MC USA, Together in Worship offer free resources

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate This month I would like to highlight free worship resources, both for corporate worship and for worship at home. Together in Worship Are you looking for Anabaptist worship resources? Together in Worship (togetherinworship.net) is a new website containing a wide variety of free worship resources. A partnership with CommonWord, Together in Worship is a…

Read More »

Unity in a divisive world

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister By the time you read this column in the Evangel, the United States will have voted to elect or re-elect its next president. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this we will know who won. It seems like each election cycle creates more and more division in our country. The United States is divided…

Read More »

Pastors and congregations — Ohio Conference needs your help!

 |  Category:

For a variety of reasons, the number of men and women who are graduating from seminaries and pursuing pastoral ministry positions has been decreasing. This trend has resulted in fewer candidates for pastoral openings throughout the Ohio Conference. The Leadership Development Resource Team is currently exploring both new and traditional ways of identifying those whom God may be calling into…

Read More »

Regional gatherings focus on mission statement, congregational sharing

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister On Oct. 20, 22, 27 and 29 Ohio Conference held four regional fall gatherings for delegates to Annual Conference Assembly. Delegates learned about a proposed new mission statement for the Conference, heard more about the upcoming Annual Conference Assembly, and shared with one another about their congregations’ experiences dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to…

Read More »

Video training available for abuse prevention

The Dove’s Nest, an organization committed to empowering faith communities to keep children and youth safe from abuse in their churches, homes and communities, has a new video resource available. This new safety and abuse prevention training video for adult volunteers is now available to churches for a one-time fee of $75. In 38 minutes, the video covers these topics:…

Read More »

Announcement of Pastoral Sexual Misconduct Investigation

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.…

Read More »

MC USA webinar offers ideas for children’s faith formation

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate How is your congregation handling faith formation for children during the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you seeking ideas for working with children? Mennonite Church USA is  hosting a webinar titled “It can be done! Children’s Sunday school during COVID-19.” This webinar will take place Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 2:30 p.m. EDT. If you haven’t…

Read More »

The truth will set us free

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”— John 8:31-32 (ESV) Jesus said to his early disciples, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and…

Read More »

Pandemic curtails face-to-face meetings, but Conference work continues nonetheless

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister While these have been difficult times to be able to gather in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, through the use of technology we have been able to gather virtually to continue Ohio Conference work. Regional Pastors Tony Doehrmann and Ralph Reinford have continued to meet with pastors, pastor peer groups, and search committees via…

Read More »

Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale goes online

In mid-March, it all came to a stop. As with many other events, the global pandemic hindered the planning for the 55th annual Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale. Many relief sales around the nation and Canada were cancelled, leaving Mennonite Central Committee short on funding. With this in mind, the Ohio sale planning committee has committed to an online auction only,…

Read More »

Ministry Development Team awards four grants

The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) has awarded four grants totaling $7,000. The MDT approved these grants at its Aug. 27 meeting. Grants will provide funds toward the following projects: Student Study Center — Beginning in the fall of 2021, First Mennonite Church of Canton and Lighthouse Ministries plan to be an extension site of Bethel University (Indiana). Bethel…

Read More »

MC USA leadership encourages discussion

Save the date: Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is planning a second webinar on the theme “Race, Church and Change.” This webinar is scheduled for July 23 at 6:30 p.m. EDT on both Zoom and Facebook Live. To register for this webinar, please go to https://bit.ly/RaceChurchandChange2. The first “Race, Church and Change” webinar took place on Thursday, June 25, and…

Read More »

Called to make disciples, even in a pandemic

COVID-19 has changed our daily lives in many ways, but even so, God is still at work in the world. And despite the challenges of living through a pandemic, the Ohio Conference Missional Resource Team is encouraging people to keep participating in God’s mission. “We still want to be a missional people,” said Missional Resource Team member Jacob Dodson, the…

Read More »

Fighting the wrong battles with the wrong weapons

 |  Category:

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. — 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) Over the past several months we have witnessed several African American people die…

Read More »

