Goshen College grad creates sculpture for Mennonite Church USA offices

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By Jolene VonGunten Mennonite Education Agency ELKHART, Ind. – At first look, Emma Zuercher’s sculpture invokes fire. That is precisely the theme she envisioned for “Forged Spirit,” an 11-foot sculpture she designed and created of recycled aluminum materials. The towering, colorful structure was a striking image in the late afternoon sunshine as it was installed at the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA)…

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Gen Z challenge focuses on creation care

Mennonite Creation Care Network is challenging young people to actively care for the planet through its Generation Z Energy and Spirit Challenge, which runs through April 2024. Jennifer Halteman Schrock, director of Mennonite Creation Care Network, describes the challenge as “a friendly competition to embrace our Anabaptist calling as earth keepers, reduce our carbon footprints, nurture environmental leadership, and utilize…

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MC USA to continue abuse prevention work

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA has named Nancy Kauffmann, former board president of Dove’s Nest and longtime Mennonite church leader, as the interim denominational minister of Church Safety for MC USA’s Church Vitality office, effective June 26, 2023. This new position was created so that the denomination could address the need for continued abuse education and…

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Pastor salary guidelines updated for 2023-24

The 2023-2024 Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) pastor salary guidelines are now posted on the MC USA website at https://bit.ly/PastorSalaryGuidelines. Each April, the MC USA Church Vitality office and Everence collaborate to update the guidelines, which aid pastors, congregations, pastoral search committees and conferences in negotiating fair compensation for pastors and conference ministers. For more information, see https://bit.ly/2023-24SalaryGuidelinesUpdate.

MC USA delegate to consider three resolutions

The Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) Executive Board met in Los Angeles April 13-14, 2023. The board voted to forward three proposed organizational resolutions to the Delegate Assembly, including one that recommends shifting the Delegate Assembly to a three-year, or triennial, cycle. See a full report on the MC USA website: https://bit.ly/4-23ExecutiveBoardMeeting.

CLC meets in San Antonio

The Constituency Leaders Council (CLC) of Mennonite Church USA met March 23-25 in San Antonio, Texas. The CLC provided feedback on three proposed organizational resolutions from the Executive Board at its meeting. See a report about the meeting at https://bit.ly/3-23CLCMeeting.

ACA report: Affiliation resolution not adopted

At the 2023 Annual Conference Assembly (ACA), a resolution for Ohio Conference to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA and become temporarily independent did not receive enough votes from delegates to be adopted. The Ohio Conference Leadership Team proposed the resolution to delegates on March 4 at ACA after several sessions of group spiritual discernment. Eighty-one delegates (54.7 %) voted to…

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Church is not a democracy

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister I find myself writing this just a few days after our 2023 Annual Conference Assembly where the theme was “Rooted and Grounded in Love,” based on Ephesians 3:16-21. The Assembly was a time of good fellowship, worship and learning about different spiritual practices. It was also a time of hard work, as the delegates continued…

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Webinar series to focus on prison system

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Mennonite Church USA are partnering in a new webinar series, “Beyond incarceration: A hard look at dismantling the prison system and building healthy communities.” This series will explore the ways the faith community is actively understanding and working against these complex systems of confinement. The webinars will take place on Feb. 7, Feb. 21, March 7,…

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Check out these Advent resources

By Ann Leaman Ohio Conference Resource Advocate As we move into the season of Advent, Mennonite Church USA and CommonWord have Advent resources for individuals, families and congregations. “Restoration is Near!” is the theme of the Advent at Home 2022 worship guide, now avail­able at the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) website: https://mennoniteusa.org/adventathome. Using the theme developed for Leader magazine, the…

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Delegate News — Leadership Team shares update on review process

To: Ohio Conference Credentialed Ministers, Congregational Delegates, Members and Attendees From: Ohio Conference Leadership Team Subject: Update on Review Process Date: Nov. 7, 2022 At our Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) on March 4-5, 2022, Ohio Conference delegates affirmed the use of a consultant to help us with strategic planning, including visioning for the future and reviewing our affiliation with Mennonite…

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Webinar to explain health care plan

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 about the Corinthian Plan during an upcoming webinar on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. ET. Current participants of the plan are also welcome to ask questions. To register, go to https://bit.ly/Sept20CorinthianPlan.

MC USA invites applications for Justice Fund grants

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is seeking applicants for its Justice Fund grants. The Justice Fund supports MC USA congregations that are working to combat poverty, dismantle racism, address immigration reform or reimagine policing. For more information, see the MC USA website: https://bit.ly/2022JusticeFundGrants.

Staying the Course

With affirmation from our delegates at our Annual Conference Assembly on March 4-5, 2022, at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio Conference embarked on a review/discernment process looking at our vision based on our new mission statement1, our structure, and our future affiliation with Mennonite Church USA (MC USA). Also with affirmation from our delegates, we contracted with a process…

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MC USA webinar to discuss ‘what now?’

