Delegates approve immigration resolution

Delegates overwhelmingly affirmed a resolution on immigration at the 2019 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) of the Ohio Conference. Those gathered at Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron March 8-9 numbered 204, including delegates from 38 congregations. Ninety-five percent of the delegates affirmed the immigration resolution, which calls for individuals to become better informed about the issues surrounding immigration, as well as…

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Conference focuses on building relationships

Just prior to Annual Conference Assembly, the Ohio Conference held the 2019 Missional Conference at Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron March 7-8. Eighty-eight people participated in this event. The theme of the conference was “From Jerusalem to Antioch: Legacy Churches Anchoring Missional Communities.” Featured speakers were Sally Schreiner Youngquist of Evanston, Illinois, one of the founders of Living Water Community…

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A new church for a new day

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By Dick Barrett Conference Minister “And who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?”— Esther 4:14(b) NIV Those words from Mordecai to Queen Esther in the Old Testament should resonate with all of us Christians in New Testament times. All of us have come to the royal position we find ourselves…

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Volunteers accept Conference positions

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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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MMN offers free Scripture graphics

Are you looking for Scripture-related art that you can use in your office, youth room or classroom? Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) offers a wide selection of Scripture graphics on its website which you can download for free: http://bit.ly/MMNScriptureGraphics. You can browse the entire collection or narrow your search by focusing on a specific book of the Bible. A sample graphic…

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A new chapter of ministry begins

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister On Dec. 31 I completed my time as one of the pastors of Oak Grove Mennonite Church in West Liberty (four years as associate pastor and 12 years as lead pastor). There was much sadness and grief on my part in the ending. On Jan. 2 I began full-time as conference minister for the Ohio…

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Journey transforms learners and leaders

By Ben Parker Sutter and Annette Brill Bergstresser ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Dennis Miller of Goshen, Indiana, was in his late 50s when he realized it was time for him to explore other vocational possibilities. “I’ve been in construction my entire working life,” he said. “Working in the church is something I always thought about but at the same…

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Missional conference to explore the role of established congregations

Ohio Conference will hold a missional conference March 7-8 at Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron, immediately prior to the 2019 Annual Conference Assembly. The theme of the missional conference will be “From Jerusalem to Antioch: Legacy Churches Anchoring Missional Communities,” based on Acts 11:19-30. Presenters will be Sally Schreiner Youngquist, one of the founding pastors of Living Water Community Church in Chicago,…

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Salem Mennonite in Kidron to host ACA

Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron will host the 2019 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) of the Ohio Conference March  8-9. The theme of this year’s gathering will be “From Jerusalem to Antioch: Legacy Churches Anchoring Missional Communities,” based on Acts 11: 19-30. Ohio Conference also will hold a missional conference at Salem Mennonite in Kidron immediately prior to ACA, on March…

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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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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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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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Thankful and hopeful

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By Dick Barrett Conference Minister I have now completed two months as Conference Minister, working one to two days a week until beginning full-time on Jan. 1. I have participated in the four cluster meetings across the Conference, the congregational leadership team retreat in Bellville, the Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council meeting in Chicago, a day-long pastors and credentialed…

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Bluffton students ‘reimagine’ the Church

By Tricia Bell Bluffton University BLUFFTON, Ohio – Using the theme “Reimagining the Church: Looking Back to Move Forward” as inspiration, Bluffton University students explored the relevance of the Church in the modern era during Spiritual Life Week. The week-long, student-led examination of faith is held each semester on Bluffton’s campus. For Jenny Dorsey, a Bible and theology major from…

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Advent worship guide is for families

Anabaptist Faith Formation Network and Mennonite Church USA are offering a free, downloadable guide for family worship during Advent written by Elsie Rempel and illustrated by Megan Kamei. This resource, titled God’s Goodness, is designed for parents to use at home with their children. For use between Dec. 2 and Jan. 6, the worship guide includes Bible readings, short litanies, songs, hands-on…

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MyNeighbor program can benefit Ohio Conference

Do you have a credit card through Everence? If so, your purchases can benefit the Ohio Conference. Everence donates 1.5 percent of the transaction total of each purchase made with a MyNeighbor credit card to the charitable organization of your choice.  Donations are distributed each January and are based on the card holder’s choice of “neighbor” as of Dec. 31.  In January…

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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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Pastor-Leadership Team Retreat examines attitudes and behaviors

Forty-one people representing eight Ohio Conference congregations participated in the Pastor-Leadership Retreat held at the Quality Inn & Suites in Bellville Oct. 26-27. Presenter Duane Beck led the event, focusing on the topic “Leadership Matters: Finding God in the Changes.” He encouraged retreat participants to consider attitudes and behaviors in their congregations. Photos by Greg Bowman, Ralph Reinford and Bob Sauder

Central Mennonite hosts worship workshop

Central Mennonite Church in Archbold hosted the “Enhancing and Equipping for Worship” workshop Oct. 5-6. Rachel Miller Jacobs, associate professor of congregational formation at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, was the featured speaker. About 30 people participated in this event, which included  break-out workshops on music, art in worship, and several other topics. The event was planned with…

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Dove’s Nest offers sample protection policy

Does your church need a protection policy? If so, check out Dove’s Nest’s updated three-page model policy available as a PDF: http://bit.ly/ProtectionPolicyModel. You can also find more resources on the Dove’s Nest website: https://dovesnest.net/policies. You can use this model policy as a guide to create or update your own that works for your church’s context, settings, and values. The 2018…

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Missional training focuses on growing leaders, communities

In August and September, Ohio Conference Missional Consultant Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg led several missional training events focusing on developing leadership and growing missional communities. In the quest for developing leaders, she emphasized the need to look for people who are teachable and available, and the need to focus on the gifts of the people who are being called, rather than pushing…

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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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Central Produce Table encourages sharing, raises funds for local food pantry

There are few things better than the taste of a home-grown tomato. But sometimes home gardeners can be overwhelmed with an overabundance of tomatoes, or zucchini, or beans. What to do then? At Central Mennonite Church in Archbold, the answer is simple. Church members have a standing invitation to share the bounty from their gardens each week at the Central…

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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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Videos have tips for leading adult Bible studies

Central Plains Mennonite Conference has produced a series of short videos with tips for leading adult Bible study groups. The series, titled “Open the Book,” features presenter Keith Slater, who has worked for SIL International and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He is a member of West Union Mennonite Church in Parnell, Iowa. The title of each video in the series refers…

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Stronger giving is needed to meet budget

A reminder from the Stewardship Ministry Team: At our Annual Conference Assembly in March delegates strongly affirmed the 2018-2019 budget. This budget allows us to hire a full-time conference minister. Currently, our congregational support is not adequate to support our budget for 2018-2019. Please consider increased support of our Conference needs, both as a congregation and as individuals. Your prayer…

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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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God is doing a new thing in Central America

By Dan King Instead of a luxury cruise to some tropical paradise this year, consider an “Anabaptist Church Tour” in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras this fall. Charles Geiser will be leading this tour Oct. 19-30, and it will highlight what Anabaptist churches in the region are doing. Experience firsthand and up close how God’s Spirit is working among Anabaptist believers…

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