Winter cluster meetings scheduled

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 about two hours.  Locations are as follows: Jan. 9 — Tedrow Mennonite Church, Wauseon Jan. 11 — Beech Mennonite Church, Louisville Jan. 16 — Crown Hill Mennonite Church, Rittman Jan. 18 — Oak Grove Mennonite Church, West Liberty Jan.…

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Leadership Team appoints interim pastoral staff

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team is pleased to announce the appointment of an interim conference minister and a half-time interim regional pastor for the eastern portion of the Conference. The Leadership Team has appointed Dan Miller to serve as full-time interim conference minister for 12 months, beginning Dec. 1, 2023. Dan has enjoyed various roles over the years, at congregational…

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The Soil and The Seed Project offers Advent and Christmas resources

If you are seeking ways to nurture faith at home during Advent, take a look at the new free resources available online at The Soil and The Seed Project: https://bit.ly/SoilandSeedVol8. Volume 8 of these faith formation resources, now available, is intended for use during Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. The Soil and The Seed Project has created “little liturgies” with downloadable…

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Retreat will equip women to use leadership gifts

Online registration is open for the Ohio Conference Women in Leadership Retreat planned for Feb. 2-3, 2024, at the Lial Renew­al Center in Whitehouse, Ohio. The retreat will feature Jewel Gingerich Longenecker of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Semi­nary, who will focus on the theme “Finding Your Voice.” This retreat will explore what it means for women to lead as their authentic…

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EMU to host Shalom Academy

Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will host Shalom Academy (formerly School for Leadership Training) Jan. 8-10, 2024. Cultivating unity within faith communities can be difficult when cultural pressures are divisive. Shalom Acade­my 2024 will offer a place to learn and reflect on the practices that move congregations past divisiveness and toward peace, both within their walls and in their…

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AMBS gathering to focus on peacemaking

“Strategies for Peacemaking” will be the theme of the 2024 Pastors & Leaders Conference at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana, Feb. 19-22, 2024. Betty Pries, PhD, will be the featured speaker. This conference will focus on tools for peacemaking — building our capacity to tend to our inner work; address conflicts within our churches; and lead people…

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New training modules offered at AMBS

In August Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, launched a new Practical Leadership Training program to help pastors, lay leaders, community leaders, and leaders of nonprofit organizations increase their capacity to pro­vide effective Anabaptist leadership in a variety of settings. A new set of training modules is available beginning in January. Topics include Intergenerational Faith Formation, Riding the Wave…

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Retreat offers couples time for rest, reconnection

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Fourteen couples attended the Ohio Conference Pastor-Spouse Retreat, which was held Nov. 10-12 at Deer Creek State Park Lodge in Mt. Sterling, Ohio. The theme of the weekend gathering was “Fill my Cup,” and participants were encouraged to rest, be refreshed and reconnect with their spouse. Our thanks go to the sponsors who helped to underwrite this event: Hummel Group,…

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You’re invited to join the Ohio Conference Winter Read

Coming in 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 Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith and Showing Up for One Another,  a book by Carlene Hill Byron. Discussion leaders will be Emiley Shenk and Darin Nissley. Winter Read discussion sessions will…

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Deficit increases during October

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Ohio Conference’s expenses outpaced giving during October. Receipts for the month totaled $18,589, including $18,462 in giving from congregations. Expenses for October totaled $26,130, resulting in a deficit of $7,541 for the month. As of Oct. 31, the Conference’s year-to-date operating balance was -$41,747. The Conference fiscal year ends March 31, 2024.              

Mennonite World Conference to hold Online Prayer Hour Nov. 17

Mennonite World Conference invites you to join the Anabaptist-Mennonite family at Online Prayer Hour, a Zoom prayer call, on Friday, Nov. 17, at 9 a.m. EST. There will be breakout rooms with a prayer leader in several languages. Please register in advance at https://bit.ly/MWCOnlinePrayerNov23.

MC USA to relaunch Equipping e-newsletter

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Church USA) — After a two-year hiatus, the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) Executive Board communications department is relaunching Equipping, a resource e-newsletter for leaders across MC USA. MC USA will reintroduce Equipping as a quarterly email news­letter featuring resources on leadership, peacebuilding, worship, faith formation and more from MC USA and its confer­ences, congregations, agencies, ministry…

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Advent at Home guide coming soon

Update: The 2024 Advent at Home worship guide is now available. Go to https://bit.ly/AdventatHome  to download it. ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Education Agency) — Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) announces the upcoming publica­tion of Advent at Home 2023. Taken from Leader magazine’s Advent theme, “How will we know?” this worship guide accompanies individuals and families through the days and weeks of Advent…

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Community gun safety event brings Ohio churches together

In September, several Mennonite churches from Northwest Ohio worked together to host a community event about gun safety. Several organizations, such as RAWtools and Mennonite Central Committee, also helped make this event successful. By Nancy Roynon Beck Have you ever wanted to make something happen but did not know how? That was me last January. I was teaching the Mennonite…

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Advent at Home guide available soon

