News and information from around the Ohio Conference
Elementary Students Exhibit Creativity in Art Auction
The gymnasium was transformed into an art gallery: a pianist played live music while nearly 150 guests sipped sparkling juice served by upper grade students, nibbling on hors d'oeuvres. The art on display created by students of Mayfair Christian School (MCS) in Uniontown, Ohio. Interspersed between the art exhibition and auction, seventh and eighth grade students shared a diverse selection of performances.

“MCS has always had an art auction where $200-300 were raised,” said Miriam Troup, MCS principal. “We decided to put a different spin on this event.”

Creativity abounded, as multiple mediums of art were displayed: clay figurines, a fusion of clay and basket weaving, abstract tempera paint pours, and studies in shape were shown in their colorful glory. Select pieces were framed and bid upon during a silent auction. A plethora of community donated goods and services were auctioned by a live auctioneer. By the close of the semi-formal event, more than $4000 was raised for MCS.

“I am told that we did very well, based on that fact that this community has not seen an event like this before. I believe this has opened the door to awareness as to this type of event,” shared Troup. Visitors were visibly pleased with the event, with local church members commenting it exceeded their expectations.

Troup commented, "I believe that this event was blessed by God. Community businesses, school staff and students, members from Akron First and Bethel churches all made this event possible. I look forward to working with each and every person again next year.”
The Greatest Small Group, Ever
Pastor Michael Stough II, Springfield First, Delaware, New Carlisle District
Look around your church this Sabbath. Whose there? Why are you all there? What is really keeping you together? Now, open your Bible. Turn to the Gospels. Look around. See the apostles? What are their backgrounds? Why are they in a group? What is really keeping them together? Certainly, they didn’t share everything in common. Let’s see, there was a group of fishermen, one was a hated tax collector, some were related to each other, a couple even held radical political ideologies, it certainly was an unlikely cast of characters. Certainly, this is not the leadership team I would assemble, nor would it even be a small group I would cobble together, but Jesus did exactly this. He took these twelve men, nurturing, equipping and sending them out with the desire they would help change the world by spreading the kingdom of God worldwide.

For three-and-a-half years the apostles were with Jesus. During this time, He prayed with and for the apostles. The mysteries of the kingdom were revealed to them. They saw miracles take place. Understanding how to deal with conflicts both within and outside of the group was learned. Peter, James and John saw Jesus glorified. Every one of them was sent out to minister to other people.

So, what lessons can be learned about small groups from the greatest small group?

Its size. Notice Jesus chose twelve. Definitely the choice of twelve relates back to the twelve tribes of Israel, but as we saw in The Jethro Model, breaking groups down to this size tends to be the ideal. Most people simply can’t handle the deeper connections a small group seeks to establish in groupings larger than this. The military understands this as the base unit, a squad consists of seven to fourteen soldiers.  

Succession planning. As Jesus chose the twelve, He also chose Peter, James and John as HIs inner circle. The Bible doesn’t necessarily say why Jesus chose these three over any of the others, but the need for deeper connections with a few allows the ability to develop the habits and skills needed to create those leaders who can either take over when the time comes for the current leader to move on or to form new small groups in fostering growth of the kingdom

Time. Our society today is one of impatient convenience. We tend to want everything now, and find the long game is too boring, too lengthy, or too complicated. Even the church experiences this. I hear many who get frustrated because they are struggling to understand prophecy or the sanctuary and want to know it right now. I’m still studying topics to gain understanding. And, I still struggle with patience. Why should we as disciples of Jesus expect to learn to be Christlike overnight when even after three-and-a-half years the apostles still didn’t fully understand Jesus’ mission. If sanctification is truly the work of a lifetime, you and I will not be magically transformed overnight. Discipleship takes time.

Commitment. In John 6, Jesus presents some truths about Himself that many of His disciples found hard to swallow. In response they left, and sadly the Bible records this was an eternal choice. Turning to the twelve Jesus asked, ““Do you also want to go away?” [1]  Fortunately for us, Peter’s response shows they were committed. They had left jobs, the comfort of home, and friends, taking on ridicule, scorn and even doubt. But they were committed, even pledging life itself to follow Jesus.

