Delegate News – Summer 2017

Conference Leader Announcement At the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly, the Leadership Team was tasked with finding a Conference leader who is passionate about mission and who would encourage and lead us in our desire to become more missional as well as pick up the pieces that have over-burdened our staff for the past two years. As the Leadership Team began…

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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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MCC needs relief kits, comforters

Mennonite Central Committee urgently needs relief kits and comforters to ship to people in need around the world. Please help families meet their basic human needs. Find instructions for relief kits and comforters as well as drop-off locations on the MCC website: http://bit.ly/KitsComforters.

Mennonite Arts Weekend to be held Feb. 2-4

Cincinnati Mennonite Church will hold the 14th Mennonite Arts Weekend Feb. 2-4, 2018, at Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. A variety of writers, actors, musicians and visual artists will be featured during the weekend. For more information, see www.mennoniteartsweekend.org.

Berlin Mennonite plans centennial celebration

Berlin Mennonite is celebrating 100 years, and all are invited to join the celebration! To kick off the celebration year, the church will host a picnic on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. The evening will be filled with food, music, memories, children’s activities, and fellowship. The night will end with a hymn sing led by Tim Shue…

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OMW Executive Board decides to dissolve organization

On July 29, 2017, the Executive Board of the Ohio Mennonite Women (OMW) made the difficult decision to dissolve the organization of the Ohio Mennonite Women. The Executive Board asks all congregations to include the following announcement of this decision in their church bulletins on Aug. 20: Dear Women of Ohio, Over the years, Ohio Mennonite Women (OMW) has significantly…

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Delegate input sought on staffing

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team would like to hear from Conference delegates. In the Summer 2017 issue of Delegate News, the Leadership Team presented an update on the search for Conference leadership staff. Tentative job descriptions were included for both a Missional Leader and a Conference Administrator. (See Delegate News for details.) The Leadership Team is asking for delegate input about…

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Missional Work Camp — You can do this!

Many church youth groups go on summer service trips, but this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast features something different — a summer work camp in the local community. Instead of traveling to a far-off location to serve, youth and adults at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City use the church building as a home base for the week and spend…

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MWC Peace Sunday worship materials are now available

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) is encouraging congregations to celebrate Peace Sunday on Sept. 24. The theme for Peace Sunday in 2017 is “A  Renewed Peace Church Builds Bridges.” This theme picks up on two elements. The first builds on the Renewal 2027 process which MWC has embarked on. Second, in light of the rising nationalisms around the world, which separates…

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New Pastor Orientation is Sept. 10-11

Ohio Conference will hold a New Pastor Orientation Sept. 10-11. New pastors and their spouses are invited to attend this overnight event free of charge. Lodging will be in the Comfort Suites in Berlin. Participants will visit the Ohio Conference office, Camp Luz, Everence, Central Christian School and MCC Connections. See the event flier for more details, including the orientation…

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Conference deficit decreases slightly in June

  Ohio Conference’s receipts were slightly higher than expenses in June, according to figures provided by Ohio Conference Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for June totaled $23,965, including $20,225 in congregational giving. Expenses for the month totaled $23,560, resulting in a surplus of $405 for the month. The year-to-date operating balance at the end of June was -$2,378.

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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Time remains to apply for ministry grants

Last call for grant applications: Aug. 9 is the deadline to submit a grant proposal to the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT). For the sixth year in a row, the MDT is accepting proposals from Ohio Conference congregations for projects and mission initiatives. This year the MDT has $24,992 available for grants. So far only one grant application has…

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Leadership Team continues work on staffing

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team, with the help of Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker, has been diligently working at finding leadership for the Conference to address several needs. We are looking for leadership to guide the missional movement that has become the desired focus of the Ohio Conference. In addition, the Leadership Team is seeking to ensure that executive functions are…

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Hispanic Retreat focuses on peace

By Raul Tadeo On the weekend of June 16-18, Hispanic families came together at Camp Luz in Kidron, including 42 children, and 102 youth and adults. Families came from churches of western Ohio,  Salem Mennonite Church of Wooster and Iglesia Christiana of Columbus, Ohio. Local Hispanics appreciated getting acquainted with Hispanic Mennonites from other Ohio churches.  Meal times were the…

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Oak Grove celebrates the arts

By Joanne Murray Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville hosted “Celebrating the Arts,” a visual art exhibit with background instrumental music.  This event was held April 29-30 and featured the work of more than 20 church artists. People of all ages from Oak Grove participated by bringing their creations to the church Fellowship Center, where they were displayed. This first event…

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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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Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale set for Aug. 4-5

Wooster, Ohio — The 52nd Annual Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale will take place at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster on Aug. 4-5. The 2017 Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale will include live music, breakfast, food and vendor booths and children’s activities, as well as a 5K run and a volleyball tournament. Multiple auctions will be held, including a silent auction,…

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Festival raises funds, builds community

What started out as a fundraiser turned out to be something more.  On June 24 Salem Mennonite Church in Waldron, Michigan, held a Strawberry Festival on the church grounds to showcase the congregation’s new unfinished building and to help raise funds to complete it. Salem’s new building sits behind the current structure in the middle of a hay field more…

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Make disciples. Seriously. Here’s one way how.

