Grounding our healing in grace

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Let us begin to heal. Read Proverbs 3:1-7, noting especially verse 5a: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” We are in community with each other. Many of us are hurting. Can we come together and promote healing? Maybe you don’t see it. Maybe you don’t feel it. But when you listen…

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Webinar to explain health care plan

Did you know that Mennonite Church USA has a health plan? The Corinthian Plan provides health coverage for eligible pastors, church employees and their families. Learn more about the Corinthian Plan during an upcoming webinar on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. ET. Current participants of the plan are also welcome to ask questions. To register, go to https://bit.ly/Sept20CorinthianPlan.

Discerning God’s will together

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve…

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Pastors meet for discernment

Photos by Sherah-Leigh Gerber   By Dick Barrett Conference Minister On Aug. 23 Ohio Conference hosted a gathering of our active credentialed ministers at the Upper Sandusky Public Library. Forty-four ministers were able to attend the one-day retreat, which was facilitated by our consultant, Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi, as part of our one-year review process. With the primary focus on discerning…

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MDT awards three grants

The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) has awarded three grants totaling $15,225. The MDT approved these grants at its meeting on Aug. 18, 2022. Grants will provide funds toward the following projects: Community Garden — Grant funds will be given toward the creation of a community garden in Archbold. The goal of this project is to provide gardening space…

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MEDA event to highlight work in Haiti

Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) invites you to learn more about MEDA’s work of economic development in Haiti. On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Northeast Ohio Hub of MEDA will host a gathering from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Venture Heritage Farm, 13777 Arnold Road, Dalton, Ohio. The event will include authentic Haitian hors d’oeuvres and updates from the field with…

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Women’s leadership conference planned

Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite Women USA are planning a women’s leadership conference Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2022, in Elkhart, Indiana. The theme of this gathering will be “Leaders Inspiring Leaders.” Conference events will take place at the Mennonite Church USA offices and on the campus of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. African American women will lead the conference through prophetic witness…

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LMPC to offer ‘Restorative Conversations’

Coming in 2023: Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will be offering a new one-day workshop called “Restorative Conversations: Storytelling, Healing and Community Building.” This one-day workshop will introduce church leaders to the key concepts of circle processes and ways in which circles can be used within their congregations. Restorative conversations are useful when working through difficult or polarizing topics, processing shared painful experiences,…

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Dwelling in the Word

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister As we are early in this season of trying to discern God’s will for us together as a conference of Mennonite churches across Ohio and our neighboring states, it is very important to make sure that each of our hearts, minds and souls is prepared for the process. Even as individual Christians, discerning God’s will…

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Ministry Grants fund local projects

Ministry Grants are back! Aug. 1 is the deadline to submit a grant proposal to the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT). The MDT is accepting proposals from Ohio Conference congregations and related ministries for projects and mission initiatives. This year the MDT has $15,225 available for grants. Since 2012 the MDT has awarded grants each summer, providing funds for…

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A Year of Discernment

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister There is no doubt that the past two years have been both different and difficult on our churches. In one sense, as Mennonites/Anabaptists we don’t find ourselves to be any different from other Christian churches throughout America. Almost all congregations can say that their church has lost members and attenders, and the church doesn’t look…

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Peace Mennonite merges with North Olmsted church

On Sunday, April 10, Peace Mennonite Church in Elyria held its last service as Peace Mennonite. Over the past several months its members have gone through a discernment process that led the congregation to merge with North Olmsted Evangelical Friends Church. Peace Mennonite’s Church building will become the Elyria campus of North Olmsted Evangelical Friends Church. Conference Minister Dick Barrett…

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Resources address challenging issues

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate This month I would like to highlight a new Sunday school resource from Mennonite Central Committee and RAWtools, as well as a webinar from Anabaptist Disabilities Network and Everence. FEAR NOT How do we respond to violence in our homes and churches? Does our faith have anything to say about how we understand…

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‘Joy in the Journey’ is retreat theme

Ohio Conference will hold a retreat for wives of Ohio Conference pastors on Nov.  4-6, 2022, at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin, Ohio. Miriam Zehr, associate pastor of Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville, will be the speaker for this retreat, which will explore the theme “Joy in the Journey.” Using the Psalms, participants will reflect on the…

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Conference youth worker webinar series continues

Ohio Conference is continuing its series of free online seminars for youth workers during the month of May. “Jesus as Model: Youth Ministry Reimagined” is the theme of this series, which began in late March. The final three online seminars will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on May 10, 17 and 24. In addition to hearing from presenters, seminar participants…

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Immigration Resource Team ends its work

