The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) has awarded seven grants totaling $21,860. The MDT approved these grants at its Aug. 23 meeting. Funding for these grants comes from surplus funds that had accumulated during years in which the Conference ended its fiscal year with a surplus.

Grants will provide funding toward the following projects:

The Server — Crown Hill Mennonite Church is working with an ecumenical group of churches to open a café in Rittman called the Server. The emphasis of the café will be to provide a ministry of presence, providing a space in town where people of all ages can feel safe hanging out and strengthening relationships. Snacks will be available, and patrons will have access to wi-fi.

Mennonite & Brethren Marriage Encounter — Open Arms Hispanic Ministry is partnering with several congregations (Salem Mennonite in Wooster, Orrville Mennonite, and Martins Mennonite) to hold a Marriage Encounter weekend at the Comfort Inn in Millersburg. The weekend presentation will be for both English and Spanish speakers.

Tedrow Homework Table — Tedrow Mennonite Church is providing a homework table program for youngsters in the Tedrow area. Volunteers work with the students on Tuesdays after school. Grant funds will help with costs of the program, as well as a fall field trip.

Doxology Coffee Shop — LifeBridge Community Church in  Dover is opening the Doxology Coffee Shop in the church’s foyer. The goal of the coffee shop is to provide a healthy place that is alcohol-free for people to meet and connect.

Enhancing and Equipping for Worship Workshop — Central Mennonite Church is hosting a worship workshop, Enhancing and Equipping for Worship, on Oct. 5-6. The workshop is being planned with support from the Mennonite congregations in Northwest Ohio (Lockport, Zion, Good Shepherd, West Clinton, Pine Grove, Tedrow, Salem (Mich.), Toledo, and Inlet). Area churches of other denominations are also involved, as well as Fairlawn Haven and First Mennonite Church in Bluffton. Rachel Miller Jacobs will be the featured speaker, and a variety of workshops will be offered.

Healthy Congregations Workshop — Berlin Mennonite Church will host a Healthy Congregations Workshop led by staff from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. The workshop will be scheduled for sometime during spring or summer 2019.

Community Shared Work Space — Oak Grove Mennonite Church in West Liberty is planning to offer shared work spaces at the church’s downtown community center, the Grove. These shared work spaces will be for small business owners, freelancers and independent contractors needing an office space during the week or a place to meet with clients. The hope is to increase community connections in West Liberty.