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Bonnie Bates

The Reverend Doctor Bonnie Bates currently serves as the Associations Associate for Congregational Vitality and Development for the Eastern Ohio and Western Reserve Associations of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ.  The Reverend Dr. Bonnie Bates received her Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Colgate Rochester Divinity School.  The focus of her doctoral work was transformational leadership and her dissertation is titled, Navigating the River of Grief.   She has served churches in New York both as a licensed and ordained minister.  She directed and taught in the Graduate Human Resource Development program at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.  She has worked for several non-profits and has served on several not-for-profit Boards including the Dunkirk Camp and Conference Center in western New York.  She has been an active member of the associations where she has served as well as numerous leadership positions within the New York Conference including its work in becoming a Global Mission conference and designing its current governance structure.   She has recently completed the development and implementation of a Boundary Training model for local congregations.

Her hobbies are singing, reading, fly fishing. She once sang with a national choir in Carnegie Hall, Constitution Hall, the White House, Royal Albert Hall, and a variety of locations in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.   She and her husband, Steve Vulcheff, have one son Samuel and two grandsons Kiel and Jakob.
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Dean Feldmeyer
Ron Love
George Reed
The final Sunday of the church year -- known as Christ the King Sunday -- celebrates the Reign of Christ in the world and our station as his loyal subjects and sheep. But as team member Mary Austin points out in the next installment of The Immediate Word, that imagery seems rather quaint in a modern world that has little experience with either kings or shepherds.


Peter Andrew Smith
John Fitzgerald
"I Was A Prisoner" by Peter Andrew Smith
"Thanksgiving and Advent" by John Fitzgerald

I Was A Prisoner
by Peter Andrew Smith
Matthew 25:31-46

The prison door slammed shut behind Gary. His heart raced as he stepped forward to the guard standing behind the security glass.

“You have your papers and identification?” the guard asked.

Gary slid them forward and watched the guard looked them over carefully and check his identification against the computer.


Arley K. Fadness
“...come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you...” (v. 34b)

Good morning girls and boys,

It's so good to see you this morning. I hope you are fine. Let's see a great big smile. (children smile broadly) Now let's give God a big smile. (motion towards the cross and so on)

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
David Coffin
Reign of Christ or Christ the King Sunday lends itself to the narration of stories as to how people experience God and God’s kingdom breaking into our world. Karen D. Scheib’s book titled Pastoral Care: Telling Stories of our Lives (Abingdon Press, 2016) makes some practical sense. “Narrative identity provides a means to hold together our various beliefs, hopes, dreams, and roles in a coherent way.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
I used to know a man who claimed to be able to make himself invisible. I regarded his claim as complete nonsense, until I saw him in the bank several weeks later. Or rather, almost failed to see him! I was impatiently waiting in a queue to be served, but he stood at the counter so quietly and so still that he almost melted into the background. If I hadn't known him, I don't think I would have noticed him.


The church calendar says that this is the day on which we celebrate the festival of Christ the King. That makes this a very important day. The idea of the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of Christ, is one of the most important biblical and theological explanations of the meaning of the Christian faith. It probably represents the very heart of Jesus' own teachings.

Special Occasion