What happened to Ohio Conference Regional Pastor Ralph Reinford during his three-month leave earlier this year, and how were rhinos and crocodiles involved? Listen to this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast to find out.

Reflecting on his time away from his Ohio Conference work, Ralph talks with Ohio Conference Cast hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn about things he did during his leave, and some of the books he had time to read. Bill, Thomas and Ralph also discuss the value of sabbaticals for congregational pastors. “I think it was interesting just to have time to relax and reflect, to understand that life isn’t only about the role that you’re filling as a pastor or a regional pastor,” Ralph says.

Further notes

Below is some of the information mentioned during the “commercial break” in this episode.

Fall cluster meetings

Ohio Conference is holding four fall cluster meetings for delegates to Annual Conference Assembly. Each meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last about one and a half hours. The following meetings are scheduled:

  • Oct. 2 — South Union Mennonite Church in West Liberty
  • Oct. 4 — Toledo Mennonite Church
  • Oct. 16 — Wooster Mennonite Church
  • Nov. 6 — Summit Mennonite Church in Barberton
Pastors’ meeting set for Nov. 8

An All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting will take place Nov. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Upper Sandusky Library in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

Everyone attending should bring a packed lunch. Coffee is not available on site, so those desiring coffee should bring their own coffee thermos.

For the first all-pastors’ meeting of the year, pastors will focus on welcoming Dick Barrett on board as the new conference minister. The discussion will center on ways we can all work together to build trust and further develop ourselves as people who are both gathered and sent.

If you plan to attend, RSVP to Judy King at ohmc@zoominternet.net or 330-857-5421 by Oct. 31.

Ralph’s reading suggestions

Here are links to more information about the books which Ralph mentions in this episode:

The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation by Rod Dreher

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming by Rod Dreher

Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton

Under Construction: Reframing Men’s Spirituality by Gareth Brandt