News and information from around the Ohio Conference
Ohio Conference Administrators, Ministry Directors, Share Message to Constituents
"We know we've been living in very difficult and hard situations, but at the same time we are joyful because we have a living God, a God in whom we can trust," shares Oswaldo Magaña, executive secretary for the Ohio Conference in this new COVID-19 video update.

The video message contains short messages and updates from the ministry directors and department heads within the Ohio Conference: Andrew Sutton, associate treasurer; Kasper Haughton Jr, media services; Harry Straub, planned giving director; Peter Simpson, hispanic ministries director and Global Mission director; Roy Simpson, treasurer; Heidi Shoemaker, communication director; Edward Marton, youth and young adult director; and Richard Bianco, education superintendent.

"We hope that whatever we say today will have a wonderful meaning and will uplift our spirits in such times like these," said Magaña. "May we always trust in Him, because that is the only hope we have in trying times."
Ellen White and Small Groups
By Michael Stough II, Pastor Springfield First, Delaware, New Carlisle District
In our journey to explore small groups the Bible presented us with a variety of small groups which existed for the purpose of furthering God’s kingdom. This week I want to look at what Ellen White mentions about the idea of small groups, a term she refers to as both small companies and social meetings.

The first thing we notice is that small groups are “the best meeting in which they [that is us] may be trained and educated to be witnesses for Christ.” [1] Here,  the small group members work not only to strengthen other members, but to work for the unbeliever as well. [2] The result is that as we “work and pray in Christ’s name, their numbers will increase.” [3]

These small groups show us something important about what is happening right now, the church is not the building, it is us. For whether it is online or face-to-face, these small groups gather for prayer and Bible study. Efforts and plans are put together to take the Word where people may be isolated, but certainly where there is little opportunity to hear of God’s love and care for them. [4]

These small groups are to “assemble in the evening, at noon, or in the early morning, to study the Bible. Let them have a season of prayer, that they may be strengthened, enlightened, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit,” [5] showing us there is no time of the day in which we should not seek to gather “together to edify one another by an interchange of thoughts and feelings, and to gather strength, and light and courage.” [6] This spiritual boost is a result of working together in the unity Christ declares shows the world the love of God. [7]

When this takes place the lukewarm condition of the Laodicean church is replaced in our lives with “an experience that is living, that is new and interesting.” [8] We will realize a “Christian is a Christlike man, a Christlike woman, who is active in God’s service.” [9] Who, by being present in the small group meeting does not sit silently or idly by, but “whose presence will encourage others also.” [10] For religion “does not consist in works, but religion works; it is not dormant.” [11]

Next time I will look at how the Lord has blessed us a people with some of the best small group structure. Until then, may the Lord bless each one of us with ways we can be a part of a small group.

[1] Ellen White,  Manuscript Release, vol. 9 , 92.
[2] Ibid,  Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7 , 21.
[3] Ibid, 22.
[4] Ibid, “What the Sale of ‘Christ's Object Lessons’ Will Accomplish,”  The Review and Herald , June 17, 1902.
[5] Ibid,  Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7 , 195.
[6] Ibid,  Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2 , 578.
[7] John 17:20-23.
[8] White,  Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2 , 579.
[9] Ibid,  Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7 , 935.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid .
Encouraging Those Who Are Isolated and Alone
During these days and weeks of social distancing, many are finding themselves increasingly isolated. None more than those residents of nursing homes, assisted care facilities, and rehab centers, which have been under lockdown since early March. While families can still call and find creative ways to see their loved ones through exterior windows, many either have no families or no alternative means to connect with anyone outside the facility in which they reside. They are truly alone.

Young William Shafor spent last Thursday with his grandmother, Denise Rose, both of the Wilmington church, making handmade pictures with encouraging scripture verses written upon them. The delightful creations will be sent to Rose's daughter Bethany, who works in an assisted living and nursing facility in South Bend, IN.

