North Church Men’s Retreat

Saturday and Sunday May 5-6Join us for fellowship, spirituality, and some light exposure to nature! TheNorth Men will be helping to prepare the summer camp campus for 2017.

Parents’ Night Out and Family Game Night

Come out and play for our inter-generational family board games night, or take a couple hours for couplehood with pure parents night out!

Free Family Board Games Night

6:30pm Friday April 27th. Bring a game to share our play ours with us. Light snacks will be served.

Free Parents’ Night Out

6:30pm -8:30pm Friday April 27th. Leave your children with our qualified Sunday school teachers while you take time for a quieter dinner.

Lenten Testimony

How has my faith informed my resilience? You know how sometimes you have to start with what something is not to get at what it is? In order for me to tell you about my faith, I need to start by talking about my doubt. The Rev. Martin Copenhaver once wrote: “Some of us live lives of faith diversified by doubt. Some of us live lives of doubt diversified by faith.”

I land firmly in the latter camp. I used to really struggle with this. I used to pine after certainty, thinking there I would find security. If I were able to believe X or Y about God; if I were able to hold Q tenant of orthodox Christianity, then I would be okay. Thing is, belief does not come easy for me. I doubt, I reject, I reconsider; I go toe-to-toe with God about each and every little bit of it.

Or, I used to. At some point, I gave up the struggle to have it all figured out. I moved from needing certainty to embracing mystery. Embracing the mystery is a gentler place for me, but it is not always helpful when I need something to hold on to. Thankfully, all the stripping away of my faith as I wrestled with doubt revealed the faith that’s been there the whole time.

So, this is what I’ve got. This is what I hold to in the midst of the tensions and contradictions and unknowings of my life. Four things:

1. God likes me. I know, too, that God loves me, but sometimes I need something more human-sized. God likes me. Exactly as I am. Enjoys hanging out with me. God desires for me a life of meaning, delight, friendship, and healing.

2. God is present with me. Always. Through it all. God does not run. Sometimes I forget this. That’s when I call on a friend and they remind me, and I remember I am not alone.

3. God created me for community. This keeps me reaching out, especially when I want to hide because of my insecurities. I reach out, and I am listened back into speech and I am loved back into life.

4. Resurrection happens. I trust that for all the little deaths that have punctuated my life – hardship, challenge, loss – these do not have the final word. All the events and circumstances that diminish my vitality for a time – these are not the end of my story. God’s restorative activity is at play, always.

Four things. God likes me. God is present with me. God created me for community. Resurrection happens. A far cry from the litany of what I used to believe, and, it is enough. It is enough. Thanks for letting me share.

Rachael Miller

Easter at North Church

Here’s the schedule for our annual Easter celebrations, please join us!


March 25 10:30am: Palm Sunday

Family Service


March 29 6:30pm: Maundy Thursday Service


March 30: Good Friday Service


April 1: Easter Sunday Worship Services at 7:00 / 8:15 / 10:30 a


– 9:00amEaster Breakfast

– 10:00am Easter Egg Hunt

BREAD Nehemiah Action May 7

Nehemiah Action

Monday, May 7th, at 7:00 p.m.

Celeste Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds
717 E. 17th Ave.,

Columbus, OH 43211

Registration begins at 6:15 p.m.

Join thousands of community members as we fight for solutions to serious community problems that our members voted on.

BREAD Rally April 9

Join us at the Rally on

Monday, April 9th, at 7:00 p.m.

at Congregation Tifereth Israel

1354 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43205

Meet at North Church at 6p for carpool.

We’ll go over our game plan for the Nehemiah Action, hear updates from our research committees, hear testimonies from BREAD leaders, and you’ll get your tickets for the Nehemiah Action.