There it is. The greatest small group, ever, was the right size, invested in succession planning, took the needed time to build foundations, and was committed to being disciples of Jesus. Do you have a group like this in your church? I’d love to find out, feel free to email me at  michael.stough@ohioadventist.org  with your thoughts.
[1]   The New King James Version . (1982). (Jn 6:67). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Ohio Conference
March 6, 2020

Due to the outbreak of respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the world and here in the United States, the Ohio Conference is taking proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of our members, students and employees.

Ohio Conference leadership continues to monitor this fluid situation. As of earlier today, there were 100,656  confirmed coronavirus cases  worldwide; 238 of those were in the US.

Regarding activities within the Ohio Conference:
  • All conference sponsored events and meetings will take place as scheduled.
  • All churches and schools are strongly encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations to protect against the spread of respiratory illnesses like the coronavirus. This includes: 
  • Good hand hygiene habits (wash with soap and water for 20 seconds); set up hand sanitizer stations around churches and schools.
  • Respiratory (cough/sneeze) etiquette; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw it into the trash.
  • Staying home when sick with flu or cold symptoms, worship and tithe online.
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning of churches, schools, homes.
  • Any international travel by churches or schools must be approved by the Ohio Conference and Adventist Risk Management, who follow recommendations by the CDC regarding travel.
  • Should a public school district close within the Ohio Conference due to the coronavirus, any Ohio Conference school located within that district should close as well.
  • Consider greetings outside traditional handshakes and hugs to minimize the spread of any illness. Implement fist, elbow or foot bumps instead.
  • Use care when providing potluck meals, to protect potentially vulnerable church members, especially the elderly. Follow CDC environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations for church and school kitchens.
  • Encourage those who have recently returned from China, South Korea, Italy and Iran to stay home for 14 days after returning to the US and practice social distancing.

Join us as we pray about this evolving situation, for communities across the globe, and particularly for those who have contracted this illness and those who have lost loved ones.

The Ohio Conference will continue following the guidelines of the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention World Health Organization Adventist Risk Management , as well as the  State of Ohio Department of Health  in regards to the coronavirus spread.

Check back often on our website for updates, news and information:  www.ohioadventist.org/virus .  
Bible Prophecy Seminar Coming to Toledo First
Pastor Mike Fortune
With the world in chaos, political unrest across our nation, rampant viruses and senseless violence tearing into the safety of our homes, people across the country are looking to the future with fear. But the books of Daniel and Revelation will dispel their fears and provide a foundation for how to prepare for upcoming world events. Discover the keys to unlocking these prophecies and the hope found in their revelation. 

Opening night of "Apocalypse of Hope" is Sabbath April 18, 2020 at 7:15pm and begins with a presentation entitled "A New World Order" by evangelist Rich Halversen who years ago in New York City was converted from gangs to God. His clear grasp of current events, powerful speaking style, and quick sense of humor have been heard in hundreds of seminars around the world. These one hour meetings are especially designed for busy people. You are invited to "come as you are." The series is presented in a relaxed atmosphere as a community service to all people. You and your friends and family will enjoy studying your free Bible and study guides and will learn more in a few nights than you may have in your entire life!

This is a free event for the whole community! Free admission / Bibles / study materials / parking / babysitting, child care thru 10 years old and giveaways. All presentations will begin @ 7:15pm and take place at church:  4909 W Sylvania Ave. Toledo, OH 43623 . How can you help?
  1. Pray for your neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family and bring them with you to these meetings.
  2. Hand out the beautiful invitation cards (available in the church foyer and office).
  3. Sign up on the bulletin board at church to volunteer.
  4. Teams of people are needed April 1-17, 2020 in the evenings at 7:00pm to make phone call reminders.
Ghanaian Church Welcomes New Pastor
Francis Tuffuor, Pioneer Memorial Church Member
Prince of Peace Ghanaian church in Columbus, held a special ceremony to welcome a new pastor officially.
 
