Immigration Resource Team seeks information

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From the Immigration Resource Team: It’s been about four months since Annual Conference Assembly 2019, when delegates passed a resolution on immigration. Time for a checkup! We’re wondering what’s happening in Ohio Conference congregations. Did delegates do a good job informing their churches about the various components of the resolution? Are churches praying regularly for the needs of immigrants and asking for the Spirit’s leading…

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MCC Central States is collecting immigration detainee care kits

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In March, Ohio Conference delegates passed an immigration resolution. In part, the resolution states, “As delegates to Ohio Mennonite Conference, we commit ourselves to become better informed on the issues surrounding immigration, with a willingness to consider a variety of perspectives. Regardless of our own national origin, we will seek to reach out and build relationships with our neighbors, rooted…

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Laughter, tears and truth-telling at SENT 2019

By Travis Duerksen Mennonite Mission Network ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — More than 80 church leaders from across the country came together for SENT 2019 at Beloved Community Mennonite Church on April 26-28 in Englewood, Colorado. The SENT conference, now in its fourth year, is a peace church conference hosted by Mennonite Mission Network that helps connect, inspire, and equip church leaders…

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Men’s Retreat features Dick Barrett

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More than 50 men from about 10 different congregations gathered for the annual Camp Luz Men’s Retreat on April 5-7.  While some of the men have been attending this retreat for years, there were a good number of younger men also in attendance, which was very encouraging to see. Dick Barrett, Conference minister for the Ohio Conference, provided the input…

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Explore spiritual direction

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Spiritual direction can be a rich resource for your spiritual journey. Ohio Conference has compiled a list of spiritual directors to serve as a resource for Ohio Conference members and pastors. All the individuals listed have completed a certification program and have Anabaptist affiliation. To download this list, go to http://bit.ly/OhioSpiritualDirectors. Have you heard the term “spiritual direction” but aren’t…

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MennoHealth Cast features personal stories

The MennoHealth Cast podcast, which launched in March, is a production of The Mennonite, Inc., and Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship. MennoHealth Cast seeks to highlight the personal stories of people involved in various fields related to the care of human beings. The first episode features an interview with Karen Vundla, who recently completed a 46-year career in nursing. To listen, go…

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Delegate News — Winter 2019 #6

ACA summary video is now ready Thanks to all delegates who attended the 2019 Annual Conference Assembly last week! A new summary video about the 2019 ACA is now ready. You can find it at https://youtu.be/UUin9aM0oTs. Please share it with members of your congregation.   Photos of ACA and missional conference are on website Photos of ACA and the missional…

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The Mennonite seeks submissions for May

The Mennonite Inc. invites your original submissions for the May 2019 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on the theme “God So Loved the Whole World.” Submissions are due to Editor@TheMennonite.org no later than April 4. For more details, please see http://bit.ly/TheMennoniteMay2019.

Bluffton peace lecture to tell story of MJ Sharp

BLUFFTON, Ohio — John E. Sharp will present “Changing the World One Life at a Time: The MJ Sharp Story” at 11 a.m. on March 26 in Yoder Recital Hall at Bluffton University. Sharp will reflect on the life of his son MJ Sharp who died in his prime as a peacebuilder in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On March…

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Register now for Healthy Congregations Workshop

Berlin Mennonite Church will host a Healthy Congregations Workshop April 4-5. Workshop participants will learn how they can influence the health of their congregations, and how to detect and avoid unhealthy patterns of living together in community. Time is running out to receive the best registration price for this workshop. The registration fee includes a course manual and lunch. The…

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Goshen College offers Lenten devotions

Goshen College is providing daily online devotions during Lent focusing on the theme “Blessed Hunger, Holy Feast.” You can sign up to receive these devotions via email: https://www.goshen.edu/devotions.

The Gathering Place offers webinars

The Gathering Place, a virtual space where Anabaptist faith formation leaders can gather, learn, share and grow, is getting a new start with new resources and several upcoming webinars for Mennonite Church USA faith formation leaders.  Learn more at http://bit.ly/2019GatheringPlace.

‘Love Crosses Borders’ planned for summer

Love is the greatest of all virtues. But what does love look like in times of cynicism and polarization? Mennonite Men is organizing “Love Crosses Borders,” an immersion experience with immigrants which will take place this summer. From July 28 to August 3 Mennonite Men will journey to Georgia and connect with Casa Alterna, a hospitality house devoted to faithful…

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Berlin to host Healthy Congregations Workshop

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Berlin Mennonite Church will host a Healthy Congregations Workshop April 5-6. Bill Blank, associate director of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, will lead the workshop. This workshop is designed for pastors, church staff, lay leaders and congregation members. Participants will learn how they can influence the health of their congregations, and how to detect and avoid unhealthy patterns of living…

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MC USA offers Lent At Home guide

(Mennonite Church USA) — Get ready for a holy feast. The Lent At Home resource based on the theme “Blessed Hunger…Holy Feast” is available now with materials for exploring God’s abundance and the season’s themes. The materials begin with Shrove Tuesday on March 5 and continue through Easter Sunday on April 21. The theme and Scriptures in the Lent At Home materials…

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MC USA video series looks at leadership, structure

