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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Search begins for new MEA executive director

The search has begun for the next executive director of Mennonite Education Agency (MEA). A profile of the agency and a job description are available on the MEA website: http://bit.ly/News-MEA.

Regional meetings set for February

Ohio Conference will hold online winter meetings for dele­gates to Annual Conference As­sembly. Four regional meetings are planned: Feb. 2 — Wayne County/Holmes County Feb. 4 — West Central/Southwest Ohio Feb. 9 — Northeast Ohio Feb. 11 — Northwest Ohio All meetings will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. For login information, please contact Judy King at ohmc@zoominternet.net.

MC USA offers Lent at Home guide

(Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA’s (MC USA) 2021 Lent at Home worship guide is now available. The annual guide for home-based worship provides daily and weekly scripture readings, prayers and rituals for individuals and families observing Lent, the period of prayer and reflection from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, to Easter, April 4. “In today’s divided society, we are…

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Pastors invited to experience ‘The Joy of Rest’

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Dan Schrock will be the presenter for “The Joy of Rest,” a spiritual direction retreat for pastors, on Tuesday, Feb. 16. This online retreat will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. In this brief video, Dan Schrock reflects on the importance of rest in the life of pastors, and he invites all Ohio…

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Scholarship fund supports seminary students

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ELKHART, Indiana — For the past 30 years an endowed scholarship at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) has helped dozens of students pursue pastoral leadership education,  and now AMBS has begun a campaign to celebrate the aid given and raise funds for continued student support. Since its inception in 1990, the Paul M. and Bertha M. Miller Pastoral Leadership Scholarship…

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ACA to be held online in 2021

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For the first time in the history of the Ohio Conference, delegates from Conference congregations will not gather in person for Annual Conference Assembly (ACA). The 2021 ACA will be a virtual, one-day event, taking place March 6 on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. The theme for the 2021 ACA is “Come and See! The Mission of the Church in God’s…

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Missional conference to focus on the rural church

Ohio Conference will hold an online missional conference during the evenings of March 4-5, just prior to Annual Conference Assembly. The theme of this conference will be “Come and See! The Mission of the Church in God’s Country.” Brad Roth, pastor and author of the book God’s Country: Faith, Hope, and the Future of the Rural Church, will be the featured…

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CommonWord offers Lenten resources

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate This year Lent begins on Feb. 17, which means now is a great time to look for worship and devotional resources related to Lent. If you are looking for new Lenten resources, check out the website for CommonWord, a collaboration of Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite University. In preparation for Lent, CommonWord…

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Behold the Lamb of God

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister I write this in preparation for our 2021 Annual Conference Assembly, scheduled to be held virtually this year on Saturday, March 6. On March 7, 2020, we were able to meet in person at Sharon Mennonite Church. Little did we know that in less than a week our world would be turned upside down as…

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Giving to Conference increases during December

Giving to Ohio Conference increased greatly during December, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for December totaled $65,389. Of that amount $29,710 came from congregational giving. During December giving from individuals was very strong. In response to a year-end appeal letter from Conference Moderator Lynn Miller, individuals gave a total of $31,535. That amount far surpassed…

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Glimpses into an unseen world

By Dan King About a year ago, pre-pandemic, one of my Guatemalan students invited me to her quinceañera. (For those who may not know, a Hispanic girl’s 15th birthday is an occasion for a no-expenses-spared party to signify her “coming of age.”) It was to be held at her evangelical church. I arrived a few minutes late, assuming the celebration…

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AMBS to offer two new scholarships

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana, is offering two new scholarships. The Multicultural Church Scholarship is for students who are currently serving in or preparing for ministry assignments in a multicultural context and/or who belong to historically underrepresented racial or ethnic groups within the Mennonite Church. Each year, this award will provide a limited number of 100-percent tuition grants to…

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MWC year-in-review video looks at how churches responded to pandemic

How did the pandemic affect Mennonite World Conference (MWC) during 2020, and what lessons were learned? MWC’s annual year-in-review video explores how member congre­gations and the organization as a whole adjusted to new reali­ties and found new ways of fol­lowing Jesus. You are invited to download this short video from the MWC website and show it to your congregation:  http://bit.ly/2020MWCYearReview.

Conflict transformation is workshop topic

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (LMPC) is offering an online workshop, “Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches,” on Feb. 13 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. Although a normal part of life, conflict is usually seen as something negative. Participants in this workshop will acquire the knowledge and skills to transform conflict into a force for positive change and spiritual growth.…

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Conversations to focus on immigration

Evangelical Immigration Table is launching a series of virtual conversations about immigration which are being held each Thursday in January. The first conversation, held on Jan. 7, focused on the topic “Discipleship in Politically Polarized Times.”  To learn more about this series or to register, go to https://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/2021convening.

