Pastors meet for discernment
Photos by Sherah-Leigh Gerber
By Dick Barrett
On Aug. 23 Ohio Conference hosted a gathering of our active credentialed ministers at the Upper Sandusky Public Library. Forty-four ministers were able to attend the one-day retreat, which was facilitated by our consultant, Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi, as part of our one-year review process.
With the primary focus on discerning God’s future vision for Ohio Conference based on our new mission statement to Gather, Equip and Send our Congregations by the power of the Holy Spirit to live out God’s Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:29-31) and Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), the day also included time for feedback about what our ministers appreciate most about Ohio Conference. Also included were an Emmaus Walk where each minister paired with another to walk and talk about how God might be speaking to us during this time period, and a time for generating and considering future options for affiliation(s).
As with all of our recent pastor gatherings, it was a day of good fellowship and hard work as we sought God’s leading together. Many expressed a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence throughout the day.
Seeking feedback from our credentialed ministers was the second major step in the first stage of our review process. The first step was Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi facilitating a retreat day for the Leadership Team and pastoral staff on April 28. The third step of receiving initial feedback from our primary constituents will take place when Jeanne facilitates our upcoming regional delegate gatherings during the last two weeks in September. (A virtual delegate gathering on Zoom is scheduled on Oct. 4 for those who cannot attend the gathering in their region in person.)
Delegates are the primary communicators between Ohio Conference and our congregations, so your voice is very important. In this season of review and discernment, your participation is even more important, so we want to encourage congregations to appoint delegates who will be able to participate at our fall regional delegate gatherings, our winter regional delegate gatherings at the end of January, and our Annual Conference Assembly on March 3-4, 2023, at Central Christian School in Kidron.
Finally, here is a reminder for each of our congregations: Please send the names of your delegates to Judy King at the conference office, firstname.lastname@example.org, and make sure your delegates register for the upcoming delegate gatherings. To register, go to https://bit.ly/2022FallClusterMeetings.