Ohio Conference would like to express its appreciation for the work completed by the Immigration Resource Team (IRT) from 2018 to 2022. This resource team was convened to investigate, evaluate and help congregations implement the resolution on immigration which delegates affirmed in 2019. This group created a list of immigration resources as well as a biblical guide to immigration. In…

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Conference ends fiscal year with deficit

Ohio Conference ended its 2021-22 fiscal year with a deficit of $12,504, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. The fiscal year ended March 31, 2022. The Conference began March with a small positive operating balance of $245. Receipts for March totaled $29,465, including $28,676 in giving from congregations. Expenses for the month totaled $42,214, resulting in a…

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Many work together at MCC Comforter Bash

Many people came together to support Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) at the Ohio MCC Comforter Bash on April 22-23. A total of 129 comforters were knotted during the two-day event at the Kidron Community Park Building, with 150 volunteers participating in the work on Friday and 75 volunteers on Saturday. MCC will distribute these comforters to people in need around…

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Consultant to assist in Conference review

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team has approved entering into an agreement with Design Group International to assist in a three-part Conference review. The Leadership Team is taking this step based on feedback from delegates at the March 2022 Annual Conference Assembly. Delegates overwhelmingly affirmed the idea of using a process consultant to assist the Conference over the upcoming two years.…

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The centrality of Jesus Christ

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister  For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. ─ 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NRSV) On March 4 and 5, Ohio Conference hosted our Annual Conference Assembly at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold. During the assembly delegates unanimously affirmed our new mission statement – The mission of Ohio Conference of Mennonite…

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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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Try these resources during Lent

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate Looking for Lenten resources which you can use at home? The Soil and the Seed Project has released a new free collection of resources for this season. The Soil and the Seed Project: Vol. 2 ─ Lent–Easter–Pentecost is a collection of music, artwork, and “little liturgies” following the liturgical calendar. These resources offer…

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Women leading, empowered by the Holy Spirit

By Alysa Short Coordinator of Volunteers Ohio Conference held a retreat for women in leadership Feb. 18-19 at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin, Ohio. Twenty-three women from around Conference participated in this overnight retreat led by Rebecca Slough, academic dean and professor of worship and the arts emerita at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. Focusing on…

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Zion Mennonite to host Assembly

 

 

Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold will host the 2022 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) of the Ohio Conference March  4-5. The theme of this year’s gathering, based on Luke 10:25-37, will be “Befriending the Neighborhood: Am I a Good Neighbor?” Ohio Conference also will hold a missional conference at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold immediately prior to ACA, on March 3-4.…

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Agua Prieta Border Wall

Borderlands Learning Tour: No easy answers

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister November 7th through the 14th of this past year I had the privilege and opportunity to participate in a Borderlands Learning Tour sponsored by the Great Lakes office of Mennonite Central Committee. The tour focused on the border between Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Mexico, approximately 120 miles southeast of Tucson. Both Ohio Conference’s Leadership…

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Winter Read offers place for discussion

We would love to have you join us for the Ohio Conference Winter Read, which is currently underway. This winter Ohio Conference is trying something new, a Conference-wide book study offered via Zoom. We are studying Latasha Morrison’s book Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation. As of mid-January, 58 people are participating in the Winter Read. Discussion leaders…

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The Soil and the Seed Project Logo

‘Little Liturgies’ can nurture faith

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate If you are looking for ways to nurture faith at home, take a look at the free resources available online at The Soil and the Seed Project: https://www.thesoilandtheseedproject.org. This group has created “little liturgies” with downloadable music, art, prayers, scripture, and discussion prompts which can be used by individuals, families, or small communities.…

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Cathy and Howard Wagler

Conference to focus on how to be a good neighbor

Ohio Conference will hold a missional conference March 3-4 at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, immediately prior to the 2022 Annual Conference Assembly. The theme of the missional conference, based on Luke 10:25-37, will be “Befriending the Neighborhood: Am I a Good Neighbor?” Presenters will be Howard and Cathy Wagler, church planters from Hutchinson, Kansas. The Waglers currently are serving…

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Loving my neighbor and forbearance

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister There is an old saying that goes something like, “We get to pick our friends, but we don’t get to pick our family.” Well, I would add, “We don’t get to pick our neighbors.” In the Great Commandment(s) Jesus tells us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your…

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Women in Leadership Retreat to feature Rebecca Slough

There’s still time to register for Ohio Conference’s Women in Leadership Retreat, which will be held Feb. 18-19 at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin. Retreat planners are encouraging every Ohio Conference congregation to send at least one woman to this retreat. Has your congregation tapped someone to attend this retreat? The theme of the Women in Leadership Retreat…

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