Try the Anabaptist Prayer app during Advent

This Advent, try out the free Anabaptist Prayer app. Let Jesus’ words pervade your day through morning and evening prayer services with a distinctive Anabaptist flavor. Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer App includes Scripture-saturated prayers and space for communal reflection. The free,  easy-to-navigate app covers Advent through Pentecost as well as Ordinary Time. Available for iPhone…

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Hesston to offer online Bib Lit course

Starting this January, Hesston College is offering its well-known Biblical Literature course as a 16-week online course taught by Bible professor Nick Ladd. To learn more, see http://bit.ly/HesstonBibLitOnline.

School for Leadership Training set for Jan. 13-15

Eastern Mennonite Seminary’s annual School for Leadership Training will take place January 13-15, 2020. “Shalom in the Streets: Recapturing God’s Vision in Ordinary Places.” The biblical narratives beckon us to discover shalom in genuine relationships with the people in our neighborhoods, communities and cities. In the flourishing of the places where we live, we flourish as well (Jeremiah 29:7). Some…

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Holiday card campaign supports detainees

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If your congregation is looking for a way to connect with immi­grants, consider an idea Paula Snyder Belousek shared in the lat­est issue of Ohio Mennonite Evangel: the Casa Mariposa Visita­tion Program in Arizona has a goal of collecting 3,000 cards in time for Christmas so that each person in the immigration deten­tion centers in Eloy and Florence, Arizona, receives…

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Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday is Jan. 19

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) invites all Anabaptist con­gregations to celebrate Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday on Jan. 19, 2020. Each year MWC provides worship planning re­sources for use on Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday. The theme for 2020 is “Jesus Christ: Our Hope.” This year the wor­ship resources were prepared by MWC member churches in Can­ada and the United States. To download…

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Deficit increases during October

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Ohio Conference’s deficit increased during the month of October, accord­ing to figures pro­vided by Ohio Conference Finan­cial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for the month totaled $27,274, including $26,274 in giving from congregations. Ex­penses in October totaled $30,795, resulting in an operating bal­ance of -$3,521 for the month. As of Oct. 31, the Conference’s operating balance is -$26,479 for the 2019-20…

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Pastor-Spouse Retreat offers rest, renewal

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Twenty-eight couples participated in the Ohio Conference Pastor-Spouse Retreat Nov. 15-17 at the Mills Park Hotel in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The weekend was a time for pastors and their spouses to rest, rejuvenate, and reconnect. Retreat planners included Sue Short, Bill Seymour, Jamie Rye and Coordinator of Volunteers Alysa Short. Photos by Sue Short and Tony Doehrmann

Hesston College alumni and friends event planned in Kidron

Hesston College alumni and friends across Ohio are invited to an event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, at Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron. The church and college will host an evening of fellowship featuring a mini-concert by internationally acclaimed baritone Tony Brown, who is a Central Christian and Hesston College alumnus. A reception will follow the performance, along…

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MC USA Executive Director is coming to Ohio

Come and meet Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA! On Nov. 24 Glen will visit First Mennonite Church in Bluffton and offer the sermon based on John 17:20-23. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. Later that day, at 6:30 p.m., Glen will share his vision for the denomination at a reception in First Mennonite’s fellowship hall. All are invited…

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Register now for spiritual direction event

On Feb. 4 Ohio Conference will be offering a day-long event at Camp Luz in Kidron to introduce the concept of spiritual direction to pastors. Spiritual direction is an opportunity to pay attention to God’s movement and stirring in one’s life. Led by Janice Hershberger, Randy Murray, and Christine Nafziger, attendees will learn about spiritual direction while also experiencing how…

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Engaging Mission 2020 is for all ages

Save the date: Ohio Conference will hold a missional festival, Engaging Mission 2020, at Bluffton University June 26-28, 2020. Featured presenters will be Seth and Theresa Crissman of Virginia Mennonite Missions. (See http://bit.ly/VMMCrissmans for more information about the Crissmans.) This event will be for people of all ages, including family groups. The festival will provide an introduction to missional living…

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Interested in developing leaders? Ohio Conference could use your help

How can Ohio Conference best develop pastoral leaders for today and for the future? The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) is forming a resource team to promote leadership development in our congregations. The MDT is seeking individuals, male and female, credentialed and lay leaders, who are interested in working at leadership development to serve on the team. If you…

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Immigration Resource Team seeks your stories

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From the Immigration Resource Team: It has been eight months since Annual Conference Assembly, when delegates overwhelmingly passed a resolution on immigration. That resolution contained both individual and congregational components, along with suggestions for contacting elected representatives on state and national levels. Delegates agreed to “encourage our churches….to pray for the Spirit’s leading in seeking to minister to the needs…

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MennoCon21 and MWC Assembly to meet at same time

MennoCon21 and Mennonite World Conference Assembly scheduling conflict: MennoCon21, the upcoming Mennonite Church USA convention, will take place July 6-10, 2021, at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. This schedule overlaps with the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly in Semarang, Indonesia, on July 6-11. Read more: http://bit.ly/MennoCon21andMWC.

Thankful for the incarnation!

