Leadership Team to seek transitional conference leader

A message for delegates from the Ohio Conference Leadership Team:

The Leadership Team received the following in a letter from Wanda Stopher, regional pastor, on June 21, 2015: “I have been invited and accepted a call to candidate at First Mennonite Church in Bluffton, Ohio, for the role of Lead Pastor on June 28, 2015. The vote to call will be taken two weeks after candidating, on July 12, 2015. I anticipate ending my responsibilities as Regional Pastor, effective August 31, 2015.”

We want to express our deep appreciation to Wanda for the work she has done with pastors and congregations in our conference. She has exhibited joy, deep love, and attentiveness to God’s Spirit in her ministry with us. We will truly miss her gifts among us. We also want to bless her and the work that God is calling her to. May the Holy Spirit anoint and equip her for God’s Kingdom in Bluffton, Ohio.

In light of Wanda’s resignation and Conference Minister Tom Kauffman’s earlier resignation announcement, the Leadership Team is planning to have a transitional conference leader in place by Sept. 1, 2015. This will be a full-time position that will last for 6-12 months. During these 6-12 months the Leadership Team will continue the process of listening to all of Ohio Conference to discern the needs and direction for our future.

The Leadership Team and staff are working on creating a job description for the transitional conference leader. The job description will be published, and Leadership Team will begin accepting applications for the position on July 6. Applications must be submitted by Aug. 1. Leadership Team will meet on Aug. 7 to review applications. Please be in prayer for all of this. Pray for Wanda and Tom as they transition to new assignments and for Regional Pastor Ralph Reinford as his workload will inevitably increase. Pray for the Leadership Team, the Conference and the denomination. Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers!