It was with considerable sadness but also with a clear sense of direction that Cliff Brubaker recently submitted his notice of resignation from serving as a regional pastor of Ohio Conference, effective Sept. 13, 2019.

In his notice Cliff shared, “I count it an honor to have served the Ohio Conference for these 3+ years. This stretch of time in the history of the Conference has been turbulent and eventful on the one hand, and has also been a time of much hope with a growing sense of purpose in the Conference and among its leaders. I hold much respect for the Conference leaders and pastors as they have had the courage to stay a difficult course in trying times. I particularly note the Leadership Teams with which I have worked, the pastors with whom I have had the privilege of living life, and the dedicated staff persons who have been a gracious and caring presence in my life.

“In addition to the opportunities and challenges that have been part of my professional role, I have navigated, with the help and support of my colleagues and spouse, Marilyn, a number of significant passages in my personal life, including the replacement of a faulty heart valve and the recovery from surgery, two significant deaths in my family, the need to repair broken relationships in my family, and learning to welcome and be a grandparent to three new little ones. My colleagues and friends in Conference have been most gracious, particularly at times when my engagement with my Conference work was not as steady as I would have liked.

“Several factors have contributed to my decision to bring my time with the Conference to an end at this time. During the past year, I have been challenged by friends, medical staff, and my own body to find a situation in which I would spend less time driving and more time caring for my body. Additionally, I have carried with me for many years a deep sense of call to prepare to provide spiritual direction to those who might desire to work with a spiritual director. The time is now here that I must give my attention and obedience to that sense of call. I intend to continue in a part-time role on pastoral staff with the Zion Mennonite Church, Archbold, and will seek opportunity to gain skills and practice in spiritual direction and, in God’s timing, offer myself and my time in that role.

“With deep thankfulness to God and to you for these 3+ years of working together, I pray the same Spirit that birthed a church at Pentecost 2,000+ years ago will continue to blow gently and firmly upon the churches that make up the Ohio Conference, and that the same Spirit that empowered the leaders of that small group will empower the leaders of the Ohio Conference to lead with wisdom, strength, and grace for God’s purposes.  May it be so!”

It is with both sadness and deep gratitude on the part of Ohio Conference that we release Cliff from his responsibilities as regional pastor on Sept. 13, 2019, and affirm him in his pursuit of God’s new direction in his life. We are thankful to both Cliff and Marilyn for their 3 ½ years of faithful service to Conference, particularly of the several-month period they spent together traveling around Conference and listening deeply to the leaders of the vast majority of our congregations. We pray for God’s richest blessings on the two of them during this period of transition and look forward to our continued relationship as Cliff continues serving on the pastoral team at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold.