By Rev. John M. Richardson - Wednesday October 31, 2018
Dear Christian Church in Ohio, Today is my last “official” day to serve as your interim regional minister. We have been on a challenging journey the past 16 months. In April of last year, I told the Executive Committee that I could not save the region of Ohio, but I would do my best to walk along beside the regional church as together we worked our way through challenging issues. At that time, we later came to learn, we really did not know the magnitude of the challenges facing our regional church.
By Rev. John M. Richardson - Thursday September 20, 2018
As we approach the date for our Regional Assembly, I have been thinking about our covenant with one another as members of the Christian Church in Ohio (Disciples of Christ).
When I began serving in regional ministry in North Carolina in 2003, I quickly realized the large Bible I had used to read scripture from for years in a local congregation was not practical to carry with me as I traveled to different congregations to teach and preach. So, I purchased a smaller size of the same translation, and from the same publisher....
By Rev. John Richardson - Thursday August 30, 2018
A Labor Day Reflection…
Sometimes we seem to believe we are the first to face challenging issues, and no doubt there are many challenging issues in our day. Sometimes the challenges are very real. Sometimes they are perceived. Sometimes the challenges are a contemporary version of an old problem, just with different names and places.
By Rev. John M. Richardson - Wednesday February 14, 2018
Today we begin the liturgical season of Lent. A 40-day season in which we are called into reflection, repentance, and grace, with God and one another. I want to call your attention to two things in this post: 1) please see the linked document: A Season of Prayer and Fasting for the Christian Church in Ohio, prepared by the Spiritual Life Committee of the CCIO. I join with them to encourage your prayer and fasting for our regional church over the next six weeks; and 2) a short reflection on this Ash Wednesday...
By Rev. Alan Dicken - Friday December 22, 2017
Scripture: Please Read Isaiah 61:1-4 -- What does this have to do with Christmas? There aren't even any shepherds, or angel proclamations. There are no stars or inns. There are no virgins or miraculous birth or dreams or nativity scenes or jingle bells or carols. There is not a single reindeer! Not. One.
By Lucas Lerma - Thursday December 21, 2017
Scripture: Please Read Luke 1:46b-55 -- From time to time, we fall into the anxiety of what Christmas present we're going to give to our friends/family. We get to a point sometimes that this is the only thing we think about. As Christians we are called to turn our attention from the worries of the holidays and rejoice for what they stand. We are called to a time of celebration, not a time of worrying what scent to have in our home or what decorations need to be prepared. The holidays should never be a burden, but rather a time of joy and laughter.
By Gena Stone-Phillips - Wednesday December 20, 2017
Joyful Optimism -- This is my favorite time of the year. From Thanksgiving to the season of Advent you can usually see a twinkle in my eye, a smile on my face and a song on my lips. For me this feeling of joy comes almost every year and transcends age and circumstances. 2017 has been a challenging year filled with uncertainties not just for me but for the country. I can't help but wonder if I will have adequate health care coverage after I retire. I watch CNN and wonder if a war with North Korea is inevitable? There are mass killings, wildfires and hurricanes, global warming; these are uncertain times in which we live. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior how can we not be optimistic? We have only to believe in his saving grace and trust him in the practical matters of life. I will put away the worries and uncertainties at least for a season.
By Rev. Dr. Tom Stephenson - Tuesday December 19, 2017
Conspire with Me -- Scripture: Please Read Luke 1:46-55 -- In 2006, a small group of pastors gathered to conspire against Christmas. Actually, they were resisting the Western idea of Christmas where we worship the day, adore the gift-giving, and glorify the season and its trappings. Thus began the mission of The Advent Conspiracy (adventconspiracy.org,) an adventure in conspiratorial worship and significant giving with an eye and heart prophetic economics, justice and a genuine encounter with the incarnate Christ. There must be a better to reflect and observe God's self-investment in human flesh.
By Candis Wilson - Monday December 18, 2017
Scripture: Please Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 -- "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -- What does this really mean? Are we supposed to always go around with a smile on our face, pray every waking moment, and be happy with every situation? Impossible right? Can you honestly say that you rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything? Joy and happiness are not something that you can turn "on” and "off” like a light switch. We all have our bad days and moments where being upbeat and joyful are the last things on or minds.
By Rev. Kevin Phipps - Sunday December 17, 2017
Scripture: Please Read Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 -- This passage from Second Isaiah is written to people who have watched their world collapse around them. Great Israel, the very chosen ones of God, have been conquered by the evil Babylonians. They have been forced into exile, at least the lucky ones. The unlucky ones have had to stay in Jerusalem and see their former holy places desecrated. There is only a memory of the greatness of days gone by. And in the midst of this seeming doom and gloom, the prophet of YHWH dares to proclaim the 'year of the Lord's favor.' The prophet says, that even in the midst of their terrible circumstances, there is good news for the oppressed, the broken hearted can be healed, and the prisoners will find release. The prophet even goes on to suggest that instead of ashes, the people of God will be wearing garlands and their oil will be of gladness instead of mourning.