Plug into Ohio Conference Cast podcasts

Ohio Conference Cast podcasts are a great way to learn more about Ohio Conference and the broader Mennonite Church. Have you listened to Ohio Conference Cast lately? During April and early May, hosts Bill Seymour, pastor of Orrville Mennonite Church, and Thomas Dunn, pastor of Crown Hill Mennonite Church in Rittman, have talked with Paula Snyder Belousek about the search…

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Hispanics of Ohio churches to celebrate the 15th year of Hispanic Encounters

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By Haroldo Nunes The 15th year of Hispanic Family Encounters will take place at Camp Luz, Kidron, Ohio, during the weekend of June 15-17.  This year we will have a celebration of 15 years (called “quinceañera” in Spanish).  Hispanics from various Ohio Mennonite churches will come together for the celebration. The topic for the weekend is “The security of the…

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What exactly is the Church, anyway?

By Hannah Troyer Summit Mennonite Church Hannah Troyer is a member of  Summit Mennonite Church. She shared this sermon at Summit Mennonite in September 2017. When I was growing up, I attended a church that met in the old auditorium at Stark State College in Canton. I remember as a little girl, running around playing tag with all the other…

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Oak Grove Mennonite Church — a profile in God’s faithfulness

By Paul J. Miller   By 1815, at least 16 Amish families were landowners in Wayne County, Ohio. The small community had its first resident minister, Christian Brandt, who was ordained in Switzerland. Bishop David Zook moved into the region from Mifflin County, Pa. With ministerial leadership present, the Amish families began to meet as a congregation by 1818. By…

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Grant program to benefit local ministries

Is your congregation looking for ways to fund a ministry that impacts your community? Consider applying for a grant from the Ohio Conference. The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) is accepting grant proposals from Ohio Conference congregations and related organizations for projects and mission initiatives. This year the MDT has $24,282 available for grants. In light of the current…

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Missional Network to begin in summer

By Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg Ohio Conference Missional Consultant All Ohio Conference congregations are invited to join the Ohio Conference Missional Network. Representatives from this network of congregations will begin meeting and working together during the summer of 2018. The purpose and expectation of those who sign up for Ohio Conference’s Missional Network cohort is to equip congregations in both intentional discipleship…

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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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CommonWord offers lectionary resources

Does your congregation follow the common lectionary in your worship services? Are you looking for worship resources related to lectionary scriptures? CommonWord, a worship resource website offered by Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite University, has an online lectionary worship calendar at https://www.commonword.ca/Content/revised-common-lectionary. The calendar has links to resources related to lectionary texts. Some resources may be downloaded for free,…

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Missional conference focuses on evangelism and discipleship

Just prior to Annual Conference Assembly, the Ohio Conference held the Gathered and Sent Missional Conference at Bluffton University March 8-9. One hundred eight people from across the Conference participated in this event. During four sessions, speakers Meghan Good and Marvin Lorenzana challenged common assumptions about evangelism and discipleship. Meghan Good, the teaching pastor at Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale,…

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Volunteers accept Conference positions

Members of Ohio Conference congregations who volunteer their time play a vital role in Conference life. Without the help of numerous volunteers, many of the programs and functions of the Ohio Conference could not take place. Much of the work of Ohio Conference is done by the Leadership Team, the Ministry Development Team, the Credentialing Ministry, the Stewardship Ministry and…

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Resolution in appreciation of regional pastors

We the delegates of Ohio Mennonite Conference wish to convey our deepest respect and appreciation to Ralph Reinford and Cliff Brubaker for faithfully and gracefully carrying heavy responsibilities for the good of the Conference.  We acknowledge that we have not always appreciated nor affirmed them nor recognized the burdens they have carried on our behalf.  We pledge our continued prayers…

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Full-time conference minister sought

By Bob Sauder Ohio Conference Moderator 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…

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Laughter is Sacred Space coming to Springfield

Laughter is Sacred Space, performed by Ted and Co., is coming to Springfield, Ohio, on Friday, May 4, at 7p.m. at the John Legend Theater, 700 S. Limestone St., Springfield. The event is a collaborative effort of Southside Mennonite Church, Huber Mennonite Church and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) along with several mental healthcare resources. The Ohio Conference also has provided…

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Stewardship Ministry seeks volunteers for study

The Ohio Conference Stewardship Ministry Team has spent some time recently brainstorming ways to save money for the Conference. One possible area of focus is the expenses of the Conference office located in Kidron. Consequently, the Stewardship Ministry would like to form a group to do a feasibility study. This group would review the current Conference office structure to see…

