Someday We’ll Be Together

As Diana Ross sang out over 50 years ago, “Someday we’ll be together.” But as far as worshiping together in person in our sanctuary at New Horizons,  we still don’t have a definitive date as of yet. The Elders have discussed this issue at its last two meetings, and the one thing that we can say for sure is that it is too early to resume in person worship together.We have begun to outline just what will be involved to re-open our sanctuary for worship, but we know that won’t happen until at least June. Our major priority is the safety of all who enter our building and share worship, small groups, Worship and Wonder, and other activities. Pastor Jim is in the process of gathering views and guidelines from other area clergy and church organizations. He posted one of the articles he read on Facebook. One thing that seems clear is that the worship we will share in person will be different  than what we celebrated when we last met on March 8.

Our re-opening will be informed by guidance from Gov. DeWine and Ohio Director of Health Amy Acton, but the final decision will be made by our community for our community. Even we once again offer in person worship in our sanctuary, we will continue to post our sermons on YouTube for those who feel more comfortable worshiping from home.

Co-Pastor Our Search Team has selected our new co-pastor who will share responsibilities with Pastor Jim as well as give leadership to some of our ministry efforts. Our new co-pastor will be introduced during Sunday worship on May 10

Mothers Day  You won’t be at a Mother’s Day buffet this Sunday, but you can participate in our worship service on YouTube at 9AM (or later) with a Mother’s Day emphasis. Our text will be Acts 6:1-8 which talks about making sure that moms in the early church got cared for. Thanks as always for our production crew of Adam and Sam who make it all happen.

Zoom Bible Study  Our bible study meets via Zoom on Wednesday nights at 7pm. You can call in or participate through your computer or smart phone. Just let Pastor Jim know so he can give you the meeting information.

Camp Christian Closed for the Summer As we mentioned last week there will be no resident camps at Camp Christian this summer, but we hope to have some virtual camp experiences available.

Remember Brianna Allen’s Drive Through Graduation Party at the church on May 30 from 12-2.

Thanks to all the generous financial gifts either mailed to the church, dropped off at the church, or given through Givelify.


Moving into May at New Horizons

This weekend brings us the first Sunday in May, and the weather is predicted to be beautiful. We deserve it, don’t we?

After two fantastic guest presenters the past couple of weeks – Ali Miguel and Dorine Linnen, worship this week will feature the beginning of a mini-sermon series on the Acts of the Apostles led by Pastor Jim. This week’s text will be Acts 4:42-47, and we will hear about how the church has often had to change its methods to keep sharing the Gospel in changing circumstances. The days we are in are indeed challenging for any church, but the Church has faced many difficult times in the past.

A reminder: Our worship will be available on our YouTube channel on Sunday mornings at 9am. You can also access YouTube from a link on our website http://www.newhorizonschristian.org , and there is always a link found in our Facebook group – NHCC Folks.

Thanks to Adam Seger, Sam Kitzler, and Dorine Linnen for all their assistance for our April 26 worship service.

Our Zoom Bible Study began on Wednesday April 29 and eight people participated. If you want to be part of this group, let Pastor Jim know of your interest. You don’t need a computer or Internet connection to join. You can always call in by telephone.

Congratulations to Adam Bendel and Sarah Butti who were married last Saturday. The weather was beautiful and so was the ceremony.

Our sympathies and prayers  are with the family of Julie Hudkins who passed away on Tuesday. This is an especially hard time for the family since Julie’s husband died last fall. There will by no formal service or visiting hours.

