Staying the Course

With affirmation from our delegates at our Annual Conference Assembly on March 4-5, 2022, at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio Conference embarked on a review/discernment process looking at our vision based on our new mission statement1, our structure, and our future affiliation with Mennonite Church USA (MC USA). Also with affirmation from our delegates, we contracted with a process…

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Leadership Team releases statement regarding MC USA Special Delegate Assembly

To: Ohio Conference Pastors, Delegates and Congregations From: Ohio Conference Leadership Team Subject: Statement regarding MC USA’s Special Delegate Assembly, May 27-30, 2022 Date: June 6, 2022 MC USA’s delegates met May 27-30 for a special delegate assembly in Kansas City, Missouri. Of the 502 delegates who participated, 47 represented Ohio Conference or one of our congregations. We met to…

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Bangladesh — Seeing a Need and Responding

International service can have long-term effects on those serving. In the case of Bill Schumacher, his voluntary service term in Bangladesh in the 1980s left him with an enduring interest in the welfare of the people there. In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Jared Chase and Jacob Dodson talk with Bill and Carole Schumacher of Sharon Mennonite…

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Holy Indifference

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister In my last article for the Evangel, I wrote about the spiritual discipline of Christian discernment. As individual Christians we should be discerning the will of God in our beliefs, decisions and actions each and every day. Our discernment of God’s will for our lives should be based on what has been revealed to us…

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Learning trip gives deeper understanding of MMN ministries in France

By Lynda Hollinger-Janzen Mennonite Mission Network Paris Mennonite Center (PMC) sponsored a learning fellowship visit for its supporters, Sep. 16-26, to give them a deeper understanding of its ministries in France and throughout the French-speaking world. James and Jeanette Krabill, who were long-time workers with Mennonite Mission Network, co-hosted the visit with their son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Toni Krabill, who are…

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Missional Workshop to focus on projects

Update: The 2023 Missional Workshop will take place at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin, Ohio. In 2023 Ohio Conference is offering a Missional Workshop on April 15. During this one-day workshop, teams from Ohio Conference congregations will work on plans for projects designed to reach out to their individual communities. Mauricio Chenlo, minister for church planting at Mennonite…

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Mentor-Mentee Retreat provides resources

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On Sept. 6 Ohio Conference hosted a Mentor/Mentee retreat for our pastors who are currently licensed towards ordination. The one-day retreat was held at the St. Francis Spirituality Center in Tiffin, Ohio. There were seven pairs present: Mentee Nathanael Hostetter Ressler (Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Hartville), Mentor Dan Hooley (Crown Hill Mennonite Church) Mentee Keith Lyndaker Schlabach (Millersburg Mennonite Church),…

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Check out these Advent resources

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate As we move into the season of Advent, Mennonite Church USA and CommonWord have Advent resources for individuals, families and congregations. “Restoration is Near!” is the theme of the Advent at Home 2022 worship guide, now avail­able at the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) website: https://mennoniteusa.org/adventathome. Using the theme developed for Leader magazine, the…

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Giving to Conference increases in October

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Congregational giving to Ohio Conference increased during October, helping to reduce the Conference’s deficit for the 2022-23 fiscal year by more than $6,000. Receipts for the month of October totaled $35,618, including $29,299 in giving from congregations. Expenses for the month totaled just $29,242, resulting in a surplus of $6,376 for the month. However, as of Oct. 31, the Conference…

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Sabbatical plans announced

Conference Minister Dick Barrett will be on sabbatical from Nov. 28 to Dec. 31, 2022. If you need a Conference pastor during that time, please contact Regional Pastor Tony Doehrmann. Tony will be on vacation Dec. 4–11. During that week Paula Snyder Belousek, assistant moderator and pastor at Salem Mennonite Church in Elida, will be the emergency contact person. As…

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Restorative Conversations workshop planned

