Being Jesus in the reopening of his churches

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By Dick Barrett Conference Minister  The past several months have certainly been a difficult time in our individual lives and in the lives of our churches throughout Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA. It seems like “a perfect storm” — a pandemic that almost none of us have ever experienced before, an economy that crashed with no one sure of…

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Leadership Team makes statement on racial injustice

As the Leadership Team of Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA, we affirm the recent statement from Mennonite Church USA on racial injustice and Executive Director Glen Guyton’s open letter to the denomination. We lament the death of George Floyd, the latest death of an African-American person at the hands of a white police officer. We grieve the violence that has erupted…

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Deficit increases during September

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Giving to the Ohio Conference dropped during September, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for September were $17,699, down from the $24,910 received in August. Expenses for September totaled $26,288, resulting in a deficit of $8,589 for the month. As of Sept. 30, the Conference’s operating balance for the 2020-21 fiscal year was -$21,304. The Conference’s…

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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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Learn more about MennoCon21

MennoCon21, the Mennonite Church USA Convention, is scheduled to take place July 6-10, 2021, in Cincinnati. Planners intend for this convention to be a hybrid event, meaning that there will be both in-person and virtual programming. Learn more in the first MennoCon21 newsletter: OCT_2020_MennoCon21 Newsletter-Revised.  

AMBS offers online leadership development program

Journey: A Missional Leadership Development Program. Encourage someone you know who has gifts for ministry to check out this 2-1/2-year distance-friendly non-degree program at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Participants explore spiritual leadership in their local churches and communities and deepen their understanding of Anabaptist theology and ministry through online study and meetings with a dedicated mentor. Apply for Winter 2021…

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MennoMedia has new podcast

Podcast fans: MennoMedia and Leader magazine have begun a new podcast series, the -ing Podcast. This podcast, hosted by Rev. Dr. Dennis Edwards and Allison Maus, explores questions such as: How are people of faith bringing their best selves to the world each day? How are we living, growing, and being as people of God? To listen, go to http://bit.ly/-ingPodcast.

Nov. 7 is next Healthy Boundaries training

A reminder for pastors and other credentialed leaders: Ohio Conference will hold a second online Healthy Boundaries 201 training session on Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (The first training was held Oct. 10.) All credentialed leaders are required to receive Healthy Boundaries training every three years to remain credentialed. If you are planning on signing up for…

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Delegate News – Fall 2020 #2

Fall regional meetings start Oct. 20 We look forward to seeing you online It’s almost time for Ohio Conference’s fall regional meetings for delegates. The Conference will hold these meetings online this year rather than meeting in person. Four fall regional meetings are scheduled: Tuesday, Oct. 20 — Northeast Ohio Thursday, Oct. 22 — Northwest Ohio Tuesday, Oct. 27 —…

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MennoMedia campaign encourages appreciation for pastors

Did you know that October is Pastor Appreciation Month? During October MennoMedia will be celebrating pastors whose congregants have made a donation in their honor. Want to let your pastor know how much you appreciate them? A donation to MennoMedia in any amount enters your pastor into a drawing for a $100 Herald Press gift certificate. A donation of $25…

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Ohio Conference offers Pastor Wellness Grants

Being a pastor in the 21st century is a very challenging calling. Being a pastor during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic has been even more challenging. Due to the many changes that have had to be made, many of our pastors have not taken a Sunday off since the pandemic began, many have cancelled or shortened their vacations, and…

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Immigration Resource Team recommends resources

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The Ohio Conference Immi­gration Resource Team would like to remind everyone that there are many opportunities to share God’s love, hope, and peace. Are you looking for ideas about how you can share God’s love with immigrants? The Immigration Resource Team has compiled an Immigration Resource List which features books, websites, organizations, and films, as well as contact information for people…

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New partnership to offer global access to theological education

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Indiana, have forged a new agreement to provide Anabaptist-based theological and church leadership education to Anabaptists around the globe in both for-credit and noncredit formats. Pastors and church leaders will be able to take courses in biblical and theological studies, church history and ministry in their home countries. For more information about…

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Peace center offers mediation skills training

The last session of Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders for this year will be Nov. 16-20, 2020. This   five-day training offered by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center helps participants deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. It will be held online via Zoom. For more information, contact the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at Admin@LMPeaceCenter.org or…

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Have you registered for Healthy Boundaries training?

