Register now for spiritual direction event

Last call for registrations: Ohio Conference is offering a spiritual direction event for pastors Feb. 4 at Camp Luz in Kidron. The Conference is encouraging all pastors to have a spiritual director, and this event will introduce the concept of spiritual direction. Led by Janice Hershberger, Randy Murray, and Christine Nafziger, attendees will learn about spiritual direction while also experiencing…

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Course offers congregations tools for engaging conflict

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) — For six weeks each year, Betty Pries, Ph.D., a conflict management specialist based in Waterloo, Ontario, leads an online short course for AMBS as a sessional instructor. In the course, Transforming Congregational Conflict and Communication, Pries and her students draw on biblical, theological, practical and spiritual sources in examining difficult experiences that pastors and…

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Bluffton University students explore faith through interactive program on Christianity

BLUFFTON, Ohio — For the second semester in a row, Bluffton University’s campus ministries team and student volunteers led Alpha, a multi-week video series and discussion group centered on the Christian faith. The international program, developed in London in 1977, creates spaces where participants come together for conversations about faith, life and God. “Alpha is specifically designed for people who…

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A peace church?

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” — Luke 2:12-14 (ESV)…

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Youth and young adults: the NOW and FUTURE church

Photo credit: “Bulletin Board” by chelmsfordpubliclibrary is licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. By Alex Dye She was 8 years old, chin up with eyes squinting, scrutinizing the faces on the bulletin board. Her gaze glanced across the names under each face and fell upon accompanying titles like “Church Council Chair” and “Worship Committee Chair” and “Trustee” and “Elder,” all designations…

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Join MCC’s Great Winter Warm-up

Make plans to join MCC’s Great Winter Warm-up at Toledo Mennonite! Mennonite Central Committee will kick off its centennial celebration year with comforter knotting events across the U.S., Canada and Europe. On Saturday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. people of all ages are invited to Toledo Mennonite Church, 5501 Nebraska Avenue, Toledo, for the Great Winter Warm-up comforter…

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Growing Disciples, Part 2 — Seeing God at Work

This podcast episode is the second in a series exploring Missional Discipleship Groups. Guest host Lucas Johnson, pastoral team member at Valley View Mennonite Church in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania, talks with several people who are participating in these weekly small groups. Listen to this episode to hear Casey and Gail, two members of a women’s small group, reflect on how God…

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Conference to consider faith and digital culture

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, is hosting “Shaping Faith in a Digital Culture” March 2-5. This conference will be a time for faith leaders to think theologically about living, worshiping and playing in digital spaces. Presenter Karen-Marie Yust, author of Real Kids, Real Faith, is professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. She will…

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Weekend College expands biblical literacy

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Interested in expanding your congregation’s biblical literacy? Hesston College faculty member Nick Ladd would love to come to your congregation to present a Weekend College course, “The Bible as Story.” This weekend-long resourcing event focuses on helping congregations to put Bible stories together as one big story, expanding biblical literacy and understanding. Nick Ladd formerly served as a member of…

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Growing Disciples, Part 1 — The Explosion

Sometimes growth takes a while, but patience can pay off. That’s been the experience at Valley View Mennonite Church in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania. In the latest episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, Lucas Johnson and Robb Esh, pastoral team members at Valley View Mennonite, talk about the growth of Missional Discipleship Groups in their area of Pennsylvania. The groups now include…

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Try the Anabaptist Prayer app during Advent

This Advent, try out the free Anabaptist Prayer app. Let Jesus’ words pervade your day through morning and evening prayer services with a distinctive Anabaptist flavor. Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer App includes Scripture-saturated prayers and space for communal reflection. The free,  easy-to-navigate app covers Advent through Pentecost as well as Ordinary Time. Available for iPhone…

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Holiday card campaign supports detainees

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If your congregation is looking for a way to connect with immi­grants, consider an idea Paula Snyder Belousek shared in the lat­est issue of Ohio Mennonite Evangel: the Casa Mariposa Visita­tion Program in Arizona has a goal of collecting 3,000 cards in time for Christmas so that each person in the immigration deten­tion centers in Eloy and Florence, Arizona, receives…

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Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday is Jan. 19

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) invites all Anabaptist con­gregations to celebrate Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday on Jan. 19, 2020. Each year MWC provides worship planning re­sources for use on Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday. The theme for 2020 is “Jesus Christ: Our Hope.” This year the wor­ship resources were prepared by MWC member churches in Can­ada and the United States. To download…

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Pastor-Spouse Retreat offers rest, renewal

Twenty-eight couples participated in the Ohio Conference Pastor-Spouse Retreat Nov. 15-17 at the Mills Park Hotel in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The weekend was a time for pastors and their spouses to rest, rejuvenate, and reconnect. Retreat planners included Sue Short, Bill Seymour, Jamie Rye and Coordinator of Volunteers Alysa Short. Photos by Sue Short and Tony Doehrmann

Register now for spiritual direction event

On Feb. 4 Ohio Conference will be offering a day-long event at Camp Luz in Kidron to introduce the concept of spiritual direction to pastors. Spiritual direction is an opportunity to pay attention to God’s movement and stirring in one’s life. Led by Janice Hershberger, Randy Murray, and Christine Nafziger, attendees will learn about spiritual direction while also experiencing how…

