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…

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AMBS creates worship materials for congregations

Recognizing the toll that COVID-19 has had on pastors and worship planners over the last year, members of the community at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, have prepared worship materials for congregational use for two separate worship services. The first set of worship materials is designed for the Sunday after Easter (April 11). The resources, which are based…

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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.

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.

MennoMedia shares answers to copyright and licensing questions

Church services on Zoom, streaming, podcasting, screensharing — all of these practices raise questions of copyright, especially in relation to the new Voices Together worship and song collection. MennoMedia has assembled a comprehensive resource to answer all of your copyright questions. Up-to-date information, downloadable pdfs, and specifics about the Voices Together audio recordings and projection edition can all be found…

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Goshen College offers free online devotionals during Lent

During Lent Goshen College is offering online devotions focusing on the theme “Deep Calls to Deep.” Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Goshen College students, fac­ulty and staff provide reflec­tions based on the upcoming Sunday’s lectionary scripture passages. You can read these devotions online at www.goshen.edu/devotions. To receive the devotions by email, go to www.goshen.edu/devotions/subscribe.

MC USA offers Lent at Home guide

(Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA’s (MC USA) 2021 Lent at Home worship guide is now available. The annual guide for home-based worship provides daily and weekly scripture readings, prayers and rituals for individuals and families observing Lent, the period of prayer and reflection from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, to Easter, April 4. “In today’s divided society, we are…

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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…

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2020 Advent at Home theme is “We Wait for Jesus”

In a time when many people are spending more time at home due to COVID-19, Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is again offering an Advent at Home devotional guide. MC USA’s 2020 Advent at Home devotional, “We Wait for Jesus,” is now available for free download. The annual guide for home-based worship provides daily and weekly scripture readings, prayers and activities…

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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…

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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:…

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MC USA website has faith formation resources

Looking for faith formation ideas or curriculum? The Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) website now includes all the content from AnabaptistFaithFormation.org. You can find formation resources for people of all ages at MennoniteUSA.org/ff. One resource highlighted on MC USA’s Faith Formation page is a webinar focusing on children’s faith formation during this time of pandemic. The webinar, titled “It Can…

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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…

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Anabaptist Worship Network develops website

The Anabaptist Worship Network, which began as a group on Facebook, now has its own website at http://anabaptistworship.net with worship resources and information about courses and events. The Anabaptist Worship Network is dedicated to supporting worship and song leaders in making intentional, theologically grounded, and spiritually inspired choices about worship practices that respond to their local contexts.

MennoMedia offers free devotional resource

MennoMedia is offering a second special issue of its daily devotional magazine, Rejoice!, as a free download. The special publication, titled Rejoice! A Time Enduring, was written, edited, and designed by individuals volunteering their time to contribute their gifts for the benefit of their communities of faith. To download a copy, go to https://bit.ly/RejoiceATimeEnduring.

Webinar to focus on pastoral care, social distancing

MennoMedia is hosting a free webinar about pastoral care on June 11 at 2 p.m. Pastoring from a Distance: Offering Pastoral Care while Social Distancing will feature a panel discussion with Anabaptist pastors moderated by David Augsburger. The webinar will explore practical advice as well as theological considerations for providing pastoral care while practicing social distancing. To register for this…

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Website offers faith-based resources for abuse response and prevention

Mennonite Central Committee, with support from CommonWord, has launched a resource website addressing issues of abuse for faith communities and their members. The website includes re­sources on intimate partner abuse, healthy relationships, sexual violence, clergy sexual abuse, and how to offer support to survi­vors of abuse and assist those perpetrating harm. To access these resources, go to abuseresponseandprevention.ca.

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…

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MC USA releases video series about technology best practices

Mennonite Church USA has released a new video series, Technology Best Practices for Service, that offers best practices for holding virtual meetings and worship services, as well as effective technology tools for working from home. Created by Crystal Washington, a technology strategist and certified futurist, this series is broken into short videos that offer tips and suggestions for navigating today’s leading…

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Issues to consider before meeting in person

As the State of Ohio introduces plans to slowly open up once more after weeks of stay-at-home orders, congregations have many things to consider before reopening their church buildings and returning to in-person worship services. As your congregation’s leaders discuss plans for returning to meeting in person, here are two articles outlining issues to consider: “Twenty-four questions your church should…

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CommonWord and AMBS offer resources for dealing with COVID-19

CommonWord has compiled a curated list of worship, family, and other resources for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to downloadable documents, the list includes links to articles on topics such as “An Examen for Life During COVID-19” and “How to Livestream Your Church Service: A Practical Guide.” To view these resources, go to www.commonword.ca/go/2005. Another source for COVID-19-related…

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MDS, Everence and MCC launch COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund

GOSHEN, Indiana — Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), Everence® and Mennonite Central Committee U.S. (MCC U.S.) have joined together to launch a COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund to aid churches facing financial crisis due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The new fund was seeded with a combined $550,000 commitment from MDS, Everence and MCC U.S. The fund will be administered by Everence…

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Hope Series offers online prayer, more

Mennonite Mission Network is offering a new digital ministry called the Hope Series. The series includes prayer gatherings which are live streamed on Facebook Monday-Saturday at 1 p.m., as well as devotional times and opportunities for group interactions. To learn more about the Hope Series, see https://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/the-hope-series/.  

MennoMedia provides free resources

While gatherings are limited because of COVID-19, MennoMedia is providing free online resources. MennoMedia is offering a special issue of its daily devotional magazine, Rejoice!, as a free download from the MennoMedia website. The special publication, titled Rejoice! A Time Such as This: Reflections on COVID-19, was written, edited, and designed by individuals volunteering their time to contribute their gifts…

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Anabaptist Worship Network offers connections

Are you interested in sharing ideas with others who are planning worship? Anabaptist Worship Network, a new Facebook group conversation, is hosted by Katie Graber and Anneli Loepp Thiessen. This Facebook group is a meetup for pastors, worship leaders, song leaders, and those interested in Anabaptist worship. Participants can ask questions, share ideas and resources, and make connections. To participate,…

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Everence offers support during COVID-19 outbreak

Everence has expanded its services to members during the outbreak of COVID-19.  Some of these expanded services include waiving ATM fees, allowing borrowers to skip a pay on certain loans, and a sharing fund increase for churches with an advocate. For more details, see the Everence website: https://www.everence.com/resources/supporting-you-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.

Explore resources for moving faith formation online

Many churches have cancelled gathered faith formation programs (and even Sunday worship) to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in their communities. But that doesn’t mean faith formation needs to stop. One way we can respond is to move faith formation online and into people’s homes and personal lives. John Roberto has compiled a list of resources for congregations seeking…

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