Remembering Bob Sauder

It is with deep sadness that Ohio Conference of MC USA announces the sudden passing of its Conference moderator, Robert “Bob” Sauder, on Tuesday, April 9. Bob had served as Conference moderator for the past three years. Visitation and funeral arrangements are as follows: Visitation will be held Friday, April 12, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 5 to…

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Berlin to host Healthy Congregations Workshop

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Berlin Mennonite Church will host a Healthy Congregations Workshop April 5-6. Bill Blank, associate director of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, will lead the workshop. This workshop is designed for pastors, church staff, lay leaders and congregation members. Participants will learn how they can influence the health of their congregations, and how to detect and avoid unhealthy patterns of living…

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Salem congregation moves into new building

Two and a half years after breaking ground for a new church building, the Salem Mennonite Church congregation in Waldron, Michigan, has begun worshipping in its new facility. The first worship service in the new building took place on Sunday, Dec. 9. On that day, the congregation met in the lobby of the old church building and marched out together,…

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MC USA News Service features Ohio Conference

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A new feature article from the Mennonite Church USA News Service looks at the recent history of the Ohio Conference and explores the renewed sense of hopefulness in the Conference. You can find this article at http://bit.ly/OhioConferenceHopefulness.

Everence program benefits Ohio Conference

In January the Ohio Conference received a check for $747.24 from Everence Federal Credit Union as part of its MyNeighbor credit card program. With the MyNeighbor program, individuals and businesses generate reward dollars for their favorite nonprofits every time they use their MyNeighbor credit cards from Everence. Everence donates 1.5 percent of each purchase to the card user’s chosen nonprofit…

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Credentialed ministers’ meeting set for Feb. 12

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Credentialed ministers in Ohio Conference will gather again Tuesday, Feb. 12, to continue their discussion and connect with one another before Annual Conference Assembly in March. This meeting will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the library in Upper Sandusky. Everyone attending should plan to bring their coffee (if needed) and lunch. Light refreshments will be provided.…

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Giving increases during December

Giving to Ohio Conference increased greatly during December, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. In fact, the amount received in December was more than double the amount received in any other month of the current fiscal year. (See the chart below for details.) Receipts for December totaled $60,171. Of that amount, $41,174 came from congregational giving. During…

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Credentialed leaders meet in Upper Sandusky

What does it mean when we say, “Jesus is our Center”? Thirty-six credentialed leaders from across the Ohio Conference came together to discuss that question on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting. The pastors and other credentialed leaders met for a day of discussion and relationship-building at the Upper Sandusky Library in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Since 2015,…

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Pastors’ meeting set for Nov. 8

An All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting will take place Nov. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Upper Sandusky Library in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Everyone attending should bring a packed lunch. Coffee is not available on site, so those desiring coffee should bring their own coffee thermos. For the first all-pastors’ meeting of the year, pastors will focus on…

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Workshop to promote healthy conversations

In a world that seems increasingly polarized, how can we promote healthy conversations? Sonnenberg Mennonite Church in Kidron is hosting a Healthy Conversations Workshop Nov. 9-10. Jes Stoltzfus Buller, the peace education coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee, will be the facilitator for this free workshop, and all are invited to attend. Many people today bemoan the difficulty of conversing with…

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Event offers resources for new pastors

By Ralph Reinford Regional Pastor Fourteen members of Ohio Conference gathered for a New Pastor Orientation on Aug. 12 and 13, beginning Sunday evening and continuing all day on Monday. The gathering provided a time for new pastors to learn about resources and ask questions about the Ohio Conference. Sunday evening was a time for sharing finger foods and popcorn along with introductions…

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Conference deficit increases during August

Ohio Conference’s financial deficit increased during August, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Total receipts for the month were $19,524, including $18,515 in giving from congregations. Expenses for the month totaled $24,772, resulting in an operating balance of -$5,248 for the month. That shortfall added to the year-to-date deficit. At the end of August the operating balance…

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Ministry Development Team awards seven grants in 2018

The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) has awarded seven grants totaling $21,860. The MDT approved these grants at its Aug. 23 meeting. Funding for these grants comes from surplus funds that had accumulated during years in which the Conference ended its fiscal year with a surplus. Grants will provide funding toward the following projects: The Server — Crown Hill…

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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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Missional Network training begins

