Living the dream!

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister One of the responses that I seem to get more and more frequently from people whom I encounter, after asking them how they are doing is, “I am (just) living the dream!” Of course, for almost all of them that response is meant to be sarcastic and negative. What they really want me to know…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

Resources deal with considerations for in-person worship

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate As the COVID-19 pandemic enters a new phase and many local health restrictions are lifted, how should our congregations approach in-person worship? Anabaptist Worship Network has explored this topic in a recent webinar titled “Worship and Reopening Churches.” If you would like to watch a recording of this webinar, you can find it online…

Read More »

Climate Riders seek 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…

Read More »

Registration is open for OC retreats

 |  Category:

Online registration is open for three upcoming events sponsored by the Ohio Conference. 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 in the past several years. Register online at http://bit.ly/2021NewPastors. Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite…

Read More »

Concert to feature ‘Songs and Stories of Peace, Hope, and Justice’

 |  Category:

Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville will host a concert featuring Anthony Brown on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. The theme of this concert will be “Songs and Stories of Peace, Hope, and Justice.” An offering will be taken to help cover expenses. Please see the event flier for more details: Anthony Brown Concert at Oak Grove.    

Military service from a Mennonite perspective

Picture this scene: Three Mennonite pastors, two of whom are military veterans, sit down for a discussion of Mennonites and the military. This scenario may sound unlikely, but it’s actually a description of the latest episode of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast. In this podcast episode, hosts Corben Weaver Boshart and Ramon Lianez talk with Lucas Johnson, pastor of Valley…

Read More »

Showing God’s love to immigrants:  Will you join us?

The Immigration Resource Team of Ohio Conference is aware of many immigrants seeking asylum at our southern border. We ask: “How can we here in Ohio show them God’s welcoming love?”    We remember the amazing way a dozen or so Ohio Conference churches came together to assemble 175 immigration welcome kits in the fall of 2019.  Covid-19 precautions prevent this…

Read More »

Leadership Team affirms women in ministry

Several months ago, the Ohio Conference Leadership Development Resource Team surveyed pastors and leaders of Ohio Conference congregations about attitudes regarding women in ministry. The team has shared their findings with the Ohio Conference Leadership Team. Below is a response from the Leadership Team: The Leadership Team has gratefully received the work of the Leadership Development Resource Team’s Summary of…

Read More »

Love God, love others, make disciples

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. — Romans 13:8 Over the past year or so, Ohio Conference’s Leadership Team, with affirmation from both our pastors and delegates at regional gatherings, has developed a new mission statement to guide us as…

Read More »

MDS shower trailer ‘restoring dignity and hope’ for homeless individuals in Colorado

From the generous hands of the Maple Grove Mennonite Church in Hartville, Ohio, a shower trailer traveled to Denver, Colorado, where it will help homeless people restore a sense of dignity in their lives. Volunteers from the church built and used the shower trailer in 2012 when they helped Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) rebuild a church in Alabama. When they…

Read More »

Hymnal-related resources are online

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate This month I would like to highlight a resource from MennoMedia. The publisher has created a special website with information about the new hymnal Voices Together. Found at http://voicestogetherhymnal.org, the website offers a guide for introducing Voices Together to your congregation.  In addition, this website has a wide variety of resources related to…

Read More »

Retreat to focus on equipping youth workers

Coming Oct. 15-17, 2021: Ohio Conference is excited to announce its next youth worker retreat — Equipped for the Journey: The who, what and how for youth leaders. This event will be held at Camp Luz in Kidron. Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, will be leading the retreat. Participants will be challenged to settle into who God is…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

Giving is more than an expression of gratitude

By Beryl Jantzi Director of Stewardship Education, Everence   No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed. —Deuteronomy 16:16 He has filled the hungry with good things; And sent away the rich empty-handed. — Luke 1:53 One of the biblical images used to teach generosity is that of hands. Empty hands. And the message is don’t come before God empty-handed. Giving is…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

Where are you going next on your journey?