Update: The 2024 Advent at Home worship guide is now available. Go to https://bit.ly/AdventatHome  to download it. By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate Coming soon: Once again this year, Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) will be publishing an Advent at Home worship guide. It will follow the same   Advent theme as Leader magazine, “How will we know?” The Advent at…

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Winter Read to focus on mental health

Coming in January: The Ohio Conference Winter Read. This winter Ohio Conference will once again hold a Conference-wide book study using the Zoom videoconferencing platform. We will be studying the book Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith and Showing Up for One Another by Carlene Hill Byron. A schedule of Zoom meetings will be published in December, as well as registration…

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MC USA Executive Board meets in Cleveland

Ohio Conference Leadership Team welcomes MC USA Executive Board to Ohio By Camille Dager CLEVELAND, Ohio (Mennonite Church USA) — The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board strengthened key relationships and discussed creative strategies for convention and revitalization at the first Executive Board meeting of the biennium Oct. 18-20, 2023, in Cleveland, Ohio. Ohio Mennonite Conference welcomed the Executive Board and…

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Tiny, awkward little steps

Engaging with mental illness as a congregation By Nathanael Hofstetter Ressler Maple Grove Mennonite Church Hartville, Ohio  Realities exist in life that are daunting to consider, much less to know what to do about them. These realities loom over us in their enormity, and we seem to shrink into their shadows. How could I possibly do anything to address that?!…

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Toledo pastor provides peace witness with the help of an anvil

Joel Shenk, pastor of Toledo Mennonite Church, describes how he learned blacksmithing as part of his personal peace witness and how Ohio Conference and his congregation have joined him in this work. Camille Dager, chief communication officer for Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), recently talked to Joel Shenk about his peace witness in response to growing gun violence in the…

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Downsizing Summit Mennonite

  By Joanne Lehman Many couples and individuals come to a place in life where downsizing is desired. Their situation has changed, and their living space is too big. Family members have moved out to begin life somewhere else. Maintenance is too expensive for the budget. Closets and cupboards are full of things they’ve collected over the years. Life goes…

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Congregational giving drops during September

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Congregational giving to the Ohio Conference dropped during September, while giving from indi­viduals increased during the same month. During September, congregations contributed a total of $13,960, compared to $24,973 contributed during August. On a more positive note, the Conference received $5,100 from individuals during September. Total receipts for September were $19,094, and expenses for the month were $28,741, resulting in…

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Encourage women in your congregation to attend Women in Leadership Retreat

Online registration is open for the Ohio Conference Women in Leadership Retreat planned for Feb. 2-3, 2024, at the Lial Renewal Center in Whitehouse, Ohio. The retreat will feature Jewel Gingerich Longenecker of Anabap­tist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, who will focus on the theme “Finding Your Voice.” The planning committee for this retreat would like you to think about women in…

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AMBS launches Forming Leaders Together campaign

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana, has launched its Forming Leaders Together fundraising campaign. Funds raised through the campaign are supporting the seminary’s collaboration with Anabaptist-Mennonite organiza­tions serving the church in Canada, the United States, and around the world. According to Paula Killough, MDiv, Director of Campaign, the seminary has reached 83 percent of its $12 million campaign…

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Zoom meeting about Corinthian Plan scheduled

Did you know that Mennonite Church USA has a health plan? The Corinthian Plan provides health coverage for eligible pastors, church employees and their families Learn more during an upcoming Zoom meeting on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. ET.  Current participants of the plan are also welcome to ask questions. Register online at https://bit.ly/CorinthianPlanQandA.

On the Level explores the benefits of being a volunteer

The October edition of On the Level is now available from Men­nonite Disaster Service. In the current issue: Kevin King shares the health benefits of being a volunteer; an old grocery store is transformed near Red Lake, Minnesota; and if you enjoy quilting, knitting or crocheting, you’ll want to learn more about the MDS Housewarmer Project. To read more, go…

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Updated flyer has instructions for reporting misconduct

The Credentialing Ministry Team of Ohio Mennonite Conference has updated the “How to Report Pastoral Sexual Misconduct” flyer and strongly encourages congregations to post it in their meeting spaces. Please consider posting in visible places, but it doesn’t have to be the first thing people see when entering the church. Consider posting in bathrooms, on bulletin boards or other conspicuous places around…

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ACA 2024 is for everyone, not just delegates

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Ohio Conference’s 2024 Annual Conference Assembly will take place March 1-2 at Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City. A 2024 ACA Save the Date Flyer is now available. Please share it with your congregation and post it on your church bulletin boards. The ACA Planning Committee is inviting everyone from Ohio Conference congregations to attend this year’s ACA because of the…

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Podcast features Ohio Conference members

“Til Death Do Us Part” is a new podcast featuring conversation between author Christiana Peterson and her husband, Matthew Peterson, who is pastor of Midway Mennonite Church in Columbiana. In the description of this podcast, Christiana says, “Because I write about death and my husband is a pastor who is often invited into sacred spaces where death is present, we…

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