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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Cliff Brubaker to take on new role

Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold has voted to call Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker to a .25 FTE role in its collaborative ministry team, and Cliff has accepted the congregation’s call. He will begin his work at Zion on Jan.1, 2018. Cliff currently has two half-time roles with the Ohio Conference. He will continue his half-time role as regional pastor for the west…

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Mennonite Arts Weekend to feature wide variety

Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship will hold the 14th Mennonite Arts Weekend Feb. 2-4, 2018, at Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. A variety of writers, actors, composers, musicians and visual artists will be featured during the weekend. Registration cost is $75 per person ($65 before Jan. 13) and $55 for students ($45 before Jan. 13). For more information, see www.mennoniteartsweekend. org.

Share your ideas for programs

Do you have an idea for a program that you would like Ohio Conference to provide? Share your idea with the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team. To submit your idea, use the “Suggest a Program” button on the Ohio Conference website. This form is intended to allow people from the Ohio Conference to suggest retreats, seminars, training sessions, or speakers…

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MyNeighbor helps charitable contributions add up

GOSHEN, Indiana – The new MyNeighbor credit card from Everence® Federal Credit Union helps people boost their generosity while making their usual purchases. For every purchase made with the MyNeighbor credit card, Everence will donate 1.5 percent of the transaction total to the charity of the cardholder’s choice. Since the MyNeighbor program began at the end of April 2017, more…

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Zion minister to volunteer as missional consultant

Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, minister at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, has agreed to serve the Ohio Conference as a part-time missional consultant for a one-year period, beginning in October 2017. She will be volunteering her time in this capacity three to four days per month. At the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly in March, delegates affirmed a direction statement which included this…

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A mission trip without the travel

For many congregations, a summer service trip for the youth group is a time-honored tradition. Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City is following that tradition, but with a difference. The service, spiritual growth and group bonding which often occur during a summer service trip are still present, but the travel part is not. This summer for the second year in…

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Ohio Mennonite Women Executive Board decides to dissolve the organization

July 29, 2017 Dear Ohio Mennonite Women, The Ohio Mennonite Women have been meeting for many years, to accomplish its primary mission and vision:  “To minister to the women of Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA, by resourcing women’s groups and individual women, as we nurture our life in Christ, study the Bible, utilize our gifts, hear each other, and…

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Hispanic Retreat focuses on peace

By Raul Tadeo On the weekend of June 16-18, Hispanic families came together at Camp Luz in Kidron, including 42 children, and 102 youth and adults. Families came from churches of western Ohio,  Salem Mennonite Church of Wooster and Iglesia Christiana of Columbus, Ohio. Local Hispanics appreciated getting acquainted with Hispanic Mennonites from other Ohio churches.  Meal times were the…

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Oak Grove celebrates the arts

By Joanne Murray Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville hosted “Celebrating the Arts,” a visual art exhibit with background instrumental music.  This event was held April 29-30 and featured the work of more than 20 church artists. People of all ages from Oak Grove participated by bringing their creations to the church Fellowship Center, where they were displayed. This first event…

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