Delegate News — Winter 2021

Regional meetings to be held online Ohio Conference will hold online winter meetings for del­egates to Annual Conference Assembly. Four regional meetings are planned: Tuesday, Feb. 2 — Wayne County/Holmes County Thursday, Feb. 4 — West Central/Southwest Ohio Tuesday, Feb. 9 — Northeast Ohio Thursday, Feb. 11 — Northwest Ohio All meetings will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m.…

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Giving to Conference drops during November

Giving to Ohio Con­ference dropped in November, accord­ing to figures provid­ed by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for Novem­ber totaled just $17,320, including $11,956 in giving from congregations. In contrast, receipts for October totaled $32,631, including $30,700 in giving from con­gregations. Expenses for November totaled $31,680. As a result, the Confer­ence had a deficit of $14,360 for the month. As…

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Missional conference to focus on the rural church

Pastor and author Brad Roth will be the featured speaker for Ohio Conference’s 2021 missional conference on March 4 and 5. The theme of this online event will be “Come and See! The Mission of the Church in God’s Country.” Please see the event brochure for more information. To regis­ter online, go to https://bit.ly/2021MissionalConference.

Weekend College to focus on pastoring through COVID

The Center for Anabaptist Leadership and Learning at Hesston College will host a special online Weekend College event for pastors, congregational leaders and conference leaders on Feb. 20. The event is titled “What If They Don’t Come Back? Pastoring through COVID.” Event attendance is open to all. Those interested in attending can register online at www.hesston.edu/weekendcollege.

‘Thriving Together’ is conference theme

ELKHART, Indiana — Offering church leaders space to “be” while learning how to thrive as leaders and congregations in the midst of the unprece­dented disruption of COVID-19 will be the focus of Pastors and Leaders 2021, an annual conference of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana. The event, which will be held online for the first time, will…

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AMBS offers worship materials to congregations

Recognizing the toll that COVID-19 has had on pastors and worship planners over the last eight months, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is offering several elements of a worship service for congregational use. Included are a call to worship and a prayer, as well as videos containing a scripture presentation, songs and a sermon featuring the story of Jesus in the…

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Worldwide prayer gatherings planned

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) is hosting two online prayer hour gatherings on Jan. 15 and 16 for Mennonite church members from around the world to pray together. Both gatherings will include a chance for participants to separate into smaller language-based rooms to pray together. To learn more, see https://bit.ly/2021MWCPrayer.

Call for immigration reform renewed

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A note from the Immigration Resource Team: The Evangelical Immigration Table soon will be introducing a series of policy recom­mendations for the new Congress and new presidential admin­istration. These recommendations will be guided by biblical principles, but one core element of those pro­posals will be renewing a call for an earned legalization process for undocumented immigrants based on the principle…

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Online spiritual direction retreat set for Feb. 16

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Ohio Conference will hold “The Joy of Rest,” a spiritual direction retreat for pastors, on Tuesday, Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. Led by pastor, teacher and spiritual director Dan Schrock, this re­treat will focus on spiritual practices, including sabbath. The reg­istration fee for this event is $15. For more information, please see…

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Four winter delegate meetings planned

Update: Two of the winter regional meetings for delegates have been rescheduled. The revised meeting schedule is listed below. Ohio Conference will hold online winter meet­ings for delegates to Annual Conference Assem­bly. Four regional meetings are scheduled: Tuesday, Feb. 2 — Wayne County/Holmes County Thursday, Feb. 4 — West Central/Southwest Ohio Tuesday, Feb. 9 — Northeast Ohio Thursday, Feb. 11…

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Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday is Jan. 24

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Mennonite World Conference (MWC) in­vites all Anabaptist congregations to cele­brate Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday on Jan. 24, 2021. Each year MWC provides worship planning resources for use on Ana­baptist World Fellowship Sunday. Worship materials for 2021 were prepared by Asian church leaders on the theme “Following Jesus across barriers,” based on the texts Isaiah 55:1-6, Psalm 27, John 4:1-42 and…

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Explore Anabaptist approaches to scripture

Online through AMBS: Understanding Anabaptist Ap­proaches to Scripture (Feb. 10 – March 23). Join Loren Johns, Ph.D., to study ways in which 16th-century Anabaptists ap­proached Scripture both similarly to and differently from Catho­lics and other Protestants. This six-week online short course from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary now includes weekly video conversations with Loren. Sign up by Jan. 13 and save…

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MCC podcast tells stories of migration

Check out the new “On the Move — En Movimiento” podcast from Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) that uses story­telling to challenge current narratives of migration. In the first episode, Ron Byler, recently retired executive director for MCC U.S., reflects on his January 2020 pilgrimage along the southern U.S. border. Ron drove and walked along the border wall and vis­ited with…

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Peace Center plans online workshops

Update: Please note that the date for Healthy Congregations has been changed to Jan. 30. Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (LMPC) is offering two of its workshops, Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches and Healthy Congregations, online during January. Both workshops will take place on Zoom. Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches will take place Jan. 16 from 8 a.m. ET to 3:30 p.m.…

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Voices Together dedication is Dec. 13

A reminder for music lovers: MennoMedia is holding an online dedication launch event for the new Voices Together hymnal on Dec. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. ET. The event will include both a time of worship and an over­view of the creation process for the hymnal. Although the event is free, registration is required to receive the Zoom link.…

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