Missional Work Camp — You can do this!

Many church youth groups go on summer service trips, but this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast features something different — a summer work camp in the local community. Instead of traveling to a far-off location to serve, youth and adults at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City use the church building as a home base for the week and spend…

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MWC Peace Sunday worship materials are now available

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) is encouraging congregations to celebrate Peace Sunday on Sept. 24. The theme for Peace Sunday in 2017 is “A  Renewed Peace Church Builds Bridges.” This theme picks up on two elements. The first builds on the Renewal 2027 process which MWC has embarked on. Second, in light of the rising nationalisms around the world, which separates…

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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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Mennonite Mission Network offers training in discipleship, mission

Ohio Conference is partnering with Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) to offer the Missional Discipleship Initiative to Conference churches. The Missional Discipleship Initiative (MDI) helps local congregations work at leadership development and intentional disciple-making. MDI uses two main tools to achieve these goals. First, MDI uses online Learning Circles (also known as “Huddles”) for leaders. Second, MDI utilizes Missional Discipleship Groups,…

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Festival raises funds, builds community

What started out as a fundraiser turned out to be something more.  On June 24 Salem Mennonite Church in Waldron, Michigan, held a Strawberry Festival on the church grounds to showcase the congregation’s new unfinished building and to help raise funds to complete it. Salem’s new building sits behind the current structure in the middle of a hay field more…

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Make disciples. Seriously. Here’s one way how.

The Missional Discipleship Initiative is coming to the Ohio Conference! The Conference is partnering with Mennonite Mission Network to offer the Missional Discipleship Initiative (MDI) to congregations, starting this fall. In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Bill Seymour and Jacob Dodson talk about MDI with Mennonite Mission Network staff members Marvin Lorenzana and Karla Minter, as well…

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First Mennonite to host inter-church dialogue

First Mennonite Church in Bluffton will host an inter-church dialogue, “Knowing and Hearing the Stories,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 27. While celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Presbyterians from the Maumee Valley Presbytery “lament the violence and division that took place between Christian sisters and brothers.” They have asked to hear stories of Anabaptists and Catholics. Storytellers will…

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MMN offers missional training for congregations

Is your congregation interested in learning more about what it means to be missional? Ohio Conference is partnering with Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) to offer the Missional Discipleship Initiative to Conference churches beginning this fall. Marvin Lorenzana, the director for discipleship initiatives at MMN, coordinates the Missional Discipleship Initiative (MDI). “Our goal is to help leaders engage the missional church…

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Ohio Conference Cast Orlando – Young adults share their reflections

In this final podcast from the Mennonite Church USA Convention in Orlando, host Bill Seymour talks to Jared Chase, youth pastor at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City, and four post-high young adults from Sharon Mennonite: Mandy Miller, Emily Miller, Josh Yoder and Megan Colwell. These young adults reflect on their convention experience and share their hopes for Mennonite Church USA. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/17_07_07_PlainCity_Submitted_00.mp3Podcast: Play in…

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Ohio Conference Cast Orlando – Doctrine of Discovery, or “Hey! It’s Ted Swartz!”

What exactly is the Doctrine of Discovery, and how has it shaped North American culture and society? Ohio Conference Cast host Bill Seymour and his guest co-host, Jeff Hochstetler, talk with Ted Swartz and Alison Brookins about Ted & Company’s new play about the Doctrine of Discovery called Discovery: A Comic Lament. Also participating in the discussion is Peace Lab Podcast* host…

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Central Plains Conference offers free faith formation resources

Calling all Anabaptists: Central Plains Mennonite Conference has a gift for you. Central Plains Mennonite Conference has gathered a wide variety of resources for people interested in faith formation and teaching people of all ages on its Anabaptist Faith Formation website: http://www.anabaptistfaithformation.org/. All resources on the website are free to use. The site has downloadable resources for working with children…

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Who are the Dones, and why do we care?

Why do some people describe themselves as “done” with the church, even if they haven’t given up on their faith? This episode of the Ohio Conference Cast is the first in a series of podcasts from the Mennonite Church USA Convention in Orlando, Florida. Host Bill Seymour and guest co-host Jamie Rye, pastor of Millersburg Mennonite Church, talk with Dr. Josh…

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Registration open for Believers’ Church Conference

GOSHEN, Ind. — Goshen College and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) will co-host the 18th Believers’ Church Conference, titled “Word, Spirit and the Renewal of the Church,” Sept. 14-17, 2017, at Goshen College. The conference will explore the gifts and tensions of the Reformation legacy for the Believers’ Church tradition, with a view toward its ecumenical and global dimensions, focusing…

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Worship is formation — formation is worship

By Ellen Nussbaum Members of Oak Grove Mennonite Church (Smithville) and Sonnenberg Mennonite Church (Kidron), having discovered a common interest in exploring training and resources for leading congregational worship, came together to plan a Worship Resourcing Seminar. It was held on Saturday, May 6, at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church. Sixty-three participants gathered from 16 different Ohio Mennonite congregations. Participants included youth,…

