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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 Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 (2021) -- Song of Solomon 2:8-13, James 1:17-27, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23, Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9 -- Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas -- Proper 17 | Ordinary Time 22 - B -- 2021
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 4 (2021) -- John 3:14-21, Ephesians 2:1-10, Numbers 21:4-9 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Numbers 21:4-9
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 18 | OT 23 | Pentecost 15 (2021) -- Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23, James 2:1-10 (11-13) 14-17, Mark 7:24-37 -- Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas -- Proper 18 | Ordinary Time 23 - B -- 2021
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 5 (2021) -- John 12:20-33, Hebrews 5:5-10, Jeremiah 31:31-34 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2021
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 (2021) -- Proverbs 1:20-33, James 3:1-12, Mark 8:27-38, Psalm 19, Song of Solomon 7:26--8:1 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates -- Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 - B -- 2021
Proverbs 1:20-33
Sermon Illustrations for Passion Sunday (2021) -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Mark 14:1--15:47 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates -- Passion Sunday - B -- 2021
Isaiah 50:4-9
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 (2021) -- Proverbs 31:10-31, James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a, Mark 9:30-37, Psalm 1 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - B -- 2021
Proverbs 31:10-31
Sermon Illustrations for Maundy Thursday (2021) -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates -- Maundy Thursday - B -- 2021
Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 (2021) -- Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22, James 5:13-20, Mark 9:38-50 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 21 | Ordinary Time 26 - B -- 2021
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
Sermon Illustrations for Good Friday (2021) -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1--19:42 -- Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen -- Good Friday - B -- 2021
Isaiah 52:13--53:12
Sermon Illustrations for Easter Day (2021) -- Isaiah 25:6-9, Acts 10:34-43, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, John 20:1-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Easter Day - B -- 2021
Acts 10:34-43
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 (2021) -- Job 1:1; 2:1-10, Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12, Mark 10:2-16 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - B -- 2021
Job 1:1, 2:1-10
Sermon Illustrations for Second Sunday of Easter (2021) -- Acts 4:32-35, 1 John 1:1--2:2, John 20:19-31 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Second Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 4:32-35
Sermon Illustrations for the Third Sunday of Easter (2021) -- Acts 3:12-19, 1 John 3:1-7, Luke 24:36b-48 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Third Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 3:12-19
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 (2021) -- Job 23:1-9, 16-17, Hebrews 4:12-16, Mark 10:17-31, Psalm 22:1-15 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas -- Proper 23 | Ordinary Time 28 - B -- 2021
Job 23:1-9,16-17
Sermon Illustrations for Easter 4 (2021) -- Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 4:5-12
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 24 | Ordinary Time 29 (2021) -- Job 38:1-7 (34-41), Hebrews 5:1-10, Mark 10:35-45, Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c -- Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 24 | Ordinary Time 29 - B -- 2021
Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
Sermon Illustrations for the Fifth Sunday after Easter (2021) -- John 15:1-8, 1 John 4:7-21, Acts 8:26-40 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 8:26-40
Sermon Illustrations for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (2021) -- Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17 -- Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 10:44-48
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 (2021) -- Job 42:1-6, 10-17, Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 10:46-52 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 - B -- 2021
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 (2021) -- Ruth 1:1-18, Hebrews 9:11-14, Mark 12:28-34 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - B -- 2021
Ruth 1:1-18
Sermon Illustrations for Ascension of the Lord (2021) -- Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas -- Ascension of the Lord - B -- 2021
Acts 1:1-11
Sermon Illustrations for All Saints Day (2021) -- Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9, Revelation 21:1-6a, John 11:32-44 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen -- All Saints Day - B -- 2021
Isaiah 25:6-9
Sermon Illustrations for the Seventh Sunday of Easter (2021) -- Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, 1 John 5:9-13, John 17:6-19 -- Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - B -- 2021
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Sermon Illustrations for Proper 27 | OT 32 (2021) -- Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44 -- Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 - B -- 2021
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
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CSSPlus

John Jamison
Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) I have a question for you today. Are you ready to hear it? (Let them respond.) Great! Here we go! Has anyone ever said something to you that didn’t make sense to you? (Let them respond.) After they said it, were you pretty confused about what they meant? (Let them respond.) Yes, I think that happens to all of us. But let me ask this: did Jesus ever say something that didn’t make sense to you or that was just really confusing and hard to understand? (Let them respond.) Well, that has happened to me.

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Christopher Keating
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For August 14, 2022:
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Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
Charles Paul Conn wrote, in his book Make It Happen, about a church that lost her purpose. The story went something like this.

A preacher was in Atlanta, several years ago, and noticed in the restaurants section of the yellow pages, a place called Church of God Grill. The unusual name aroused his curiosity, so he dialed the number. A man answered with a cheery, “Hello! Church of God Grill!”
Mark J. Molldrem
Note: This installment was originally published in 2007.

"But he's for family values!"

My parishioner could not believe that I didn't like the radio talk show. So what if the host's politics were reprehensible, his theology simplistic, and his biblical interpretation uncritical? The only thing that counted was family values!

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Peter Andrew Smith
Abbie walked through the door, threw her coat on the chair and crashed onto the couch. She grabbed for the remote and flipped through the channels on the television. Nothing caught her eye, so she turned it off. She picked up her phone and checked her message and social media. Nothing new. She tossed her phone on the table and slumped back.

“Why is this happening to me?” she muttered.

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“Yeah. I’m starving. Is there any of that pizza left?

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Tracey was afraid. They were all playing Truth or Dare, and Tracey didn't know which was worst. The dares were becoming more and more scary, and Tracey didn't want to be part of them. On the other hand, she was terrified of being required to reveal her innermost secrets, for she knew perfectly well all the others would laugh themselves silly.

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Tracey hesitated. "Oh come on, Tracey!" cried the others. "What, you scared or something?"

SermonStudio

Rick McCracken-Bennett
I have to admit, this is not the Jesus I'm comfortable with. All this talk about bringing fire to the earth and that he can't wait until it's set ablaze. What kind of talk is that? Then there is the part about how households will become divided because of him. For goodness' sake, that's exactly opposite from the kind of community we're trying to build here.
Chrysanne Timm
This summer I decided to take up some simple vegetable gardening. I knew it would happen someday. It's in my blood. My dad has planted and tended summer gardens of various sizes my whole life. For several years, our family's garden filled the whole half acre second lot behind our home. We had strawberries, melons, tomatoes, sweet corn, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, acorn squash, and even pumpkins.
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In his colorful commentary on Hebrews, Thomas Long paints a picture of the historical setting surrounding this anonymous New Testament book.

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