2016 at CMC

What a wild, and sometimes tumultuous ride 2016 was.  Before we get too far along in 2017, here’s a snapshot of what happened in the life of this congregation last year.  It was a full year.  We intentionally confronted racism and affirmed that black lives matter.  We did some work on our building.  And we had some fun along the way.  Because of the long list this year I’ve left off a few of the annual regulars.  If you make it all the way to the bottom, congratulations.

+ CRC Kids Club after school program begins meeting in our church basement

+ Winter Seminar on aging with Jep Hostetler and Glen Miller

+ Youth-led worship service features kids of many ages

+ “Trouble the waters” Lent worship theme

+ Serving February breakfasts at the CRC

+ Maundy Thursday service with Jessica Shimberg of the Little Minyan Kehila

+ Easter worship theme “Conversions”

+ Anita Chapman dies, her gifts to us include the song “Love is a beautiful thing”

+ Baby dedications: Luke Schellenberg, Harold Troyer, and Simon Whistle

+ MTSO student Chris Pedersen continues and completes his pastoral internship

+ Began an experiment with new leadership structure, changing the make-up and role of Leadership Team, and enabling Commission chairs to focus on ministry work rather than governance decisions

+ Hosted a lunch/fiesta for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers seeking fair wages from Wendy’s

+ Eleven new members welcomed into the congregation

+ 62 CMCers join over 2000 people of faith at the annual BREAD Nehemiah Action at the Celeste Center

+ Guest worship speakers: Alex Awad talks about his ministry as a Palestinian pastor, Regina Shands Stoltzfus talks about the movement for black lives

+ Sermon interviews/dialogues: Rev Lane Campbell talks about showing up for racial justice, Malik Moore asks us to use privilege to do good, MCC peace educator Jes Buller talks about Colombia and peacemaking in the US

+ Weddings: Hannah Reiser and David Pierre; Thomas Applegate and Jamie Stack; Mark Rupp and Jeremy Alfera

+ High school grads: Sarah Martin, Montgomery Gray, Caleb Lehman

+ Revival of CMC softball team, which even won some games

+ Youth summer service project focuses on local organizations such as the CRC, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and Community Development for All People

+ We host Central District Conference (CDC) annual meeting, which includes an impromptu dance party at the end of a Mark Rupp sermon

+ CDC conference minister Lois Kaufmann retires, Doug Luginbill hired

+ March in Pride Parade much drier than previous year

+ Two groups of CMC young adults meet with CMCer Linda Mercadante as focus groups for an upcoming book about why young people choose church

+ Pig roast hosted by Jon Nofziger and Katie Graber

+ Vacation Bible School focuses on “Surprise! Discovering stories of Jesus”

+ Joel and Mark join other CDC reps as the conference is “peer reviewed” for licensing Mark as pastor

+ Continuing to serve monthly meals at YWCA

+ The kitchen and sanctuary are remodeled

+ August worship in the fellowship hall of North Broadway United Methodist Church, ending with a joint worship service of Methodists and Mennos

+ Worship at CMC canceled Labor Day weekend, people encouraged to worship at predominantly black congregations

+ Back in the newly renovated building

+ Get your yard signs at church: “Black Lives Matter,” “No matter where you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor (3 languages)”

+ Annual retreat at Camp Luz includes a visit by Mennonite Church USA Executive Director Ervin Stutzman

+ October worship theme: “A holy movement: from colorblindness to racial consciousness to anti-racism and pro-justice”

+ 20 of us join 20 folks from Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship for a guided tour and conversation at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati

+ Remembering loved ones during annual All Saints/Souls observance

+Ted Swartz performs “Laughter is Sacred Space,” looking at mental health and suicide

+ Advent worship theme: “Drawn to the heart of God”

+ We sign and send a colorful card of blessing to Theda Good on the day she is ordained, the first pastor in Mennonite Church USA married to someone of the same sex to receive ordination

+ At the invitation of a local pastor, CMC children’s Sunday school classes write letters to the family of Tyre King, the 13 year old African American boy shot by a Columbus police officer

+ We host a community “Carol Sing for Justice” on the corner of N. Broadway and High


May the Holy One bless and perturb us along the path of 2017.