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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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.

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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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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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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Voices for Peace Tour coming to Ohio

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The Jewish and Palestinian Voices for Peace Tour, sponsored by Mennonite Church USA, is coming to Ohio in May with stops at three Ohio congregations. Dates and locations are as follows: May 7 — Columbus Mennonite Church, 9:30 a.m. May 8 — Lima Mennonite Church, 7 p.m. May 10 — Zion Mennonite Church, 6:30 p.m. At these programs Amy Shuster,…

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What happened at CLC this time?

In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Thomas Dunn and Bill Seymour talk to Ohio Conference’s representatives to the Constituency Leaders Council (CLC), Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, Ralph Reinford, and Bob Sauder. They discuss what happened at the March meeting of the CLC and they preview the Future Church Summit, which will take place at the denominational convention in Orlando…

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Remembering Naomi Engle

Naomi Engle, who pastored West Clinton Mennonite Church in Wauseon along with her husband, Jess, passed away mid-day on Jan. 1, 2017. Naomi served as chair of the Ohio Conference Credentialing Ministry and was a member of the Ohio Conference Leadership Team from 2011 until late last year after she was diagnosed with brain cancer. An obituary can be found…

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2017 convention to offer increased accessibility for persons with disabilities

Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADN) and planners for Orlando 2017 are collaborating to provide increased accessibility for persons with disabilities attending next summer’s biennial Mennonite Convention, July 4-8 in Orlando, Florida. ADN will serve as the information center and point of access for accessibility services to assist the new convention accessibility coordinator and volunteers. Various accessibility services are planned: Printed maps…

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Conference deficit increases during October

Ohio Conference’s financial deficit increased during the month of October, according to figures provided by Ohio Conference Financial Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for the month were $24,732, including $24,617 in giving from congregations. Expenses for the month totaled $29,266, resulting in a net income of -$4,534 for October. For the first seven months of the fiscal year, receipts have totaled…

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Audio series offers interviews

Would you like to learn more about what’s happening in Ohio Conference while you’re on the go? A new podcast series, the Ohio Conference Cast, features interviews with people from throughout the Conference. You can download these audio interviews from iTunes (search for “Ohio Conference Cast”), or go to the “Podcasts” page to listen to them. The Ohio Conference Leadership…

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Giving to Conference increases in September

Ohio Conference congregations gave $31,459 to the Conference in September, more than in any other month of the 2016-17 fiscal year. According to figures provided by Stan Helmuth, Conference financial coordinator, total receipts for the month of September were $31,477, and expenses totaled $22,354, resulting in a surplus of $9,123 for the month. That surplus improved the Conference’s operating balance…

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Task force wants to hear from you

          At Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) 2016 the delegate body affirmed an Ohio Conference “Statement on Remaining with MC USA.”  One key element of this statement was that Ohio Conference would “remain a part of MC USA in order to articulate to the denomination our perceptions of differences in doctrine and practice.” The Ohio Conference Leadership Team…

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Giving increases in June

Giving to the Ohio Conference was slightly greater than expenses during June, according to figures supplied by Finance Coordinator Stan Helmuth. Receipts for June totaled $24,751, while expenses for the month totaled $24,349. The resulting surplus of $402 for the month helped to improve the operating balance for the first three months of the Conference fiscal year. As of June…

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Group to continue Year of Covenant process

George O’Reilly, who has served the Ohio Conference as transitional conference leader and more recently as the Year of Covenant facilitator, has taken a full-time position as one of the pastors at First Mennonite Church in Bluffton. He will continue his work on the Year of Covenant on a one-quarter-time salary through September.  He is working on composing a group…

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Cliff Brubaker joins Ohio Conference as regional pastor

Cliff Brubaker has accepted a call from the Ohio Conference Leadership Team to serve as a regional pastor for the western part of the conference, beginning April 1. This half-time assignment is for a one-year interim period. A resident of Hillsdale, Mich., Brubaker has a long history of ministry in the Ohio Conference. He was pastor of Salem Mennonite Church…

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Conference to begin Year of Mission