“Here Comes the Sun: Women of Jesus’s Ministry Maundy Thursday Service March 29

“Here Comes the Sun: Women of Jesus’s Ministry”

Maundy Thursday Service
Sunday, March 29
6:30 PM

Women played an important role in the earliest days of Christianity. The Jesus of the Bible spoke directly to women and refused to treat them differently from men. The gospels portray them as disciples during Jesus’ ministry, and the first witnesses of the resurrection.

–Sarah Bessey, Author

Our North Church drama ministry will bring to life encounters that Jesus had with women of the Gospels.

Through drama and song, we will meet:

  • The woman at the well
  • An adulterous woman
  • Mary and Martha
  • Mary and Judas

Come for light Mediterranean dining and a program of music and memorable story.

Please RSVP your reservations to Susan at 614-451-1835 or before March 27th.

Lenten Fasting

This lenten season, some at North are fasting. It is not too late for you to join with us to explore this ancient spiritual disciple that offers endless possibilities to connect with God. Below is a fast fact sheet for your consideration.

Fasting Fast Facts

This fasting is not:

A way to begin a new diet, or a bodily detox

A way to align ourselves with starving children or other social justice issues

This Fast is:

A way to join millions of others who have gone before us in participating in this spiritual disciple. All the major world faiths, our Hebrew Scriptures, and Jesus called for or practiced fasting. Even our early US presidents, Washington, Adams, and Jefferson called our nation to fast. Fasting is not a new age phenomena.

A way to slow down to listen. The hunger pangs can facilitate intentional listening. Some possibilities for you are:

a needed direction,



healing through forgiveness,

affirming God’s love for you, and many others.

Be open to the endless possibilities that God has in mind for you. It may be different than what you expect or desire.

B.R.E.A.D. Potluck and Kitchen Dedication

Sunday, March 4, following the 10:30 worship service, the congregation gathered briefly in our new North Church kitchen to dedicate it to the service of God and community. Laura Gaines, our moderator, shared few comments, and then, Linda Lee Kennedy taught us a song that she had written for this occasion.

Next, we moved into Fellowship Hall for our B.R.E.A.D. potluck and program where we heard from Rob Sievert-Wagner, the Lead Organizer from our local B.R.E.A.D. Organization, as well as our own Joyce Freund and Ellen Baumgartner, both of whom are involved with the B.R.E.A.D. Youth and Family research team.

B.R.E.A.D. Sunday Potluck and Meeting

Sunday, March 4,
12:00 pm
Fellowship Hall

First, we will briefly gather in our new kitchen to celebrate and to dedicate it to the service of God and community. I understand that we may even learn a new song being written for this occasion!

Next, we will move into Fellowship Hall for North’s “third sacrament” — a tasty, one-of-a-kind potluck meal! So, please bring your favorite dish to share. (There are sign up sheets in the narthex. Yes, I realize that sign-up sheets take the “luck” out of potluck but it does help us with our planning — thanks!).

During lunch, we’ll hear from Rob Sievert-Wagner, the director of our local B.R.E.A.D. Organization, who will report on the progress of the research teams and some of the big projects in the works. Ellen Baumgartner and Joyce Freund will also share the latest from the “Youth and Family Concerns Committee,” one of B.R.E.A.D.’s research teams on which they both serve.

B.R.E.A.D. isn’t just an organization — it is a movement. And recently, many of us at North have observed that there is a new energy and momentum building through the social justice ministry of B.R.E.A.D. as it moves from a confrontational to a more collaborative model of change. B.R.E.A.D. continues to build relationships and form new partnerships with other ‘power holders’ in our community (e.g., OSU, our elected officials, other community organizations) in order to create meaningful change on behalf of the most vulnerable in our community.

So, come! Come and share in this meal as we dedicate our kitchen — and as we dedicate ourselves again — to the service of God and our wider community.

Lexi will be available to provide child care. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Grace & peace,
Joanna Samuelson

Adult Ed Class A Different Way: Living Simply in a Complex World

Begins March 18th
9:00 am

Signup sheet for A Different Way: Living Simply in a Complex World will be out starting this Sunday. Please sign up by March 4 if possible, so Ellen can order the books, and hand them out on March 11. That way you can read the first chapter before the first class.