How can we live as missionaries in our own communities, sharing the Good News with those we meet and discipling people who are already in our lives? And how does that mindset differ from the “church as usual” model that many of our congregations currently use? Participants in the Ohio Conference Missional Network are beginning to consider the details of…

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Berean Fellowship Church hands the baton to another congregation

The members of Berean Fellowship Church have decided to close the congregation after more than 50 years of ministry in Youngstown. The congregation was founded in 1961. The congregation held a closing worship service on Sunday afternoon, July 1. During the worship service, Pastor Samuel Olarewaju talked about how the congregation decided to close and sell the building to another…

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Missional consultant to move out of state

July 2, 2018 Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg’s Resignation Announcement Dear Ohio Conference, On Sunday, July 1, I announced my resignation from Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, effective Oct. 1. My husband is purchasing a business and will be moving out of state soon. The children and I will be moving at Christmas break. (We are unable to say more at this time.)…

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Conference operating deficit continues

Ohio Conference’s expenses were greater than receipts during May, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Expenses for the month were $27,878, while receipts totaled just $21,455, resulting in an operating balance of -$6,423 for the month. For the first two months of the fiscal year, the Conference’s operating balance stands at -$18,111.  

Chestnut Ridge shares memories at closing service

Members of Chestnut Ridge Mennonite Church in Orrville gathered Sunday morning, June 3, to hold a final worship service in the Chestnut Ridge church building. Those attending shared many memories of the congregation’s life, and several people mentioned the support that the congregation gave to other ministries, including the way that Chestnut Ridge supported the founding of Dayspring Christian Fellowship.…

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Training begins for Missional Network

The Ohio Conference Missional Network is beginning this summer. Ohio Conference Missional Consultant Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg is conducting an initial training session for participating congregations. This training session will be offered on four dates in June and July. Participants are encouraged to choose the date which best fits their schedule: June 24 — 6-9 p.m., First Mennonite Church, Canton June 26 — 9:30…

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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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Apply for grants by Aug. 6

Is your congregation looking for ways to fund a ministry that impacts your community? Aug. 6 is the deadline to submit a grant proposal to the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT). The MDT is accepting proposals from Conference congregations and related organizations for projects and mission initiatives. This year the MDT has $24,282 available for grants. Please note that…

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Ralph Reinford begins three-month leave

As was announced at Annual Conference Assembly, Regional Pastor Ralph Reinford is taking a three-month leave from his duties with Ohio Conference. His leave will last from May 1 until the end of July. During May, June and July, contact Cliff Brubaker for any regional pastor work needed. Email Cliff at cliffbru7@gmail.com or call him at 517-398-2172. For any other…

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Conference ends 2017-18 in the black

For the second year in a row, the Ohio Conference has ended its fiscal year in the black, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. On March 31, 2018, the Conference finished the 2017-18 fiscal year with an operating surplus of $54,840. In comparison, the Conference finished the 2016-17 fiscal year with an operating surplus of $22,095. Before…

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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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‘Reading the Bible with Jesus’ coming to Ohio

Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron will host “Reading the Bible with Jesus,” an inspirational four-session Bible study on the book of Mark with Bryan Moyer Suderman Feb. 16-17. What can followers of Jesus today learn from Jesus’ approach to scripture? What if today’s Christians not only sought to imitate how Jesus lived and how he treated people, but also how…

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Conference minister search enters new phase

The search for a new conference minister for Ohio Conference has entered a new phase. According to the search committee chair, John Rohrer, the committee has begun the process of interviewing candidates for this half-time position. A conference minister job description was publicized in the fall, and applications for the position were accepted through Nov. 30. The search committee is…

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Cliff Brubaker to move to half-time status

Cliff Brubaker has asked to be relieved of his involvement with the Gathered and Sent initiative at the end of January. He has come to realize that attempting to focus his time and energy on three jobs is more than he desires to tackle at this time. He will continue his half-time role as regional pastor for the Ohio Conference…

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Conference ends December in the black

Giving to Ohio Conference in December was strong, bringing the Conference’s operating balance into the black for the first time in this fiscal year. Receipts for December totaled $58,206, including $43,591 in congregational giving. Giving from individuals also was strong in December. In response to a year-end appeal from Moderator Bob Sauder, individuals gave $11,475 during December. Expenses for the…

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