Regional gatherings focus on mission statement, congregational sharing

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister On Oct. 20, 22, 27 and 29 Ohio Conference held four regional fall gatherings for delegates to Annual Conference Assembly. Delegates learned about a proposed new mission statement for the Conference, heard more about the upcoming Annual Conference Assembly, and shared with one another about their congregations’ experiences dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to…

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Ohio Conference offers Pastor Wellness Grants

Being a pastor in the 21st century is a very challenging calling. Being a pastor during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic has been even more challenging. Due to the many changes that have had to be made, many of our pastors have not taken a Sunday off since the pandemic began, many have cancelled or shortened their vacations, and…

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Pandemic curtails face-to-face meetings, but Conference work continues nonetheless

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister While these have been difficult times to be able to gather in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, through the use of technology we have been able to gather virtually to continue Ohio Conference work. Regional Pastors Tony Doehrmann and Ralph Reinford have continued to meet with pastors, pastor peer groups, and search committees via…

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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…

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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…

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Consider carefully whether to meet during coronavirus outbreak

At the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health issued an order on March 12 banning mass gatherings of more than 100 people. While religious institutions are one of the groups excluded in the ban, the Leadership Team of Ohio Conference encourages each of our congregations to carefully discern what is best, especially for the health…

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If you get one of these requests, don’t reply

A note from the Ohio Conference Leadership Team: It has come to our attention that several Ohio Conference pastors have been hacked recently, supposedly sending out emails and most recently, text messages, asking for gift cards. These requests are, of course, not legitimate. The office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recommends that recipients of these text messages simply block…

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Ohio Conference leaders share at Constituency Leaders Council

By Paula Snyder Belousek Assistant Moderator Conference Minister Dick Barrett, Moderator Lynn Miller and Assistant Moderator Paula Snyder Belousek presented information about the Ohio Conference during the Oct. 17-18 meeting of Mennonite Church USA’s Constituency Leaders Council in Glendale, Arizona. Each conference and constituency group gave 10-minute presentations over the two days of the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC). Each group answered…

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Lynn Miller accepts moderator position

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team is pleased to announce that Lynn Miller of Tedrow Mennonite Church has agreed to serve as our Conference moderator. Lynn has been a part of Tedrow Mennon­ite Church all his life, and he has served as a delegate to Ohio Conference in the past both as a member of Tedrow and as a member of…

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A conversation with Dick Barrett

In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast, hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour talk with Dick Barrett, the new conference minister for the Ohio Conference. Listen to this conversation to learn more about Dick’s background, his journey to becoming an Anabaptist, and his hopes for the Ohio Conference in the coming years. As a bonus, this episode also…

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Dick Barrett hired as conference minister

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team has hired Dick Barrett of West Liberty to serve as conference minister of the Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA. Dick comes to the conference minister position after serving Oak Grove Mennonite Church in West Liberty, Ohio, for 16 years, the first four as associate pastor and the last 12 as lead pastor. After being…

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Online prayer session set for May 31

Unite For The Search: Online Meetings for Prayer. Please join us as we unite in prayer for the search for a new conference minister for the Ohio Conference. Using the GoToMeeting Web conferencing program, we’ll connect on Thursday, May 31, from 11 a.m. to noon. Please use the information below for logging in to the online meeting: Prayer Time –…

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Search committee reports progress, asks for prayer

The Search Committee tasked with hiring a Conference Minister has been hard at work over the past six weeks. We have advertised in the Mennonite press, and reached out to constituency groups, seminaries and conference leaders to collect names and contact potential candidates. One of the challenges for our recruitment process is that many have not heard about the exciting…

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Getting the word out — Ohio Conference is a great place to be

As the search for a new conference minister for Ohio Conference re-opens, Paula Snyder Belousek talks with Ohio Conference Cast hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn about the search process and about the positive energy she has been observing in the Conference. Snyder Belousek, the chair of the Conference Minister Search Committee, says, “God is doing exciting things in Ohio…

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Conference minister search re-opens

In February the Leadership Team made the decision to hire a full-time conference minister, rather than seek someone to fill this important role part-time. This is possible because Ralph Reinford, regional pastor, will be moving to part-time hours by Nov. 1, 2018. The previous search committee has been recalled and reorganized, and the members of that committee have again begun…

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Leadership Team reports on search process