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Immigration Resource Team seeks your stories

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From the Immigration Resource Team: It has been eight months since Annual Conference Assembly, when delegates overwhelmingly passed a resolution on immigration. That resolution contained both individual and congregational components, along with suggestions for contacting elected representatives on state and national levels. Delegates agreed to “encourage our churches….to pray for the Spirit’s leading in seeking to minister to the needs…

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Wind of the Spirit enlivens MDI

Small groups begin to multiply By Laurie Oswald Robinson Mennonite Mission Network NEWTON, Kansas (Mennonite Mission Network) — After coming up empty-handed on volunteers for disciple groups within his congregation last fall, Pastor Robert Esh at Valley View Mennonite Church in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania, couldn’t help but feel downhearted about his vision-casting. No matter how hard he campaigned, no one wanted…

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Local congregations pack 175 immigrant detainee care kits

By Jennifer Steiner MCC Great Lakes  On Oct. 2, area congregations gathered at Orrville Mennonite Church to learn about the current situation for border detainees and to work together on a tangible response. In a little over an hour, volunteers had packed 175 immigration detainee care kits to provide much-needed supplies for those being released from border detention. Volunteers assembled…

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Border learning tour highlights immigration struggles

By Paula Snyder Belousek Ohio Conference Assistant Moderator At our last Annual Conference Assembly, Ohio Conference delegates passed an Immigration Resolution, and one of the components challenges members of the Conference to become better informed about the issues surrounding immigration. In response, I took the opportunity to travel to Tucson, Arizona, with other Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) leaders following the…

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Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship welcomes new members

Join the conversation on faith and health! Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) invites any Anabaptist working or interested in any healthcare field to join MHF. Students, practitioners, retirees — you are all welcome! Write to info@mennohealth.org, call 888-406-3643 or go to www.mennohealth.org/JoinTheConversation. For more information, please see the MHF flier: http://bit.ly/2019MHFFlier.

Congregations encouraged to apply for Spread the Peace Grants

To encourage congregations and conferences to “spread the peace” in and beyond Mennonite Church USA, the Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Mission Network has small start-up and sustaining grants available. Funds will be given to those meeting the following criteria and as funding allows: To Mennonite congregations or conferences for projects based in the United States. For church…

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Check CommonWord for Advent resources

Looking for additional Advent resources? Check CommonWord for possibili­ties, including free down­loadable resources. Go to http://bit.ly/CommonWordAdvent to start exploring. CommonWord is a collaboration of Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite University.

Hesston’s Weekend College to offer Bib Lit course to congregations

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Hesston, Kansas — As Hesston College prepares its new church leadership program — the Center for Anabaptist Leadership and Learning (CALL) — it is also offering its famous Biblical Literature course to congregations and other groups across the country in an arrangement called Weekend College. Instead of requiring people to travel to Hesston, Weekend College will bring Hesston College professors…

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2019 Advent guide for families is now available

Anabaptist Faith Formation and Mennonite Church USA are offering a free, downloadable guide for family worship during Advent written by Elsie Rempel. This resource, titled Waiting and Wondering, is designed for parents to use at home with their children. With this free worship guide, families can create a space to notice important questions and bring them to God. For six weeks from…

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Camp Luz to host spiritual direction event for pastors

Ohio Conference will be offering a day-long event to introduce the concept of spiritual direction to pastors on Feb. 4 at Camp Luz in Kidron. Led by Janice Hershberger, Randy Murray, and Christine Nafziger, attendees will learn about spiritual direction while also experiencing how spiritual direction functions. Registration cost is $25 and includes the event and lunch. Lodging and breakfast…

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Hesston conference to examine ‘the good life’

Save the date: Hesston College in Hesston, Kansas, will host the 2020 edition of its Anabaptist Vision and Discipleship Series Feb. 21-23, 2020. The theme for this conference will be “Living More with More: Redefining the Good Life.” The conference will seek to answer the questions, “What truly is the good life and how do we get there? How do…

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Everence event to focus on faith and values

Everence is sponsoring a “Faith and Values in the Marketplace” workshop on Monday, Oct. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Gardens at Homestead, 8233 S.R. 241, Mt. Hope. The theme for this event is “Learning: a lifetime journey.” Please see the event flier for details. This workshop is especially designed for business families, pastors, community leaders and key…

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Explore a call to ministry with Journey

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 is for pastors and other congregational leaders who are called without specific training for ministry or who are exploring a…

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Four fall regional gatherings scheduled

As part of our Gathered & Sent initiative Ohio Conference will be holding four regional gatherings this fall. These gatherings are in place of our traditional fall cluster meetings and are intended not just for pastors and delegates but for all persons from our congregations who want to learn about the exciting things that are going on in the congregations around…

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World Communion Sunday to be celebrated at Central

Join in celebrating World Communion Sunday on Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. at Central Christian School in Kidron. This worship service is a partnership of several local Mennonite churches and the Swahili Community Church of Akron, a Congolese Mennonite congregation. The event will include prayer, scripture, communion, and worship offerings from the Salem Mennonite dance group, Congolese Swahili choirs, and…

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