Are you paying attention to what the Spirit is saying to you and calling you to do for the next stage of your life? The special guest for this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast, Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, would encourage everyone to consider that question. Jewel Gingerich Longenecker is dean of lifelong learning at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS)…

Read More »

Conference explores mission in the rural church

Speaker Brad Roth helped participants focus on God’s mission in the rural church during the evenings of March 4 and 5 during Ohio Conference’s missional conference. One hundred nineteen people participated in this event, which was held on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. A pastor of a rural church in Kansas, Roth is also the author of the book God’s Country:…

Read More »

Conference holds first virtual Assembly

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Conference held its 2021 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) virtually rather than in person. On March 6 delegates from all around the Conference met on Zoom for business sessions and worship. One hundred thirty-three people registered for ACA, including 122 delegates from 32 congregations. Day includes worship In addition to business sessions, the online annual…

Read More »

Volunteers accept Conference positions

 |  Category:

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…

Read More »

Return to our roots

 |  Category:

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister I write this just a few days after we concluded our 2021 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA). Because of the continued COVID pandemic, ACA had to be held virtually, but due to the efforts of many gifted people in Conference and our many congregations, the feedback that we have received so far has been very positive.…

Read More »

The Ohio Conference Cast returns with new hosts

After a hiatus of several months, the Ohio Conference Cast podcast is back with two new hosts, Corben Weaver Boshart and Ramon Lianez.  These two friends from Northwest Ohio are both pastors of Ohio Conference congregations, but they aren’t carbon copies of each other. Listen to their first episode to learn more about Corben and Ramon. You’ll even find out…

Read More »

Invite MMN to your worship service

Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) is offering resources for congregational worship services. MMN staff members are available to join congregations in worship to preach, teach, and share stories of God at work around the world. MMN staff members can join congregations through video chat or with a prerecorded message. To request a virtual visit from an MMN staffer, go to http://bit.ly/MMNinChurches.

Recordings of ACA are online

Recordings of Annual Conference Assembly are available on the Ohio Conference website. Recordings include all three business sessions and the worship service. To view any of these recordings, go to https://bit.ly/AboutACA.

Video series promotes discussion

A group of Ohio Conference congregations from Wayne County has joined together to create a video series focused on intercultural ministry and racial reconciliation. Series on Solidarity is a six-part series of videos and accompanying questions for small group discussions.

The goal of this series is to facilitate understanding and to promote the equality of all people. The Ohio Conference supported this project with a ministry grant in 2020. For links to these videos and the discussion guide, see http://bit.ly/SeriesonSolidarity.

Missional conference to focus on the rural church

Ohio Conference will hold an online missional conference during the evenings of March 4-5, just prior to Annual Conference Assembly. The theme of this conference will be “Come and See! The Mission of the Church in God’s Country.” Brad Roth, pastor and author of the book God’s Country: Faith, Hope, and the Future of the Rural Church, will be the featured…

Read More »

CommonWord offers Lenten resources

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate This year Lent begins on Feb. 17, which means now is a great time to look for worship and devotional resources related to Lent. If you are looking for new Lenten resources, check out the website for CommonWord, a collaboration of Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite University. In preparation for Lent, CommonWord…

Read More »

Behold the Lamb of God

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister I write this in preparation for our 2021 Annual Conference Assembly, scheduled to be held virtually this year on Saturday, March 6. On March 7, 2020, we were able to meet in person at Sharon Mennonite Church. Little did we know that in less than a week our world would be turned upside down as…

Read More »

Giving to Conference increases during December

Giving to Ohio Conference increased greatly during December, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for December totaled $65,389. Of that amount $29,710 came from congregational giving. During December giving from individuals was very strong. In response to a year-end appeal letter from Conference Moderator Lynn Miller, individuals gave a total of $31,535. That amount far surpassed…

Read More »

Glimpses into an unseen world

By Dan King About a year ago, pre-pandemic, one of my Guatemalan students invited me to her quinceañera. (For those who may not know, a Hispanic girl’s 15th birthday is an occasion for a no-expenses-spared party to signify her “coming of age.”) It was to be held at her evangelical church. I arrived a few minutes late, assuming the celebration…

Read More »