Grace United Church of Christ 
                                          of Loyal Oak


The Administrative Ministry Team, consisting of GLO's Consistory, with guidance provided by the pastor, is responsible for all functions relative to the operation of the church.  The Consistory is elected by the Congregation to maintain a fresh and relevant vision for GLO and to administer the finances, properties, programs of the church, consistent with the vision.  The 2014 Consistory members are:

Mac McFarland, 2015                    President & ChairLynn Reynolds,   Appointed
Bob Covington, 2016                   Treasurer Paula Leonard, 2015   At Large
Von Over, 2014,                            ClerkSara Johansen, 2015   At Large
Kurt Wieser,                                  PastorLori Oliver, 2015   At Large
Nancy KirbyAppointed,               Local Missions  Janet Von Gunten, 2014   At Large
Mary Ann Schumacher, 2015      Spiritual Formation
Mark Jobes2014                        Evangelism
Olivia EvansAppointed,              Property
David Evans, 2016                       Administration

Wayne Pressler, 2015                 Social Justice


This team also manages the GLO website which has had over 1,000 visitors during the past year!  Many new folks attending GLO report that they found our church via this website.

The Administration  Ministry Team (Admin), a sub-committee of Consistory, chaired by Dave Evans, is responsible for implementation and maintenance of GLO's website.  This includes: 

  • stimulating members and friends of GLO to elicit discussion and ideas, 
  • aggregating and editing the result into useful material that is applied and maintained on the website, and 
  • training of volunteers in use of  the tools used in connecting with members, friends and the greater community,
  • authorizing, as needed, those who are responsible for and need to make ongoing information updates to the data on the GLO web site.  
  • Additionally, aggregating a core group of trained and in-training team members to ensure the team's goals are sustained.  


(To be defined and further described at a later date.) 


The GLO Evangelism Ministry Team, led by Mark Jobes, is responsible for creating increased visibility of GLO in our community, and helping people who are un-churched or "de"churched understand that the church of Jesus Christ has a Social Gospel message different than they may have understood in the past.  The Evangelism Team's goal is to take the relevant Good News of the Social Gospel, i.e., God's radical saving grace for all, peace and non-violence, social justice, honoring and protecting all of God's wonderful creation, to all who have not heard it, and to invite and welcome them into our warm, accepting, affirming, and loving family of faith.  We believe that is how lives are transformed by God, through Christ.

Examples of the work of our Evangelism Ministry Team include creative marketing of GLO in conjunction with our national office's "God Is Still Speaking" Campaign.  The team offers a monthly coffee hour fellowship in Fellowship Hall following the last worship service of the month. 

GLO is a host site for Family Promise – Summit County (FP-SC).  FP-SC provides temporary shelter to families without homes.  Our education wing transforms into a family room and bedrooms for up to 14 people, including children, for an entire week, every nine weeks, rotating with eight to ten other churches throughout the year.  The program at GLO is run and staffed entirely by volunteers from our church, with meal and supply assistance from other churches in the area.

GLO is a covenant member of Barberton Area Community Ministries, which is a community, church-based organization that helps low-income families in Barberton and Norton with food, housing, and utilities assistance, offers budget counseling and problem-solving advice, and refers any caller to appropriate community services. 

Grace UCC hosts the Wadsworth-Norton-Barberton Peace Studies Group which meets monthly to discuss issues of peace and non-violence, and is active in community events that promote peace and non-violence.  Several of our members are active members of this group which has been working for peace and non-violence in this area for many years.

Grace Church's Hearts and Hands Ministry has assisted individuals and non-profit organizations in the area by providing cash assistance. 

Other examples of GLO's support to the community-at-large include:
  • Open M (Meal Center)
  • Esther Ryan Shoe Fund
  • Individuals needing one time assistance


Under the able leadership of Olivia Evans and her assistants (Von and Dave Over, husband David) and team members, the Properties Ministry Team manages and maintains all of the GLO properties, including the 125 year old Sanctuary, Offices, Education building, Fellowship Hall, and a rental home.  Their challenging task includes maintaining the property, grounds and parking lot associated with the church.