The Missional Discipleship Initiative is coming to the Ohio Conference! The Conference is partnering with Mennonite Mission Network to offer the Missional Discipleship Initiative (MDI) to congregations, starting this fall. In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Bill Seymour and Jacob Dodson talk about MDI with Mennonite Mission Network staff members Marvin Lorenzana and Karla Minter, as well…

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First Mennonite to host inter-church dialogue

First Mennonite Church in Bluffton will host an inter-church dialogue, “Knowing and Hearing the Stories,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 27. While celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Presbyterians from the Maumee Valley Presbytery “lament the violence and division that took place between Christian sisters and brothers.” They have asked to hear stories of Anabaptists and Catholics. Storytellers will…

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MMN offers missional training for congregations

Is your congregation interested in learning more about what it means to be missional? Ohio Conference is partnering with Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) to offer the Missional Discipleship Initiative to Conference churches beginning this fall. Marvin Lorenzana, the director for discipleship initiatives at MMN, coordinates the Missional Discipleship Initiative (MDI). “Our goal is to help leaders engage the missional church…

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Ohio Conference Cast features Orlando podcasts

The Mennonite Church USA Convention in Orlando (July 4-8) was a busy time full of discussion, workshops and worship. But for one person, Bill Seymour, host of the Ohio Conference Cast, the week was even busier. In between all the other convention activities, Bill and several co-hosts interviewed people participating in the convention as part of the Ohio Conference Cast…

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Ohio Conference Cast Orlando – Young adults share their reflections

In this final podcast from the Mennonite Church USA Convention in Orlando, host Bill Seymour talks to Jared Chase, youth pastor at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City, and four post-high young adults from Sharon Mennonite: Mandy Miller, Emily Miller, Josh Yoder and Megan Colwell. These young adults reflect on their convention experience and share their hopes for Mennonite Church USA. https://ohiomennoniteconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/17_07_07_PlainCity_Submitted_00.mp3Podcast: Play in…

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Ohio Conference Cast Orlando – Doctrine of Discovery, or “Hey! It’s Ted Swartz!”

What exactly is the Doctrine of Discovery, and how has it shaped North American culture and society? Ohio Conference Cast host Bill Seymour and his guest co-host, Jeff Hochstetler, talk with Ted Swartz and Alison Brookins about Ted & Company’s new play about the Doctrine of Discovery called Discovery: A Comic Lament. Also participating in the discussion is Peace Lab Podcast* host…

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Ohio Conference Cast in Orlando – Delegates reflect on first sessions

Following a very busy day at the Mennonite Church USA Convention in Orlando, Ohio Conference Cast host Bill Seymour talks with three delegates to the convention — Danae King, Charles Bontrager and Leanna Teodosio. They reflect on the first delegate session, which focused on a resolution about seeking peace in Israel and Palestine. They also give their impressions of the first session of…

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Central Plains Conference offers free faith formation resources

Calling all Anabaptists: Central Plains Mennonite Conference has a gift for you. Central Plains Mennonite Conference has gathered a wide variety of resources for people interested in faith formation and teaching people of all ages on its Anabaptist Faith Formation website: http://www.anabaptistfaithformation.org/. All resources on the website are free to use. The site has downloadable resources for working with children…

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Who are the Dones, and why do we care?

Why do some people describe themselves as “done” with the church, even if they haven’t given up on their faith? This episode of the Ohio Conference Cast is the first in a series of podcasts from the Mennonite Church USA Convention in Orlando, Florida. Host Bill Seymour and guest co-host Jamie Rye, pastor of Millersburg Mennonite Church, talk with Dr. Josh…

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Registration open for Believers’ Church Conference

GOSHEN, Ind. — Goshen College and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) will co-host the 18th Believers’ Church Conference, titled “Word, Spirit and the Renewal of the Church,” Sept. 14-17, 2017, at Goshen College. The conference will explore the gifts and tensions of the Reformation legacy for the Believers’ Church tradition, with a view toward its ecumenical and global dimensions, focusing…

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Conference ends May with deficit

Ohio Conference ended the second month of the 2017-18 fiscal year with a deficit, according to figures provided by Ohio Conference Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for the month of May totaled $21,972, including $16,319 in congregational giving. That amount represents a significant decrease from congregational giving during April, which totaled $28,693. Expenses for the month were $23,910, resulting in…

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