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By Dick Barrett Conference Minister We are entering into the special time of year when we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving was originally a religious holiday in which people paused to give thanks to God for the blessings of the harvest. Thanksgiving is followed by the beginning of Advent as Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately,…

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Wind of the Spirit enlivens MDI

Small groups begin to multiply By Laurie Oswald Robinson Mennonite Mission Network NEWTON, Kansas (Mennonite Mission Network) — After coming up empty-handed on volunteers for disciple groups within his congregation last fall, Pastor Robert Esh at Valley View Mennonite Church in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania, couldn’t help but feel downhearted about his vision-casting. No matter how hard he campaigned, no one wanted…

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Local congregations pack 175 immigrant detainee care kits

By Jennifer Steiner MCC Great Lakes  On Oct. 2, area congregations gathered at Orrville Mennonite Church to learn about the current situation for border detainees and to work together on a tangible response. In a little over an hour, volunteers had packed 175 immigration detainee care kits to provide much-needed supplies for those being released from border detention. Volunteers assembled…

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Border learning tour highlights immigration struggles

By Paula Snyder Belousek Ohio Conference Assistant Moderator At our last Annual Conference Assembly, Ohio Conference delegates passed an Immigration Resolution, and one of the components challenges members of the Conference to become better informed about the issues surrounding immigration. In response, I took the opportunity to travel to Tucson, Arizona, with other Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) leaders following the…

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Church planting conversation begins

On Oct. 15 interested persons gathered at the Ohio Conference office for a conversation about planting new Visible Kingdom Communities. This meeting was an initial conversation about what the process of starting new church communities may look like in Ohio. Several people who could not attend in person took part in the conversation via a video conference. The conversation included…

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Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship welcomes new members

Join the conversation on faith and health! Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) invites any Anabaptist working or interested in any healthcare field to join MHF. Students, practitioners, retirees — you are all welcome! Write to info@mennohealth.org, call 888-406-3643 or go to www.mennohealth.org/JoinTheConversation. For more information, please see the MHF flier: http://bit.ly/2019MHFFlier.

Congregations encouraged to apply for Spread the Peace Grants

To encourage congregations and conferences to “spread the peace” in and beyond Mennonite Church USA, the Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Mission Network has small start-up and sustaining grants available. Funds will be given to those meeting the following criteria and as funding allows: To Mennonite congregations or conferences for projects based in the United States. For church…

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Giving to Conference increases in September

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Giving to the Ohio Conference increased during September, according to figures provided by Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Total receipts for the month were $34,991, the highest monthly amount so far in this fiscal year. Expenses for September totaled just $23,520, resulting in a surplus of $11,471 for the month. That surplus helped to reduce the Conference’s running deficit. As of…

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Join MCC’s Great Winter Warm-Up

Mennonite Central Committee is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020 with a comforter-making campaign. The goal is to complete 6,500 comforters for distribution to people in need all around the world. As part of this campaign, on Jan. 17 and 18, Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron will host The Great Winter Warm-Up, a comforter-making event. All are invited to attend…

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Check CommonWord for Advent resources

Looking for additional Advent resources? Check CommonWord for possibili­ties, including free down­loadable resources. Go to http://bit.ly/CommonWordAdvent to start exploring. CommonWord is a collaboration of Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite University.

If you get one of these requests, don’t reply

A note from the Ohio Conference Leadership Team: It has come to our attention that several Ohio Conference pastors have been hacked recently, supposedly sending out emails and most recently, text messages, asking for gift cards. These requests are, of course, not legitimate. The office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recommends that recipients of these text messages simply block…

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Ohio Conference leaders share at Constituency Leaders Council

By Paula Snyder Belousek Assistant Moderator Conference Minister Dick Barrett, Moderator Lynn Miller and Assistant Moderator Paula Snyder Belousek presented information about the Ohio Conference during the Oct. 17-18 meeting of Mennonite Church USA’s Constituency Leaders Council in Glendale, Arizona. Each conference and constituency group gave 10-minute presentations over the two days of the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC). Each group answered…

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Congregations to share stories at regional gatherings

Ohio Conference is holding four fall regional gatherings beginning the week of Oct. 21. These gatherings are not just for delegates from Ohio Conference but for all who would like to learn about the exciting things that are taking place in Conference and our congregations. There will be a time of fellowship and sharing. We are asking congregations to answer…

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Hesston’s Weekend College to offer Bib Lit course to congregations

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Hesston, Kansas — As Hesston College prepares its new church leadership program — the Center for Anabaptist Leadership and Learning (CALL) — it is also offering its famous Biblical Literature course to congregations and other groups across the country in an arrangement called Weekend College. Instead of requiring people to travel to Hesston, Weekend College will bring Hesston College professors…

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Churches come together for World Communion Sunday

Ohio Conference congregations from Wayne and Summit counties gathered at Central Christian School on the afternoon of Oct. 6 for a World Communion Sunday service. The worship service was a partnership of several local Mennonite churches and the Swahili Community Church of Akron, a Congolese Mennonite congregation. The worship service was held in English, Spanish and Swahili and included prayer,…

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2019 Advent guide for families is now available

Anabaptist Faith Formation and Mennonite Church USA are offering a free, downloadable guide for family worship during Advent written by Elsie Rempel. This resource, titled Waiting and Wondering, is designed for parents to use at home with their children. With this free worship guide, families can create a space to notice important questions and bring them to God. For six weeks from…

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