Ohio Association Spring Meeting Minutes
April 27, 2021
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pittsfield Community Church, Wellington, Ohio
Attendance: About 25
After mingling with some donuts in the fellowship hall, we gathered upstairs in the Sanctuary to begin with a themed prayer service, punctuated by music. Jonathan Cheatham led us in prayer. Phil and Stephanie Ross provided the music.
John Hood opened the meeting with prayer.
The guest speaker, Phil Ross, talked about “Sanctification—Growth in Christ.” He said that sanctification is a conversation with God. People don’t know what’s in the Bible but they think they do and they either love it or hate it. Sanctification is a growth process. Ross recommended a book called The Shaping of American Congregationalism 1620-1957, by John Von Rohr.
We had lunch in the Fellowship Hall.
During lunch there was an officers’ meeting to discuss specifically Item 4 in the Barnabas Ministry list of goals. Item 4 said to “form an OA subsidiary for beyond 4C’s coaching.” It was to expand the ministry of the OA and 4C’s, establish a non-geographic identity, retain the accountability and credibility of being supervised by the OA, supplement donor support for the OA Barnabas Ministry, and keep tax-exempt versus for-profit fee-for-service bookkeeping separate.
Some of the questions and comments at the officers’ meeting are as follows. The officers decided to continue this discussion at another time.
- Is there a demand for this ministry beyond the borders of Ohio?
- Does the Ohio Association want to expand its identity beyond Ohio?
- Should this ministry be under the 4C’s rather than the OA?
- We should allow the Barnabas Ministry to expand.
- It is possible to charge a fee for services without classifying oneself as for-profit.
- It is important to start small and keep it simple.
- It is okay to charge a fee for non-4C’s pastors.
After lunch, we convened in the Sanctuary for the business meeting.
- The minutes of the last meeting were approved.
- Jonathan Cheatham gave a treasurer’s report. The OA has $2,497.85 and the Barnabas Ministry has $3,451.91. We received one donation last quarter.
- We continued the discussion on liability insurance for the Barnabas Ministry. Jonathan Cheatham made a motion to let the current insurance lapse this summer. It was seconded by Donna Edsall. The motion passed unanimously. Marshall Pierson suggested we consider ISO for $179 a year which could be part of the Barnabas Ministry budget. This idea was received favorably and will be followed up.
- The fall meeting was tentatively set for Tuesday, October 19, 2021, and will either be at the Huntington Church or the Huntsburg Church. A fist fight broke out about who would be given the honor of being the featured speaker at this event. Tim Dubeau’s practiced uppercut won him a place in the winner’s circle. He will let us know the topic at another time and promises to make it meaningful and enlightening, but not ninety minutes long.
- Steve Clifford moved that we receive the Barnabas Ministry report with joy and gratitude, approving all goals except Item 4, which is still under consideration. David Dake seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously.
- The Barnabas Ministry goals were discussed, with more attention to Item 4. David Kimberly is not charging 4C’s ministers for his counseling work, but would like to charge a fee for non-4C’s members. All proceeds from the fee go to the Barnabas Ministry to support its mission. Steve Clifford moved to allow David Kimberly to charge a fee to non-4C’s pastors, seconded by Phil Ross. The motion passed unanimously.
- David Dake, our Ohio Area Pastor, gave a brief report. There is a monthly meeting for pastors at the First Congregational church in Lodi, Ohio, but this meeting was canceled for May. It is the first Monday of the month and the next meeting will be June 7. There is another pastors’ meeting for those in the southern part of the state. It will meet next at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4, at Mr. Lee’s Restaurant, in Cambridge, Ohio. Dave also reported on some pastoral changes. Mark Reynolds is pastoring E. Oberlin Church. R.J. Zupancich is pastoring Huntsburg. We heard that Sam Osborne, who was pastoring Immanuel Church in Zanesville, has resigned. Jones Road Church intends to call Jeff Bodziuny as pastor. Pastor Peter Bridgewood is leaving Putnam Church in May.
- Tim Dubeau, our Mideast Regional Pastor, spoke briefly. He recommended a Webinar on discipleship and said the 4C’s budget is going well. He recommended two books: Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, by Dane C. Ortland; and The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, by Carl R. Trueman and Rod Dreher. Tim asked us to pray for his ministry. He is visiting a lot of areas and traveling quite a bit. We are missing representatives for East Pennsylvania and Western Ohio/Indiana.
- Steve Clifford gave a report on the situation with Jeff Griffiths. He proposed the following motion: I propose the Ohio Association receive this report and delegate to the Officers the task of finalizing the details of the transition [of Jeff Griffiths to a different missionary model, apart from the Ohio Association.]. The motion was seconded by David Dake and passed unanimously.
- Brian Eggleston moved that we renew current officers for one year. Nick Cacciatore seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
- We received a mission report from Franklin Shannon. He said the situation in the Philippines is acute. Churches are not meeting spiritual needs but using the congregations for the pastors’ benefit. Haiti has many orphans, and the churches are unable to help all of them. Moldova is going well with a lot of evangelism. Ukraine could be the breadbasket of Europe, but the situation there is violent and chaotic. He asked for prayers that things will settle down in the Ukraine and that churches in Haiti will find the resources to take care of all the orphans, and that Christian churches find evangelical leadership in the Philippines. We asked him to send John Hood an electronic copy of his newsletter which John can then forward to us.
The meeting closed with prayer at about 2:30 p.m.
Donna Edsall, Secretary