Our Social Action Ministry Team now consists of several social justice advocates in the congregation, chaired by Wayne Pressler. He alerts the congregation to key issues and keeps us informed.  We rely heavily on our United Church of Christ national office and Eastern Ohio / Western Reserve Association to keep us briefed and to follow their lead on a broad array of social justice issues in our attempts to remain consistent with United Church of Christ General Synod positions. Currently we are following Health Care Reform, Human Trafficking and the Arab Israeli conflict.

The GLO Green Team is chaired by Janet VonGunten, and is helping our church and our members become greener as we become better stewards of God’s creation, and become sensitive to environmental issues.

A similar organization, Embracing Justice and Peace (EJP), is partially staffed by some of GLO's Social Justice Ministry Team members. GLO supports EJP with presentation space with organizational meetings monthly. You may find out more about that by accessing their Facebook Page HERE and, as well, checking out our calendar at Look for Embracing Jusice and Peace on the third or fourth Tuesday of the month.


The historic Grace Sanctuary Guild has transformed into the new Special Events Ministry Team and continues to carry out the former functions of the Guild.  The Special Events Ministry Team plans and coordinates church-wide events and fundraisers.  They plan a wide range of events for the year, including the Hungarian (chicken paprikash) and Swiss Steak Dinners and several Bake Sales.  This team welcomes creative ideas about how to reach out into the community with special events, as well as creating other exciting socialization opportunities for the GLO church family.


The Spiritual Formation Ministry Team, chaired by Mary Ann Schumacher, has under its purview Children and Adult Education, and other programs and events that are designed to further the spiritual growth and discipleship of all who make up the family of faith at Grace UCC of Loyal Oak.  With the recent arrival of several new families to GLO, our Children's Church School, led by Linda Beaty, continues to evolve keeping the needs of the families in mind.  Sunday School is offered for elementary children during the worship service. 

Mary Ann Schumacher, Lynn Reynolds, Sandy West, Paula Leonard, Linda Beaty and Janet Von Gunten staff our nursery during worship. An Adult/Teen Class meets each week at 9:30 a.m., using the Lectionary as curriculum, and opportunities also take place through seasonal Spiritual Formation Classes conducted during the year facilitated by Pastor Kurt Wieser and other volunteer teachers. Past studies include The Book of Jeremiah, The Book of Mark, a study on Images of God and Prayer, and The God of Jesus, by Stephen Patterson, and The Transforming God, by Tyron Inbody.  These classes are held on Wednesday evenings, and are announced in GraceNews and Grace's Calendar of Events on this website. 

The GLO Religion Library supports the congregation's spiritual formation with its hundreds of books, video, CD and magazines, as well as historical items.


Connect to programs

The GLO Worship Arts Ministry Team, chaired by Kim Gravis, is responsible for helping the pastor and the music director, Ophelia Shan, design and lead the worship services of the church.  We believe God is our "audience" during worship, and we, God's people, are responsible to worship God with sincerity, passion, and excellence.  The Worship Arts Ministry Team is dedicated to offer the best worship possible, and accepts the responsibility to lead our congregation in quality worship that includes instrumental music, hymnody, choral anthems and responses, reading of Scripture, the written and spoken Word, preaching, prayers, and visual liturgical arts.  In addition to weekly Sunday morning worship services, the Team also plans and prepares for special seasonal services, including Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.  Periodically, GLO's gifted choir, directed by Ophelia Shan, presents seasonal cantatas or other special music beyond their Sunday morning anthems.

Lifelong member Nancy Mackin and Beverly Murgatroyd serve as coordinators of our monthly service of Holy Communion (First Sunday of each month), setting the Table, recruiting servers, and cleaning and storing the Communion Ware.

Our Music Director, Liang Ophelia Shan
, shares and provides her unique gifts on Sunday morning.  Additionally, the GLO Wind Ensemble pitches in with brass music at appropriate times of the year.