Leadership Team reports progress  in completing action steps

On Sept. 23, 2015, the Ohio Conference Leadership Team (LT) met with a full agenda.  LT discussed the Sept. 2 All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting and the review of the Five-Year Plan which had been submitted by Myron Weaver, Paula Snyder Belousek, Wes Graber and Doug Zehr. Out of this discussion came the first draft of a proposed resolution which will be discussed at the upcoming cluster meetings. LT also committed time to focusing on the future vision of Ohio Conference and is anticipating investing more energy into this in the coming months and years.

Although it was acknowledged to be an inadequate long-term plan, LT is currently trusting Transitional Conference Leader George O’Reilly and Regional Pastor Ralph to cover the most pressing regional pastor needs.  Local pastor peer groups and other Conference organizations such as the Credentialing Ministry and Ministry Development Team (MDT) will be pitching in to help wherever possible in attempt to make up for being short staffed.

At Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) in March, Ohio Conference passed a resolution with multiple action steps. September is the six-month marker between annual meetings, so this is an appropriate time to do a brief progress report. Progress updates are in bold:

Resolution: Ohio Conference fully supports the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. Given the cultural context we inhabit, we emphasize our support of Article 19, “Family, Singleness & Marriage,” while valuing all 24 articles as a guide for our life together.

Action steps:

  • Will not recognize a congregation’s request to credential a pastor in a same-sex relationship.
  • Will suspend the credentials of any Conference-credentialed pastor who performs a same-gender ceremony, until a review to determine whether to reinstate (with repentance and recommitment) or to terminate or withdraw credentials.


  • Will conduct a review of the Five-Year Plan and current Conference leadership and leadership structure.
  • A review task force was seated and submitted an excellent report to LT before its Sept. 23 meeting.  LT used this report to help formulate the current proposal and will continue to use the report as a starting point for ongoing Conference structural changes.  (See the attached review of the Five-Year Plan for details.) Performance reviews were completed for all Ohio Conference staff and submitted to LT.
  • Will have discussion with all Ohio Conference pastors to explore what it would take to see recommitment to each other within Ohio Conference.
  •  LT called and led the Sept. 2 All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting and is tentatively planning another such meeting in February.  LT is considering what can be done to allow more bivocational pastors to attend.
  • Will facilitate ongoing conversations between pastors using face-to-face communication and digital technology to communicate to Ohio Conference churches what the Leadership Team is doing.
  • LT will continue to be transparent and timely in communication and is entrusting George O’Reilly to conduct many face-to-face communications with individual pastors, at cluster meetings and other informal settings.
Leadership Team develops draft of resolution regarding membership

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team has developed a draft of a resolution regarding membership for consideration by Ohio Conference delegates. The Leadership Team plans to refine the resolution after delegate discussion at cluster meetings. Please see the cover letter from the Leadership Team and the draft of the membership resolution.

Cluster meetings planned in October and November

Fall cluster meetings for delegates to the Annual Conference Assembly will take place during the last two weeks of October and the first three weeks of November, most likely on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Conference staff are working to confirm dates and locations for these meetings. The schedule for meetings should be complete by next week (Oct. 5-11) and will be announced at that time.

Conference calendar

17            Adriel Benefit Auction, Adriel School, West Liberty
13-15     Ohio Conference Pastor-Spouse Retreat, Mohican State Park Lodge
13-15     Youth Retreat, Camp Luz, Kidron
15-17     Junior High Retreat, Camp Luz, Kidron
22-23    Mother-Daughter Retreat, Camp Luz, Kidron
5-6          Pastor-Elder Retreat, Widewater Retreat Center, Liberty Center, Ohio
12-13     LEAD3D (Youth Leadership Project) Retreat, Camp Luz, Kidron
19-20     Pastor-Elder Retreat, Camp Buckeye, Beach City, Ohio
11-12      Annual Conference Assembly, Central Mennonite, Archbold
18-20     Men’s Retreat, Camp Luz, Kidron

Delegate News is for you

…if you are a delegate to Ohio Conference’s Annual Conference Assembly. Each Ohio Conference congregation is eligible to send at least two delegates (or more, depending on the number of members), as well as an additional young adult delegate. In addition, all credentialed pastors of Ohio Conference congregations are automatically delegates, as are paid staff and members of the Leadership Team, Ministry Development Team, Credentialing Ministry, Gifts Discernment Ministry and Stewardship Ministry.

If you are no longer a delegate for your congregation, please forward Delegate News to the new delegates in your congregation. In addition, please inform Judy King, Conference administrative assistant, of the change. You may contact her at ohmc@zoominternet.net or 330-857-5421.