Coming in 2023: Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will be offering a new one-day workshop called “Restorative Conversations: Storytelling, Healing and Community Building.” This workshop will introduce church leaders to the key concepts of circle processes and ways in which circles can be used within their congregations. Restorative conversations are useful when working through difficult or polarizing topics, processing shared painful experiences, building…

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MC USA shares new resolutions process

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) Executive Board staff has posted new “Guidelines for Developing Organizational Resolutions and Church Statements in Mennonite Church USA” on the MC USA website: https://bit.ly/2022DevelopingResolutions. The guidelines are effective immediately and apply to proposed organizational resolutions or church statements submitted for consideration by the 2023 Delegate Assembly (Kansas City, Missouri, July…

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Giving Tuesday event planned at Sauder Village

Everence will hold a Giving Tuesday event on Nov. 29 at Founder’s Hall at Sauder Village in Archbold. The event, which will include dinner and a Difference Makers Expo, will begin at 5 p.m. Register by Nov. 21 for this event. For more information, please see https://bit.ly/2022EverenceGivingTuesday.

MDS shares long-term response to Hurricane Ian

The November edition of On the Level is now available from Mennonite Disaster Service. In this issue: Learn about the MDS long-term response to Hurricane Ian in Florida; read about volunteers responding to Hurricane Fiona in Atlantic Canada; and learn about a new Web page with volunteer opportunities closer to home. Also included is information on the upcoming MDS Annual…

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Registration open for cluster meetings

Five winter cluster meetings have been scheduled for Ohio Conference delegates to Annual Conference Assembly. Each meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last between 1.5 and 2 hours. Locations are as follows: Jan. 17 — Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Hartville Jan. 19 — Toledo Mennonite Church Jan. 24 — Sharon Mennonite Church, Plain City Jan. 26 — Orrville Mennonite Church Jan. 30 — Online…

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Delegate News — Leadership Team shares update on review process

To: Ohio Conference Credentialed Ministers, Congregational Delegates, Members and Attendees From: Ohio Conference Leadership Team Subject: Update on Review Process Date: Nov. 7, 2022 At our Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) on March 4-5, 2022, Ohio Conference delegates affirmed the use of a consultant to help us with strategic planning, including visioning for the future and reviewing our affiliation with Mennonite…

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Advent at Home guide now available

ELKHART, Ind.  (Mennonite Education Agency) — “Restoration is Near!” is the theme of the Advent at Home 2022 worship guide, now avail­able at the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) website: https://mennoniteusa.org/adventathome. Using the theme developed for Leader magazine, the guide offers weekly and daily Scriptures from the lectionary texts, worship rituals, prayers, activities, and background information to help individuals and households…

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Cluster meeting dates set

Mark your calendar: Ohio Conference will hold five winter cluster meetings for delegates to Annual Conference Assembly. Locations are as follows: Jan. 17 — Maple Grove Mennonite (Hartville) Jan. 19 — Toledo Mennonite Jan. 24 — Sharon Mennonite (Plain City) Jan. 26 — Orrville Mennonite Jan. 30 — Online via Zoom

Video project focuses on visual art in worship

Together in Worship, an online collection of free worship resources from Anabaptist sources, is pleased to announce the launch of a new resource about the use of visual art in worship. A Creative God: The Visual Arts in Worship is a video project that explores how seven Mennonite congregations in southern Pennsylvania and east­ern Virginia use visual art and other visual…

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Missional Workshop rescheduled

Ohio Conference is changing the date of the 2023 Missional Workshop from March 2-3 to April 15. As was announced previously, Mauricio Chenlo, minister for church planting at Mennonite Mission Network, will facilitate the Missional Workshop. This event will include significant time for congregational teams to work on a project and receive feedback about the project from others. The location…

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Copies of hymnal sought

Does your congregation have copies of Hymnal: A Worship Book that you would be willing to sell or donate? Andrea Nord, a former member of University Mennonite Church now living in Greenville, Illinois, is seek­ing copies of this hymnal for her Free Methodist congrega­tion in Illinois. She will be driving to Harrisonburg, Virginia, over Thanksgiving and could pick up the…

