Learning more about mental illness

By Alysa Short Members of Amish and Mennonite communities are helping researchers learn more about bipolar disorder. On Nov. 5, more than 100 people attended a presentation of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) held at Central Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio, to learn more about this research. The event, coordinated by Bev Miller from Central, featured Dr. Francis…

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Sending comforters with love

By Ellen Nussbaum It all began during this past summer with a vision: Ken Neuenschwander, leader of the Outreach and Service Ministry at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church (Kidron), and his daughter, Sara Obri, who attends Lee Heights Mennonite Church (Cleveland) and is on the MCC Great Lakes Board, began talking together about doing a joint comforter knotting bee with the two…

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Credentialing Ministry shares its mission

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Our mission as a team is to license and ordain pastors and chaplains who serve in Ohio Conference and provide them with encouragement, support, and accountability. The ordination process takes 2-5 years and includes meeting with a mentor, completing leadership and psychological testing, and participation in a pastor peer group. We want our pastors and chaplains to be healthy as…

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Litany of Lament, Celebration and Hope

Ohio Mennonite Women — A Patchwork Quilt Litany of Lament, Celebration and Hope Sept. 16, 2017 Leader: Lord God, Designer and Creator, Quilter and Weaver of all, We come to you in lament, celebration and hope. Women: We are your patchwork quilt, fabrics and pieces, all brought together, intricately interwoven, Leader: Quilted together by the love of God. Women: You…

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Quilting the memories of time

Ohio Mennonite Women celebrate together Photos by Willie Stoltzfus and Heidi Childs   By Willie Stoltzfus Quilts were the theme of the Time of Celebration during Women’s Retreat on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at Camp Luz — a time of celebration and closure for the Ohio Mennonite Women (OMW) as an organization. The Camp Luz chapel was decorated with various…

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Cliff Brubaker to take on new role

Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold has voted to call Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker to a .25 FTE role in its collaborative ministry team, and Cliff has accepted the congregation’s call. He will begin his work at Zion on Jan.1, 2018. Cliff currently has two half-time roles with the Ohio Conference. He will continue his half-time role as regional pastor for the west…

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Mennonite Arts Weekend to feature wide variety

Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship will hold the 14th Mennonite Arts Weekend Feb. 2-4, 2018, at Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. A variety of writers, actors, composers, musicians and visual artists will be featured during the weekend. Registration cost is $75 per person ($65 before Jan. 13) and $55 for students ($45 before Jan. 13). For more information, see www.mennoniteartsweekend. org.

Share your ideas for programs

Do you have an idea for a program that you would like Ohio Conference to provide? Share your idea with the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team. To submit your idea, use the “Suggest a Program” button on the Ohio Conference website. This form is intended to allow people from the Ohio Conference to suggest retreats, seminars, training sessions, or speakers…

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MyNeighbor helps charitable contributions add up

GOSHEN, Indiana – The new MyNeighbor credit card from Everence® Federal Credit Union helps people boost their generosity while making their usual purchases. For every purchase made with the MyNeighbor credit card, Everence will donate 1.5 percent of the transaction total to the charity of the cardholder’s choice. Since the MyNeighbor program began at the end of April 2017, more…

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Zion minister to volunteer as missional consultant

Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, minister at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, has agreed to serve the Ohio Conference as a part-time missional consultant for a one-year period, beginning in October 2017. She will be volunteering her time in this capacity three to four days per month. At the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly in March, delegates affirmed a direction statement which included this…

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A mission trip without the travel

For many congregations, a summer service trip for the youth group is a time-honored tradition. Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City is following that tradition, but with a difference. The service, spiritual growth and group bonding which often occur during a summer service trip are still present, but the travel part is not. This summer for the second year in…

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Ohio Mennonite Women Executive Board decides to dissolve the organization

July 29, 2017 Dear Ohio Mennonite Women, The Ohio Mennonite Women have been meeting for many years, to accomplish its primary mission and vision:  “To minister to the women of Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA, by resourcing women’s groups and individual women, as we nurture our life in Christ, study the Bible, utilize our gifts, hear each other, and…

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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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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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Ervin Stutzman to hold meetings in Ohio