By Jacob Dodson Pastor, Wooster Mennonite Church Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA exists to nurture healthy congregations in worship, faith and witness. One of the best ways for the Conference to fulfill this purpose is by engaging in a Year of Mission in 2016-17. During this year the Conference will encourage members of local congregations to do mission in…

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‘Becoming Missional’ training session to precede Annual Conference Assembly

Coming in March: This year before Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) you have the opportunity to grow in your knowledge and passion for God’s mission right in your own neighborhood. On Thursday and Friday, March 10-11, immediately prior to the start of ACA, Brad Brisco and Lance Ford of Forge Network will lead a training workshop focusing on how we can…

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Central Mennonite to host ACA

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Central Mennonite Church in Archbold will host the 2016 Ohio Conference Annual Conference Assembly (ACA), which will take place March 11-12. “Holy Ground: Founded on Christ, Flourishing in Faith,” based on I Corinthians 3:6-11, will be the theme of this year’s Assembly. This year ACA will be preceded by a special training session led by Brad Brisco and Lance Ford…

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Everence members help with Affordable Christmas Project

KIDRON, Ohio – Members of Everence Financial in Northeast Ohio recently purchased and donated children’s gifts to support the Affordable Christmas Project at Lighthouse Ministries in Canton. Gifts were collected throughout November at Everence Financial offices in Kidron and Hartville, and Everence staff delivered the presents to Lighthouse Ministries. The Affordable Christmas project is an annual event that makes it…

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Prayer session is planned for Dec. 17

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team is committed to focusing on prayer for the Conference. (See the Leadership Team’s statement for additional information.) As part of this emphasis on prayer, the Leadership Team has planned a “GoToMeeting Prayer Session” for Thursday, Dec. 17, from 12 noon to 1p.m. EST. Everyone is invited to join the Leadership Team in prayer at that…

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Leadership Team reflects on year so far, commits to focus on prayer

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team met on Tuesday, Nov. 17. As a conference we are about three quarters of the way through our calendar year, and Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) begins to appear closer on the horizon. In the months since the last ACA, LT has attempted to work faithfully to lead and to listen to Ohio Conference. At the Nov. 17 meeting…

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Salem receives National Clergy Renewal Grant

Salem Mennonite Church in Elida has received a grant of $50,000 to enable its pastor, Paula Snyder Belousek, to participate in the 2015 National Clergy Renewal Program. Salem Mennonite is one of 144 congregations across the country selected to participate in this competitive grant program, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis,…

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Leadership Team works on next steps

On Sept. 23, 2015, the Ohio Conference Leadership Team met with a full agenda. The Leadership Team discussed the Sept. 2 All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting which was held in Bellville, Ohio, and the review of the Five-Year Plan which had been submitted by Myron Weaver, Paula Snyder Belousek, Wes Graber and Doug Zehr. At the Sept. 2 All-Ohio Conference Pastors’ Meeting,…

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Pastors meet for trust building, give recommendations

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Pastors representing 53 churches in the Ohio Conference met at Bellville, Ohio, to discuss their future recommendations relative to the relationship of the Ohio Mennonite Conference and Mennonite Church USA (MC USA). Pastors were divided into table groups with table leaders who used a modified Circle Process. The Leadership Team facilitated the meeting in a process of trust building, listening and direction…

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Transitional Conference Leader hired

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team interviewed potential candidates for the Transitional Conference Leader position on Aug. 7 and have hired George O’Reilly.  George is currently ending a transitional pastorate at First Mennonite Church in Canton and will start full time with Ohio Conference on Sept. 1. George’s primary role will be to help the Leadership Team in listening, trust building…

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Leadership Team interviews candidates

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team met Friday, Aug. 7, and interviewed two candidates for the position of transitional Conference Leader.  The Leadership Team is now checking references and will have a conference call on Aug. 12. The staff and Leadership Team will meet for a farewell meal with Conference Minister Tom Kauffman and Regional Pastor Wanda Stopher on Aug. 17. Regional Pastor Ralph Reinford, Thomas Dunn,…

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