A reminder for pastors and other credentialed leaders: Ohio Conference will hold online Healthy Boundaries 201 training sessions on Oct. 10 and Nov. 7. Both training sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants are free to choose the date which works the best for them. All credentialed leaders are required to receive Healthy Boundaries training every three…

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Children’s faith formation is webinar topic

MennoMedia is offering a webinar about children’s faith formation, “Raising Them Up: Children, Faith, and Church,” on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. This webinar will take the format of a panel discussion moderated by David Csinos. Featured panelists will be Malinda Berry, Henry Zonio, Natalie Frisk and Becky Degan. Register for this webinar at http://bit.ly/RaisingThemUpWebinar. Please register before 5…

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Webinar to explore mutual care

Anabaptist Disabilities Network will host a webinar, “Mutual Care in Difficult Times,” on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. These are stressful times of pandemic and social unrest. People with disabilities and their families carry additional burdens. This webinar will examine how we, as the Church, can practice mutual care, sharing joy and shouldering the load together. This webinar will…

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Announcement of Pastoral Sexual Misconduct Investigation

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From Conference Minister Dick Barrett On June 19, 2020, Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA received a complaint of alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Jeffery L. Kauffman which occurred during the time that he was serving as one of the pastors of Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio. Jeff served at Zion Mennonite Church from 2011 to 2016.…

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Delegate News – Fall 2020

Fall regional meetings to be held online Ohio Conference will hold fall regional meetings for delegates online this year rather than meeting in person. These meetings will have a missional focus and will include input from the Ohio Conference Missional Resource Team. All delegates to Annual Conference Assembly are encouraged to participate. Four fall regional meetings are scheduled: Tuesday, Oct.…

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AMBS program to focus on leadership integrity

Leadership Integrity Circles. New from AMBS’s Church Leadership Center! Join seasoned leaders Betty Pries, Ph.D., and Rick Stiffney, Ph.D., in exploring what it means to practice Christ-centered leadership in your workplace. Learn through self-reflection, conversation and spiritual practices. See ambs.edu/leadership for details.

Sent Network focuses on church planting

Curious about church planting or re-planting? Join the next Sent Network cohort and learn how to explore, equip, and be sent to spread the word of God! Visit MennoniteMission.net/SentNetwork to learn more and save your spot. The new cohort begins Sept. 21.

MCC in U.S. to livestream centennial celebration

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in the U.S. is inviting its supporters and the public to join a livestreamed celebration of its 100 years of ministry on Saturday, Oct. 17, starting at 6:50 p.m. Celebration 2020: MCC at 100 will include videos, storytelling, music, and a message of inspiration from longtime MCC leader and pastor Leonard Dow of Philadelphia. This livestreamed…

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Anabaptist World seeks submissions

Anabaptist World invites your original submissions for the Nov. 6, 2020, print magazine issue and online content focusing on the theme “politics and faith.” Articles should be 1,200 words or less. The submission deadline is Oct. 1. For more information about this theme, see http://bit.ly/AnabaptistWorldNov2020. Submissions are due to Editor@AnabaptistWorld.org no later than Oct. 1.

Receipts increase, although deficit continues

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Although the Conference is still running a deficit, giving to Ohio Conference increased during August, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Total receipts for August were $24,910, an increase from the amount received in July, which was only $11,300. Expenses for August totaled $27,012, resulting in a deficit of $2,102 for the month. As of Aug. 31,…

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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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The truth will set us free

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”— John 8:31-32 (ESV) Jesus said to his early disciples, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and…

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Pandemic curtails face-to-face meetings, but Conference work continues nonetheless

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister While these have been difficult times to be able to gather in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, through the use of technology we have been able to gather virtually to continue Ohio Conference work. Regional Pastors Tony Doehrmann and Ralph Reinford have continued to meet with pastors, pastor peer groups, and search committees via…

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Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale goes online

In mid-March, it all came to a stop. As with many other events, the global pandemic hindered the planning for the 55th annual Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale. Many relief sales around the nation and Canada were cancelled, leaving Mennonite Central Committee short on funding. With this in mind, the Ohio sale planning committee has committed to an online auction only,…

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Ministry Development Team awards four grants

The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) has awarded four grants totaling $7,000. The MDT approved these grants at its Aug. 27 meeting. Grants will provide funds toward the following projects: Student Study Center — Beginning in the fall of 2021, First Mennonite Church of Canton and Lighthouse Ministries plan to be an extension site of Bethel University (Indiana). Bethel…

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Register now for Healthy Boundaries training

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Ohio Conference pastors and those in leadership, please mark your calendars for the Healthy Boundaries Training 201, which will take place virtually on Oct. 10 (Saturday) and Nov. 7 (Saturday). You may register for the day that suits you best. Training will run from 9 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. Our instructors are Andrew Stoner and Jon Bohley, both trained by…

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Open Arms Live Online set for Sept. 19

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Open Arms Hispanic Ministries will hold an online program, “Open Arms Live Online,” on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. The program will include up­dates on how Open Arms is working to meet the needs of Hispanics during the time of COVID-19. Speakers will in­clude Open Arms Executive Director Haroldo Nunes and Dan King, who serves as chair of the…

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