Building a new life in Ohio

What is life like for refugees who come to Ohio? The latest episode of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast tells the story of one immigrant family that has ended up in Kidron, Ohio, after fleeing the war in Ukraine. Listen to this episode to hear the conversation between host Kevin Himes and his two guests, Alex Murza and Terry Shue.…

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ACA speaker discusses faith and scripture in podcast episodes

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Meghan Larissa Good will be the featured speaker at Annual Conference Assembly March 1-2. Want to learn more about Meghan? She has appeared as a guest on a number of podcasts. You can hear more about Meghan’s life and experience connecting with the Bible on the God Hears Her podcast episode titled “Enjoying & Exploring Scripture”: https://bit.ly/MLGoodExploringScripture. You also can…

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CommonWord offers resources for Lent

This year Lent begins Feb. 14. If you are looking for new Lenten resources, check out the website for CommonWord, a collabora­tion of Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite Uni­versity. In preparation for Lent, CommonWord has curated a collection of resources for this season of the church year. Included in the col­lection are books, songs, and worship resources such as…

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Rediscover the Bible with ACA speaker

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Everyone is invited to attend the 2024 Annual Conference As­sembly (ACA) March 1-2 at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City. The featured speaker at ACA will be Meghan Larissa Good, the author of The Bible Unwrapped: Making Sense of Scripture Today and Divine Gravity: Sparking a Movement to Rediscover a Better Christian Story. Want to learn more about Meghan Larissa Good? You can see…

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You’re invited: Join us for the Winter Read

Starting this month: The Ohio Conference Winter Read, a Conference-wide book group on Zoom, will be returning for the third year in a row. We would love to have you join us for conversation about the book Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith and Showing Up for One Another by Carlene Hill Byron. Discussion leaders will be Emiley Shenk and …

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EMU to host Shalom Academy

Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will host Shalom Academy (formerly School for Leadership Training) Jan. 8-10, 2024. Cultivating unity within faith communities can be difficult when cultural pressures are divisive. Shalom Acade­my 2024 will offer a place to learn and reflect on the practices that move congregations past divisiveness and toward peace, both within their walls and in their…

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Community gun safety event brings Ohio churches together

In September, several Mennonite churches from Northwest Ohio worked together to host a community event about gun safety. Several organizations, such as RAWtools and Mennonite Central Committee, also helped make this event successful. By Nancy Roynon Beck Have you ever wanted to make something happen but did not know how? That was me last January. I was teaching the Mennonite…

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Toledo pastor provides peace witness with the help of an anvil

Joel Shenk, pastor of Toledo Mennonite Church, describes how he learned blacksmithing as part of his personal peace witness and how Ohio Conference and his congregation have joined him in this work. Camille Dager, chief communication officer for Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), recently talked to Joel Shenk about his peace witness in response to growing gun violence in the…

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Downsizing Summit Mennonite

  By Joanne Lehman Many couples and individuals come to a place in life where downsizing is desired. Their situation has changed, and their living space is too big. Family members have moved out to begin life somewhere else. Maintenance is too expensive for the budget. Closets and cupboards are full of things they’ve collected over the years. Life goes…

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Register online for Women in Leadership Retreat

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One role of ministry leaders is to notice and affirm the gifts of those in your congregation. The planning committee of this winter’s Ohio Conference Women in Leadership Retreat would like you to begin thinking now about women in your congregation that you could encourage to attend. We would love to see each congregation send at least one woman, preferably more!…

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Explore a call to ministry with Journey

When God calls someone to leadership, 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 lay leaders, pastors, church planters, and other emerging leaders who are called without specific training for ministry or…

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Grateful

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister As I look toward finishing my time of serving as conference minister, I am grateful to God for the opportunity to have worked with all the many great people of Ohio Conference — the leadership teams, the staff, the pastors and other credentialed leaders, delegates, and congregational members and attenders. In the midst of challenging…

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Putting the focus on social justice