Cost: The books are $30 if ordered as a group. Postage is a few more dollars per book when ordered singly, which can be done. Ebooks are also available which you can order yourself at Financial help can be available for those who need help with purchase price. Please speak to Pastor Eric.

Ellen Baumgartner

Forks Over Knives Vegetarian Lunch and Movie

Sunday March 11th

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Fellowship Hall

We have a special program planned for you! Meeting in Fellowship Hall where we will eat a vegetarian lunch, we’ll be showing a documentary, “Forks Over Knives” which shares the results of The China Study. It compares the health of people living in China, eating a minimal amount of meat, with Chinese who have moved to the US and began eating the diet eaten by most Americans that includes much more meat.
Their health began to deteriorate as they developed obesity, heart disease, high BP and other common ills of Americans, that are not common in China. Our guest facilitator, will be Chef Del Srouf from The Wellness Forum on East Wilson Bridge Rd. in Worthington. A good friend of Ellen’s, Del is extremely knowledgeable about the film, and diet and health. He has written cookbooks that have brought him national recognition.
We are looking into child care.
by Ellen Baumgartner

One Great Hour of Sharing 2018

Sunday March 11 special offering

OGHS is one of four Special Mission Offerings that we give to each year. As part of Our Churches Wider Mission, OGHS is the offering of the United Church of Christ denomination that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons, and emergency relief and rehabilitation. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.

Seven Christian denominations – American Baptist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of the Brethren, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, and Church World Service work together to develop common promotional materials thereby sharing ideas, costs, and a commitment to faithful service. Each denomination receives and manages its respective OGHS offerings, and together raise over $10 million annually.

Nearly 60% of the UCC’s offering supports international development initiatives, including annual support for missionaries. There are 4 OGHS supported missionaries and 2 Global Mission Interns working in disaster relief, health care, education, sustainable agricultural development, and refugee support. The offering also funds disaster preparedness and response, and disaster related volunteer initiatives in the U.S. The initiatives of volunteers from many different church communities is made more impactful with your OGHS gift.

There are dozens of examples of the far ranging impact of OGHS. Here’s one: two years ago this month, Sepa and his wife Josivini wondered whether they and their neighbors would live or die as Cyclone Winston roared across their Fiji Islands community of Navakawau, on Taveuni Island, blowing away 96 of the village’s 111 homes, including theirs.
Thanks to UCC Disaster Ministries, Sepa, Josivini and many of their neighbors had shelter in the community hall while they worked with volunteers to rebuild their homes – and now enjoy reliable drinking water and a new health center.

Please join the Stewardship Board on March 11 as we use the One Great Hour of Sharing envelopes found in our pews to support this important and deeply impactful mission of the wider church.

by Rev. John Cramton

March Faith and Film Night: Shadowlands

Rainbow Room

Friday, March 9, at 7:00 pm

C.S. Lewis was a well-known author of children’s stories, most famously The Chronicles of Narnia; and Christian apologetics, most famously Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. But he also wrote The Problem of Pain, an earnest, intelligent, but somewhat pat effort to explain the age-old question of how a benevolent God can allow such terrible human suffering. For most of his life, Lewis—“Jack” Lewis to his colleagues and friends—lived a cozy life as an Oxford professor of literature and designed that life so as to avoid any personal encounters with problem of pain.

Then came Joy Gresham, who in some ways was Jack’s opposite—brash where Jack was restrained, for example; and in other ways his equal, particularly in her quick intelligence.

Shadowlands depicts the true story of the relationship between Jack (portrayed by Anthony Hopkins) and Joy (Debra Winger). They meet after she writes him an admiring letter. Their correspondence leads to her first visit to England with her 12-year old son Douglas in tow, escaping an abusive marriage. Douglas (Joseph Mazzello) is surprised to discover that, unlike the fictional wardrobe that leads into Narnia, Lewis’s wardrobe leads nowhere. Joy is surprised to discover the comfortable rut Jack is in: the dinners at his college dining hall, the evenings in front of the fire listening to classical music, his brother “Warnie” (Edward Hardwicke) his only close friend. Jack is astonished to discover, gradually, first how much he enjoys Joy’s friendship and later how completely in love with her he has fallen.

