The Ohio District Board of Directors met on June 10, 2016 at Bethel, Willowick.  5th Vice President Don Beaumont led the devotion and stressed the importance of Christian freedom. God freed us from our sins, death, and the devil through Jesus Christ, but this means that He freed us to worship Him and serve others. We are not freed to live as we please, which only leads to death. So God frees the District Board of Directors to be at His service as we monitor, direct, and pray for our District. Today we considered important issues for our District.

A. District Staff
1. The District staff will continue to be involved in visiting congregations. They may sponsor some workshops about revitalization for congregations. (Pres. Cripe)
2. Mr. Travis Grulke, District Superintendent of Schools, and his district counterparts plan regional training meeting to help principals and teachers. (Pres. Cripe)

B. District Finances
1. The District continues a positive trend for available unrestricted cash. The total amount for this period is $473,830. Mission Support revenue for the current period is approximately the same level as in 2015.
2. The annual audit for the District and the Ohio District Lutheran Church Extension Fund (ODLCEF) went well without any problems. (Rachul)
3. The Board established a Finance Sub-committee where several Board members will examine the financial reports and audits and represent the Board for any financial concern. Mr. Gary Dowdell, Sr. and Mr. John Schimmelmann have agreed to serve.

C. District Church Workers
1. We await the final results from our Profession Worker Health survey, which will be presented in September. The initial report received was fairly positive. (Pres. Cripe)
2. A Stewardship Task Force has been formed to help the recent seminary graduates and vicars manage their finances, especially since many seminary students graduate with large debts. (Pres. Cripe)
3. The Board met several pastors for a luncheon to hear their concerns and to hear suggestions about the District becoming more involved with congregations.

D. District Congregations
1. Two of our circuits in particular are facing challenges of declining attendance and, so far, are not in the mood for merger or being served as part of a multi-point parish. Registered deacons may become involved in this situation so the synodical convention will determine the direction for the registered deacons. (Pres. Cripe)
2. The District vacancy rate continues to drop, thanks to recent acceptances and two seminary candidate placements. But retirements are keeping the number of vacant congregations up. There is a growing number of congregations that are unable to afford (or need) a full-time pastor. (Pres. Cripe)
3. More District congregations are becoming active in their communities in order to expand their outreach. (Pres. Cripe)

E. District Outreach
1. Several congregations, St. John Lutheran Church, South Euclid, OH, St John Lutheran, Marysville, OH and Christ Lutheran, Cincinnati, OH received $300 mission grants from the District (Pres. Cripe)

F. District Planning
1. District circuits will be encouraged to hold a District Forum in 2017. They may consider such topics as elder training, a Lutheran understanding of the political realm and our place in it, how should we think about war? Christian apologetics in a world hostile or indifferent to Christianity, a Lutheran understanding of community welfare. (Pres. Cripe)
2 The Board approved unanimously that Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI (CUAA) will serve as the site for the 2018 District Convention. The Board approved this site because it will bring savings for the District, as compared with a hotel. In addition, when the Ohio District teams up with the Michigan District at CUAA, we are able to have electronic voting and other helpful additions. The District has supported CUAA financially in the past. The District will survey the delegates concerning their recommendations for the next site in 2021.
3. The Board of Directors is considering ways how Board members may become more involved with individual congregations and circuits.

Next Board Meeting: Friday, September 9, 2016 at the District Office, Olmsted Falls, OH