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Ervin Stutzman, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, will be traveling through Ohio in June, and Ohio Conference has set up two meetings for delegates, pastors and other interested persons to meet with him. Those attending will hear him share about the upcoming MC USA convention in Orlando and the Future Church Summit*, which will take place at the convention.…

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Worship is formation — formation is worship

By Ellen Nussbaum Members of Oak Grove Mennonite Church (Smithville) and Sonnenberg Mennonite Church (Kidron), having discovered a common interest in exploring training and resources for leading congregational worship, came together to plan a Worship Resourcing Seminar. It was held on Saturday, May 6, at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church. Sixty-three participants gathered from 16 different Ohio Mennonite congregations. Participants included youth,…

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Volunteers accept Conference positions

Members of Ohio Conference congregations who volunteer their time play a vital role in Conference life. Without the help of numerous volunteers, many of the programs and functions of the Ohio Conference could not take place. Much of the work of Ohio Conference is done by the Leadership Team, the Ministry Development Team, the Credentialing Ministry, the Stewardship Ministry and…

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OC leadership pays tribute to Naomi Engle

By Bob Sauder On behalf of the Ohio Conference Leadership Team Naomi Engle, Credentialing Ministry Chairperson and a member of the Leadership Team of the Ohio Conference, went to her heavenly home on Jan. 1.  At the beginning of their meeting on Jan. 21, the Ohio Conference Leadership Team spent some time remembering who she was, what she brought to…

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Seminar to focus on worship

Are you interested in deeper, more meaningful worship experiences in your congregation? Sonnenberg Mennonite Church in Kidron will host a worship resourcing seminar on Saturday, May 6. This seminar, featuring speaker Rachel Miller Jacobs, will provide participants with practical training, resources and theological teaching for planning and leading worship. Rachel Miller Jacobs is an assistant professor of congregational formation at…

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Gathered and Sent initiative begins

Ohio Conference will merge the focus of the two initiatives of the past year (Year of Covenant and Year of Mission) into one. The combined initiative will be called “Gathered and Sent.” A longer version could be, “Gathered in Covenant, Sent in Mission.” The “Sent” part of “Gathered and Sent” will provide us with resources, tools, training and support to…

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Direction statement affirmed

Delegates at the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly affirmed the following direction statement proposed by the Ohio Conference Leadership Team: Setting Direction for the Next Chapter of the Ohio Conference As we prayerfully consider God’s leading into the future, we commit ourselves to the following: We will continue our affiliation with Mennonite Church USA. Three changes would trigger a review of…

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Missional Conference challenges participants

Immediately prior to Annual Conference Assembly, the Ohio Conference held a Missional Conference with Alan and Debra Hirsch at Kidron Mennonite Church. One hundred forty-two people from across the Conference participated in this event. During six different sessions, speakers Alan and Debra Hirsch challenged participants to look more closely at Jesus, discipleship, mission, and sexuality. “How do we know we…

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Cliff Brubaker takes on new assignment

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team has agreed to employ Regional Pastor Cliff Brubaker for a special half-time assignment beginning in April. Since September 2016 Brubaker has been serving half time as regional pastor and half time with the Year of Covenant process and focusing on trust-building between congregations and the Conference. That second half-time position concluded at the end of…

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Delegates affirm direction statement

Delegates overwhelmingly affirmed a direction statement presented by the Ohio Conference Leadership Team at the 2017 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) of the Ohio Conference. Those gathered at Central Christian School in Kidron on March 24-25 numbered 217, including delegates from 46 congregations. Ninety-three percent of delegates affirmed the Leadership Team’s direction statement for Ohio Conference. Vote totals were as follows:…

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Central Christian to host ACA

Central Christian School in Kidron will host the 2017 Ohio Conference Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) March 24-25. “Who is my Neighbor?” will be the theme of this year’s Assembly. The theme is based on Luke 10:25-37. This year ACA will be preceded by a missional conference at Kidron Mennonite Church featuring Alan and Debra Hirsch. Registration for ACA will begin…

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Who are Alan and Debra Hirsch?

By Jacob Dodson Pastor Wooster Mennonite Church One of the highlights of the Year of Mission is the pre-ACA missional training event with Alan and Debra Hirsch. You may have seen their names in missional books or Ohio Conference publications, but here is some biographical information about them. Alan was born in South Africa and grew up in Cape Town.…

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