In an anxious time: Be still and know that I am God

 |  Category:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where…

Read More »

MC USA provides resources for responding to COVID-19

Mennonite Church USA  (MC USA) has compiled a variety of resources for individuals and congregations responding to the spread of COVID-19. Links to these resources can be found at http://bit.ly/RespondingtoCOVID-19. In addition to news from MC USA and church-related agencies, this web page has links to worship and devotional resources, information about livestreaming platforms, articles about caring and connecting with…

Read More »

Planning for Sunday school amid church closures

While gatherings are limited because of COVID-19, MennoMedia is offering free online resources for Christian education. These materials are from MennoMedia’s Shine curriculum, and they are free for use by churches for online learning or to send to parents for use at home. You can find them at https://shinecurriculum.com/shineathome/free-resources.

MDI virtual learning communities connect people in distancing times

 |  Category:

As the spread of COVID-19 creates distance between people out in public, Mennonite Mission Network’s Missional Discipleship Initiative  (MDI) continues to connect people online by spreading God’s good news in Christ through its training of missional leaders, said Marvin Lorenzana, Mission Network’s MDI director. To learn more about how MDI is helping people connect online, please see the news release…

Read More »

MennoHealth Cast podcast focuses on coronavirus

The most recent episode of the MennoHealth Cast podcast features a conversation between host Joann Hunsberger and Dr. Dan Nafziger of Goshen, Indiana, the chief medical officer at Goshen Health. They discuss the new coronavirus, some common terminology used to discuss the pandemic and how it might affect church community culture. You can listen at http://bit.ly/MennoHealthPodcast.

Coronavirus causes cancellations

With the COVID-19 outbreak disrupting day-to-day life for millions across the United States, The Mennonite has compiled a list of Mennonite organizations, schools and gatherings that have been affected: http://bit.ly/CoronavirusCancellations.

MCC postpones centennial picnic

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is carefully monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and adjusting plans to help mitigate its impact and keep people safe. Therefore, we have made the decision to postpone the MCC Great Lakes Centennial Celebration Picnic in Kidron originally scheduled for Saturday, May 2. We will keep you updated on plans to reschedule as those develop. In the…

Read More »

Giving slows in February

 |  Category:

After strong levels of congregational giving in December and January, Ohio Conference experienced a drop in receipts during February. According to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth, receipts for February totaled just $14,770, including $14,664 in giving from congregations. Expenses for the month totaled $23,369, resulting in an operating balance of -$8,559 for the month. Even so, that shortfall…

Read More »

Consider carefully whether to meet during coronavirus outbreak

At the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health issued an order on March 12 banning mass gatherings of more than 100 people. While religious institutions are one of the groups excluded in the ban, the Leadership Team of Ohio Conference encourages each of our congregations to carefully discern what is best, especially for the health…

Read More »

MennoMedia offers free resources for calming fears

In light of the alarming coronavirus headlines, MennoMedia is providing free resources to help calm the fears of congregations. Beyond Our Fears: Following Jesus in Times of Crisis was originally created after the SARS outbreak of 2009, but the content is just as relevant today. To download this material, go to http://bit.ly/BeyondOurFears. For children, MennoMedia is offering Don’t Be Afraid:…

Read More »

Open Arms cancels March 19 banquet

Open Arms Hispanic Ministry has had to cancel its fundraising banquet scheduled for March 19 due to the COVID-19 virus and concern for the safety of many at-risk elderly who attend this event. Open Arms Executive Director Haroldo Nunes said, “We are hoping to have an event in the summer to reconnect and have fellowship with our support community!”

Conference shares recommendations regarding the coronavirus

In an effort to be cautious but not overanxious regarding the spread of the coronavirus, Ohio Conference offers the following recommendations for our congregations to follow at the present time: Limit the practices that could spread germs, such as the shaking of hands and hugs. Make hand sanitizer and/or wipes readily available, and encourage their use. Communion and other activities…

Read More »

Pastors explore spiritual direction

On Feb. 4 Ohio Conference held a daylong event to introduce pastors to spiritual direction, a practice of deepening one’s relationship with God and learning to grow in one’s own spiritual maturity. This event, held at Camp Luz, brought together an equal number of spiritual directors and pastors, approximately 20 people altogether. Facilitated by Janice Hershberger, Randy Murray, and Christine…

Read More »

Missional festival is for people of all ages

You’ve probably heard the word “missional” many times before. But what does it really mean? And how can you live missionally? You can explore the answers to these questions at Engaging Mission 2020, an Ohio Conference missional festival planned for June 26-28 at Bluffton University. This will be a bilingual event in both English and Spanish. Engaging Mission 2020 is…

Read More »