Shadowlands tells how Jack is able to leave his comfortable, well-barricaded life, and risk the human suffering he has only written about before.

Directed by Richard Attenborough, Shadowlands won critical acclaim when released in 1993. It is rated PG (for mild profanity). It will be shown in the Rainbow Room on Friday, March 9, at 7:00 pm. Refreshments will be provided. If you would like to attend and need childcare, contact Mark Grimsley at

Fasting Discussion

On Sunday, February 25 after worship there will be a gathering in the Chapel to talk about fasting at North. We hope to begin a community fast the next weekend, March 3 – 4 and then gather on Monday evening March 5 to break the fast in community with a meal.
Fasting, the abstention from food and often drink has been practiced for centuries by all the major faiths in the world. Our Hebrew scriptures, the life of Jesus, and even our country are rooted in fasting.
In our current culture, fasting has been nearly forgotten even though Jesus fasted and prayed especially in times of intense need.
From time to time we forget just which needs are most important, and our priorities become confused. Fasting cuts through the drift and ambiguity like a meat clever coming down on the butcher’s table. It is a concrete, decisive act that says, “You, Lord, are the still point in my turning world . . . for you, I will upset my daily meal routine because I long to hear your voice . . . for you I will live with these hunger pangs today and let them speak to me of your deepest desire for me or my community. Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest with you. Adopted from Thomas Ryan

GEN SILENT Conference Giving Voice to LGBTQ Older Adults

Giving Voice to LGBTQ
Older Adults One-Day Symposium
Saturday, April 14th
9 am – 4 pm


Remember CALLED TO BE? Many blessings came from that outreach event. Our faith values, once again, call us to do justice, this time in support of our GLTBQ senior brothers and sisters.

LGBTQ seniors are dying prematurely and alone because they are fearful of discrimination from professional caregivers who enter their homes or from bullying residents and staff in residential care centers. For those who do not have friends or family to help advocate on their behalf, these injustices happen daily affecting their body, mind and spirit.

Inspired by filmmaker, Stu Maddux’s, 2011 documentary, GEN SILENT, a group of church leaders, with the support of the Executive Director for the Ruth Frost Center for Abundant Aging, Co-Chair for TransOhio, Executive Consultant to Equality Ohio, a former staff member of Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, and North Church members, formed a ministry to assist faith communities recognize the issues facing LGBTQ seniors and realize their resolutions.

GEN SILENT follows the lives of six LGBTQ seniors who put a face to the epidemic of our deeply flawed and antiquated healthcare system. Their frank discussion on engrained prejudices discloses that many former GLTBQ equal rights fighters are heading back into the closet. GEN SILENT depicts the disparity in the quality of professional caregivers including those now committed to making their LGBTQ clients safe and happy whether at home or in-care residences. We are offered new hope as each cross paths with impassioned people trying to change LGBTQ aging for the better.

It is our hope that this Symposium will empower LGBTQ older adults with information to build self-advocacy skills, find supportive resources, better equip their support team of family and friends, and introduce ecumenical church congregations to the difficulties facing its LGBTQ members.

Blessings to you all,
Di Felice
LGBTQ Older Adult Symposium Planning Committee, Hospitality

Ash Wednesday Service

    Ash Wednesday Worship Service
    February 14, 2018, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Our Lenten “Journey with Jesus” – and with one another – begins this coming week.  We will gather together as a worshiping community for a simple service of Scripture, song, silence and prayer.  Our Ash Wednesday service will include the imposition of ashes as well as Holy Communion.  Child care will be available.  Please join us if you are able.  All are welcome.

