Reed Jones plays the guitar during a workshop he presented at the 2015 Annual Conference Assembly.
Reed Jones plays the guitar during a workshop he presented at the 2015 Annual Conference Assembly.

Workshops at Annual Conference Assembly will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. Please see the descriptions below for more information about these workshops.

2018 ACA Workshop List

#1 Faith is a Verb: Living Out Our Call to Share the Good News

Sarah Short, speaker, runner and co-president of the Short household

We often think of faith as a set of beliefs, but Jesus repeatedly tied faith to action. So how do we take our deeply held beliefs and bring them to life in the form of action? Together we will explore some of the challenges and joys that come with intentionally living out our faith. We’ll also look at how acting out our faith affects our relationship with God and others.

#2 Healing Cultural Tensions in the Church

Haroldo Nunes, executive director of Open Arms, and Dan King, retired Ohio Conference pastor

This workshop will challenge people to consider (often disguised) “white privilege” and racism in our churches. We are affected by society around us more than we realize. After exploring present realities of race relations in our society, we will hear stories of churches (like Salem Wooster), who are becoming more multi-cultural, including and empowering sisters and brothers from non-white cultures.

#3 Journey Forward – Mennonite Church USA

Terry Shue, Mennonite Church USA denominational minister

Become familiar with the Journey Forward process and other aspects of Mennonite Church USA and the important part Ohio Conference and local congregations play in the larger picture.

#4 Mennonite Peacemaking: History and Current Challenges

Perry Bush, History Professor, Bluffton University

This workshop, in both lecture and discussion format, will guide participants through a history of Mennonite peacemaking efforts from 1930 through 1970. Secondly, it will focus on the current challenges we face to remain a people of peace in a nation that can go to war without demanding much sacrifice from most of its citizens.

#5 My Grief/Healing Journey

Jess Engle, pastor, West Clinton Mennonite

Participants will hear Jess’ journey of grief and healing following the death of his wife, Naomi. Thoughts, stories and actions that have guided Jess will help others to heal in their own grief journeys.

#6 – Need Pastors? Grow Them…. – This workshop has been canceled.

#7 Ohio’s Opioid Epidemic and the Church’s Response

Allen Rutter, executive director, Shalom Counseling & Mediation Center

Participants will receive an overview of the opioid epidemic in Ohio, gain insight into treatment and intervention options that work, and explore ways that the church can respond through community engagement and outreach.

#8 Open Says Me: A Deep Dive into Luke 16:19-31

Dave Elkins, pastor, Central Mennonite

This interactive Bible study will explore the cultural and historical context of Jesus’ parable, “A Rich Man Clothed in Purple.” Participants will understand how the social divisions of the ancient Near East closely parallel divisions in the modern West. Participants will also understand the challenge Jesus presents to the Church to cross economic and social barriers and open our lives to others for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

#9 Palestine, Israel, and You

Jonathan Brenneman, coordinator, Israel/Palestine Partners in Peacemaking

Last summer, Mennonite Church USA voted overwhelmingly for the “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine Resolution.” Come learn more about the situation in Israel-Palestine, how the resolution seeks to address the situation, and how you, your congregation, and your conference can be part of that work.

#10 Sharing With Appalachian People — Who Benefits?

Keith and Charlene Barr, Appalachia Program Co-Coordinators

Participants will gain a better understanding of Mennonite Central Committee’s reason for being in Appalachia, why SWAP was created and how it changes the lives of all who get involved. This workshop is appropriate for those considering youth service trips, inter-generational service projects and individuals exploring service with SWAP.

#11 Vision of Hope and Healing: Human Trafficking in our Midst

Laurel Neufeld Weaver, MSW, LISW-S

Participants will be invited to take a journey in understanding how human trafficking exists in all of our communities and be invited to envision how we create communities of faith where we work together for prevention, empowerment and healing with survivors. Participants will have updated information about the prevalence of human trafficking in all its forms – labor and sex trafficking in Ohio and the United States – and a tool kit for congregational response and action.

#12 We have Decided to be Missional…Now How Do We Organize That?

Dan Sauder, Tedrow Mennonite, and Ruth Kauffman, Tedrow Mennonite

Do you have hesitations about how this concept of “being missional” is going to change your church’s structure, or how to implement it within your church?

This workshop will be where church structure collides with innovation in a missional way. Understand how being missional shouldn’t be a difficult process. There will be a time for sharing and discussing of ideas and hesitations.