553 Lancaster Pike, Circleville, Ohio 43113. All reservations must be received by June 1, 2015. Ticket requests received after June 1 are subject to availability. Space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. Special guest speakers will be Becky and Jesse Keep.
Becky Keep is a freelance author and speaker. Becky and her family spent thirteen fruitful years as missionaries to the Philippine Islands where she practiced her nurses training to organize medical missions, treating thousands of patients in towns and villages throughout northern Luzon. Becky is the author of the inspirational book Eyes to See: Glimpses of God in the Dark. This engaging book chronicles the Keep family's four year journey with her son Jesse as he battled a rare but deadly eye cancer leaving him totally blind. In her book, Becky reminds the reader of the awesome power of God to sustain his children through life's darkest days. She is married to Tim for 26 years and they have five children and one granddaughter. The Keeps reside in Cincinnati, Ohio where Tim serves as a director of Bible Methodist World Missions.
Jesse grew up as an MK (missionary kid) in the Philippines, hiking through rain forests, swimming in the South China Sea, and climbing fruit trees with his brother and Filipino friends. At the age of five weeks Jesse was diagnosed with a very aggressive eye cancer and after four years of treatment had both eyes removed in order to save his life. He is now a well-adjusted 17 year old young man who loves life. He is an honor student at Aldersgate Christian Academy in Cincinnati. He enjoys biking, water skiing, swimming, and playing the piano.
The ECY Department is proud to announce an exciting training opportunity for youth leaders, pastors, and ministry volunteers. ECY is presenting the Youth Ministry Roundtable on Saturday, May 9th, 2015, at Ohio Christian University. The ECY Youth Ministry Roundtable is training event specifically planned and priced for you and your church.
Rev. Steve Warner, Youth Pastor at Crossroads CCCU, will be our lead presenter. He will lead us in developing strategies for building healthy, fruit-bearing ministries that address our unique ministry contexts. We will also learn how to balance life and youth ministry as both volunteers and paid staff from successful ministry veterans. This will be a day of training and connecting. Come prepared to discuss, learn, and be challenged with other youth leaders. It doesn't matter if you are a volunteer, part-time, full-time, or somewhere in between: This day will apply to everyone.
9:00 – Registration & Coffee Bar
9:30-10:20 – Welcome & Session 1 - Building & Developing Effective Youth Ministry
10:20-10:30 – Break
10:30-11:20 – Session 2 – Building & Developing Effective Youth Ministry
11:20-12:15 – Session 3 – Connecting Students to the Church
1:15-2:15 – Session 4 – Balancing Life & Ministry
2:15-2:30 – Wrap-up
If you want to be better equipped for youth ministry and better connected to the CCCU youth movement, this day is for you. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be trained, encouraged, and connected with other youth leaders. We look forward to seeing you on May 9th!
CCCU Church Planter Beth Tabor was recently recognized as one of 20 Outstanding Women by Sunny 95 FM, a Columbus, Ohio, radio station. Beth and her husband, Rev. Tim Tabor, are planting a new CCCU congreation Columbus - the Church on Como. Sunny 95 recognizes Outstanding Women annually. Sunny 95 published the following article honoring Beth's life and work.
Addictions run deep in Beth Tabor's family. She was an addict at a very young age and in rehab by 17. Beth was a single mother who worked four jobs to provide for her girls. She had surgery 18 times from the waist down and spent four years in a double leg cast. Through all of the medical issues, Beth was able to maintain the small business that she had at the time. Those obstacles helped forge her resolve and strengthened her determination to help others overcome their personal obstacles.
Currently, Beth and her husband Tim are co-pastors at the Church on Como. She is also Executive Director of Como Recovery and Owner of Como Restoration Ltd. Beth and her husband originally started with a Bible study in their home that the young adults attending began to call home church. Home church drew people in various stages of addiction (mostly opiate/heroin addicts). In 2011 Beth and Tim began to take addicts into their home and in 2012 they opened their first Men's Ministry House and continued to take young women into their home. In February of 2013 they rented a house for male addicts and began their full-time recovery program, Como Recovery. In March of 2013 Beth and Tim purchased the old Como UM church and began to restore it. "We quickly discovered that the old church building was a good place for the people in our recovery program to learn basic work skills." In 2014 they began a company that applied those skills to help support the recovery program, Como Restoration Ltd.
Beth's life recently has been so busy that there was a time that she had to make the decision to leave the safety of a full time job in order to keep pace with the recovery program that demanded all of her attention. With how fast the programs have grown, Beth says that she doesn't sleep much and that her family is fully engaged in the work that they do. "My husband highly recommends a day off on Monday and we exercise regularly. There is a strong sense of family amongst the people we live and work with each day. The program has grown with us and we have adjusted our lives to the demands of living in the environment we helped create."
Beth's heroes are every addict in their recovery program. "They make difficult decisions every day to live clean and address issues that many of us will never have to face." Beth says that she doesn't really know if she has a life goal. "I get up every day and do what needs to be done, address problems directly as they come, and live with integrity." Ultimately though, Beth would love to have those who have received help through their programs give back to others what they have received.
For more information about the Church on Como and its programs, please visit www.churchoncomo.org.
To learn more about Sunny 95's Outstainding Women, please visit the Sunny 95 website.
The General Church Extension Department is excited to announce the 2014 Church Extension Fall Offering. Beginning on November 2nd, churches across the denomination will begin receiving this offering to launch new churches. The offering will support the training of church planters, assist church plants with start up costs, and enable new churches to launch effectively.