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Event focuses on ‘Reading the Bible with Jesus’

Updated March 26 Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron hosted a four-session Bible study on the book of Mark with Bryan Moyer Suderman, “Reading the Bible with Jesus,” Feb. 16-17. Fifty people participated. On Sunday, Feb. 18, Bryan Moyer Suderman visited Summit Mennonite Church in Barberton, taking part in the morning worship service and performing a community concert for all ages. An…

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Kidron Mennonite to host ‘Growing Young’ seminar

Kidron Mennonite Church is sponsoring a “Growing Young” seminar on Saturday, April 14, from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. This seminar will focus on making young people a priority in your church. Speaker Dr. David “Duffy” Robbins, professor of youth ministry at Eastern University, will share about Keychain Leadership, empathy, taking Jesus’ messages seriously, and creating a warm community that…

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Bluffton student develops social justice curriculum

By Cara Echols BLUFFTON, Ohio – Emily Short wears many hats. A bible and theology major with three minors (psychology, sociology, and peace and conflict studies) at Bluffton University, she recently used her knowledge in all of those areas along with a desire for social change to create an innovative summer camp curriculum. A senior from Archbold, Ohio, Short constructed…

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Conference to focus on evangelism, discipleship

Gathered and Sent, a missional conference, will precede the 2018 Annual Conference Assembly. It will take place March 8-9 at Bluffton University. Presenters will be Meghan Good, teaching pastor at Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, Arizona, and Marvin Lorenzana, discipleship initiatives director at Mennonite Mission Network. This conference will focus on growing as a good news community.  Join us as…

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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. An itinerant Bible teacher and singer-songwriter from Kitchener, Ontario, Bryan Moyer Suderman has spent more than 25 years finding creative ways to engage people of all ages in scripture. He is a…

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Setting healthy boundaries is important for all

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By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference editor If you asked me to make a list of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday, sitting in a daylong meeting would not top my list (or even be on the list, for that matter). And yet, I am extremely glad that I attended a healthy boundaries training sponsored by the Ohio Conference and…

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Promoting healthy boundaries in our churches

Pastors and church leaders are called to the sacred trust of serving and nurturing others, but it can be a challenge to fulfill this calling in a culture that celebrates the absence of limits and boundaries. Without boundaries, trust can be destroyed. To deal with this serious issue, Ohio Conference is providing healthy boundaries training for all credentialed persons in…

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Bluffton University to host ACA

Bluffton University will host the 2018 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) of the Ohio Conference March 9-10. The theme of this year’s gathering will be “Gathered and Sent,” based on 1 Peter 2:9-10 and Luke 10:1-12. Ohio Conference also will hold a missional conference at Bluffton University immediately prior to ACA, on March 8-9. See page 3 for more missional conference…

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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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Learning more about mental illness

By Alysa Short Members of Amish and Mennonite communities are helping researchers learn more about bipolar disorder. On Nov. 5, more than 100 people attended a presentation of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) held at Central Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio, to learn more about this research. The event, coordinated by Bev Miller from Central, featured Dr. Francis…

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Sending comforters with love

By Ellen Nussbaum It all began during this past summer with a vision: Ken Neuenschwander, leader of the Outreach and Service Ministry at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church (Kidron), and his daughter, Sara Obri, who attends Lee Heights Mennonite Church (Cleveland) and is on the MCC Great Lakes Board, began talking together about doing a joint comforter knotting bee with the two…

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Credentialing Ministry shares its mission

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Our mission as a team is to license and ordain pastors and chaplains who serve in Ohio Conference and provide them with encouragement, support, and accountability. The ordination process takes 2-5 years and includes meeting with a mentor, completing leadership and psychological testing, and participation in a pastor peer group. We want our pastors and chaplains to be healthy as…

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Litany of Lament, Celebration and Hope

Ohio Mennonite Women — A Patchwork Quilt Litany of Lament, Celebration and Hope Sept. 16, 2017 Leader: Lord God, Designer and Creator, Quilter and Weaver of all, We come to you in lament, celebration and hope. Women: We are your patchwork quilt, fabrics and pieces, all brought together, intricately interwoven, Leader: Quilted together by the love of God. Women: You…

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Quilting the memories of time

Ohio Mennonite Women celebrate together Photos by Willie Stoltzfus and Heidi Childs   By Willie Stoltzfus Quilts were the theme of the Time of Celebration during Women’s Retreat on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at Camp Luz — a time of celebration and closure for the Ohio Mennonite Women (OMW) as an organization. The Camp Luz chapel was decorated with various…

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