ACA featured speaker Meghan Larissa Good talks to delegates as they prepare to participate in communion.

Note: Photos and a video summary of Annual Conference Assembly are available at

Delegates to the 2024 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) approved a name change for the Conference, a three-year strategic plan, and an updated Ohio Conference Constitution. ACA took place March 1-2 at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City.

In addition to business, ACA included several plenary sessions with featured speaker Meghan Larissa Good, author of Divine Gravity and The Bible Unwrapped. She spoke to delegates about a broader Christian movement toward a Jesus-centered Christianity and noted that we are living in a time of tremendous opportunities and challenges.

Name Change

Delegates approved a motion to officially change the Conference’s name from Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA to Ohio Mennonite Conference. There were 107 yes votes and 2 no votes, resulting in 98.2 percent approval. This name change reflects that not all congregations in the Conference claim derived membership in Mennonite Church USA, and it also differentiates the Conference from Ohio Conference of the Adventist Church. The short name for Ohio Mennonite Conference is Ohio Conference.

Strategic Plan

As a culmination of a two-year review process facilitated by Process Consultant Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi, delegates approved a three-year strategic plan for the Conference. The strategic plan for 2024-2027 focuses on support for congregations, support for pastors, and support for congregations’ action witness in their communities. The plan also describes changes in structure and staffing for the Conference. In addition to staff, the Conference’s work will be accomplished by several groups: Leadership Council, Credentialing Committee, Stewardship Committee, Gifts Discernment Committee, and Program Committee. Please see the plan for details. Delegates approved a motion to adopt the plan with 105 yes votes and two no votes.

Updated Constitution

Delegates also approved adopting an updated Ohio Conference Constitution which reflects the change in the Conference’s name and changes in the Conference’s structure. For details, please see the summary of changes to the Ohio Conference Constitution. The vote to approve the Constitution was 119 yes, and 1 no.

Spending Plan

Delegates unanimously approved the spending plan for 2024-25. The 2024-25 plan calls for spending a total of $379,175 during the fiscal year, a reduction from the 2023-24 spending plan, which has projected a spending total of $397,513.

In a letter to delegates prior to winter delegate cluster meetings, the Stewardship Ministry, which develops the spending plan, explained the need to reduce costs due to the shortfall in giving over the past several years. They said, “As we propose staffing cuts, we want to remind ourselves that we have considered these cuts in the recent past and at that time chose to financially support a level of staffing that is probably higher than most other Mennonite conferences and other organizations our size.  As much as we love and value our staff, we do not think we can continue to sustain our current level of staffing.” For details on staffing plans, please see the strategic plan.

Blessing for departing staff

Assistant Moderator Paula Snyder Belousek led delegates in a prayer of blessing for departing staff members, and many delegates also shared written words of blessing for departing staff. Regional Pastor Tony Doehrmann and Conference Editor Ann Leaman will conclude their work with the Conference at the end of the fiscal year on March 31. Administrative Assistant Judy King and Coordinator of Volunteers Alysa Short both anticipate concluding their work with the Conference by the end of the calendar year, although they have not announced specific dates.

In other business, delegates:

  • Participated in two worship services with sermons by featured speaker Meghan Larissa Good;
  • Acknowledged the departure of two congregations from the Ohio Conference, Midway Mennonite Church in Columbiana and West Clinton Mennonite Church in Wauseon;
  • Celebrated the upcoming graduation of Alysa Short, coordinator of volunteers, from the Journey program at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary;
  • Were introduced to pastors new to Ohio Conference;
  • Affirmed the personnel slate presented by the Gifts Discernment Ministry (see pages 9-11 for more information about these individuals);
  • Heard a missional story about the Resettlement Support Team in Northwest Ohio (see pages 7-8);
  • Heard a report from Interim Conference Minister Dan Miller;
  • Heard a missional story from David Hargrave, pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Wooster, about his congregation’s multicultural worship and the congregation’s witness in the community;
  • Heard a report about Mennonite Church USA from Rachel Ringenberg Miller, denominational minister for ministerial leadership;
  • Heard a report about Mennonite Mission Network from Eric Frey Martin, interim director of constituent engagement;
  • Heard about Grace & Groundings, the Ohio Conference racial reconciliation resource team, from Doug Zehr, a member of the resource team;
  • Adopted a resolution of thanks to outgoing Moderator Ken Sims;
  • Participated in an Engagement and Action brainstorming session led by Process Consultant Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi (see page 1 for related article);
  • Observed communion.

ACA Documents and Resources

ACA delegates adopt resolution of thanks

Resolved, that the delegates of Ohio Mennonite Conference, while meeting in Plain City, Ohio, on March 1-2, 2024, do hereby thank Ken Sims for his service to Ohio Mennonite Conference as moderator the past two years, expressing appreciation for:

  • the warmth and welcome he brought to every setting, connecting with a broad range of individuals about a broad range of interests.
  • the deep Christian faith with which Ken has led through some challenging circumstances.
  • his integrity and thoroughness; when Ken says he will do something, you can trust it will get done.
  • being a servant leader among us who is committed to the vitality of Conference.


ACA by the numbers

  • Number of adult participants — 166
  • Number of children — 3
  • Number of delegates — 127
  • Congregations represented — 34
  • Displays from church agencies — 14
  • Offering amount — $2,685
  • Delegate work sessions — 3
  • Plenary sessions with featured speaker Meghan Larissa Good — 3
  • Engagement and action session with Process Consultant Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi — 1
  • Worship sessions — 3