Agua Prieta Border Wall

Borderlands Learning Tour: No easy answers

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister November 7th through the 14th of this past year I had the privilege and opportunity to participate in a Borderlands Learning Tour sponsored by the Great Lakes office of Mennonite Central Committee. The tour focused on the border between Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Mexico, approximately 120 miles southeast of Tucson. Both Ohio Conference’s Leadership…

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Winter Read offers place for discussion

We would love to have you join us for the Ohio Conference Winter Read, which is currently underway. This winter Ohio Conference is trying something new, a Conference-wide book study offered via Zoom. We are studying Latasha Morrison’s book Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation. As of mid-January, 58 people are participating in the Winter Read. Discussion leaders…

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The Soil and the Seed Project Logo

‘Little Liturgies’ can nurture faith

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate If you are looking for ways to nurture faith at home, take a look at the free resources available online at The Soil and the Seed Project: https://www.thesoilandtheseedproject.org. This group has created “little liturgies” with downloadable music, art, prayers, scripture, and discussion prompts which can be used by individuals, families, or small communities.…

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Cathy and Howard Wagler

Conference to focus on how to be a good neighbor

Ohio Conference will hold a missional conference March 3-4 at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, immediately prior to the 2022 Annual Conference Assembly. The theme of the missional conference, based on Luke 10:25-37, will be “Befriending the Neighborhood: Am I a Good Neighbor?” Presenters will be Howard and Cathy Wagler, church planters from Hutchinson, Kansas. The Waglers currently are serving…

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Loving my neighbor and forbearance

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister There is an old saying that goes something like, “We get to pick our friends, but we don’t get to pick our family.” Well, I would add, “We don’t get to pick our neighbors.” In the Great Commandment(s) Jesus tells us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your…

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Women in Leadership Retreat to feature Rebecca Slough

There’s still time to register for Ohio Conference’s Women in Leadership Retreat, which will be held Feb. 18-19 at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin. Retreat planners are encouraging every Ohio Conference congregation to send at least one woman to this retreat. Has your congregation tapped someone to attend this retreat? The theme of the Women in Leadership Retreat…

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Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas! We find ourselves nearing the end of what has been another difficult year in the life of the nation, our churches, individuals and families. The year began with violence at the Capitol Building that left many wondering just how secure America as a nation is. The COVID pandemic waned and spiked throughout the year, resulting in continued deaths…

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Making disciples who make disciples

How do we transform in­dividuals into active disci­ples of Jesus Christ? In the past several years, many Ohio Conference congre­gations have worked to­ward this goal by partici­pating in the Missional Discipleship Initiative (MDI). This initiative was first offered by Mennonite Mission Network. A main goal of MDI is making dis­ciples of Jesus Christ who in turn make other disci­ples. Starting…

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The Annunciation of the Incarnation

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and…

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Check out these Advent Resources

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate As we move into the season of Advent, Mennonite Church USA and CommonWord have Advent resources for individuals, families and congregations. Once again this year, Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has prepared an Advent at Home worship guide which can be used by individuals or families. The 2021 guide follows the theme “Dare…

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Prepare/Enrich training focuses on marriage

Recognizing that pastors are often called upon to counsel engaged and married couples, this fall Ohio Conference offered pastors training in a program called Prepare/Enrich. The Conference offered two opportunities for pastors to participate in this training, on Sept. 30 at Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron and Oct. 19 at West Clinton Mennonite Church in Wauseon. The training sessions were…

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Discipleship training to be offered

How do we transform individuals into active disciples of Jesus Christ? In the past several years, many Ohio Conference congre­gations have worked toward this goal by participating in the Mis­sional Discipleship Initiative (MDI). This initiative was first offered by Mennonite Mission Network. Starting in January Ohio Conference will offer training in MDI to a new cohort of church leaders. This…

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Join us for the Ohio Conference Winter Read

Coming in January: The Ohio Confer­ence Winter Read. This winter Ohio Conference is trying something new, a Conference-wide book study offered via Zoom. This year we will be discussing Latasha Morrison’s book Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Recon­ciliation. Discussion leaders will be Pastor Vikki Pruitte-Sorrells of Lee Heights Community Church in Cleveland and Pastor Kevin Himes of Salem…

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Women in Leadership Retreat set for Feb. 18-19

Registration is now open for Ohio Conference’s Women in Leadership Retreat, which will take place Feb. 18-19 at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin. The theme of the retreat is “Empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead like yourself.” The speaker for this retreat will be Rebecca Slough, academic dean emerita and professor emerita of worship and the arts…

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Register for Believe and Be Baptized by Oct. 25

Ohio Conference and Central District Conference are co-hosting a workshop about baptism, Believe and Be Baptized: Conversations on a 500-year-old Tradition. Led by historian John D. Roth, this workshop will take place Saturday, Nov. 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Columbus Mennonite Church. The workshop will include a time of conversation with local Catholic and Lutheran clergy, and…

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MC USA initiative focuses on poverty

