Delegate gatherings begin Sept. 20

Delegates: Have you registered to attend one of the fall delegate gatherings? Ohio Conference is planning five fall gatherings for delegates to Annual Conference Assembly. Each meeting will run from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 20 ─ Oak Grove Mennonite Church, Smithville
  • Thursday, Sept. 22 ─ Beech Mennonite Church, Louisville
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27 ─ West Clinton Mennonite Church, Wauseon
  • Thursday, Sept. 29 ─ South Union Mennonite, West Liberty
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4 ─ Online meeting via Zoom

To assist host congregations in planning for these meetings, please register online at

Your input is requested

Thank you for being a part of the discernment process as a delegate from your congregation to Ohio Conference. We are in an intentional process of listening with the Leadership Team, all credentialed leaders, and delegates. After this round of careful listening, a Strategic Planning Team will more fully develop viable options.

You will have the opportunity to further discuss these options at delegate meetings in January or February. This process will allow for any changes or revisions to be made ahead of the Annual Conference Assembly in March.

Here are two questions to consider in advance of the cluster meetings:

  • What do you or members of your congregation value about Ohio Conference?
  • What options do you see for Ohio Conference as a way forward regarding future denominational affiliation?
Strategic Planning Team formed

On Sept. 1 Ohio Conference’s Leadership Team approved the formation of a Strategic Planning Team as part of the Conference’s current review process. The members of this team are Conference Minister Dick Barrett, Tyson Stuckey from Central Mennonite Church in Archbold, Michelle Steffen from Sonnenberg Mennonite Church, and Joel Shenk from Toledo Mennonite Church.

The Strategic Planning Team will be coached by our process consultant, Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi of Design Group International. With the leadership of the consultant to guide the process, the Strategic Planning Team will compile a plan to be ready for a delegate vote at the Annual Conference Assembly in March of 2023.

The plan will include a vision for living into Conference’s new mission statement that was approved by our delegates at our last Conference Assembly and option(s) for future denominational affiliation. The Strategic Plan will also include ideas for the restructuring of Conference and recommended changes to the Conference’s Constitution, which will be the focus of the second year of Ohio Conference’s discernment process.

The Strategic Planning Team will begin its work in October following the upcoming regional delegate meetings. They will be taking what we have heard from Conference leadership, our credentialed ministers and delegates over the past several months to help in developing the strategic plan. Please continue to keep the Conference and our congregations in your prayers.

Team Members

Tyson Stuckey

Tyson Stuckey grew up at Salem Mennonite Church in Waldron, Michigan. Since 2006 he and his wife, Angie, have been members of Central Mennonite Church in Archbold. They have two sons, Ethan, a high school senior, and Logan, an eighth grader. Tyson and Angie are currently MYF sponsors at Central, where Tyson has also served in many other roles. He is also on the board of several community agencies. Tyson is a Certified Public Accountant and a managing partner of Shultz Huber & Associates, Inc. of northwest Ohio.


Michelle Steffen

Michelle Steffen lives and works on the family dairy farm in Apple Creek, Ohio, with her husband, Greg. They have two children, Elijah, a student at Messiah University, and Moriah, a student at Houghton University. Michelle has been a member of an Ohio Conference church at various stages in her life spanning 20+ years including Berlin Mennonite, Chestnut Ridge Mennonite and currently Sonnenberg Mennonite Church.



Joel Shenk

Joel Shenk has been the pastor at Toledo Mennonite Church since 2010.  He lives in Toledo with his wife, Emiley, and daughters, Roslyn and Lizette.  While attending Fuller Theological Seminary, Joel worked with the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference and the Center for Anabaptist Leadership before moving to Ohio to begin pastoral ministry. At Toledo Mennonite Church, Joel has partnered with RAW Tools to disarm hearts, wage peace, and turn guns into garden tools.  He also enjoys fly fishing as much as possible.


Dick Barrett

Dick Barrett has served as conference minister of the Ohio Conference since fall 2018. A native of New York State, Dick previously pastored at Oak Grove Mennonite Church in West Liberty for 16 years, four years as associate pastor and 12 years as lead pastor. He and his wife, Mary, live in West Liberty.


Starting Sept. 14: Please join us in prayer

One of the opportunities to practice our faith together, growing out of our commitments from the most recent Annual Conference Assembly gathering, is to join in a collaborative prayer practice this fall.

We will meet on Zoom from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 14 through Nov. 23, using Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer Book as the format for our time together. You can also access the readings and prayers on the app of the same name. To download this free app, go to

The rhythm of praising, listening and responding is modeled in this form of communal prayer. We invite you to set this intentional time to be in the presence of God with others from across our Conference as we live, work and discern together. You can learn more about this opportunity on the latest episode of the Ohio Conference Cast. (See

We hope you will join us.

— Paula Synder Belousek, Pastor and Ministry Development Team Chair, and Sherah-Leigh Gerber, Regional Pastor

Note: The login link for these prayer times is If you need to join these prayer meetings on your phone, see for instructions.