A Vibrant, Disciple-making, Good News Conference

How do we translate the Gospel to our context? Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, who is volunteering as Ohio Conference’s missional consultant, is working to help Ohio Conference consider this question. She has a vision for the Conference to become a vibrant, disciple-making good news conference. In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, Bill Seymour and his guest co-host, Jamie Rye, the pastor…

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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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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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What does it take to make mission missional?

By Joel Shenk Not everything the church does in the name of mission or outreach is missional. A group of friends and I recently brainstormed a top-ten list of things churches think are missional but actually aren’t: 10. Outdoor worship services 9. Ecumenical worship services 8. Prayer walks 7. Serving a meal to the homeless 6. MCC school kits and…

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Top five reasons we really don’t want to be missional

By Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg Missional. We’ve been hearing this word for 20 years. Our seminaries have been teaching it, our agencies have been producing books on it and our congregations have been using the word “missional” to justify programs, mission efforts and other worthwhile “regularly scheduled” activities the church has done for the last 20 years. But as I question why…

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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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Jessica talks about missional VBS (and pigs)

Sometimes, to engage others missionally we need to let go of things that we cherish. In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour talk with Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, pastor of Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, about Zion’s experience with reinventing Vacation Bible School this summer. The story includes the local swimming pool, vending machines, the park,…

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Missional Discipleship Initiative signup deadline is July 31

Ohio Conference is partnering with Mennonite Mission Network to offer the Missional Discipleship Initiative (MDI) to Conference congregations. This program includes both leadership development and small group discipleship training. To learn more about MDI, check the Ohio Conference website at http://bit.ly/OhioConfMDI and listen to the podcast about MDI at http://bit.ly/OCCast-MDI. If your congregation is interested in participating in MDI, contact…

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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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Missional Church: The fad that just won’t go away

By Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg Recently I heard an observation following Ohio Conference’s Annual Conference Assembly in which we focused on becoming a mission-driven (a.k.a. “Missional”) conference. The observation? It seems as though our younger leaders are the driving force behind the passion for this movement. And so the question becomes, “Why?” Why are younger leaders pushing for this change? Is it…

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What does it mean for Ohio Conference to be Gathered and Sent?

In this episode of Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour talk with Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker about Gathered and Sent, a new focus which brings together the work of two previous initiatives, the Year of Mission and the Year of Covenant. Cliff describes what planners are envisioning for both the “Gathered” and “Sent” parts of this process. Hint:…

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Grant program to benefit local ministries

Is your congregation looking for ways to fund a ministry that impacts your community? Consider applying for a grant from the Ohio Conference. For the sixth year in a row, the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) is accepting grant proposals from Ohio Conference congregations and related organizations for projects and mission initiatives. This year the MDT has $24,992 available…

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Kingdom Living Amidst Political Divisiveness

Hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour chat with Sean Swanson, pastor of First Mennonite Church in Canton, in this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast. They learn a bit more about Sean, who is one of the newer pastors in Ohio Conference, and talk with him about a group from First Mennonite which engaged with some of their neighbors to…

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Missional Conference challenges participants

Immediately prior to Annual Conference Assembly, the Ohio Conference held a Missional Conference with Alan and Debra Hirsch at Kidron Mennonite Church. One hundred forty-two people from across the Conference participated in this event. During six different sessions, speakers Alan and Debra Hirsch challenged participants to look more closely at Jesus, discipleship, mission, and sexuality. “How do we know we…

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ACA wrap-up – Hope for the future

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s exciting work.” So says co-host Thomas Dunn in this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast. Thomas and his co-host, Bill Seymour, take a few minutes to reflect on happenings at the 2017 Ohio Conference Annual Conference Assembly (ACA). They talk about ACA with someone fairly new to Ohio…

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Talking with Alan and Debra Hirsch

In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn talk with Alan and Debra Hirsch, the presenters at Ohio Conference’s missional conference. They discuss broadening our understanding of ministry roles, bi-vocational ministry, the future of the church and the Hirsches’ impression of the people they have met in the Ohio Conference. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/12_03_24_Alan_Debra_Hirsh_Submitted-1.mp3Podcast: Play in new window…

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Missional Conference Musings from Joel Shenk, Hannah Troyer, and Karla Minter

Ohio Conference Cast hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn talk with three participants of the Ohio Conference’s missional conference featuring Alan and Debra Hirsch. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Tom-and-Bill-hear-from-Hannah-and-Karla-and-Joel-final.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | RSS

Dollars, Donuts, and Milk – Missional Stories from the Northwest

In this episode, Ohio Conference Cast hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour travel to a regional meeting in Northwest Ohio at Tedrow Mennonite Church. They hear stories of mission from members of three congregations — Salem Mennonite in Elida, Lockport Mennonite in Stryker and Central Mennonite in Archbold. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/NW-Regional-Gathering-Podcast-Final.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android |…

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Where are we going next?