Seeking

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matthew 6:33 (NIV) I recently spent a week alone with God. I try to do that a couple of times a year. I have learned to go into the week without my own expectations of how…

Read More »

Pastors participate in leadership program

Four pastors of Ohio Conference congregations recently participated in the Values-Based Leadership Program at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. The program includes two four-day sessions, one in October and one in February. “This is an excellent program that we encourage other pastors to participate in,” said  Paula Snyder Belousek, pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Elida. The…

Read More »

Delegates gather for business, worship

One hundred seventy-three people gathered at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City on March 7 for the 51st Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) of the Ohio Conference. Delegates from 36 congregations participated in the one-day meeting. Delegates worship In addition to business sessions, the one-day event included a time of worship, focusing on the theme “Hearts of Wisdom,” based on Psalm…

Read More »

Volunteers accept Conference positions

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…

Read More »

Christians at the Border looks at immigration through the lens of scripture

By Greg Bowman Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible, 2nd Edition (2013) by M. Daniel Carroll R. This author makes a profoundly simple — but perversely challenging — request: Christians, please base your attitudes about immigration on the clear teaching in the Bible — in both testaments — before considering cultural, economic, and legal arguments. He…

Read More »

Everence’s MyNeighbor program benefits Ohio Conference, other nonprofits

During January the Ohio Conference received a check for $1,077.66 from Everence Financial as part of Everence’s MyNeighbor credit card program. With the MyNeighbor program, individuals and businesses generate reward dollars for their favorite nonprofit every time they use their MyNeighbor credit cards from Everence. Everence donates 1.5 percent of each purchase to the card user’s chosen nonprofit agency. Then…

Read More »

Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship seeks executive director

Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) is seeking a half-time executive director to start between May and September 2020 who is committed to Anabaptist values and the mission of MHF, has proven skills in administration, communication, and networking, and has an intergenerationally compelling vision for MHF. Inter­ested persons are invited to send a resume and statement of intent, including the broad strokes…

Read More »

May issue of The Mennonite to focus on beauty

The Mennonite Inc. invites your original submissions for the May 2020 issue focusing on the theme “the presence of beauty.” Sub­missions are due to Editor@TheMennonite.org no later than April 3. For more information about this theme, see http://bit.ly/TheMennoniteMay2020.

Work for restorative justice with MVS

Interested in partnering with others who care about restorative justice? Join an MVS unit in places like Chicago; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; and Alamosa. Age: 20+; term: 1-2 years. Learn more at www.MennoniteMission.net/Serve.

Immigrant detainee care kits are touching lives

 |  Category:

From Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes: Thank you for your generous, heart-warming response to the desperate needs of migrants in crisis at the southern U.S. border! Since June 2019, churches and individuals across the Great Lakes region do­nated more than 350 kits and more than $65,000. MCC has provided a fact sheet which shows how your gifts are being utilized through…

Read More »

Maple Syrup Festival to support missions

Please note: This event has been postponed until further notice. Sonnenberg Mennonite Church in Kidron will hold its 23rd annual Maple Syrup Festival including a pancake and sausage breakfast on Saturday, March 28, from 7 to 10:30 a.m. This annual event features locally-made maple syrup, and pro­ceeds support missions, both local and international. For more de­tails, please see the event…

Read More »

Oak Grove to host concert by Anthony Brown

Update: Please note that this concert has been canceled. Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville is hosting a concert by Anthony Brown, baritone, featuring the theme “Songs and Stories of Peace, Hope and Justice.” The concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 21. Using songs and stories from his international travels, Anthony Brown illustrates how music is…

Read More »

Engaging Mission 2020 to feature VMM workers

 |  Category:

Online registration is open for Engaging Mission 2020, an Ohio Conference missional festival planned for June 26-28 at Bluffton University. To register, go to http://bit.ly/EngagingMission2020. This event will be for people of all ages, including family groups. The festival will provide an introduction to missional living where participants will be challenged to create space for mission in their lives. Featured…

Read More »

Growing Disciples, Part 5 — Ecumenical Rebuking

This episode of the Ohio Conference Cast is the final podcast in a series about Missional Discipleship Groups. Lucas Johnson of Valley View Mennonite Church in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania, talks with Nate, a member of his Missional Discipleship Group. Nate and Lucas talk about rebuking, ecumenism, ministry, and love — all from a guy’s perspective.   For more information about Missional…

Read More »

Delegate News — Winter 2020 #5

Gifts Discernment Ministry to present slate at ACA At the 2020 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) in Plain City March 7 delegates will be asked to affirm a slate of individuals for Conference positions. The Gifts Discernment Ministry will present this slate during business sessions. Narrative spending plan now available At ACA delegates will be asked to adopt a spending plan…

Read More »