God’s kingdom is bigger

By Kevin Himes In Acts 10, Peter had a dream — a weird dream. Foods that any God-fearing Jew knew to be unclean were no longer off limits. It’s like a vegetarian dreaming of bacon high fiving a cheeseburger while God says, “It’s okay to eat meat now!” Although it seemed ridiculous at the time, Peter’s dream ultimately paved the…

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Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale gives globally while staying close to home

All over the world people are hurting. From war-torn Ukraine to providing clean water in the Congo, and even closer to home where families in Appalachian areas struggle to thrive, people are hurting. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) understands the plight many families face every day. MCC is making an impact and helping those in need with a focus on biblical…

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New resources are available for leadership training and faith formation

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate In this column I would like to highlight two new sets of resources, one for leadership training and one for faith formation. Practical Leadership Training In August Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) is beginning a new program called Practical Leadership Training. This program is designed to equip not only pastors, but also lay…

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Fund your local mission with a Ministry Grant

Do you have an idea for a ministry that could impact your community? Why not apply for a Ministry Grant? The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) is accepting proposals from Conference congregations and related organizations for projects and mission initiatives. The MDT has $7,395 available for grants in 2023. The deadline to submit a grant proposal is Friday, Aug. 4. The MDT…

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MC USA Executive Board peace and justice ministries to include Mennonite Creation Care Network

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) Executive Board is strengthening its ongoing commitment to creation care and climate justice by expanding its Peace & Justice ministries to include Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN). The transition is the result of a mutual agreement with Everence®, an agency of MC USA that has previously provided administrative services…

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MCC sets goal for School Kit Challenge

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is holding a School Kit Challenge this August. The challenge: Help 10,000 kids attend school by donating 10,000 school kits during the month of August. To assist in this challenge, MCC is offering a free school kit activity resource for Sunday school and vacation Bible school students. To learn more about the challenge or to order the school…

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Mennonite Men to offer one-day retreat

Mennonite Men will hold a Men’s Retreat Saturday, Aug. 19, at Pathways Retreat in Goshen, Indiana. The theme of this half-day retreat will be “Living that Matters for Men.” Steve Thomas, US coordinator for Mennonite Men, will be the retreat leader. For more information, please see the flier included with this issue of Perspective. To register, go to bit.ly/pathways_Living_That_Matters.

MMN announces new service locations

Interested in short-term service? Mennonite Mission Network’s Service Opportunities with Our Partners (SOOP) offers flexible service terms for individuals ages 25+ and families of all ages. Mennonite Mission Network has added three locations to the existing 45 locations across the United States. New service locations include Amigo Centre, Sturgis, Michigan; Open Door Mennonite Church, Jackson, Mississippi; and Menno Haven Camp…

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Run 4 Relief set for July 8

The Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale 5K/1K Run will take place Saturday, July 8. Both races will start at the Mt. Hope Event Center. The 1K Fun Run will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the 5K Run will begin at 8 a.m. Every participant will receive a T-shirt, and the top six overall runners will receive an award. Age awards will…

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Ministry Grants can help fund local projects

Ministry Grants are back! Aug. 4 is the deadline to submit a grant proposal to the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT). The MDT is accepting proposals from Ohio Conference congregations and related ministries for mission projects and initiatives. This year the MDT has $7,395 available for grants. Since 2012 the MDT has awarded grants each summer, providing funds for a…

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‘Aha’ moments: Reflections on a lifetime

By Gregory Battle  “Now I understand why people choose to have biographers. This is painful to revisit.” —  All-Too-Black Greg Many of the things that have formed my life experiences are the same things that have formed the lives of other men of my age. Then there’s a whole other thing: I am visibly Black. I have 67+ years of learning…

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A Vision Beyond Ourselves

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister  As a conference of Anabaptist Mennonite churches across Ohio and the surrounding states we find ourselves at the beginning of our second year of discerning together God’s vision for us as we look to the future. Over the past year our process consultant, Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi, met with our credentialed leaders and congregational delegates to…

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Creation care resources abound

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate This month I would like to highlight a number of resources related to the environment. MCC Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has gathered a set of resources related to the environment and climate change, all available at https://mcc.org/mcc-climate-change. The introduction to this collection says, “Our partners say changing weather affects almost every aspect of…

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Group effort benefits MCC

Many people volunteered their time at the second Ohio MCC Comforter Bash, which was held in Kidron April 21 and 22. Volunteers knotted 220 comforters during the two-day event, a substantial increase from the 129 comforters which were completed during the 2022 Ohio MCC Comforter Bash. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has a goal of donating 45,000 blankets by the end…

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Conference ends 2022-23 fiscal year with a deficit

Ohio Conference finished the 2022-23 fiscal year with a deficit of $20,112. The fiscal year ended March 31, 2023. The Conference ended February with a year-to-date operating balance of -$18,211. Receipts for the month of March totaled $19,678, including $18,545 in giving from congregations. Expenses for the month totaled $21,579, resulting in a deficit of $1,901 for the month. Over…

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Summit Mennonite Church is meeting in new location