Mennonite Church USA has recently posted three presentations on YouTube addressing the denomination’s leadership, structure and polity. These presentations are from the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) meeting which took place on Oct. 11-13, 2018, in Chicago. The three presenters are Michael Danner, associate executive director for church vitality and engagement; David Boshart, moderator; and Joy Sutter, moderator-elect. Use the links below…

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Journey transforms learners and leaders

By Ben Parker Sutter and Annette Brill Bergstresser ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Dennis Miller of Goshen, Indiana, was in his late 50s when he realized it was time for him to explore other vocational possibilities. “I’ve been in construction my entire working life,” he said. “Working in the church is something I always thought about but at the same…

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Credentialed ministers’ meeting set for Feb. 12

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Credentialed ministers in Ohio Conference will gather again Tuesday, Feb. 12, to continue their discussion and connect with one another before Annual Conference Assembly in March. This meeting will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the library in Upper Sandusky. Everyone attending should plan to bring their coffee (if needed) and lunch. Light refreshments will be provided.…

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Take a look at MWC year in review

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) invites you to share its 2018 year in review video with your congregation. Watch it to learn how the people of MWC worked together for peace and justice in the power of the Holy Spirit during 2018: http://bit.ly/MWC2018YearInReview. This video is just slightly under 4 minutes in length.  

Author to speak at Bluffton Student Life Forum

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BLUFFTON, Ohio — Spiritual writer Christiana Peterson will present “Searching for Koinonia: In Community with Mystics and Misfits,” at 11 a.m. on Jan. 15 in Yoder Recital Hall at Bluffton University. A blogger and author, Peterson will share her experience of living in a Mennonite intentional community and being drawn to mystics such as St. Francis, Dorothy Day and Clare…

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Talking about what binds us together

When is the last time you heard someone describe a multi-hour meeting as “fun”? If you’ve never had that experience (or even if you have), listen to this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast to learn about a laughter-filled five-and-a-half-hour meeting of Ohio Conference pastors which took place Nov. 8. While the pastors’ discussion may have been about important topics,…

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Online Advent devotions to begin Nov. 26

Once again Goshen College is offering an online resource to help believers make time and space in their hearts and minds to reflect during the season of Advent. Beginning Nov. 26, the week before the first Sunday of Advent, and culminating on Christmas Day, Goshen College students, faculty and staff will provide weekday reflections based on the lectionary Scripture passages,…

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Bluffton students ‘reimagine’ the Church

By Tricia Bell Bluffton University BLUFFTON, Ohio – Using the theme “Reimagining the Church: Looking Back to Move Forward” as inspiration, Bluffton University students explored the relevance of the Church in the modern era during Spiritual Life Week. The week-long, student-led examination of faith is held each semester on Bluffton’s campus. For Jenny Dorsey, a Bible and theology major from…

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Growing more like Jesus to be conference focus at Hesston College

Save the date: Hesston College in Hesston, Kansas, will host the 2019 edition of its Anabaptist Vision and Discipleship Series Feb. 1-3, 2019. The theme for this conference will be “Growing More Like Jesus from the Outside In: Transforming Heart and Mind.” The conference will seek to answer the question, “Where can we find support to take new risks to…

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Advent worship guide is for families

Anabaptist Faith Formation Network and Mennonite Church USA are offering a free, downloadable guide for family worship during Advent written by Elsie Rempel and illustrated by Megan Kamei. This resource, titled God’s Goodness, is designed for parents to use at home with their children. For use between Dec. 2 and Jan. 6, the worship guide includes Bible readings, short litanies, songs, hands-on…

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CLC — A place to build relationships together denominationally

In the latest episode of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast, co-hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn talk with Conference Minister Dick Barrett and Paula Snyder Belousek, pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Elida, about their experience at the October meeting of the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC). Snyder Belousek describes the CLC as “a place to build relationships together denominationally.” This episode, which…

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Credentialed leaders meet in Upper Sandusky

What does it mean when we say, “Jesus is our Center”? Thirty-six credentialed leaders from across the Ohio Conference came together to discuss that question on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting. The pastors and other credentialed leaders met for a day of discussion and relationship-building at the Upper Sandusky Library in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Since 2015,…

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Workshop to focus on change in business

Everence is sponsoring a Business Families and Community Leaders workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. at the Gardens at Homestead in Mount Hope. “Thriving in a fast-changing world” is the theme of this workshop, which will feature speakers Brian Miller, president of ProVia in Sugarcreek; Leon Wengerd, CFO of Pioneer Equipment in Dalton; and Dan Owolabi,…

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What can we learn from others in Mennonite World Conference?

For many North American Mennonites, the words “Mennonite World Conference” bring thoughts of a world-wide gathering of Anabaptists every six years. However, as Ohio Conference Cast hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour learn in this episode of Ohio Conference Cast, there’s much more to Mennonite World Conference than these large events. Helping Thomas and Bill to learn more about Mennonite World…

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Pastor-Leadership Team Retreat examines attitudes and behaviors

Forty-one people representing eight Ohio Conference congregations participated in the Pastor-Leadership Retreat held at the Quality Inn & Suites in Bellville Oct. 26-27. Presenter Duane Beck led the event, focusing on the topic “Leadership Matters: Finding God in the Changes.” He encouraged retreat participants to consider attitudes and behaviors in their congregations. Photos by Greg Bowman, Ralph Reinford and Bob Sauder