Fall meeting schedule is altered

In most years, delegates to Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) are asked to attend cluster meetings in both the fall and the winter in preparation for ACA. This fall instead of holding smaller cluster meetings in seven or eight locations, the Conference will hold Fall Mission Event gatherings in three separate locations throughout the state. All delegates are expected to attend the Fall Mission Event in one of these locations. These Fall Mission Event gatherings are also open to all members of Ohio Conference congregations. For more information about the Fall Mission Events, please see the article below.

Regional Fall Mission Events to focus on local mission

Year of MissionHow have you seen God at work in your congregation during the Ohio Conference Year of Mission? This fall members of all Ohio Conference congregations are invited to gather together at Fall Mission Events to share stories of how their churches are engaging in God’s mission in their local communities.

Everyone in Ohio Conference is invited to attend the Fall Mission Event at one of three locations:

  • Oct. 11 — Jubilee Mennonite Church in Bellefontaine
  • Oct. 20 — Central Mennonite Church in Archbold
  • Nov. 3 — Berlin Mennonite Church

Each meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last about an hour and a half.

The meetings will include time for brief presentations and group discussion. The first part of each meeting will focus on what has happened so far in the Ohio Conference Year of Mission. Participants will be encouraged to talk about how they see God at work in their congregations. The second part of the meeting will have a “looking forward” focus, getting people ready for the March 2017 missional training event with Alan and Debra Hirsch.

In addition to the mission emphasis, each meeting will include a brief time of reporting from the Ohio Conference Leadership Team. This last portion of the meeting is especially important for delegates to Annual Conference Assembly, but all participants are invited to stay for the business portion of the meeting. To see a promotional flier for the Fall Mission Events or to see other Year of Mission resources, visit the Ohio Conference website: www.ohiomennoniteconference.org.

Central Christian to host ACA

neighbor_10407cDelegates, please mark your calendars: Central Christian School in Kidron will host the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) of the Ohio Conference March 24-25, 2017. “Who is my Neighbor?” will be the theme of the 2017 ACA.  This theme is based on Luke 10:25-37.

Speakers for the Friday evening worship service will be Alan and Debra Hirsch.

Missional conference to precede ACA

On March 23-24, immediately prior to ACA, Ohio Conference will hold a missional conference with Alan and Debra Hirsch at Kidron Mennonite Church.

Alan and Debra Hirsch have led churches in both Australia and Los Angeles. A well-known mission strategist and speaker, Alan Hirsch is the founder of Forge Mission Training Network, 100Movements and Future Travelers. He is the author of The Forgotten Ways, as well as numerous other books. He also is an adjunct faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, George Fox Seminary, and Wheaton College. To learn more about Alan Hirsch, see www.alanhirsch.org.

Debra Hirsch is a speaker, church leader and writer and a member of the Forge America national team. With Alan Hirsch she co-authored the book Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship. Her most recent book is titled Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations about Sexuality and Spirituality. She has been involved in social work, community development and as a trained counselor.

Cost for this event will be $40 for Ohio Conference members attending ACA, $55 for other Ohio Conference members and $85 for non-Ohio Conference members. More information about the missional conference, including registration details, will be included in the next issue of Delegate News.

Cliff Brubaker moves to full time with Ohio Conference

Cliff Brubaker 2The Ohio Conference Leadership Team has invited Interim Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker to work with the Conference on a full-time basis, beginning Sept. 18. Since April he has been serving as regional pastor on a half-time basis.

This additional half-time assignment has two areas of focus:

  • Working with the continuing process of the Ohio Conference Year of Covenant
  • Identifying and implementing ways to build and/or rebuild trust between congregations and the Conference, congregations and other congregations, and pastors with other pastors

This additional half-time position is an interim position and will extend through April 1, 2017. Cliff’s half-time interim position as regional pastor in the western part of the Conference also extends through that date.

Funding for this additional half-time position will come from the money which had been designated for George O’Reilly’s position as Year of Covenant Facilitator. (Those funds are coming from the Conference’s Capacity Building Fund rather than the 2016-17 spending plan.) George O’Reilly has begun a full-time position at First Mennonite Church in Bluffton, and he is continuing as a consultant for the Year of Covenant on a limited basis.

Deficit increases slightly in August

2016-17-five-monthsOhio Conference’s financial deficit increased slightly during August. Receipts for the month totaled $26,465, including $26,182 in congregational giving. Expenses for the month were $27,540, resulting in a net income of -$1,075 for the month.

For the first five months of the fiscal year, receipts have totaled $97,518, and expenses have totaled $127,635, resulting in an operating balance of           -$30,117.

So far, giving to the Conference in 2016-17 is significantly less than during 2015-16. By the end of August 2015, the Conference had received $124,164, compared with the $97,518 received during the first five months of 2016-17. Even so, because of cuts in the spending plan, the deficit is not as great as it was at this time last year. At the end of August 2015, the Conference’s operating balance was -$77,229.