Sheryl’s Commissioning

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Some say that the Commissioning and Ordination Service on Tuesday evening is the high point of the conference. This was the first one that we’ve attended and we found have to agree. The folks that were honored with new stoles and titles have all spent many years in service and study to get this far. Our own Sheryl Seitz was commissioned during the service. You’ll see her in the second row of one of the pictures – I tagged her with a red circle.

Sheryl and her husband Tim were part of our Otterbein family for many years until they left to begin her full-time student/ministry several years ago. She was just appointed to her third charge at Clyde UMC. We’re all very proud of her.

Lesson on Improvising


Bishop Hopkins shared an object lesson on “improvising” this morning. His point was that we are very often presented with an “opportunity” outside of our comfort zone that requires us to make the best with what we have. You have to hand it to a beginning guitarist willing to get up in front of 1500 folks and risk a little embarrassment to make a valuable point.

Tuesday Morning Worship

WP_20150616_004The New London Praise Band led our morning worship music on Tuesday. Speaker Barbara Boigegrain, General Secretary and CEO of the General Board of Health and Pension Benefits (how’s that for a title!?), gave her testimony during the service. It’s great to hear the heart of those administering the “business” of our church.

Otterbein at Work

Before services started on Tuesday, I asked Ed to pose for the folks at home. OUMC is a very active part of the conference. You can find our family involved in many ways. We’re “All In”!

First Business Session



Monday afternoon held our first business session. We were treated to the “State of the Conference” presentation by Bishop Hopkins, treasurer Jessica Vargo, Mid-Ohio DS Karen Oehl, and Director of Connectional Ministries Steve Court.

Service of Commemoration and Holy Communion

After lunch, we had our opening worship service of Commemoration and Communion. This memorable service honors pastors, spouses, and key conference folks who died in the last year. Our own dear Pastor Jim was among those on the list, shaking us all up just a bit when his picture showed on the big screen.

District Luncheon


Lunch today was our annual district luncheon down at the dock, catered by the local establishment. After lunch, DS Bonita Rollins introduced us to a few pastors moving into the district this year, including our own Pastor Ralph. Then she shared a few victory stories from around the district. She has a wonderful, encouraging demeanor and always challenges us to be attentive to God’s limitless opportunities.

Gathering for Laity Session


This year we have the task of electing delegates to the 2016 general and jurisdictional conferences. This task requires several ballots. We started Monday morning with a laity-only session for the first ballot. These pictures show everyone gathering for the event.

The conference keeps the media folks on their toes. Aside from the sound system, there are at least five cameras and a dozen video monitors or so strategically placed around the auditorium. Some of the events are simulcast and/or recorded. The entire stadium is covered by a semi-open wifi for delegate use.

Ed Cochran and Jacob Brown were on the cameras this morning, but I didn’t get pictures of them, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Communion Practice #2

WP_20150614_006We’re standing at the back of Hoover awaiting our turn to practice our processional. There are 30 teams of two. Each team includes one clergy and on lay person and gets to serve about 9 rows. Here’s hoping I remember all the instructions tomorrow.


Communion Practice #1

WP_20150614_005Rev. Susan Brown is responsible for our first worship service Monday afternoon. Here she instructs the communion stewards. We’re in Hoover auditorium just after 7PM Sunday evening.