Camp Christian

Dear Ohio Region,


For 70 years the summers at Camp Christian have been the highlight of the year for so many people.  It’s abundantly clear from all of the messages of prayers and support we received over the last few weeks, as well as the number of RSVPs for our modified summer programming that Camp still holds an important place in the hearts and minds of the people of Ohio.  The love and passion that so many show for Camp Christian is a great blessing. This has been, and continues to be an amazing and beloved community.
This is an update that we had hoped to never have to write.  It is with broken hearts that we share with you the decision to not open Camp Christian for the 2020 summer season.
For the past month, the Regional Staff, Camp Christian Committee, Regional Treasurer and Regional Moderator have been in prayer and discernment.  We have all been meeting regularly to discuss and plan for the possibilities of camp this summer.  In monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic and following the latest health and safety information from the Governor’s recommendations, we have determined that it simply will not be possible for us to safely or effectively open Camp Christian this summer.
A number of factors went into this decision, including the logistics of being able to purchase enough food, keeping camp clean, being able to have access to cleaning, safety, and medical supplies (so many of which are now being rightly prioritized by hospitals and medical centers), and enforcing safe social distancing practices for the youth and young people who would attend our summer programs.  Above all, the health and safety of our campers has been our focus and our mission and with that in mind, we have decided to close Camp Christian for summer 2020.
To be clear, it is still the intention of the Ohio Region to have Camp next summer.  This is not a permanent closure of Camp Christian.  Although we will still need to do some fundraising and we may still need to adjust some of our logistics and health protocols between now and then, we will be working diligently this entire year to provide the safest and best camp season in 2021.
We are deeply saddened and grieving this loss.  We know that many of us have been praying for a different outcome.  We know that many of us have already suffered so many losses in the past couple of months, and to lose time at Camp too can feel unbearable to some.  Please know that although we feel this is the right and responsible path forward, that does not mean that it is not a difficult and disheartening path forward as well.
In the coming weeks, the Directors and Officers of our various camps and conferences will meet virtually to begin discussions on alternative programming options we will be able to offer in the coming months.  By the end of May, we will share with the Region what programming will be provided so that we may still find ways to fellowship together this summer.  We cannot replace the green chair circles, the warm glow of the torch, or the ringing of the bell, but the Holy Spirit is still moving in Ohio and the billions of stars that we see in the night sky at Camp Christian are still shining.
We know that it has been difficult for many of us to hold on to hope in this strange season of our lives.  Many of us are mourning now, and that is okay.  Our God is with us in our grief.  And when we are ready, God will move with us in hope and new possibility, finding ways forward through this camping season and the next.  Ultimately, our God is a God of hope.
Our God of hope helped us receive over 450 RSVPs for our modified camp program when we set a goal of 400.  Our God of hope helps us to imagine alternative programming opportunities that would have been impossible even 10 years ago.  Our God of hope helps us to work together with Directors, Officers, Faculty, ADs, Counselors, and Staff to be able to connect with young people in contemporary and creative ways.  Our God of hope helps us to know in our hearts that the mission of Building Beloved Community can never be cancelled or delayed, but springs forth like water from a rock in what feels like a desert season in our lives.
We are eternally grateful for your prayers and your passion for Camp Christian.  Together we will move forward in healthy and faithful ways so that generations of people will continue to come to know the love of God through Christ at Camp.
If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to Regional Program Director Rev. Alan Dicken at adicken@ccinoh.org.


Love and Blessings,

Regional Staff

Regional Moderator

Camp Christian Committee

Christian Church in Ohio & Camp Christian
10335 Maple Dell Rd
Marysville, OH  43040
Phone: 614-433-0343
FAX: 614-433-7285
Website: http://www.ccinoh.org


Worship and Wonder Sunday – April 26

Worship and Wonder Sunday: At 9am on Sunday, be sure to go to our YouTube channel and join us for a special Worship and Wonder story presented by Dorine Linnen. If you were in our sanctuary last year when Dorine shared a story you will recall how captivated the children were. So encourage families you know to tune in on Sunday for a story that is sure to be a highlight for children as well as adults.

Looking Ahead: Jim will be preaching on Acts 2:42-47 on May 3.

Online Giving, http://www.givelify.com: We have launched a new online giving option to make it easier for everyone to support the ministries of the New Horizons Christian Church without having to mail a check into the church or drop it off. It is called Givelify and is used by our General church office.

There is no monthly fee for this service either for you or for the church. If you do use it, the charge is 2.9% of the transaction plus .30. In other words, if you give $100, the church will receive $96.80.

The easiest way to use Givelify is to install an app on your smart phone, but you do not have to download the app to use Givelify. When it asks for the church, make sure to indicate New Horizons Christian Church, 290 Darrow Rd. Akron, 44305 since there are other New Horizons churches in our country.

You can continue to support New Horizons in the same way that you have been doing it all along, but we wanted to give people additional options. I have used Givelify and can attest how easy it is.

A big thank you to all who have continued to support New Horizons during these unusual times.

Zoom Bible Study: I am launching an online Bible Study through Zoom. We will be looking at the text that I will be preaching on the next Sunday. It will be Wednesday evenings at 7PM starting April 29. To join, please let me know of your interest and I will include you in the meeting information. You can join either by phone or computer.

