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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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Illustration

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Sermon Illustrations for Advent 4 (2016) -- Isaiah 7:10-16, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-25 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bob Ove, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - A -- 2016
Isaiah 7:10-16
Sermon illustrations for Day of Pentecost (2016) -- Acts 2:1-21, Romans 8:14-17, John 14:8-17 (25-27) -- Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, R. Robert Cueni, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bob Ove -- Day of Pentecost - C -- 2016
Acts 2:1-21
Sermon Illustrations for Trinity Sunday (2016) -- Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31, Romans 5:1-5, John 16:12-15 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bob Ove, R. Robert Cueni, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - C -- 2016
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 4 | OT 9 (2016) -- 1 Kings 18:20-21 (22-29) 30-39, Galatians 1:1-12, Luke 7:1-10 -- R. Robert Cueni, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bob Ove -- Proper 4 | Ordinary Time 9 - C -- 2016
1 Kings 18:20-21 (22-29) 30-39
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 (2015) -- Proverbs 31:10-31, James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a, Mark 9:30-37 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - B -- 2015
Proverbs 31:10-31
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 (2015) -- Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22, James 5:13-20, Mark 9:38-50 -- Bob Ove, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - B -- 2015
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 (2015) -- Job 1:1; 2:1-10, Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12, Mark 10:2-16 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Sandra Herrmann -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - B -- 2015
Job 1:1; 2:1-10
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 (2015) -- Job 23:1-9, 16-17, Hebrews 4:12-16, Mark 10:17-31 -- Bonnie Bates, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 - B -- 2015
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 24 | Ordinary Time 29 (2015) -- Job 38:1-7 (34-41), Hebrews 5:1-10, Mark 10:35-45 -- Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Bob Ove, Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 24 | Ordinary Time 29 - B -- 2015
Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 (2015) -- Job 42:1-6, 10-17, Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 10:46-52 -- Bob Ove, Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 - B -- 2015
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 (2015) -- Ruth 1:1-18, Hebrews 9:11-14, Mark 12:28-34 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - B -- 2015
Ruth 1:1-18
Sermon Illustrations for All Saints Day (2015) -- Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9, Revelation 21:1-6a, John 11:32-44 -- Bill Thomas, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen -- All Saints Day - B -- 2015
Isaiah 25:6-9
Sermon Illustrations for Reformation Day (2015) -- Jeremiah 31:31-34, Romans 3:19-28, John 8:31-36 -- Ron Love, Bob Ove, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Reformation Sunday - B -- 2015
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 (2015) -- 1 Samuel 1:4-20, Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25, Mark 13:1-8 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - B -- 2015
1 Samuel 1:4-20
Sermon Illustrations for Christ the King Sunday (Proper 29) (2015) -- 2 Samuel 23:1-7, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 18:33-37 -- Bob Ove, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen -- Christ The King (Proper 29) - B -- 2015
2 Samuel 23:1-7
Sermon Illustrations for Thanksgiving (2015) -- Joel 2:21-27, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Matthew 6:25-33 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez -- Thanksgiving Day - B -- 2015
Joel 2:21-27
Sermon Illustrations for Advent 1 (2015) -- Jeremiah 33:14-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36 -- Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, R. Robert Cueni -- First Sunday of Advent - C -- 2015
Jeremiah 33:14-16
Sermon Illustrations for Advent 3 (2015) -- Zephaniah 3:14-20, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18 -- Bill Thomas, Bob Ove, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, R. Robert Cueni, Ron Love -- Third Sunday of Advent - C -- 2015
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Sermon Illustrations for The Nativity of Our Lord (2015) -- Isaiah 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) -- Bonnie Bates, Bob Ove, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, R. Robert Cueni, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen -- The Nativity of our Lord - C -- 2015
Isaiah 9:2-7
Sermon Illustrations for First Sunday after Christmas Day (2015) -- 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26, Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:41-52 -- Ron Love, R. Robert Cueni, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, Bob Ove, Bill Thomas -- First Sunday after Christmas Day - C -- 2015
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 27 | OT 32 (2015) -- Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44 -- Bob Ove, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 - B -- 2015
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
Sermon Illustrations for Advent 2 (2015) -- Malachi 3:1-4, Philippians 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6 -- R. Robert Cueni, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Bob Ove, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love -- Second Sunday of Advent - C -- 2015
Malachi 3:1-4
Sermon Illustrations for Advent 4 (2015) -- Micah 5:2-5a, Hebrews 10:5-10, Luke 1:39-45 (46-55) -- R. Robert Cueni, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - C -- 2015
Micah 5:2-5a
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 (2015) -- Song of Solomon 2:8-13, James 1:17-27, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 -- Frank Ramirez, Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - B -- 2015
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 18 | OT 23 (2015) -- Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23, James 2:1-10 (11-13) 14-17, Mark 7:24-37 -- Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas -- Proper 18 | Ordinary Time 23 - B -- 2015
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
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They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. (vv. 16-18)
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When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (vv. 50-53)

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Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
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There is still a lot to be in despair about in America. Racism is not gone, as the families who lost loved ones to wanton police shootings continue to mourn. Those who lost jobs, incomes, and businesses in the pandemic continue to suffer and remain in despair. It is all so tragic, as the German-born philosopher Theodor Adono once wrote: “But he who dies in despair has lived his life in vain.” Martin Luther saw this text and its account of the ascension as a time to preach on faith and the comfort from despair that that Word brings:

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Many years ago I met a churchwarden who had grown up within a Jewish background but who had converted to Christianity quite late in life. She had had an amazing conversion experience which had affected her deeply and as a result had become an ardent Christian. She was particularly zealous about Christian mission to the Jews, wanting to convert all Jews to Christianity. When I asked whether she thought Jesus was the only way to God, she looked astonished and said yes, of course!

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Brian could feel the heat of anger rising in his neck. His left hand curled into a fist and he hit the palm of his right hand. He felt dizzy as he looked around.

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When people are confused or afraid, when they feel that things are out of control, or when they feel helpless to overcome the problems which confront them, they often resort to "pie in the sky" religion. They look for Jesus to come and fix what they can't fix for themselves. They figure that one day, as if by magic, Jesus will make everything right for them in the "sweet bye and bye."

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“Not the Hour or the Day” by Peter Andrew Smith
“Closer To Heaven” by David O. Bales
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Not the Hour or the Day
by Peter Andrew Smith
Acts 1:1-11

“God, I know that I’m supposed to have faith and trust,” Paul said softly as he sat on the bench outside of the nursing home. “Yet a part of me wishes you would tell me when.”

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