Involving young adults in ministry

How is your congregation ministering to youth and young adults? How are you involving these young people in ministry? Ohio Conference’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Team has been encouraging Ohio Conference congregations to share their stories of how they are relating to youth and young adults. In this issue of Ohio Mennonite Evangel, we check in with Matthew Reed,…

Read More »

Engaging immigration: Some action steps

A few thoughts from the Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team: Are you aware that a significant number of immigrants living in Ohio (and the rest of this country) face a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because of their work in meat processing plants and other factories? Don’t forget to pray for them. There’s plenty of time left this summer for…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

Giving to Conference increases during June

Ohio Conference’s financial picture improved during June, with much stronger giving from congregations than in May, ac­cording to figures provided by Finan­cial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Congregational giving in June totaled $43,884, compared with just $11,964 during May. During June total income from all sources was $44,772, and expenses for the month totaled $28,855, resulting a surplus of $15,917 for the…

Read More »

Women in Leadership Retreat planned for February

Update: This retreat has been postponed until the fall of 2021.  Save the date: Ohio Confer­ence will hold a Women in Leadership Retreat Feb. 5-6, 2021, at the St. Francis Spir­ituality Center in Tiffin. The input speaker for this retreat will be Rebecca Slough, aca­demic dean emerita and pro­fessor emerita of worship and the arts at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.…

Read More »

MDT to award Ministry Grants

Ministry Grants are back! Aug. 10 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. The MDT has $7,000 available for grants in 2020. This year the MDT is seeking to provide grants for projects that address…

Read More »

New members join Immigration Resource Team

The Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team has added two new members from western Ohio, Megan Bettelon and Krisha Pagniano. Below they share some information about themselves and their interest in immigration: Megan Bettelon: I’ve been a lifelong attendee of Huber Mennonite Church in New Carlisle. I am a social worker and currently work in a school setting. Growing up in…

Read More »

Jesus is the Center

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister More than 10 years ago now Palmer Becker wrote a small book titled What is an Anabaptist Christian? The booklet was his attempt to highlight the distinctiveness of an “Anabaptist Christian,” and he did so by highlighting three core values: 1) Jesus is the center of our faith; 2) Community is the center of our…

Read More »

An important part of Christ’s Body

By Ramon Lianez Central Mennonite Church I believe that young adults are an important part of Christ’s Body, but we are not ministering to them accordingly. The ball is being dropped on both sides; however, through appropriate means and in God’s timing, we all can turn our present situation around. I do not attest that I am an expert in…

Read More »

Podcast hosts to conclude their work

After more than three years and dozens of podcast episodes, Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour have decided to resign as hosts of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast. The Ohio Conference Cast began in the fall of 2016 with the goal of creating another avenue for people to learn about happenings within the Ohio Conference. Since that time, Bill and Thomas…

Read More »

Hispanic families suffering more in the era of COVID-19

By Haroldo Nunes Executive Director Open Arms Hispanic Ministry Hello my sisters and brothers, I would like to start this article with a quote from Jim Wallis of Sojourners: “We believe that the ultimate test of our discipleship to Jesus Christ is how we treat the most vulnerable in society, or as Jesus refers to them in Matthew 25, ‘the…

Read More »

Peaceful at Heart explores healthy masculinity

What does Anabaptism have to teach us about healthy masculinity? Don Neufeld and Steve Thomas, coordinators of Mennonite Men Canada and Mennonite Men USA, respectively, have edited a collection of essays, Peaceful at Heart: Anabaptist Reflections on Healthy Masculinity, with support from the Institute of Mennonite Studies to answer this question. This project of Mennonite Men is a collaborative effort…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

Engaging Mission 2020 has been canceled

Please note: Because there is uncertainty about when restrictions will be lifted for public gatherings, the Ohio Conference Leadership Team has decided to cancel Engaging Mission 2020. This intergenerational missional festival was scheduled to take place June 24-26 at Bluffton University. Plans are already underway for a missional conference next March. The 2021 missional conference is scheduled for March 4-5 at…

Read More »