Ohio Association Fall Meeting Minutes
October 19, 2021
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
United Church of Huntington, Wellington, Ohio
Attendance: About 17
John Hood gave us greetings from about eight of our members who could not attend for various reasons. He then opened the meeting with prayer.
We sang two hymns. Brian Egleston gave a devotional on David and Goliath, saying that David represents Jesus and we are foot soldiers in this war against evil. Gospel is “old news” in America. More praise songs followed led on the guitar by Jim Tuttle.
Our Mideast Regional Pastor Tim Dubeau spoke on “What’s in a Name?” He spoke about congregationalism and its history in the United States. In 1871 a National Council of Congregational Churches was established in the U.S., the result of which was “more control” over churches by a central body. In the 20th century, the true gospel was replaced by a social gospel. The “conservative” in the name of the 4C’s does not refer to politics, but to the goal of conservation of historical congregational faith and polity.
We had a little time left over so John Hood began a discussion about revising the OA Constitution to update it to more nearly reflect our present practice and to clarify our statement of faith to distinguish us from the growing radical secularized Christian religious movement.
Thanks to the United Church of Huntington pastor and laity, we enjoyed fellowship while consuming their famous delicious chicken lunch. Then we convened in the Sanctuary for the business meeting. About ten people were present.
- Following the opening prayer, the minutes of the Spring Meeting were received without correction.
- Jonathan Cheatham gave a treasurer’s report. The OA has $3,197.85. We approved a proposal to give $400 each to five ministries: Wellspring Toledo Foreign Student Ministry of Wes Blood; LifeSpring new church start in Beavercreek where Jeff O’Guin is pastor; our National 4C’s; CIS-Frank Shannon’s Ministry, and our Barnabas Ministry with David Kimberly.
- Our sponsorship of Jeff and Lisa Griffith’s Czech Republic missionary ministry was concluded in August. They are now actively engaged in CCCC ministry in Iowa.
- In July we allowed our liability insurance for the Officers and Barnabas Ministry to lapse.
- Tim Dubeau gave an update on the national 4C’s. He attended the Nineveh Conference this fall and met many church planters. He is trying to build up the Western Ohio/Indiana Area Fellowship. He is away from home 3-5 days at a time and asked for prayers.
- Dave Kimberly gave a brief report on the Barnabas Ministry. He is working on re-certification. New goals will be presented at the Spring Meeting.
- The winter banquet will be Friday, Feb. 26, at Faith Community Church in Canton, Ohio, from 6 to 9 p.m. The speaker will be Rev. Dayle Keefer. David Dake is the chef and coordinating with the church.
- From the time of our incorporation in 1991, the CCCC Conference has officially recognized us as the Ohio Association encompassing the whole state. The CCCC Ohio Area Fellowships are divided into East Ohio and West Ohio/ Indiana areas. John Hood raised the question: Should we end the Ohio Association and simply become the CCCC East Ohio Area fellowship? This led to a discussion. It was decided during the ensuing months before our Spring Meeting to further discuss over the internet our need for being a separate incorporated body, and to clarify our purpose and vision.
- Questions to discuss: In these radically changing times, does our existing constitution adequately meet our purpose and vision? Do we need to make changes to our constitution, statement of faith, and structure that will better support our purpose and vision? Some points that were raised are as follows:
- Our mission needs to be more encompassing than simply fellowship.
- We could consider the idea of cohorts, supporting one another.
- In the 1990’s face-to-face meetings were important to share information, but the internet enables us to connect with each other and provides us with resources.
- Should we consider having more internet activity?
- The average size of a church in the United States is 70 members.
- How can we reach the next generation when many of our churches can’t afford a youth pastor?
- We need more “shop talk”—about what is working and what is not working.
- What can the OA offer that we can’t get on the internet?
- We need ideas for a new generation, dealing with matters such as atheism and relative morality.
- We need a bridge between polity, theology, and practice.
- Everything is driven by one’s vision and purpose.
- The OA needs to restate our vision —what would that look like? —and our purpose—how does that happen? Once we do that, we can look at the constitution and build a framework to accomplish our purpose and vision.
It was suggested that we revise the preamble to clarify our mission and vision statement. Following that, we can continue our discussion on the constitution.
- Officers will look for a church to host our Spring Meeting April 26, 2022. During the morning session we will use the time to work on our purpose, vision, structure and constitution.
Jonathan closed our business meeting with prayer at about 2:30 p.m.
Donna Edsall, Secretary