Behold the Lamb of God

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister I write this in preparation for our 2021 Annual Conference Assembly, scheduled to be held virtually this year on Saturday, March 6. On March 7, 2020, we were able to meet in person at Sharon Mennonite Church. Little did we know that in less than a week our world would be turned upside down as…

Read More »

Conflict transformation is workshop topic

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (LMPC) is offering an online workshop, “Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches,” on Feb. 13 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. Although a normal part of life, conflict is usually seen as something negative. Participants in this workshop will acquire the knowledge and skills to transform conflict into a force for positive change and spiritual growth.…

Read More »

Conversations to focus on immigration

Evangelical Immigration Table is launching a series of virtual conversations about immigration which are being held each Thursday in January. The first conversation, held on Jan. 7, focused on the topic “Discipleship in Politically Polarized Times.”  To learn more about this series or to register, go to https://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/2021convening.

Call for immigration reform renewed

 |  Category:

A note from the Immigration Resource Team: The Evangelical Immigration Table soon will be introducing a series of policy recom­mendations for the new Congress and new presidential admin­istration. These recommendations will be guided by biblical principles, but one core element of those pro­posals will be renewing a call for an earned legalization process for undocumented immigrants based on the principle…

Read More »

Online spiritual direction retreat set for Feb. 16

 |  Category:

Ohio Conference will hold “The Joy of Rest,” a spiritual direction retreat for pastors, on Tuesday, Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. Led by pastor, teacher and spiritual director Dan Schrock, this re­treat will focus on spiritual practices, including sabbath. The reg­istration fee for this event is $15. For more information, please see…

Read More »

Goshen College offers online Advent devotions

As the Advent season begins, Goshen College is offering online devotions once again. Beginning Nov. 23 and culminating on Christmas Day, Goshen College students, faculty and staff will provide reflections three days each week based on the upcoming Sunday’s lectionary Scripture passages, available online at www.goshen.edu/devotions. To receive these devotions by email, go to www.goshen.edu/devotions/subscribe. Writers will reflect on the…

Read More »

Journey program at AMBS offers theological training

When God calls someone to ministry, a journey begins. Perhaps you are on that journey. Perhaps you are looking for mentors and companions along the way. Ohio Conference invites you to join Journey: A Missional Leadership Development Program. This program from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is for pastors and other congregational leaders who are called without specific training for ministry…

Read More »

Unity in a divisive world

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister By the time you read this column in the Evangel, the United States will have voted to elect or re-elect its next president. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this we will know who won. It seems like each election cycle creates more and more division in our country. The United States is divided…

Read More »

Immigration Resource Team recommends resources

 |  Category:

The Ohio Conference Immi­gration Resource Team would like to remind everyone that there are many opportunities to share God’s love, hope, and peace. Are you looking for ideas about how you can share God’s love with immigrants? The Immigration Resource Team has compiled an Immigration Resource List which features books, websites, organizations, and films, as well as contact information for people…

Read More »

New partnership to offer global access to theological education

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Indiana, have forged a new agreement to provide Anabaptist-based theological and church leadership education to Anabaptists around the globe in both for-credit and noncredit formats. Pastors and church leaders will be able to take courses in biblical and theological studies, church history and ministry in their home countries. For more information about…

Read More »

Children’s faith formation is webinar topic

MennoMedia is offering a webinar about children’s faith formation, “Raising Them Up: Children, Faith, and Church,” on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. This webinar will take the format of a panel discussion moderated by David Csinos. Featured panelists will be Malinda Berry, Henry Zonio, Natalie Frisk and Becky Degan. Register for this webinar at http://bit.ly/RaisingThemUpWebinar. Please register before 5…

Read More »

Webinar to explore mutual care

Anabaptist Disabilities Network will host a webinar, “Mutual Care in Difficult Times,” on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. These are stressful times of pandemic and social unrest. People with disabilities and their families carry additional burdens. This webinar will examine how we, as the Church, can practice mutual care, sharing joy and shouldering the load together. This webinar will…

Read More »

MC USA website has faith formation resources

Looking for faith formation ideas or curriculum? The Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) website now includes all the content from AnabaptistFaithFormation.org. You can find formation resources for people of all ages at MennoniteUSA.org/ff. One resource highlighted on MC USA’s Faith Formation page is a webinar focusing on children’s faith formation during this time of pandemic. The webinar, titled “It Can…

Read More »

MC USA webinar offers ideas for children’s faith formation

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate How is your congregation handling faith formation for children during the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you seeking ideas for working with children? Mennonite Church USA is  hosting a webinar titled “It can be done! Children’s Sunday school during COVID-19.” This webinar will take place Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 2:30 p.m. EDT. If you haven’t…

Read More »

The truth will set us free

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”— John 8:31-32 (ESV) Jesus said to his early disciples, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and…

Read More »

Register now for Healthy Boundaries training

 |  Category:

Ohio Conference pastors and those in leadership, please mark your calendars for the Healthy Boundaries Training 201, which will take place virtually on Oct. 10 (Saturday) and Nov. 7 (Saturday). You may register for the day that suits you best. Training will run from 9 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. Our instructors are Andrew Stoner and Jon Bohley, both trained by…