The theme for the Fall promotion is "Plant – Grow – Harvest". In God's grand design for creation, he made every living thing – plant, animal and human beings – with the blessed potential of reproducing in kind (Genesis 1:11 ff). I am convinced that if a new church is properly and effectively planted, it will grow and will enjoy a bountiful harvest in due time. This is the driving theme for this fall's promotion. We must plant and grow new churches if we ever expect to experience an abundant harvest. We are financially assisting four churches and/or ministries this year through the General Church Extension Department. I am expecting that six additional new churches may need assistance before the council yearend. Your offering is a vital part in the dollars we have to invest in these new congregations. Please do your very best in promoting this vitally important offering in your local church. God has greatly blessed our new churches through your sincere concern, passion and sacrificial giving. We cannot continue to start new churches without your help!
You may contribute online, give to the special offering at your church, or contribute by mail. Click the "Donate" button below to donate online. Offerings will be received at each local church until November 23rd, 2014.
Clergy Appreciation Month is a special time that congregations set aside each year to honor their pastors and pastoral families for the hard work, sacrificial dedication and multiple blessings provided by these special people. It is typically scheduled in October, but can be held at any time that is convenient for the church and the community. It is also important to remember that appreciation, affirmation, and prayer support of our spiritual leaders is appropriate throughout the entire year.
God has instructed us to recognize His servants.
"The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching" (1 Timothy 5:17).
You can make a difference! Clergy Appreciation Month is one way to invest in the lives of our spiritual leaders. Follow this link to learn more about Clergy Appreciation Month and appreciation ideas.
Thank you in advance for showing your love for our clergy and their families.
*This article is a preview of the article posted in the link above, published by thrivingpastors.com.
Rev. Frank Skies has been elected District Superintendent of the Northeast District of The Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Delegates are meeting today, July 24th, for their annual District Council at Lily Lake Camp in Port Crane, New York. Rev. Skies replaces retiring District Superintendent Rev. Brad Dixon. Rev. Skies is the Pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Rev. Skies is a graduate of Ohio Christian University and has served extensively in district and general level roles the the CCCU. He is married to Kaye Skies.
Check back soon for further updates.
The West Central District met Saturday, July 12th, 2014 for its annual District Council at Lighthouse Ministries in Columbus, Ohio. Ministers, delegates, and district officials gathered to elect officers for the coming Council terms. Many significant votes were taken. Results are listed below.
Elected to following offices were:
Assistant District Superintendent: Dan Jordan
District Board of Trustees: David Case, Dan Tipton, & David Allison
District Board of Examination and Ordination: Donovan Blankenship
District Church Extension Committee: Dean Hawk
Pastoral Relationship Board: Mel Truex
District Missionary Committee: Don Seymour
WCD ECY Vice-President: John Burr
WCD ECY Secretary: Alyssa Tabor
WCD ECY Advisory Pastor: Ryan Bash
WCD ECY Member-at-Large: Liz Nunnally
District Christian Education Committee: Jeremy Olson
Camp Meeting Committee: Tracy Dague, Chris Newland
District ECL Committee: Shirley McDaniel
Mr. Jim Bowman, long time CCCU layman and leader, was promoted to his eternal reward on June 3rd, 2014. Mr. Bowman served as a General ECY President, Youth Camp Coordinator, and as a leader on many denominational boards. Our prayers are with the family.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 8th, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Heritage Memorial CCCU in Washington C.H., Ohio. The funeral will be held on Monday, June 9th, 2014 at Heritage Memorial CCCU. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. The service is expected to last until approximately noon. The service will be followed by a meal in the Kline Family Center at the church. The burial procession will depart the church at 3:00 p.m. The graveside service will be held at Sugartree Ridge Cemetery in Winchester, Ohio, at 4 p.m.
On Tuesday, April 8, CCCU ministers from across the denomination will gather at Ohio Christian University for Ministerial Conference 2014. Ministerial Conference is an annual event focused on equipping, encouraging, and empowering workers on the front lines of ministry.
This year the conference will be broadcasted live online. We invite you to join us! To access the live feed, visit: http://www.ohiochristian.edu/live.
The theme will be "Shepherding the Flock of Christ." Special speakers include Dr. Tom Hermiz, Rev. Tim Throckmorton, Rev. Jonathan Morgan, and Rev. Wes Humble. The Conference begins at 9 a.m. and will end at 1 p.m.
For more information, contact the CCCU Global Ministry Center at 740-474-8856.
Sacrifice Sunday 2014 is Feb. 23rd, 2014! The Sacrifice Sunday Offering is a special offering received in every local church in February to support CCCU efforts to fulfill the Great Commission. Each local church is asked to receive a special offering Sunday, February 23rd, for this special event.
As February draws near, please begin now to pray for our Sacrifice Sunday Offering. Your sacrificial gift to missions is a boost to our missionaries' ministries both on the field and while at home. It is no secret that higher costs and apprehension about a changing economy cause us to think twice about an extra gift, yet we know that God has proven faithful to provide our needs.
The theme for the 2014 Sacrifice Sunday Offering is "Gaining What You Cannot Lose." The theme comes from the words of Matthew 6:19-20: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."
For your convenience, you can give through your local church or give online! If you would like to give online, click the "Donate" button below.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and giving.
Click to download to Sacrifice Sunday 2014 flyer.
Rev. Joe Johnson, long time CCCU minister and leader, was promoted to his eternal reward on August 18th, 2013. Rev. Johnson served as a pastor, leader of Inner City Ministries in Columbus, Ohio, and as a leader on many denominational boards. Our prayers are with the family.
Calling hours will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20th, at Mount Sterling Church of the Nazarene. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, August, 21st, at Mount Sterling Church of the Nazarene at 11 a.m. with Dr. Thomas Hermiz & Rev. Joseph Duvall officiating.