Adult Education: Rage at God

Sunday Mornings, February 4 – March 11,
9:15 – 10:00 am in the Sunshine Classroom
The Bible presents a personal God who intervenes in human lives and invites a human response.  Next to being loved, God seems to like being hated.  Any number of stories and psalms in Scripture attest to this.  Job laments, “Why is life given to those with no future, those God has surrounded with difficulties? I cannot eat for sighing; my groans pour out like water.”  Jonah storms at God for sparing Nineveh after sending him to that city to prophesy its impending destruction.  When God asks if he has reason to be angry, Jonah replies, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.”  The psalmist asks, “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”  God seems able to abide any human response except indifference.
February 4 marks the start of a five-week exploration of rage at God.  I use the term “rage” instead of “anger” because when people are angry with God they are usually intensely angry.  We’ll examine this rage as depicted in film, poetry, and songs, as well as Scripture, and explore what it has to tell us spiritually.
This Adult Education series will be led by Mark Grimsley.  Child Care will be provided.

Adult Education Class on Godly Play

What is GodlyPlay?

The Godly Play approach helps children to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language, and to enhance their spiritual experience through wonder and play. Based on Montessori principles serves children of all ages. Dee shared her storytelling skills with us at the All Church Family Reunion – adults, youth, and children were mesmerized by the power of story. We are all learners, we all love to hear stories – so join Dee and Susan for this exciting adult education series. By the end of the series, you will have an understanding of Godly Play and experienced its power.

Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018 Fiesta Dinner

It’s my pleasure to announce the Sixth Biennial North Church Fiesta Dinner on Saturday, February 3, 6:00 to 8:00 PM! Hold onto your seats. Don’t jump up to run to the phone to make your reservations just yet. There’s plenty of time to sign up and get in on all the fun. Let me fill you in on the plans…

Every two years, a mission team from North Church make plans to head down to Masaya, Nicaragua to join with the Chacocente Community in work, community building and having lots of fun. Since 2008, we have been getting to know members of eight families that at one time lived on the Managua dump and have since built a wonderful little comunidad. Indeed these eight families decide what work will be doing and lead us in the projects we undertake. Over 30 North Church community members have made the trip down during the five trips accomplished thus far. Each year, our small group of intrepid travelers work hard to prepare for the trip. This year, we started making plans nearly ten months before our flight to Managua on June 6, 2018. Our leaders, Kim Heimlich and Chris Isaacs, made a reservation with the Chacocente leaders last summer to ensure that they’d be ready to host us June 6 to 15.

A big part of our preparation is including our North Church family in the planning for the trip and immersing you in Nicaraguan culture. The kick off for this participation opportunity is a highlight of the North Church Community calendar: the magnificent Fiesta Dinner. You won’t want to miss it! The food is delicious and will help you to feel transported to Chacocente. Our menu looks to be as delightful as it was two years ago…


Chips & Homemade Salsa


Cucumber and Tomato Salad, Fresh Piña


Picadillo Beef, White Rice, PintoGallo (beans & rice), Black Beans, Mac & Cheese


Tres Leche Cake (an incredible, sweet concoction that is well worth the wait)


Punch, Franklin County Agua, Decaffeinated Cafe

After dinner, we will share an entertaining program that will help you understand why we have been making this trip every two years and why we are eager to return once again. Travelers past and present will share exciting stories from our past trips and give you a preview of what we are planning for this trip. Generally we say that what happens in Masaya, stays in Masaya, but we just might spill a few secrets on this special evening.

It is one of our primary goals to take along young people, so that they may expand their perspective on la creación de Dios. Rumor has it that a few travelers from past years are tempted to join us on our next trip. Perhaps we’ll be able to announce an addition or two to our group at the Fiesta. Even if you’ve never traveled with us, there’s still time to sign up to come along on the trip between now and the dinner.

Even if you are unable to make the trip down to Masaya, we hope you’ll come to the dinner to learn more about this important outreach and educational experience that is central to what makes North Church special.