Co-Pastor Search Team: Our search team is meeting by Zoom on Thursday night April 23. We have received four resumes so far, and the deadline for resumes is May 1.

Elders Meeting: Our Elders met via Zoom this past week, and among other things they discussed what would be needed to resume “in person” worship again. That day is not imminent but we know it is coming some day. One of our Elders remarked that when we meet together again it will be with “a spirit of gratitude, love, and not fear.” AMEN

A Special Invitation from Terri Allen:

Well since we won’t be able to do a party in church for Brianna’s graduation anytime soon. We have decided to do a drive thru one. Graduation drive thru party for Brianna Allen Sunday May 31st, from 12pm to 2 pm in the parking lot. We are asking that everyone that can please come and give her an encouraging message. These seniors are missing so much of the final rituals and they are so unsure right now if they will get anything like Prom or any of the senior awards or banquets even Graduation. They sure didn’t know there last time at school was there last time walking through the halls. She needs some love and encouragement. She is going to Ashland University starting in the fall (probably still online schooling).

(If we are allowed by then this will be inside)

Thanks Terri Allen

She will be studying Psychology. If you have any questions please call Terri at 330.714.4423


Stay Safe, Faithful, and Hopeful,

Pastor Jim


New Horizons News

Hope Deferred? – One of the things that I have been doing during this week after Easter is trying to connect with and learn from other pastors and church leaders as to how they are responding to the challenges facing churches and clergy during this unusual time. I feel like I need all the help and encouragement I can get, and so do most other pastors and church leaders that I have been able to hook up with.On Wednesday afternoon, I watched a podcast, participated in a webinar, and later was part of a Zoom meeting. I learned something from each one of them.  To paraphrase a quote from Martin Luther: “We are all beggars trying to tell each other where to find a piece of bread.” In other words, we are all trying to figure it out and no one knows exactly what the future (or even the present) holds.

Here is one scripture that was shared during the podcast that I have found immensely valuable and provocative. It is Proverbs 13:12 – “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  One of the toughest and most challenging aspects to these days is hoping for the return to some version of normal. When we went into our caves a month or so ago, few among us would have imagined just how long this process would take. One “shelter at home” order has turned into another and yet at least one more would seem to be on the way at the end of April. If we get our hopes up, we are  bound to be disappointed, aren’t we? Many events – sports, proms, graduations, wedding receptions, worship services, and numerous others – have either been deferred, postponed, or significantly altered. It is easy to become heartsick, isn’t it, especially as we have begun to realize that things will never be the same again.  Maybe you have felt that way more than once in the past few weeks. It can be depressing and defeating, can’t it?

But as much as “hope deferred makes the heart sick” might resonate with you, what about that second part of the verse – “A longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” What I am asking myself this week is how can I, how can our church, be a tree of life for others during this time period? Are there new ways that we can be reaching both inward as a congregation as well as outward to our neighbors that can make a real  difference in someone’s life? Do you have a longing for something new and creative and maybe even a bit crazy that you want to try out during (what I called during my Easter sermon) this Interim Tomb Time. We can’t do many of the things that we have done before, but we might be able to launch something new and life giving. Just because the old normal might be gone forever, it doesn’t mean that the new reality will be worse. Is it possible that we are living into something even better?

Here is one idea I have – is anyone interested in being part of an online Bible Study group? You can either call in with your phone or video conference with Zoom. We will start with the text to be preached on the next Sunday.  If  you are interested, please let me know.

So please think about and pray about new things that even now God might be envisioning for you and I and for the New Horizons  Christian Church. Please share these with me. How can God’s longings for us be fulfilled so that we might become a tree of life in our little part of the world?

Here’s a link to an encouraging video that I hope lifts you up: “Rise Up”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_YDpP-nU6w

Easter – Thanks to all who tuned in to our YouTube channel on Easter morning as well as shared the link with others. We are reaching more people with our online services than we did at our “in person” services. Thanks to our team of Adam Seger, Sam Kitzler, Ali Miguel, Tammy Keen, and Steve Stimler.

Feel free to share comments and feedback either on the YouTube comments area or by email to be at jwbane@hotmail.com.

Givings/Offerings Your financial offerings continue to be generous – what a blessing you have been. This week we should be finishing our application process to be part of the online giving platform called Givelify, which is used by our General church office. You will be able to send a gift to the church from your computer or smart phone.

