Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale will be an in-person event this year

Wooster, Ohio — For 56 years, the Mennonite, Brethren, Apostolic and Amish churches of northeastern Ohio have worked together to create a festive event that raises funds for the work of Mennonite Central Committee. After a COVID-limited virtual auction in 2020, the Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale will return in person Aug. 6 and 7. The event will take place in…

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Climate Ride seeks to raise awareness

The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (CSCS) is leading a cross-country bike ride to raise awareness regarding climate change and related issues, as well as to learn and to connect with people along the way. CSCS is a collaborative initiative of Goshen College, Eastern Mennonite University, and Mennonite Central Committee. The Climate Ride started in Seattle May 31 and will…

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Pastor-Spouse Retreat planned for fall

Ohio Conference will hold a Pastor-Spouse Retreat Nov. 12-14 at the Mills Park Hotel in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The theme of this event will be “Live and Laugh.” Pastors and their spouses are invited to find the joy in the everyday through laughter and stories. The weekend will include a show by comedian Shawn Reynolds, as well as free time and…

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Glen Guyton to lead youth worker retreat

Ohio Conference will hold a youth worker retreat Oct. 15-17, 2021, at Camp Luz in Kidron. Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, will lead the retreat, focusing on the theme Equipped for the Journey: The who, what and how for youth leaders. Participants will be challenged to settle into who God is calling them to be as leaders,…

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New Pastor Orientation set for Aug. 15-16

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Ohio Conference will hold a New Pastor Orientation Aug. 15-16 at the Sleep Inn & Suites in Mt. Hope. This free event is designed for all pastors new to the Ohio Conference. Spouses are also invited. In addition to being introduced to Conference resources, participants will have the opportunity to get to know other pastors new to the Ohio Conference.…

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Missional festival canceled

Engaging Mission 2022: A missional festival for all ages, which was scheduled for June 24-26, 2022, has been cancelled. Ohio Conference will continue to assess its objectives and goals regarding this festival and other missional events. We encourage you to make plans now to join us for our next missional conference, which will be held in March of 2022. More…

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Voices Together accompaniment edition recalled

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Due to a manufacturing defect with the binding, MennoMedia is recalling the accompaniment edition of Voices Together. If you would like a replacement copy, please fill out the online form at http://bit.ly/VTRecall by May 1, 2021. After the May 1 deadline, replacement copies will no longer be provided. If you are unsure if your copy is a recalled version or…

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Register now for Pastor-Spouse Retreat

Ohio Conference will hold a Pastor-Spouse Retreat Nov. 12-14 at the Mills Park Hotel in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The registration cost is $240 per couple. The theme of this event will be “Live and Laugh.” Pastors and their spouses are invited to find the joy in the everyday through laughter and stories. Due to the size of this venue, a…

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Mennonite Disaster Service Early Response Teams head to Texas

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Lititz, PA — Early Response Teams from Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) are heading to Texas with a focus on repairing broken pipes and waterlines so residents hard-hit by the recent deadly ice storm can make their first step toward recovery. The storm sent some 29 million people into a state of crisis and, though power is back on for many,…

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Webinar features Ohio pastors

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“Speak the Truth in Love,” a webinar provided by Mennonite Mission Network, featured two Ohio Conference pastors. Vikki Pruitte-Sorrells, pastor of Lee Heights Community Church in Cleveland, and Kevin Himes, pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron, were featured panelists. Ann Jacobs of Mennonite Mission Network hosted the webinar, which celebrated relationships and considered how to mend divides that are…

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MC USA to hold virtual Delegate Assembly in July

The Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA has voted to hold the denomination’s biennial Delegate Assembly online due to uncertainty around COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Originally scheduled to meet in person on July 6-10, 2021, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Delegate Assembly will meet virtually on Saturday, July 10, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. While the 2021 MC USA Delegate Assembly will…

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Scholarship fund supports seminary students

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ELKHART, Indiana — For the past 30 years an endowed scholarship at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) has helped dozens of students pursue pastoral leadership education,  and now AMBS has begun a campaign to celebrate the aid given and raise funds for continued student support. Since its inception in 1990, the Paul M. and Bertha M. Miller Pastoral Leadership Scholarship…

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Giving to Conference drops during November

Giving to Ohio Con­ference dropped in November, accord­ing to figures provid­ed by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for Novem­ber totaled just $17,320, including $11,956 in giving from congregations. In contrast, receipts for October totaled $32,631, including $30,700 in giving from con­gregations. Expenses for November totaled $31,680. As a result, the Confer­ence had a deficit of $14,360 for the month. As…

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Missional conference to focus on the rural church

Pastor and author Brad Roth will be the featured speaker for Ohio Conference’s 2021 missional conference on March 4 and 5. The theme of this online event will be “Come and See! The Mission of the Church in God’s Country.” Please see the event brochure for more information. To regis­ter online, go to https://bit.ly/2021MissionalConference.

