31 so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. 32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” 33 The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” 34 Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35 Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 38 Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.
Call to the Eastern Ohio & Western Reserve Annual Meeting
You are invited to attend the Fall Gathering of the Eastern Ohio and Western Reserve Associations. It has been an amazing year, and we look forward to the opportunity to meet and plan.
This summer’s 31st General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Baltimore, MD gave us much to think about as we consider how we reflect the UCC purpose statement: To love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. Or how we adjust our vision that others may see our vision: United in Christ’s love, a just world for all. And how we might align our work with the UCC Mission statement: United in Spirit and inspired by God’s grace, we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all.
It has been a year of changes in our Ohio Conference and in our Associations. And as we enter 2018 we are, indeed, standing at the future’s threshold, grateful for God’s guiding hand. Staff turnover for our Associations could hardly have been greater as Rich Plant retired, Bonnie Bates left for the Penn Northeast Conference, and now Rita Root is retiring. New people will be facing new challenges and we will need to rally to face them together. Likewise, the Ohio Conference is not only experiencing staffing changes but also looking at new ways of structuring our life together in the wider church.
Rounding out the year, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on October 31. We recognize that we are reformed, and we keep on reforming ourselves, our churches, and our world.
David Brown Ian Lynch
Moderator, EOA Moderator, WRA