Worship on April 19 – While worship attendance is often somewhat low on the Sunday after Easter, who knows what it will be like this year? To pique your interest,  I will share that we will have a special guest preacher this weekend. Tune in on Sunday morning and find out who it is.

Search Team for Co-Pastor Position – We have been receiving resumes and hope to interview candidates in early May via Zoom.

Elders – Remember our meeting on Tuesday April 21.

Camp Christian Whether we have programs at Camp Christian this summer may be out of our hands, but we are trying to keep all of our options open and have scheduled a week for each age group to be held in late summer. Details about this were contained in last week’s blog. If you are interested in having your son or daughter at Camp Christian, please let me or Terri Allen know ASAP. We don’t need a financial commitment yet, but we need a total of 400 campers to make the schedule financially feasible.  We are over halfway there in just two weeks.




Holy Week(end) at New Horizons

Maundy Thursday:  Our Maundy Thursday service is now online through our YouTube channel. There is a link to YouTube on our website http://www.newhorizonschristian.org as well as at our NHCC Folks group on Facebook. Thanks to Dorine for linking to our NHCC Folks group.

Easter Sunday: Pastor Jim will be making a rare appearance in a tie and jacket so why not dress up for Easter and post a picture of yourself/your family  on Facebook? Remember to gather together something to share at the communion time of our service. This week’s text will be the Raising of Lazarus found in the Gospel of John, Chapter 11.

Thank You: Thank you to all who are sharing these services with friends across the country – we are reaching people that we have never reached before. What a blessing amidst interesting  times.

Thanks again to our expanded production team with contributions from Adam, Sam, Ali, Steve, and Tammy. As Al Channell, our former Camp Christian superintendent used to say when facing a challenging situation: “Just another opportunity to excel.”

Thanks to the Allen family for their encouraging visits that they made to 20 household in two counties last weekend.

Thanks to those like Jeanine Hill- Harvey for making and sharing masks with others.

Thanks to all who are posting encouraging messages and checking in on one another.

Thanks to our Prayer Team continuing their ministry in a virtual way. Please send new joys and concerns to Pastor Jim.

Thanks to our Elders for caring for their flocks.

Thanks to all of our generous souls who have continued to share their financial resources for the ministries of our church. Last week’s offering was phenomenal.

Co-Pastor Search: Great News. We are receiving resumes from candidates.

Camp Christian Update: I am a member of the the Camp Christian Committee which has designed a shorter schedule to accommodate our changed circumstances. Here is an excerpt from a letter that the committee sent out last week:

  • Our summer programming will have to be condensed and we will offer one week for each of the age groups:
    • CYF Conference will be July 5-11, for youth in grades 9-12
    • Chi Rho Camp will be July 12-18, for youth in grades 6-8
    • Otter/Ribbit Camp will be July 19-25, for children in grades 2-5
    • Advance Conference will remain July 26 – August 2, for young adults ages 19-29
    • (Grandparents Camp is looking to reschedule sometime in the Fall)
  • The schedule and programming for each week will be slightly different than in past summers, and the details of those programs will be made public once the directors and leaders of the various weeks have a chance to organize and plan.

In addition to safety and health concerns, we are doing our best to be fiscally responsible with our regional resources.  In order for us to be able to afford to open Camp, even in this postponed and condensed format this year, WE NEED to total 405 attendees throughout the month of July, an average of a little over 100 people per week.  In the coming weeks we will need attendees to RSVP (payment to be made at a future datehere https://www.ccinoh.org/events_details.aspx?id=455 so that we can have a good idea of how many campers we will be serving this summer.

It is essential that everyone who is planning to come RSVP’s by April 26th.  If we do not have enough RSVPs, we will not be able to open Camp at all this summer.

We want dearly to believe in faith over fear and to operate out of a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity, which is why we have put this contingency summer camp plan in place.  However, we know that things are changing rapidly in this climate, and we want you to know that we will also take steps to ensure everyone’s safety first and foremost. The Regional Staff and CCC will continue to meet in the coming weeks and months to continue to discuss our shared passion for camp ministry while putting health and safety at the forefront of all of our decision making.

Please continue to pray for one another and to pray for this region that we may be guided by God’s wisdom and discernment in this process.  Thank you for your support, patience, generosity, and most importantly, thank you for your love of Camp Christian and every young person who has ever found a home here.

    Peace and Blessings,

    Camp Christian Committee & Regional Staff

Please direct all questions to Rev. Alan Dicken, our Regional Program Director, at adicken@ccinoh.org.