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Bible studies for youth to be livestreamed

The Mennonite Inc. is teaming up with Michele Hershberger, professor of Bible at Hesston College, to offer a series of four virtual Bible studies for junior and senior high youth groups in June. Whether your youth groups are headed to the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando this summer or not, they’ll be sure to benefit from Michele’s four-week Bible…

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OC leadership pays tribute to Naomi Engle

By Bob Sauder On behalf of the Ohio Conference Leadership Team Naomi Engle, Credentialing Ministry Chairperson and a member of the Leadership Team of the Ohio Conference, went to her heavenly home on Jan. 1.  At the beginning of their meeting on Jan. 21, the Ohio Conference Leadership Team spent some time remembering who she was, what she brought to…

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How to process difficult decisions

How can congregations work through difficult issues together? In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn talk with pastor Doug King of Tedrow Mennonite Church and congregation member Lynn Miller. They learn about the process Tedrow Mennonite has used to work with questions about affiliation. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/17_02_22_Tedrow_Working_02.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts…

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Janice Hershberger to speak at Day of Inspiration

Ohio Mennonite Women’s Day of Inspiration will take place Saturday, April 8, at Crown Hill Mennonite Church in Rittman. Featured speaker Janice Hershberger will focus on the theme “Invitation to Rest,” based on Matthew 11:28-30.  Several workshops will be offered. Janice Hershberger has an M.A. in pastoral counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary. She has been a clinical counselor for more…

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Remembering Naomi Engle: A tribute

By Regina Wenger  Naomi sang. Her voice exhibited confidence and a rich tonality. It was the first thing I noticed when Naomi and I sang together in choir. We were both second sopranos, but it was clear which one of us was the superior vocalist. I’ve always had to work to distinguish harmonies, whereas Naomi exhibited a well-practiced ease at…

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Bluffton junior explores vocation and faith in Guatemala

Bluffton University — During the summer of 2016, Blake Hershberger ’18, an international peace, justice and conflict studies major from Canton, Ohio, immersed himself in the Guatemalan culture. Hershberger, a member of Beech Mennonite Church in Louisville, lived in Guatemala City for one month with the aid of a $1,500 Summer Discovery Grant awarded by Bluffton University to students who are…

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Online Advent devotions to begin Nov. 21

GOSHEN, Ind. — As churches prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth, Goshen College offers an online spiritual resource to help believers make time and space in their hearts and minds to welcome Advent, even in the midst of busy schedules and hectic lives. Beginning Nov. 21 and culminating on Christmas Day, Goshen College students, faculty and staff will provide…

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Overplayed focuses on youth sports

By Lois Bontrager Ohio Conference Resource Advocate Now available from MennoMedia: Overplayed: A Parent’s Guide to Sanity in the World of Youth Sports by David King And Margot Starbuck. This book equips parents with concrete tips such as the following: Encouraging kids to play a different sport for a season Grabbing coffee with a friend during soccer practice (instead of…

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New Fears

As my wife and I were driving to church last Sunday, she received a chat text from our daughter who lives in Northern Ireland. Our son-in-law is a technical climber, an instructor of mountaineering instructors actually, and their two daughters are quite the outdoor enthusiasts normally. In fact, at just about 4 years old the older girl had her own…

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Love is a Verb: Spiritual practices resource explores MC USA convention theme

Mennonite Church USA —The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board staff has released a year-long spiritual practices resource that explores the 2017 convention theme Love is a Verb through the lens of Richard Foster’s six spiritual streams. The resource is intended for use by delegates, youth groups, presenters, planners and other convention attendees from July 2016 through June 2017. Leo Hartshorn…

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Conference to focus on faith formation

A conference for individuals concerned about faith formation is coming to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Ind., this fall. Deep Faith: Anabaptist Faith Formation for All  Ages will be held Oct. 6-8 at the seminary. Conference planners describe Deep Faith: Anabaptist Faith Formation for All Ages as a practical conference designed to empower Anabaptist pastors, teachers and lay leaders in…

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The power of congregational support in a long, difficult journey

By Howard Nikkel My particular journey began seven and a half years ago when I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The journey has included many visits to the cardiologists, medications to help the heart function better, a procedure called ultrafiltration done in a Venezuelan hospital, an implant that contained a pacemaker, defibrillator and a resynchronizer, and ending up with…

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Workshop to focus on faith and values in business

KIDRON, Ohio — Everence® and Mennonite Foundation are presenting a workshop titled Faith and values in the marketplace at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Kidron Park Community Building, 4434 Kidron Road. Christians are called to be good stewards of their gifts from God — including their time and talents in addition to their money. How does that standard…

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Eric and An Raber receive Regional Journey Award from Everence

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KIDRON, Ohio — Eric and An Raber are the recipients of the Regional Journey Award from the Everence offices in Northeast Ohio. This award recognizes the Rabers, who live in Millersburg, as models of Christian stewardship through their use of time, talents and lifestyle choices. Created in 2001, the Journey Award highlights what people of faith are doing as stewards…

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