What do the decisions made at the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) Special Delegate Assembly mean for conferences, congregations and individuals? MC USA will hold a webinar titled “Special Session of the Delegate Assembly: What Now?” on July 18 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This webinar will be hosted by MC USA Executive Director Glen Guyton, assisted by Linda Dibble,…

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Leadership Team releases statement regarding MC USA Special Delegate Assembly

To: Ohio Conference Pastors, Delegates and Congregations From: Ohio Conference Leadership Team Subject: Statement regarding MC USA’s Special Delegate Assembly, May 27-30, 2022 Date: June 6, 2022 MC USA’s delegates met May 27-30 for a special delegate assembly in Kansas City, Missouri. Of the 502 delegates who participated, 47 represented Ohio Conference or one of our congregations. We met to…

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MC USA launches Welcoming EveryBODY initiative

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), in partnership with Anabaptist Disabilities Network, has launched “Learn, Pray, Join: Welcoming EveryBODY,” an initiative that celebrates the many gifts that people with disabilities bring to our church communities. During May and June, MC USA will seek to engage people in this initiative by offering resources, prayers and ways…

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Prayer requested for delegate assembly

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) has created a prayer guide and a sign up for congregations to commit to pray for the denomination’s special delegate session, which will be held May 27-30 in Kansas City, Missouri.

The prayer guide, “One Body, One Church,” is written by Leo Hartshorn. A copy is available here: 2022-Delegate-Assembly-Prayer-Guide.  This guide is designed for use by all delegates, congregations, and individuals during the special delegate session May 27-30.

MC USA is inviting all congregations to commit to praying for the delegate assembly. To make this commitment, complete the form found at https://mcusa.formstack.com/forms/call_to_prayer_and_fasting.

For more information about the special delegate session, see  https://bit.ly/2022SpecialDelegateSession.

Collaboration seeks to counter military recruitment

Mennonites Against Militarism – a collaboration of Mennonite Central Committee, U.S. (MCC) and Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) – is seeking to launch an initiative to counter military recruitment of U.S. youth. The vision for the project, Alternatives to Military Enlistment Network (AMEN), is to connect young people with volunteer advisors who can help them find non-military career, service and training opportunities. To learn…

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MC USA to host online call to prayer

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA)  is hosting an online call to prayer and fasting for the upcoming special delegate session, which will take place May 27-30 in Kansas City, Missouri. This online gathering will take place May 2 at 7 p.m. For more infor­mation and to register, go to https://bit.ly/May2CalltoPrayer.

Congregational Pastors’ Gathering


Attention, pastors: Ohio Conference is hosting a Congregational Pastors’ Gathering at Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City on Wednesday, June 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This gathering will be a time to pastorally process the MC USA Special Delegate Assembly experience. If you are able to attend, please reserve your complimentary lunch with Judy King at the Conference office…

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Consultant to assist in Conference review

The Ohio Conference Leadership Team has approved entering into an agreement with Design Group International to assist in a three-part Conference review. The Leadership Team is taking this step based on feedback from delegates at the March 2022 Annual Conference Assembly. Delegates overwhelmingly affirmed the idea of using a process consultant to assist the Conference over the upcoming two years.…

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Delegates approve new mission statement, Conference to review affiliation with MC USA

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For photos from ACA and a summary video, please see https://bit.ly/ACAPhotos. Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA gathered in person for its Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) on March 4-5, 2022, at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio. The theme for the assembly was Befriending the Neighborhood: Am I a Good Neighbor? The focus was on the story of the Good…

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Bible study series explores diversity

Mennonite Church USA has produced “Diversity: God’s Design,” a new four-week Bible study aimed at young adults (but appropriate for intergenerational audiences) that celebrates diversity and intercultural competence. “Diversity: God’s Design” features voices from across the Mennonite church who share biblical narratives and personal experiences that invite participants to explore how and why they should join the journey of celebrating…

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MC USA webinars offer preparation for delegates

Mennonite Church USA is hosting a series of educational webinars to prepare delegates and their conferences/congregations for the Special Session of the Delegate Assembly, May 27-30, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri. All webinars will be recorded and available on the delegate      resource page: https://www.mennoniteusa.org/special-delegate-session-22. Please see the delegate resource page for more information.

Lent at Home guide is ready for download

“Seeking God’s Way” is the theme of Mennonite Church USA’s (MC USA) 2022 Lent at Home worship guide. 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, March 2, to Easter, April 17. The guide also features at-home rituals…

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Transformation is theme of blog post

“As I look at the ways in which I have been transformed, it is  always a result of who I am close to.” Thomas Dunn, co-pastor of Crown Hill Mennonite Church in Rittman and member of the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board, reflects on the theme “Be Transformed” in a blog post for Mennonite Church USA: http://ow.ly/8r4m50GVQey.

Advent at Home guide now available

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Church USA) — Mennonite Church USA’s annual Advent at Home worship guide is now availa­ble to help individuals and house­holds of all ages prepare for the Ad­vent season. The 2021 guide fol­lows the theme “Dare to Imagine!” This resource offers weekly and daily Scriptures, worship rituals, prayers, activities, and background information. Download the Advent at Home Guide…

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Delegate News – A statement from the Conference Leadership Team

To: Ohio Conference delegates and credentialed ministers Re: Documents to review before fall cluster meetings In preparation for fall cluster meetings, we would like you to have copies of three resolutions that Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is planning to bring to the delegates at the Delegate Assembly scheduled for May 27-30, 2022, in Kansas City. Accessibility Resolution proposed by the Anabaptist…

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