Read More »

Healthy Boundaries trainings set for fall

 |  Category:

All Ohio Conference credentialed pastors are required to complete Healthy Boundaries training once every three years. This fall, the Conference will hold Healthy Boundaries 201 training events for pastors who have previously completed the Healthy Boundaries 101 training course. Healthy Boundaries 201 will be offered online via Zoom. Pastors can choose one of two training dates, Oct. 10 or Nov.…

Read More »

Immigration Resource Team recommends book

 |  Category:

An update from the Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team: Please keep in your prayers our many immigrant neighbors who are at greater risk of infection with COVID-19 — those in crowded detention centers, meat packing plants, etc. Consider a donation to Open Arms Hispanic Ministry or Brazo en Brazo, who are working directly with this population. Here is a must-read,…

Read More »

MC USA leadership encourages discussion

Save the date: Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is planning a second webinar on the theme “Race, Church and Change.” This webinar is scheduled for July 23 at 6:30 p.m. EDT on both Zoom and Facebook Live. To register for this webinar, please go to https://bit.ly/RaceChurchandChange2. The first “Race, Church and Change” webinar took place on Thursday, June 25, and…

Read More »

Involving young adults in ministry

How is your congregation ministering to youth and young adults? How are you involving these young people in ministry? Ohio Conference’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Team has been encouraging Ohio Conference congregations to share their stories of how they are relating to youth and young adults. In this issue of Ohio Mennonite Evangel, we check in with Matthew Reed,…

Read More »

Engaging immigration: Some action steps

A few thoughts from the Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team: Are you aware that a significant number of immigrants living in Ohio (and the rest of this country) face a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because of their work in meat processing plants and other factories? Don’t forget to pray for them. There’s plenty of time left this summer for…

Read More »

Leadership is visioning for the future

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team and the Pastoral Team have begun meet­ing with consultants Howard and Cathy Wagler from South Hutchinson, Kansas. They are looking at our current mission and purpose statements (introduced in 2006) as we begin discerning together God’s vision for the future of the Confer­ence over the next five to seven years. The Leadership Team and Pastoral…

Read More »

Women in Leadership Retreat planned for February

Update: This retreat has been postponed until the fall of 2021.  Save the date: Ohio Confer­ence will hold a Women in Leadership Retreat Feb. 5-6, 2021, at the St. Francis Spir­ituality Center in Tiffin. The input speaker for this retreat will be Rebecca Slough, aca­demic dean emerita and pro­fessor emerita of worship and the arts at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.…

Read More »

‘Race, Church and Change’ is webinar theme

Save the date: Mennonite Church USA is planning a second webinar on the theme “Race, Church and Change.” This webinar is scheduled for July 23 at 6:30 p.m. EDT on both Zoom and Facebook Live. To register for this webinar, go to https://mcusa.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JKz_I1rpS76YxM8QwSvRzg. The first “Race, Church and Change” webinar took place on Thursday, June 25, and featured a discussion…

Read More »

New members join Immigration Resource Team

The Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team has added two new members from western Ohio, Megan Bettelon and Krisha Pagniano. Below they share some information about themselves and their interest in immigration: Megan Bettelon: I’ve been a lifelong attendee of Huber Mennonite Church in New Carlisle. I am a social worker and currently work in a school setting. Growing up in…

Read More »

Being Jesus in the reopening of his churches

 |  Category:

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister  The past several months have certainly been a difficult time in our individual lives and in the lives of our churches throughout Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA. It seems like “a perfect storm” — a pandemic that almost none of us have ever experienced before, an economy that crashed with no one sure of…

Read More »

June 21 is World Refugee Sunday

 |  Category:

June 21 has been designated as World Refugee Sunday. The Immigration Resource Team of the Ohio Conference is encouraging congregations to highlight World Refugee Sunday during their worship services on June 21, perhaps by mentioning it in any sharing or announcement time and including it in the pastoral prayer. The following links have numerous excellent ideas for observing World Refugee…

Read More »

Leadership Team makes statement on racial injustice

As the Leadership Team of Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA, we affirm the recent statement from Mennonite Church USA on racial injustice and Executive Director Glen Guyton’s open letter to the denomination. We lament the death of George Floyd, the latest death of an African-American person at the hands of a white police officer. We grieve the violence that has erupted…

Read More »

Faith leaders call for National Day of Mourning and Lament

This week America surpassed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19. Many of those who died had to do so without the presence of family and loved ones. The deaths have been disproportionate in age, race and economic status. As we mark this grim milestone of more than 100,000 deaths in America and more than 350,000 worldwide, faith leaders from across our country…

Read More »

MMN webinar to focus on spiritual practices

Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) is offering a free webinar, “Spiritual practices for peacemakers: finding your center when you feel pulled apart.” Karla Minter, church relations representative for MMN, will lead the webinar on June 4 at 7 p.m. She will invite participants to encounter or rediscover spiritual practices that create a daily rhythm to help turn despair and isolation into…

Read More »