News and information from around the Ohio Conference
Ohio Conference Education for 2020-2021
by Richard A. Bianco, Superintendent of Schools
Dear Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists,

I first off send greetings from the Ohio Conference Office of Education, as well as the rest of the Conference Team.  We appreciate each of you and appreciate your incredible support and prayers to doing His work in a world of great need.  We are praying for you Ohio and we love you much.

Many of you are wondering about what the Ohio Conference schools are doing for this upcoming school year.  Well, God is good!!!  All Ohio Conference schools will be opening this August for the 2020-2021 school year. That is no small feat during such “crazy” times as these, and we do not take it for granted, but rather give thanks to Jesus for protecting our schools as He has.

School will look different in many of our locations for this upcoming school year.  Some of our schools will be taking on an A/B scheduling approach, that will allow half the students to be in the building at one time, while the other half is at home working on assignments and work through virtual means. There are some of our smaller schools that will be meeting in person, each day, due to their size and space offerings.  Some of our schools have offered their families an “all virtual” option, where students will not attend in person, on campus, but rather receive all their instruction via virtual means. Ohio, you would be proud of how committed the teams in the different schools have come together to provide opportunities for almost all students to attend during this truly unique time in our history.

You may be wondering about those students and staff who are attending the school and whether or not they are safe.  While I would never exclaim that we are 100% covered (can we ever?), I can say that we have plans in place at each of our schools that are comprehensive in nature, encompassing cleaning, hygiene habits, visitors, masks, distancing, and a host more. The protection of our people is a tremendous priority and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We are truly blessed in Ohio to have the Kettering Health Network within our borders and they have been a valuable partner during this process, assessing our guidelines, as well as assisting in our acquisition of valuable personal protection equipment (PPE) for our schools.    

Ohio, please be praying for our schools, our teachers, our administrators, our schools, our churches who support our schools, and our families as we enter this school year. We will need each and every one of those prayers to help pull us through this year.  We know we can count on you and we are prayerful that with God’s assistance, we’ll make you proud of our efforts this year. God bless each of you!!!
by Michael Stough II, Pastor Delaware, New Carlisle, Springfield First
The COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes with it. People lost jobs, were reassigned, or began the task of working from home. The experience for the church was not much different. Many of what I prefer to call unpaid staff, along with those receiving paychecks, found much of what they were doing halted.

I can honestly say, I have not minded the pause in some areas of what I was doing, and if my guess is right, this is probably true for many of you, who as unpaid staff at your local congregation found the break a refreshing pause as well.

Now things are restarting, but a large part of this process to restart is in seeking simplification in how things are done. In this simplification process not only have businesses, but churches as well, found they needed less to accomplish the same amount of work or ministry as before.

Take for example worship. With the stay at home orders, a typical worship service consisted of anything from just the pastor presenting a message for a home living room or office, to at the most a handful of people gathering in empty sanctuaries to record or livestream abbreviated services. Sometimes, prerecorded videos of children’s stories or special music were made a part of the experience, but overall, churches found Sabbath mornings required a lot less in the way of human resources.

Now that the hiatus is over, the question becomes, how are you reengaging in ministry. Was the lull too comforting and you are thinking how much you are enjoying not needing to deal with the extra load in your weekly schedule? Maybe your position or ministry at church is not coming back, and you feel abandoned by God in the purpose you felt in serving prior to March. No matter what the case is, there is one thing to remember, God still needs you.

You see, even if the world closed for a while, the need to reach people with the message of hope found in Christ is more important now than ever before. Jesus is soon to return, and people need to hear there is a choice. The work needing to be done is even greater, not less. What has changed are the job assignments. You and I must think not about trying to hold onto ministry methods or positions which may never return. We must look to how God wants to reassign us in being the most productive laborers in the vineyard. So go ahead, spend some time in prayer, study and discussion and see if you’ve been reassigned. And if so, give it some gusto, God’s got you covered.
Men's Retreat Coming to Mohaven October 9-11
Plans are underway for the annual Ohio Conference Men's Retreat at Camp Mohaven, now scheduled for October 9-11, 2020.

Special guest is David "Nico" Hill, a one-time cage fighter with a fourth-degree black-belt in karate who became an evangelist with "God's Soldier Ministries."

A digital brochure and online registration are coming soon.

Learn more about Hill's story here .
Registration Now Open for "You Are Enough" Event
The Ohio Conference Women's Ministries department invites you to a three-part event:
"You Are Enough," based on the new book by Tamyra Horst, "Enough: Discovering A God Who Is Enough When You're Not."

This is a free event. Purchasing a copy of Tamyra's book "Enough" is not required, but will help you as we discuss the sections each Sunday. 

In honor of the 125th anniversary of the Columbia Union Visitor magazine, join Visitor staff in making 2020 a healthy year.

Register for the Virtual Visitor 5K or 1 Mile, to take place September 20–26. 

Registration fees include a downloadable bib, medal, tech shirt, mask and donation to Adventist Community Services. Items will be mailed to participants following completion of the race.

Available by Appointment
Virtual or In-person
The Ohio Conference team continues to work remotely with occasional visits to the office. Our building is currently closed to the public.

Ministry has not stopped in the Ohio Conference. In-person and virtual visits with many departmental leaders are available by appointment.
Photo of the Week
Summer Camp 2020 continues to bring young people closer to Christ.

Last Friday night (July 17, 2020), after campers attentively watched a skit illustrating the story of Jesus' life as the Greatest Peacemaker, five junior campers made the decision to be baptized at Camp Mohaven. An additional four made a decision to continue studying the Bible with a pastor from their local church, while yet another 10 made the decision to prepare for baptism in the future.

Pictured above are the five junior campers who chose to be baptized last weekend:

Mihailo Samardzic and Blesses Tuyishine were baptized by Elder Larry Grahn of the Akron First church.

Nolan Johnson (being baptized in picture), Isabella Allen and Kaylee Holycross were baptized by Edward Marton, Ohio Conference youth director.

"37 junior campers learned throughout the week that Jesus truly loves them and has chosen each one of them to belong to His family," said Marton. "They also learned to be part of God’s family means we learn to become a peacemaker. For Matthew 5:9 states, 'Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.'"

Photo credit: Virginia Johnson
Verse of the Week
Inspirational Quote of the Week
Read the Current Issue of Mission Ohio in the Columbia Union Visitor
Highlights of this issue include the Worthington Church growing younger as they fuel a warm community, and Kettering Church youth leadership uniting during a crisis.

Read these articles and more in the current issue of Mission Ohio in Visitor magazine.
Heidi A. Shoemaker, Communication Director
Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
1251 E Dorothy Ln, Dayton, OH 45419