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has launched “Learn, Pray, Join: Cost of Poverty,” an initiative to raise awareness about the impact of the pandemic on poverty in the United States and how Jesus calls his followers to respond. This fall MC USA is seeking to engage people in the initiative by offering resources, prayers and ways to care for one another and…

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Register for Believe and Be Baptized by Oct. 25

Ohio Conference and Central District Conference are co-hosting a workshop about baptism, Believe and Be Baptized: Conversations on a 500-year-old Tradition. Led by historian John D. Roth, this workshop will take place Saturday, Nov. 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Columbus Mennonite Church. The workshop will include a time of conversation with local Catholic and Lutheran clergy, and…

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Generations can grow in faith together

There are many settings in which children, youth and adults can grow in faith together rather than as separate groups. Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has added an Intergenerational Faith Formation resource page to the MC USA website. To view, go to https://bit.ly/IntergenerationalFaithFormation. At that web address you will find a collection of the resources which were shared in a…

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Laurelville to offer leadership training

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Laurelville Retreat Center in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, is once again offering training in the Values Based Leadership Program, beginning this fall. The training will include both an in-person event at Laurelville Oct. 6-8 and six Zoom sessions. The Values Based Leadership Program equips individuals who want to develop their leadership skills from a values perspective. To learn more, please see…

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Faith Formation Roundtable offers discussion

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is hosting a series of virtual Faith Formation Roundtable discussions to connect, encourage and support faith formation leaders amid the uncertainties of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These discussions are being held via Zoom twice a month through the end of October. These online gatherings are held Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Upcoming discussion topics are as follows:

Sept. 21 — Staying connected with your college students
Oct. 12 — Ruth Goring, Mennonite author of children’s books
Oct. 19 — Family faith formation with “Pause: Play, Breathe, Pray”

To participate, please register at https://bit.ly/FaithFormationSignup.

Immigration Resource Team shares resources

The Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team is continuing its work of raising awareness and sharing resources related to immigration. Scripture resource This summer, the Immigration Resource Team released a resource titled “A Biblical Guide to Immigration.” This guide, which includes a compilation of scriptures related to immigration, is suitable for both personal and congregational use. “A Biblical Guide to Immigration”…

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Being the church — challenge and calling

This episode of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast features an interview with Con­ference Minister Dick Barrett. Hosts Corben Weaver Boshart and Ramon Lianez talk with Dick about challenges facing the church today. Dick notes that he has been encour­aged to view challenges as opportunities. “God has called us in this time for a specific reason,” he says. Listen to this…

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Conference plans Women in Leadership Retreat

Ohio Conference will hold a Women in Leadership Retreat Feb. 18-19, 2022, at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin, Ohio. The resource speaker will be Rebecca Slough, academic dean emerita and professor emerita of worship and the arts at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. Please see the event flier for details. Registration information will be announced in…

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MennoMedia offers new resources for pastors

MennoMedia is offering the “What Now?” series designed specifically for pastors as they navigate the challenges and opportunities that have emerged as a result of the global pandemic. In August, September, and October subscribers will receive an email every other week with links to practical resources, worship helps, downloadable PDFs, shareable images, a mini-series of -ing podcasts, and more. There will be…

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Rooted and Grounded to return to AMBS

Registration is open for the fifth Rooted and Grounded Conference on Land and Christian Discipleship, which will be held Oct. 14–16 at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. The theme of this conference will be “Land: Loss, Connection and Imagination.” The event will be offered in a hybrid format; some elements will be available only to in-person participants, and…

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New Pastor Orientation held Aug. 15-16

Ohio Conference held a New Pastor Orientation Aug. 15-16 in Holmes County and Wayne County. Thirteen people participat­ed, including Ohio Conference pastoral staff members. The orien­tation helped pastors new to the Ohio Conference learn to know each other and learn about resources available to them. In addition to visiting the Ohio Conference office in Kidron, par­ticipants spent time at MCC…

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All-Ohio Conference Pastor Meeting features fellowship, worship and dialogue

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister On Aug. 5 congregational pastors from across Ohio Conference gathered at the Upper Sandusky Community Library for a time of fellowship, worship and discernment together. It was the first time they were able to gather in person in a year and a half. While fellowship was the highlight for the 28 ministers present, time was…

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Workshop to feature conversations about baptism

Ohio Conference and Central District Conference are hosting a free workshop featuring ecumenical conversation about baptism on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Columbus Mennonite Church. “Believe and Be Baptized: Conversations on a 500-year Tradition” will be led by John D. Roth, a history professor at Goshen College. This workshop is open to all in the…

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Prepare/Enrich training offered this fall

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Recognizing that pastors are often called upon to counsel engaged and married couples, Ohio Conference is offering training in a program called Prepare/Enrich. Ohio Conference will offer this training twice, on Sept. 30 at Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron and Oct. 19 at West Clinton Mennonite Church in Wauseon. This training equips pastors to use the Prepare/Enrich assessment with engaged…

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