By Nathanael Hofstetter Ressler Note: This year Grace & Groundings, Ohio Conference’s racial reconciliation resource team, invited Ohio Conference churches to set aside Sunday, June 18, as  Social Justice Sunday. The Grace & Groundings team provided worship planning resources for Social Justice Sunday. Below, Nathanael Hofstetter Ressler, pastor of   Maple Grove Mennonite Church in Hartville, reflects on his congregation’s experience…

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Pastors meet for discussion and discernment

On Aug. 16 Ohio Conference hosted its annual all pastors gathering at the Upper Sandusky Community Library. There were 32 credentialed ministers in attendance, representing 24 of our congregations.   The day was facilitated by our process consultant, Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi of Design Group International. Jeanne’s focus was on helping the pastors discern God’s future vision for Ohio Conference and…

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Series to explore generosity and stewardship

Starting this month MennoMedia is offering three online sessions focused on generosity and stewardship, featuring input from consultants at Everence. Beginning Thursday, Aug. 17, the monthly sessions will unpack the “why” behind our giving and provide input on specific charitable tools that you can use to support the causes and organizations that are important to you. All sessions begin at…

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Gen Z challenge focuses on creation care

Mennonite Creation Care Network is challenging young people to actively care for the planet through its Generation Z Energy and Spirit Challenge, which runs through April 2024. Jennifer Halteman Schrock, director of Mennonite Creation Care Network, describes the challenge as “a friendly competition to embrace our Anabaptist calling as earth keepers, reduce our carbon footprints, nurture environmental leadership, and utilize…

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RSVPs requested for pastor meeting

A reminder for pastors: On Wednesday, Aug. 16, Ohio Conference will be hosting our annual All Active Credentialed Ministers Gathering at the Upper Sandusky Community Library from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This is an important gathering, as our process consultant, Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi, will once again be facilitating the gathering to help us discern God’s vision for the future of…

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ADN creates accessible baptism curriculum

Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADN) has published Believing and Belonging: An Accessible Anabaptist Membership Curriculum for youth and adults with intellectual disabilities. Written by ADN Executive Director Jeanne Davies, this curriculum fills the increasing need for curriculum written specifically for youth and adults with intellectual disabilities. This curriculum has 36 lessons covering God’s first people, the story of Jesus, the story…

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Register for Pastor-Spouse Retreat by Sept. 1

Pastors: Are you planning on attending the Ohio Conference Pastor-Spouse Retreat? The retreat will take place Nov. 10-12 at Deer Creek State Park Lodge and Conference Center in Mt. Sterling, Ohio. Registration is due by Sept. 1, 2023. For more information, see https://bit.ly/2023Pastor-SpouseBrochure. To register, go to https://bit.ly/2023Pastor-SpouseRetreat.

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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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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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.

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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Free study guide now available

Believe and Be Baptized, a free study guide about baptism, is now available for Ohio Conference congregations. The study guide was produced by the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism (ISGA). Written by John D. Roth in collaboration with Tom Yoder Neufeld, the study guide reflects on topics discussed during the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation on Baptism. Believe and…

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Ohio MCC Comforter Bash set for April 21-22

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Mennonite Central Committee will hold the second annual Ohio MCC Comforter Bash on Friday and Saturday, April 21-22, in the recreation building at the Kidron Community Park, 4434 Kidron Road, Kidron. Everyone is invited to knot comforters for Mennonite Central Committee at this event. A handmade comforter provides not only warmth but also a tangible message to people that their…

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The Soil and the Seed Project Logo

Check out these new Lenten resources

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.

2023 Lent at Home guide now available

ELKHART, Indinana (Mennonite Education Agency) — “Created in the Image of God, Shaped By Jesus” is the theme of the Lent at Home 2023 worship guide, now available for free  at the Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) website: https://bit.ly/2023LentatHome. Using the theme developed for Leader magazine, the guide weaves weekly and daily Scriptures with worship rituals, prayers, activities, and background information…

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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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