In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour discuss the Leadership Team’s proposed direction for Ohio Conference, which includes a strong focus on mission. Delegates will be learning about this statement at regional meetings. Joining Thomas and Bill for this discussion are members of the Ohio Conference Leadership Team and Stewardship Ministry. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-02-15-13.34-Stewardship-Ministry-Team-meeting_01.mp3Podcast: Play…

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Youth Venture is accepting applications

Explore what God is doing around the world through Youth Venture, a short-term service and learning program of Mennonite Mission Network. Teams of youth and adult leaders will join local ministries in Belfast, Benin, Detroit, and Perú for two to three weeks this summer. These formational experiences are geared for young people ages 14-22. Space is filling up fast, so…

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Jessica breaks things

Back in a November podcast, Ohio Conference Cast hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn learned that one Ohio Conference pastor, Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, had addressed the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) of Mennonite Church USA.*  Jessica spoke to the CLC as one of four co-authors of a paper titled “An Appeal for Healing and Hope for the Future of Mennonite Church USA…

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Who are Alan and Debra Hirsch?

By Jacob Dodson Pastor Wooster Mennonite Church One of the highlights of the Year of Mission is the pre-ACA missional training event with Alan and Debra Hirsch. You may have seen their names in missional books or Ohio Conference publications, but here is some biographical information about them. Alan was born in South Africa and grew up in Cape Town.…

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Missional conference to precede ACA

During the Ohio Conference Year of Mission (2016-17), the Conference has been encouraging people to think about how they and their congregations can participate in God’s mission right in their own communities. This March, as part of this mission emphasis, Ohio Conference is sponsoring a Missional Conference with Alan and Debra Hirsch. The conference will take place at Kidron Mennonite…

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How Alan and Debra Hirsch influenced me

By Jason Rissler Church Planter Cross Connections Having Alan and Debra Hirsch with us in Ohio Conference for two days is a true gift. My life and ministry have been tremendously enriched by their ministry. One of my first interactions with Alan Hirsch was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as Alan spoke with Lancaster Conference leaders and Mennonite church planters. He put…

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Planners encourage young adult attendance at missional conference

Have you registered for the Missional Conference with Alan and Debra Hirsch? The conference will take place at Kidron Mennonite Church March 23-24, just prior to Annual Conference Assembly. Planners of this event would like to encourage all congregations to cover the cost of registration for their young adults interested in attending. Young adults up to age 30 already receive…

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Stories shared at Fall Mission Events

People from all across the Ohio Conference came to three regional gatherings to talk about how God is working in their congregations and communities. Jubilee Mennonite Church in Bellefontaine, Central Mennonite Church in Archbold and Berlin Mennonite Church hosted the three Fall Mission Events in October and November. These events are part of the Ohio Conference Year of Mission, which…

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Registration is open for missional conference

“Who is my Neighbor?” is the theme for the upcoming Ohio Conference Missional Conference with Alan and Debra Hirsch. This two-day event will take place March 23-24, 2017, at Kidron Mennonite Church immediately prior to Annual Conference Assembly. This missional conference will focus on a variety of topics: Inviting all people in so they feel that they have a place…

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What does being “missional” mean?

This year in Ohio Conference the word “missional” is being used A LOT.  In this podcast Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn interview Jacob Dodson to discuss what being missional actually means and what the implications could be for our individual congregations and for Ohio Conference. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jacob-Dodson-Interview-2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play |…

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David Boshart presentation now on DVD

Are you interested in hearing the presentation about rural church mission given by David Boshart in September at Zion Mennonite Church? Boshart, the executive conference minister of Central Plains Mennonite Conference, spoke on the topic “New Frontiers in Mission for the Rural Church” while at Zion. To order a DVD of his presentation, please contact Karmin Brooks in the Zion…

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