Summit Mennonite Church, formerly located in Barberton, is now meeting nearby in Norton. The congregation is renting space at the Grace United Church of Christ of Loyal Oak, 3285 S. Cleveland Massillon Road, Norton. Summit Mennonite’s email address is summit2mennon­ite@gmail.com. The congrega­tion’s mailing address is as fol­lows: Summit Mennonite Church, PO Box 296, Wadsworth OH 44282. To con­tact Summit Mennonite…

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ACA report: Affiliation resolution not adopted

At the 2023 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA), a resolution for Ohio Conference to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA and become temporarily independent did not receive enough votes from delegates to be adopted. The Ohio Conference Leadership Team proposed the resolution to delegates on March 4 at ACA after several sessions of group spiritual discernment. Eighty-one delegates (54.7 %) voted to…

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Study groups sought for Anabaptist Community Bible

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HARRISONBURG, Virginia — The Anabaptism at 500 project is looking for 500 study groups from a broad spectrum of Anabaptist communities to participate in creating the first-ever Anabaptist Community Bible. People from all Anabaptist traditions are invited to form study groups and submit their insights for this once-in-a-generation project. Participating is easy. Volunteers can form their study group and register…

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Check out these new Lenten resources

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate The Soil and The Seed Project has released a new collection of free resources for Lent, Easter and Pentecost. Included are a new album of music, “Little Liturgies,” art, and lyrics/chord/lead sheets. To download these resources, go to https://www.thesoilandtheseedproject.org/vol-6. For more information about the Soil and The Seed Project, see https://www.thesoilandtheseedproject.org/about. Another resource for Lent comes from…

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Gilead Mennonite Church holds final service

On Jan. 29th Conference Minister Dick Barrett worshiped with Gilead Mennonite Church as the congregation worshiped together as a church for the last time. Located in the rural area of Mt. Gilead, Ohio, the church began in 1952 when several Mennonite families moved to the community with a desire to plant a church that was committed both to the Anabaptist/Mennonite…

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Volunteers accept Conference positions

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Members of Ohio Conference congregations who volunteer their time play a vital role in Conference life. Without the help of numerous volunteers, many of the programs and functions of the Ohio Conference could not take place. Much of the work of Ohio Conference is done by the Leadership Team, the Ministry Development Team, the Credentialing Ministry, the Stewardship Ministry and…

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Pastor-Spouse Retreat to offer time and space for couples to rest, refresh and reconnect

Ohio Conference will hold a 2023 Pastor-Spouse Retreat Nov. 10-12 at Deer Creek State Park Lodge and Conference Center in Mt. Sterling, Ohio, about 32 miles south of Columbus. The theme of this weekend event will be “Fill My Cup.” This retreat has been designed to provide an affordable time away for pastors and their spouses. The retreat will offer…

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Winter Read discussion begins

The Ohio Conference Winter Read has returned! Once again this winter Ohio Conference is holding a Conference-wide book study using the Zoom videoconferencing platform. 2023 marks the second year for the Winter Read. Last year, more than 60 people participated in discussions about the book Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison. This year Winter Read participants are studying Just Mercy, a…

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Radical Love and Radical Discipleship

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister 2023 marks 25 years since I joined the Mennonite Church. It has certainly been an interesting journey, first as a congregational member, then an associate pastor, lead pastor, and now as a conference minister. As I found myself on a one-month sabbatical during December, it caused me to reflect on why I joined the Mennonite…

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Central Christian School to host ACA

‘Doing Life Together: Rooted and Grounded in Love’ will be Assembly theme Central Christian School in Kidron will host the 2023 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) March 3-4. The theme of this year’s gathering will be “Doing Life Together: Rooted and Grounded in Love,” based on Ephesians 3:16-21. In a letter to delegates, Conference Moderator Ken Sims wrote, “We look forward…

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Dwelling in the Word together

Participants from across the Conference reflect on Scripture reading initiative When Sue Short, collaborative minister at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, heard about Ohio Conference’s Dwelling in the Word Scripture reading initiative, she was excited about the plan. “That’s something that’s important to me — encouraging folks to read Scripture, and however that can happen, I’m on board for that.…

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Holy Indifference

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister In my last article for the Evangel, I wrote about the spiritual discipline of Christian discernment. As individual Christians we should be discerning the will of God in our beliefs, decisions and actions each and every day. Our discernment of God’s will for our lives should be based on what has been revealed to us…

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Learning trip gives deeper understanding of MMN ministries in France

By Lynda Hollinger-Janzen Mennonite Mission Network Paris Mennonite Center (PMC) sponsored a learning fellowship visit for its supporters, Sep. 16-26, to give them a deeper understanding of its ministries in France and throughout the French-speaking world. James and Jeanette Krabill, who were long-time workers with Mennonite Mission Network, co-hosted the visit with their son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Toni Krabill, who are…

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Missional Workshop to focus on projects

Update: The 2023 Missional Workshop will take place at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin, Ohio. In 2023 Ohio Conference is offering a Missional Workshop on April 15. During this one-day workshop, teams from Ohio Conference congregations will work on plans for projects designed to reach out to their individual communities. Mauricio Chenlo, minister for church planting at Mennonite…

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