Pastor Michael Adomako, who was employed by the Ohio Conference in January and began his duties in February, was installed as a leader for the church on February 22nd. 
 
Adomako replaced Pastor Derick Adu, who served as the first pastor of Prince of Peace Ghanaian church for over two years. Pastor Adu accepted a call to Washington Ghanaian Adventist church under the Chesapeake Conference in Maryland in 2019.
 
Pastor Oswaldo Magaña, Executive Secretary of the Ohio Conference, charged the congregants and the pastor to work in unity. “No matter how great a pastor is, if he does not have the support of his local leaders and his congregation, nothing happens.” Pastor Magaña asked the church members to stand and encouraged both church members and the pastor to work together.
 
Pastor Magaña presented a ministerial credential to the new pastor that read: “This certifies that Pastor Michael Adomako is an ordained minister in good standing in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is authorized to perform the duties of said office for the period ending June 30th, 2023. He explained that Pastor Adomako’s credential would end in 2023 because credentials are granted to pastors from one constituency session to another constituency session. The Ohio Conference will have its next session in May 2023.
 
Pastor Adomako called church members to support him and his wife for his ministry to become successful. He also shared the need for members to have a mountain-top experience with God. “The battle is fought in the valley, but the battle is always won from the mountain top,” he added.
 
In 1999, Pastor Adomako started his ministry in the Central Ghana Conference as a district pastor at Ntonso. He became a district pastor at Ejura from 2000 to 2005. He was ordained into the gospel ministry in 2003. From 2005 to 2009, he was in England as a student; he doubled as a pastor supporting Ghanaian churches in Europe. When he came back from England, the Central Ghana conference appointed him as a district pastor for Mampong West from 2009 to 2011.
 
Pastor Adomako holds a B. A. in Theology degree with a minor in Business Administration from Andrews University’s extension campus in Nigeria, M. A. Theological Studies at Newbold College in England, D. Min in Leadership at Andrews University, and  Master of Business Administration at Bethel College in Indiana.
 
Following the installation service, church members and guests got the opportunity to shake hands with Pastor Adomako and his wife, Matilda. A variety of Ghanaian dishes were served.
Pathfinder Pinewood Derby Highlights [Video]
Reminder: Adventist Giving App Available
Did you know  Adventist Giving  allows you to return your tithe and give your offerings online while you do your online banking, are on a long business trip, on vacation, or even if you are unable to attend church due to an illness or concerns over the coronavirus?

But most important of all, if you desire to give back to the Lord all of your firstfruits as soon as you have them, you can do it immediately through Adventist Giving.

Is your church not yet enrolled in Adventist Giving online? Sign up today! Email treasurer@ohioadventist.org  for details or call 740.397.4665.
Church Pews, Pulpit, Tables Available - Need Good Home
The Akron First Church has a variety of white, colonial style pews and other items available for churches and organizations within the Ohio Conference.

They have 36 long pews (17' 11" long), three shorter pews (13' 11" long), two deacons benches, one Communion table and one Pulpit which need a good home. They are made of oak, and are in reasonable shape. A few may need reinforcement and a little TLC (perhaps some new paint or refinishing, or cleaning the upholstery).

Interested parties should contact Pastor Bill Levin at  william.levin@ohioadventist.org .
Daylight Savings Time
Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour this weekend.

Daylight savings time begins on Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 AM.
Photo of the Week
Excitement and enthusiasm were palpable during the first Ohio Conference Pinewood Derby last month. These youngsters cheered on their friends and participants of teams and clubs from around the state.

Inspirational quote of the week:
Verse of the Week
Upcoming Events Around the Ohio Conference
March 7
Eastwood Junior Academy
March 28
Northern Ohio Adventist Academy

April 19
Centerville Church
Have an event you would like to share with the Ohio Conference? Let us know!
Read the Current Issue of Mission Ohio in the Columbia Union Visitor
Highlights of this issue include new Ohio Conference treasurer, Roy M. Simpson and his wife Melissa; Ohio Conference high school students being "ReCharged," and how a growing church plant changes lives in Massillon.

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