After many hours spent discussing the conference minister position and a very comprehensive search process, the Search Committee and the Leadership Team are in agreement that hiring someone at a half-time capacity is not a healthy thing for any candidate or the Conference at this time. We apologize to the Conference staff and to those of you who have counseled…

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The search is on

In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn discuss the search for a new half-time conference minister with Jeff Hochstetler, a member of the search committee. Jeff describes the type of person the search committee is seeking and talks about some of the expectations for this position. Since this episode of Ohio Conference Cast…

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Delegate News – Fall 2017

Fall meetings planned for delegates This fall Ohio Conference will hold four regional cluster meetings for delegates to Annual Conference Assembly (ACA). Each meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and last about an hour and a half. Meeting dates and locations are as follows: Oct. 17 – Lockport Mennonite Church in Stryker Oct. 24 – Oak Grove Mennonite Church in…

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Delegate input sought on staffing

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team would like to hear from Conference delegates. In the Summer 2017 issue of Delegate News, the Leadership Team presented an update on the search for Conference leadership staff. Tentative job descriptions were included for both a Missional Leader and a Conference Administrator. (See Delegate News for details.) The Leadership Team is asking for delegate input about…

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Delegate News – Summer 2017

Conference Leader Announcement At the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly, the Leadership Team was tasked with finding a Conference leader who is passionate about mission and who would encourage and lead us in our desire to become more missional as well as pick up the pieces that have over-burdened our staff for the past two years. As the Leadership Team began…

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Leadership Team continues work on staffing

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team, with the help of Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker, has been diligently working at finding leadership for the Conference to address several needs. We are looking for leadership to guide the missional movement that has become the desired focus of the Ohio Conference. In addition, the Leadership Team is seeking to ensure that executive functions are…

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What does it mean for Ohio Conference to be Gathered and Sent?

In this episode of Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour talk with Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker about Gathered and Sent, a new focus which brings together the work of two previous initiatives, the Year of Mission and the Year of Covenant. Cliff describes what planners are envisioning for both the “Gathered” and “Sent” parts of this process. Hint:…

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OC Leadership Team would like to hear from you

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team has begun a process designed to call a person to serve the Conference as a half-time Missional Leader. The first steps are to gather feedback to help shape this new position and to solicit names of potential candidates for this position. The Leadership Team has sent a brief online survey to Ohio Conference pastors and…

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OC leadership pays tribute to Naomi Engle

By Bob Sauder On behalf of the Ohio Conference Leadership Team Naomi Engle, Credentialing Ministry Chairperson and a member of the Leadership Team of the Ohio Conference, went to her heavenly home on Jan. 1.  At the beginning of their meeting on Jan. 21, the Ohio Conference Leadership Team spent some time remembering who she was, what she brought to…

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Gathered and Sent initiative begins

Ohio Conference will merge the focus of the two initiatives of the past year (Year of Covenant and Year of Mission) into one. The combined initiative will be called “Gathered and Sent.” A longer version could be, “Gathered in Covenant, Sent in Mission.” The “Sent” part of “Gathered and Sent” will provide us with resources, tools, training and support to…

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Direction statement affirmed

Delegates at the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly affirmed the following direction statement proposed by the Ohio Conference Leadership Team: Setting Direction for the Next Chapter of the Ohio Conference As we prayerfully consider God’s leading into the future, we commit ourselves to the following: We will continue our affiliation with Mennonite Church USA. Three changes would trigger a review of…

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Cliff Brubaker takes on new assignment

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team has agreed to employ Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker for a special half-time assignment beginning in April. Since September 2016 Brubaker has been serving half time as regional pastor and half time with the Year of Covenant process and focusing on trust-building between congregations and the Conference. That second half-time position concluded at the end of…

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Delegates affirm direction statement

Delegates overwhelmingly affirmed a direction statement presented by the Ohio Conference Leadership Team at the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) of the Ohio Conference. Those gathered at Central Christian School in Kidron on March 24-25 numbered 217, including delegates from 46 congregations. Ninety-three percent of delegates affirmed the Leadership Team’s direction statement for Ohio Conference. Vote totals were as follows:…

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Where are we going next?

In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour discuss the Leadership Team’s proposed direction for Ohio Conference, which includes a strong focus on mission. Delegates will be learning about this statement at regional meetings. Joining Thomas and Bill for this discussion are members of the Ohio Conference Leadership Team and Stewardship Ministry. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-02-15-13.34-Stewardship-Ministry-Team-meeting_01.mp3Podcast: Play…

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