"Bethany’s unit has 30 residents. She was saying that those who are developing dementia are really struggling right now because they can’t have family visits and they don’t understand. They can’t leave their rooms to visit with their friends. If they are on the ground floor, family can go outside of their rooms and talk with them on the phone," said Rose. "But if they are on an upper floor, it is much harder as the residents can’t go to a different floor. Normal activities (Bingo, games, puzzles, etc.) are all suspended because they can’t leave their rooms. Even meals are eaten alone. And all human connection, save Wellbrooke employees, is gone. Phone calls are great, but cannot replace human contact. It is so sad."

Rose and her daughter are mindful of what is being used to create the artwork for the residents in their attempt to reduce the transmission of any germs or viruses. "If they make them with paint or chalk, anything but crayons, they can be microwaved for a minute to kill germs," said Rose. "Anything people can do for their local nursing facilities would be great!"

While Bethany can vouch for the cards William and her mother will send, not all facilities will accept unsolicited cards or packages. It is advised you mail cards to an employee of a facility, who can adhere to established policies.

Rose also suggests for members and children to make and send cards to singles in their church, older members in their church, and special "thank you’s" to those working on the front lines in their church (I.e., medical, food service, transportation, stock clerks, etc.). The options are limitless. Rose did caution that if someone was not feeling well, they should refrain from making and mailing cards.

How are you helping your community during this time of crisis? What are you doing to help ensure #MinistryDoesNotStop in your church? How are you sharing the love of Christ with others?

We would like to hear from you! Email Heidi Shoemaker, communication director, about what you or your church are doing to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, at .
Adventist Learning Community Offers Free Video Resources on Health
COVID-19. Work. Stress. Health. Family. Church. Seems like we are all glued to our electronic devices 24/7.

Are you getting enough sleep? Drinking enough water? Getting exercise?

Learn how the use of electronics before bed time can affect your sleep. Free videos are now available from the Adventist Learning Community on this topic and others through their online portal of health resources.

The Awakening on ABC
The Awakening  will feature Breath of Life speaker/director, Dr. Carlton P. Byrd, and Grammy award-winning recording artists, Yolanda Adams, and Donnie McClurkin. Please check your local listings for broadcast times or visit .

Kettering Church Introduces "the Hub"
This week Kettering Church launched "the Hub," their online initiative to connect church family with one another and God during this time of isolation. Visitors will find innovative resources, live online events (including worship and Bible studies), and opportunities to contribute content ideas to help it expand. Everyone is invited to visit the Hub at:
No-Cost Wills and Trusts
The Ohio Conference Planned Giving Department is here to help our members. If you need to update your Wills, Trusts or POA (Power of Attorney) please email or call our office. If you need copies of your current documents we can send them to you.

If you do not have a plan and are wanting to set one up, we will provide a Will and POA’s at no cost to our Ohio Conference members. This is a service of the Conference to its members. We have a licensed attorney that we have worked with for over 15 years who can prepare the estate plan for you. What I do is help gather the information that is needed and send it to our attorney.

Even though we may be restricted at this time we can have conversations on the phone or Zoom if you would like. 

Harry Straub, Director of Planned Giving 
775-741-1983 cell | 740-397-4665 ext. 123, office

Photo of the Week
Food shortages and insecurities have become a significant issue for many in the greater Dayton area, as they are across our nation during the coronavirus crisis.

Good Neighbor House in Dayton has begun using their thrift store as an assembly line for the local food pantry. Staff and volunteers have put in extra hours, getting everything ready in order to serve as many people as possible during their operating hours.

They are following similar procedures to Dayton Foodbank and taking orders on health safety from the National Association of Free Clinics. Food pantry volunteers and staff wear gloves and masks for the protection of all. Clients are asked to phone in or ring the doorbell at the front door to place their food order and pick it up in via their drive through.

"We are all just trying to make it work, aren’t we?" shared GNH in a recent Facebook post. "Blessings and prayers with you and your families as we continue on with our mission every day."
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 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