Ohio MCC Comforter Bash is postponed

The Ohio MCC Comforter Bash originally scheduled for April 2021 has been postponed for one year. In the meantime, MCC encourages you to continue making comforters for MCC in your homes or churches. These handmade comforters bring hope and comfort to the people who receive them. They provide not only warmth, but also a tangible message that their needs are…

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Hurricane recovery donations sought

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) asks for support for Central American hurricane recovery: Not one hurricane, but two hurricanes within two weeks have caused extensive flooding in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Hurricanes Eta and Iota have destroyed crops and forced people from their homes. MCC is working with churches and community organizations to provide emergency food, hygiene supplies and cleanup support.…

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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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Announcement of Pastoral Sexual Misconduct Investigation

From Conference Minister Dick Barrett On June 19, 2020, Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA received a complaint of alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Jeffery L. Kauffman which occurred during the time that he was serving as one of the pastors of Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio. Jeff served at Zion Mennonite Church from 2011 to 2016.…

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Fall regional meetings to be held online

Ohio Conference will hold fall regional meetings for delegates online this year rather than meeting in person. These meetings will have a missional focus and will include input from the Ohio Conference Missional Resource Team. All delegates to Annual Conference Assembly are encouraged to participate. Four fall regional meetings are scheduled: Tuesday, Oct. 20 — Northeast Ohio Thursday, Oct. 22…

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Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale will include online auction, in-person preview events

As was previously announced, the 2020 Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale will be an online auction rather than an in-person auction. The online auction will take place Sept. 26-Oct. 3 on the sale website: https://www.ohiomccreliefsale.org. Although the quilt and wood auctions will take place online, the Relief Sale Board is making plans for live auction-related events from Sept. 25 to Sept.…

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MCC plans centennial livestream celebration July 26

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) will celebrate its centennial year with a virtual event on Sunday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. MCC will be broadcasting live from Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Indiana, the site of an important first meeting in the formation of MCC when representatives of various Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren groups met in July 1920. This…

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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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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…

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Applications pour in for COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund

By Susan Kim GOSHEN, Indiana — Anabaptist churches in the U.S. have submitted more than 200 applications to the new COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund since its launch on April 13, 2020. The great majority of the applications have come from churches serving racially or ethnically diverse communities – congregations whose needs center around lost jobs and income that have led…

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University Euclid congregation closes

University Euclid Christ New Testament Church, an Ohio Conference congregation in Cleveland, has closed, reports Regional Pastor Ralph Reinford. The congregation’s pastors, Brian Anderson and Sheila Spencer Anderson, resigned in September 2019. A small group from the congregation continued meeting through February of this year, when the congregation decided to close. The congregation intends to donate the church property to…

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MC USA provides resources for responding to COVID-19

Mennonite Church USA  (MC USA) has compiled a variety of resources for individuals and congregations responding to the spread of COVID-19. Links to these resources can be found at http://bit.ly/RespondingtoCOVID-19. In addition to news from MC USA and church-related agencies, this web page has links to worship and devotional resources, information about livestreaming platforms, articles about caring and connecting with…

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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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Conference shares recommendations regarding the coronavirus

In an effort to be cautious but not overanxious regarding the spread of the coronavirus, Ohio Conference offers the following recommendations for our congregations to follow at the present time: Limit the practices that could spread germs, such as the shaking of hands and hugs. Make hand sanitizer and/or wipes readily available, and encourage their use. Communion and other activities…

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Pastors participate in leadership program

Four pastors of Ohio Conference congregations recently participated in the Values-Based Leadership Program at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. The program includes two four-day sessions, one in October and one in February. “This is an excellent program that we encourage other pastors to participate in,” said  Paula Snyder Belousek, pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Elida. The…

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