What does it mean when we say, “Jesus is our Center”? Thirty-six credentialed leaders from across the Ohio Conference came together to discuss that question on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting.

The pastors and other credentialed leaders met for a day of discussion and relationship-building at the Upper Sandusky Library in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

Since 2015, Ohio Conference leadership has hosted several of these gatherings for credentialed leaders, and over time, the sense of connection among participants has grown. Reflecting on the day, Regional Pastor Ralph Reinford said, “I think we’re quite comfortable with each other, a lot more so than we were in the past. I think we are starting to build some cohesiveness.”

The agenda for the day included a devotional time based on Ephesians 4:1-16 led by Conference Minister Dick Barrett, who encouraged the credentialed leaders to consider what it means to grow up and be mature in Christ.

Conference Minister Dick Barrett also shared his hopes and dreams for the Conference, and the pastors also had a chance to share their hopes and dreams.

A major portion of the discussion time focused on the question of what it means when we say, “Jesus is our center.” Participants discussed in smaller groups, and then as an entire group. The group worked at identifying important beliefs and the practices which result from these beliefs.

The day’s events also included a time for recording a podcast for the Ohio Conference Cast podcast series. Co-hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn interviewed Conference Minister Dick Barrett and Paula Snyder Belousek, pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Elida, about their experience at the October meeting of the Constituency Leaders Council. Pastors were able to ask questions about CLC as part of the podcast. To hear this podcast, go to http://bit.ly/OhioConferenceCast.

Reflecting on the day’s events, Ralph Reinford said, “The gathering wasn’t as serious as the pictures appear. There was some lightheartedness and laughter.”

Photos by Ralph Reinford and Dick Barrett