We look forward to seeing you at ACA

ACA is almost here! We are looking forward to gathering together for Annual Conference Assembly on March 3 and 4 at Central Christian School in Kidron. More than 180 people have registered for ACA so far. If you still haven’t registered, please do so soon. You can register online at https://bit.ly/2023ACARegistration.

Please look over these documents before ACA

As you prepare for ACA, please look over the following documents:

2023-24 Proposed Spending Plan

2023 Gifts Discernment Slate

Documents regarding the two options for Ohio Conference’s affiliation were included in the Feb. 4 issue of Delegate News. For copies of these documents, please see the Ohio Conference website: https://bit.ly/OCDocumentsforDiscernment.

Annual Report Book is online

A copy of the 2023 Annual Report Book is available online at https://bit.ly/OCAnnualReportBook. Please take some time prior to ACA to review the reports, especially if you have opted not to receive a printed copy of the Annual Report Book.

Leadership Team responds to questions

The following are the Leadership Team’s answers to questions that have arisen in congregational processing:

The question has come up in a couple of congregational meetings as to the rationale for removing Scenario B and Scenario D from the options of discernment. (See A Summary of the Discernment Process to Date for a review of the four options which were presented at cluster meetings.)

Regarding Scenario B (Blended Option): When the Strategic Planning Team met with leaders of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) in a Zoom meeting on Jan. 31 to discuss the possibility of working with us regarding that option, the Strategic Planning Team concluded that the blended option with MC USA would require a significant amount of time and investment by Ohio Conference with limited potential for success. Scenario B was also very similar to Scenario A. Because of those reasons, this option was not recommended to the Leadership Team.

Regarding Scenario D (withdraw from MC USA and join LMC): After reviewing the affirmations and concerns expressed from the delegates, the Strategic Planning Team could not recommend this scenario at this time. Scenario 2, which delegates are currently considering, allows LMC to remain in the mix of potential future networks or affiliations while giving time to more fully explore potential relationships.

We have also received questions regarding the two-option process and the requirement of a 2/3 affirmation for whichever option the delegate body discerns as God’s leading. The Leadership Team is in unanimous agreement that this is too big of a decision (whether to remain affiliated with MC USA or to withdraw from MC USA and to pursue an affiliation with a different denomination, conference or network) to believe that just a majority of affirmation for one or the other is a clear indication of God’s will. We are praying and fasting that the Holy Spirit will speak clearly in our delegate assembly and that as a group we will be able to discern God’s leading enough with one of the two options to get to 2/3 affirmation.

Giving opportunities at ACA

This year as an ACA service project, we will be collecting items for the food pantries at Crown Hill Mennonite Church in Rittman and Barberton Area Community Ministries, housed at Summit Mennonite Church in Barberton. Please see the list of suggested items to donate: ACA Donation Project.

ACA will also include another opportunity for giving. During the Friday evening worship service, an offering will be collected. The money given will be shared between two projects: assisting in the purchase of a Bible curriculum for Central Christian School students and the Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Project.

More information about the Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Project is available in a recent episode of the Ohio Conference Cast: https://bit.ly/BangladeshArsenicMitigation. In that podcast episode, Bill and Carole Schumacher of Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City discuss the crisis of arsenic in drinking water in southern Bangladesh.

Please encourage your congregation to pray for ACA

We are still seeking volunteers to pray for our Annual Conference Assembly. Please consider sharing the following request with your congregation:

Ohio Conference’s Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) is quickly approaching on March 3-4, 2023. Even if you are not attending ACA, you can still participate! We invite you to sign up to help cover all of ACA in prayer.

We are looking for willing individuals to commit to praying 20 minutes during the ACA weekend. You can do this from anywhere – your couch, your church, your office, even while on a walk. If you live close to Central Christian School in Kidron, we invite you to come and pray in the ACA prayer room (Room M20) at the school.

Whether you are young or old, near or far, join us in inviting the Lord’s Spirit to guide the leaders and delegates as they engage in worshipful work.

Go to  https://bit.ly/2023ACAPrayerSignup to sign up for a time slot. If a slot is already full, please sign up for a different time. You may also sign up by contacting Judy King in the Conference office at ohmc@zoominternet.net or 330-857-5421.

Just in case you’ve misplaced them

For your reference, here are a few more ACA-related documents:

UPDATED Schedule

Lodging Information

Map of the Area