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

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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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Everence’s MyNeighbor program benefits Ohio Conference, other nonprofits

During January the Ohio Conference received a check for $1,077.66 from Everence Financial as part of Everence’s MyNeighbor credit card program. With the MyNeighbor program, individuals and businesses generate reward dollars for their favorite nonprofit 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 agency. Then…

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Oak Grove to host concert by Anthony Brown

Update: Please note that this concert has been canceled. Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville is hosting a concert by Anthony Brown, baritone, featuring the theme “Songs and Stories of Peace, Hope and Justice.” The concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 21. Using songs and stories from his international travels, Anthony Brown illustrates how music is…

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Emmanuel Mennonite holds closing service

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Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Monclova, Ohio, has closed. A main outreach of the congregation was to the men and women of Bittersweet Farms who live with autism. The Emmanuel congregation held its final worship service on Sunday, Dec. 29. Pastor Reid Short, the long-time pastor at Emmanuel, delivered the final message at the closing worship service. He served at Emmanuel…

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Churches support radio ministry in Argentina

For several years Sonnenberg Mennonite Church in Kidron and Pike Mennonite Church in Elida have been supporting a radio ministry which reaches out to the Indigenous population in the Chaco region of Argentina. To learn more about this ministry, which is also supported by Mennonite Mission Network, see http://bit.ly/ChacoRadioMinistry.

Engaging Mission 2020 is for all ages

Please note: Due to the uncertainty about when restrictions will be lifted for public gatherings, the Ohio Conference Leadership Team has decided to cancel this event.    Save the date: Ohio Conference will hold a missional festival, Engaging Mission 2020, at Bluffton University June 26-28, 2020. Featured presenters will be Seth and Theresa Crissman of Virginia Mennonite Missions. (See http://bit.ly/VMMCrissmans…

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Local congregations pack 175 immigrant detainee care kits

By Jennifer Steiner MCC Great Lakes  On Oct. 2, area congregations gathered at Orrville Mennonite Church to learn about the current situation for border detainees and to work together on a tangible response. In a little over an hour, volunteers had packed 175 immigration detainee care kits to provide much-needed supplies for those being released from border detention. Volunteers assembled…

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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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Congregations to share stories at regional gatherings

Ohio Conference is holding four fall regional gatherings beginning the week of Oct. 21. These gatherings are not just for delegates from Ohio Conference but for all who would like to learn about the exciting things that are taking place in Conference and our congregations. There will be a time of fellowship and sharing. We are asking congregations to answer…

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Hesston’s Weekend College to offer Bib Lit course to congregations

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Hesston, Kansas — As Hesston College prepares its new church leadership program — the Center for Anabaptist Leadership and Learning (CALL) — it is also offering its famous Biblical Literature course to congregations and other groups across the country in an arrangement called Weekend College. Instead of requiring people to travel to Hesston, Weekend College will bring Hesston College professors…

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Tony Doehrmann to serve as regional pastor

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team and the Ministry Development Team are pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Doehrmann as the new regional pastor covering the western half of Ohio Conference. He will begin his work with the Conference on Oct. 1. Tony served as pastor of Jubilee Mennonite Church in Bellefontaine from 2008 until the end of 2017. During…

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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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Vickie Yoder accepts new assignment

As of Sept. 1, Vicki Yoder will become chair of the Credentialing Ministry when Verle Brubaker steps down. Verle has accepted a new ministry opportunity in Pennsylvania and will be leaving the Conference shortly. Vickie is part-time interim associate pastor at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City, and she recently retired from her work as a chaplain. She has served…

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Immigration event to include care kit assembly

You’re invited to share God’s love and give your support to immigrant detainees on our southern bor­der. Open Arms Hispanic Ministries invites you to come Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. for an immigration information update and MCC Immigration Detainee Care Kit assembly at Orrville Mennonite Church, 1305 W. Market St., Orrville. A representative from Mennonite Central Committee will provide…

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Developing leaders is a ‘Journey’

Ohio Conference is partnering with Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana, to provide a part-time long-distance leadership development program. Journey: A Missional Leadership Development Program is a three-year certificate program designed for people exploring a call to ministry. The program is also for pastors and other congregational leaders who have already been called to serve but who lack…

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Credentialed ministers to meet Sept. 12

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Credentialed ministers in Ohio Conference will gather Thursday, Sept. 12, to continue their discussion and connect with one another. This meeting will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the library in Upper Sandusky. Everyone attending should plan to bring their own coffee (if needed) and lunch. Light refreshments will be provided. All credentialed leaders are asked to…

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Regional pastor sought for western Ohio

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Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA is seeking a part-time (50 percent) Regional Pastor for the western region of the state beginning in September. The individual will primarily serve as pastor to the pastors and as a liaison between the Conference and congregations. Previous pastoral experience required. Women and men from all cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply. For a full job description consult: http://bit.ly/OCRegionalPastorWest.…

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Cliff Brubaker to end his term as regional pastor on Sept. 13

It was with considerable sadness but also with a clear sense of direction that Cliff Brubaker recently submitted his notice of resignation from serving as a regional pastor of Ohio Conference, effective Sept. 13, 2019. In his notice Cliff shared, “I count it an honor to have served the Ohio Conference for these 3+ years. This stretch of time in…

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