Donut Day fundraiser to benefit MCC

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is inviting everyone to celebrate National Donut Day on June 5 by joining MCC’s social media baking party. Due to COVID-19, many spring and summer MCC relief sales have been postponed or canceled. These events raised more than $2.2 million last year alone. Any funds raised on National Donut Day will go to MCC’s “Where needed…

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MMN webinar to focus on spiritual practices

Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) is offering a free webinar, “Spiritual practices for peacemakers: finding your center when you feel pulled apart.” Karla Minter, church relations representative for MMN, will lead the webinar on June 4 at 7 p.m. She will invite participants to encounter or rediscover spiritual practices that create a daily rhythm to help turn despair and isolation into…

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New podcast hosts sought

After more than three years, Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn have decided to conclude their time as hosts of the Ohio Confer­ence Cast podcast. The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team is seeking new hosts for the podcast. If you are interested in hosting the podcast, or you have suggestions for new hosts, please contact Assistant Moderator Paula Snyder Belousek at…

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Black Swamp Benefit canceled, donations sought

The 2020 Black Swamp Benefit has been canceled, but all are en­couraged to contribute online to this fundraiser, which benefits Sunshine Inc. and Mennonite Central Committee. To donate, log on to Facebook and search for @blackswampbenefit. You can contribute to this fundraiser by clicking on the post with the “donate” button. The goal for this online fundraiser is $10,000.

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.

MDS launches new e-newsletter

Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) has launched On the Level, a monthly online newsletter. The May issue includes the story of MDS volunteers helping a victim of multiple disasters return home even after closing down the project. Read On the Level online at https://bit.ly/OnTheLevelMay2020.

Thoughtful and prayerful reopening

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All of our congregations throughout Ohio Conference are dis­cerning when is the best time to start gathering together in person again and what steps need to be taken to try to prevent any spread of COVID-19. Most will be reopening in phases offering limited interaction (e.g. no Sunday school, no nursery care, no coffee and refreshments). Some will begin by…

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Jesus is the Center

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister More than 10 years ago now Palmer Becker wrote a small book titled What is an Anabaptist Christian? The booklet was his attempt to highlight the distinctiveness of an “Anabaptist Christian,” and he did so by highlighting three core values: 1) Jesus is the center of our faith; 2) Community is the center of our…

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An important part of Christ’s Body

By Ramon Lianez Central Mennonite Church I believe that young adults are an important part of Christ’s Body, but we are not ministering to them accordingly. The ball is being dropped on both sides; however, through appropriate means and in God’s timing, we all can turn our present situation around. I do not attest that I am an expert in…

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Podcast hosts to conclude their work

After more than three years and dozens of podcast episodes, Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour have decided to resign as hosts of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast. The Ohio Conference Cast began in the fall of 2016 with the goal of creating another avenue for people to learn about happenings within the Ohio Conference. Since that time, Bill and Thomas…

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Hispanic families suffering more in the era of COVID-19

By Haroldo Nunes Executive Director Open Arms Hispanic Ministry Hello my sisters and brothers, I would like to start this article with a quote from Jim Wallis of Sojourners: “We believe that the ultimate test of our discipleship to Jesus Christ is how we treat the most vulnerable in society, or as Jesus refers to them in Matthew 25, ‘the…

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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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Applications pour in for COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund

By Susan Kim GOSHEN, Indiana — Anabaptist churches in the U.S. have submitted more than 200 applications to the new COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund since its launch on April 13, 2020. The great majority of the applications have come from churches serving racially or ethnically diverse communities – congregations whose needs center around lost jobs and income that have led…

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University Euclid congregation closes

University Euclid Christ New Testament Church, an Ohio Conference congregation in Cleveland, has closed, reports Regional Pastor Ralph Reinford. The congregation’s pastors, Brian Anderson and Sheila Spencer Anderson, resigned in September 2019. A small group from the congregation continued meeting through February of this year, when the congregation decided to close. The congregation intends to donate the church property to…

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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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Michael Sherrill to be next executive director of MMN

The Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) board of directors has appointed Michael J. Sherrill, Ph. D., as the organization’s next executive director. Dr. Sherrill is an ordained educator, scholar, administrator, and leader with 25 years of global experience. Dr. Sherrill has been the director of Asia and Middle East for Mennonite Mission Network since 2017. See the MMN news release for…

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MDS approves additional funds for COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund

Lititz, PA — Faced with a large number of requests for assistance from U.S. churches for the COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund, the Board of Directors of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) have approved an additional $250,000 to help meet the high demand. The COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund is a joint effort of MDS, Everence and Mennonite Central Committee U.S. With this…

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Webinar’s focus to be ‘radical aloneness’

How can church leaders respond to the challenges of the current pandemic and the resultant “radical aloneness” that afflicts many of us? Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is planning a webinar exploring these questions, Social Distancing, Not Social Isolation, on Thursday, May 14, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Central Time. Participants will learn how church leaders can reach out to people…

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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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Seminary hosts online forum series on navigating ministry during COVID-19

Eastern Mennonite Seminary is hosting Navigating Ministry During COVID-19, a free online forum series for pastors. All forums will be live via Zoom on Wednesdays, from 3-4:30 p.m. EDT. Register here. The series is an outgrowth of an April 1 online gathering that drew 32 pastors, including 22 alumni, representing Mennonite Church USA, the Church of the Brethren, Presbyterian Church USA and United…

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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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Lighthouse Ministries plans A Day of Giving

An invitation from Darin Nissley, executive director of Lighthouse Ministries in Canton: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Lighthouse’s Annual fundraising banquet has been moved to an online event on Saturday, April 25. We’d love it if you joined us on Facebook or Instagram for the party! We will go live every half-hour, starting at 10 a.m., with all sorts of…

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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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Giving to Conference slows during March

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For the second month in a row, giving to Ohio Conference was down. Receipts for the month were just $13,952, including $13,517 in giving from congregations. Expenses for the month totaled $34,991, resulting in a significant shortfall for the month. The operating balance for March was -$21,039. The Ohio Conference ended its fiscal year on March 31 with an operating…

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Easter – now what?

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By Dick Barrett, Conference Minister This past Sunday we celebrated Easter in a way far different than most of us have celebrated Easter in the past. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we couldn’t celebrate it together in our churches with all the pomp which we normally do. Most of us had to celebrate in a much more subdued manner in…

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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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