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Ohio Conference Leadership Team Announcement: Resignation of Sherah-Leigh Gerber as regional pastor

It was with sadness that the Leadership Team of Ohio Conference recently accepted the resignation of Sherah-Leigh Gerber as our regional pastor in the east. Sherah-Leigh was called to this role of regional pastor because of her unique skill set and gifting, and her presence and contributions will be greatly missed. One of the primary reasons she gave for her…

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Winter Read to return in January

Returning this January: The Ohio Conference Winter Read. This win­ter Ohio Conference will once again hold a Conference-wide book study using the Zoom videoconferencing platform. This year we will be study­ing Just Mercy, a book by Bryan Stevenson. Winter Read discussion sessions will take place in the evening on Zoom. Specific meeting dates will be announced at a later time.…

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Mennonite Arts Weekend set for Feb. 3-5

“Between: Embracing Vulnerability” is the theme for the 16th Mennonite Arts Weekend, February 3-5, 2023, in Cincin­nati, Ohio. This weekend celebrates the creativity and discipline of Anabaptist Mennonite artists. Presentations and workshops by musicians, visual artists, writers, and craftspeople start on Friday evening and conclude with Sunday morning worship. Activities and workshops designed specifically for Pre-K children through high school are planned throughout…

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Deficit grows during September

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Six months into the 2022-23 fiscal year, Ohio Conference contin­ues to run a deficit. The deficit increased during the month of September, according to figures provided by Financial Coordina­tor Stan Helmuth. Receipts for the month totaled $23,436, including $23,122 in giving from congregations. Expenses for the month totaled $29,486, resulting in a deficit of $6,050 for the month. As of…

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Camp Luz to offer personal retreat

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Camp Luz in Kidron will hold a personal retreat Nov. 11-12. Check in will be from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, and the retreat will end at 6:45 p.m. Saturday. Cost for this retreat is $60 per person. The registration cost covers three meals and lodging. The retreat will feature a silence and sol­itude schedule, including a handout. Register…

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MMN has Mission Sunday materials for your congregation

Is your church planning a mission Sunday in November? Do you want to explore God’s call to create sacred spaces for people to encounter Jesus? Mennonite Mission Network has Mission Sunday materials for your congregation to use. Go to https://bit.ly/2022MissionSundayResources to explore and download these resources.

Please join us in prayer on Wednesdays

Please join us each Wednesday at noon for a time of communal prayer on Zoom. We will be using Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer Book as the resource for our time together. To participate, you can use either the prayer book or the app of the same name, available at http://bit.ly/AnabaptistPrayerApp. The login link for these…

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Open Arms seeks to hire community outreach worker

Open Arms Hispanic Ministries is looking to hire a community outreach worker. This person would be bilingual, be able to maintain a flexible schedule (up to 20 hours per week) and live in or near Wayne County. Please contact Dan King for more information at dljnking@gmail.com or 330-466-1269.

Mennonite Mission Network to hire new staff members

If you are excited about witnessing to the good news of Jesus Christ, and seek to use your vocational skills and spiritual gifts in your place of employment, perhaps you will also be interested in working with Mennonite Mission Network. As the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA, all of our positions are geared toward the organizational vision of sharing…

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Register now for stewardship event

Oct. 23 is the deadline to register to attend Weaving a Legacy – Finances God’s Way. This Everence stewardship event will take place Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2:30 p.m. at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City. The afternoon will include workshops on topics such as teaching children about money, how investments can reflect one’s faith values, and estate planning. There…

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Podcast features OrrVilla CEO

Myron Weaver, CEO of OrrVilla Retirement Community and chair of Ohio Conference’s Credentialing Ministry, is the featured guest on the most recent episode of “On Leading,” a video podcast from Mennonite Health Services. See this brief (five minute) interview at https://bit.ly/MHSPodcast-MyronWeaver.