Call Susan Kinzer now to make your reservations. We need to hear from you by noon on January 26 to make sure we have enough Tres Leche cake prepared to fill you up!

Christmas 2017

December 24th

  • No 8:15am worship, only 10:30am
  • 7:00pm Christmas Eve Family Service
  • 10:30pm Pre-Service Music
  • 11:00pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

December 25th

  • Office closed for Christmas

Consecration Sunday

The altar is dressed up as The Table of Abundance for Consecration Sunday, when we recognize and celebrate the gifts shared by our members. It’s a harvest festival for the fruits of our labors.

Bill Cohen’s Concert Celebrating Our True Blessings

An alternative to the Black Friday Buying Frenzy!

Friends. Freedom. Food. Music. Jobs. Parents. Children. Laughter. Emotions. And dozens of other things. We all have so much to be thankful for — everyday, not just Thanksgiving Day.  So join me as I sing a unique concert of songs that express gratitude for all that we have.

Friday November 24
7:30 to 9 p.m.
Maynard Avenue Methodist Church
2350 Indianola Ave,
Columbus, OH
Free parking will be available in the church lot and on nearby streets.

Playing piano and guitar, I’ll sing songs written by, made famous by, or inspired by, a wide variety of folks — John Denver, the Weavers, Phil Ochs, Louis Armstrong, Don McLean, the Beatles, and others. Even Johnny Appleseed, Jiminy Cricket, and the “old ladies” on the TV show, “Golden Girls.”

On several songs, Ann Fisher will add beautiful flute accompaniment, David Maywhoor will add the beat on percussion, and two surprise singers will add vocal harmonies.

Besides the music, we’ll hear some thoughtful quotes, reminding us of our many many blessings on Planet Earth. No sermons here but words of inspiration and emotion from sources as varied as Albert Schweitzer, Rod Serling, Gandhi, Einstein, and Buddha.

We’ll be asking for $10 per person donations at the door. Proceeds will go to help my wife Randi make her annual winter trek to the Dominican Republic. That’s where she serve as a volunteer translator for the International Medical Alliance of Tennessee, a team of doctors and nurses who provide free basic medical care to impoverished Haitian workers who live and work just inside the D.R. border.

For many, Thanksgiving is a day to gorge on food, and the next day is a day to splurge on buying material goods. Let’s make this holiday more meaningful by celebrating our true blessings, giving heartfelt thanks for them, and taking action to make this a better world.

We the People Are Greater Than Fear Forum

Join us December 3rd to hear attorney Jennifer Nimer, Executive Director CAIR-Columbus, describe how Islamophobia affects Muslims’ day to day life — through workplace discrimination, hate crimes, and through the challenges that immigrants and refugees face

in Central Ohio. The struggles faced by the Muslim Community in Columbus will be lifted up in the first-hand stories of recent immigrants receiving assistance through CRIS. Right after the Forum, through Better Plate Columbus, immigrants and the settled population will cook, share and discuss some of their favorite dishes from cultures within and outside the Muslim world.

Families with children are welcome. Onsite childcare will be provided during the 3-5 PM forum, and children can join the social hour from 5 to 7 PM.

Donations Accepted.

Forum Location:
North Congregational UCC
2040 W. Henderson Rd.
Columus, OH 43220

More Information:

No One Alone for the Holidays Thanksgiving Dinner at St. John’s Church

Nov. 23rd  12:00 PM

This meal was designed for those who would otherwise have nowhere to enjoy Thanksgiving.


59 E. Mound St.
Columbus, Ohio
Parking is available in the parking garage on E. Mound St. south of High St.

North Church ONA Outreach Team is bringing Thanksgiving dinner to St. John’s Evangelical Protestant UCC again this year. No mater who you are or where you are in life’s journey, you are welcome to join us for a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

Meal prep volunteers welcome. Contact Marilyn Lloyd at North Church