Combatting Hunger with the Longest Table

By Rick Wolcott*

One in four people go to bed hungry in Steubenville and the surrounding community.

To raise awareness of the impact of hunger, the United Methodist-related Urban Mission (Ohio Valley District) set a table down the middle of the street and fed 300 people.

“There is something special, something sacred when people can look each other in the eye when their eating, to take time out of their day, to not hurry, and just to enjoy each other’s presence and there’s no better way to do that than around a table,” said the Rev. Ashley Steele, executive director of the Urban Mission.

Individuals, church groups, business leaders and others from the community came together on a beautiful day to show their support for one another and to recognize that September is Hunger Awareness Month in the United States.

The meal fed more than bellies, it also provided food for the dinner guests’ minds.

“On our tables we have cards for talking points.  They are questions people can ask each other, as well as consider for themselves.  We want them to be able to talk about the importance of sitting around a table, the importance of eating a meal together, and what it means to be hungry – but then to also take what they have learned with them and share that information in their everyday life,” Steele said.

Learn more about the Urban Mission.

*Rick Wolcott is director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Greet Bishop Malone

You are invited to Salem First United Methodist Church (Mahoning Valley District) at 3pm this Sunday, Oct. 2, for a service welcoming Bishop Tracy S. Malone and her family to the East Ohio Conference.

The Episcopacy Committee and the Cabinet planned the welcoming services, the final two of which are scheduled for 3pm on the following Sundays:

Oct. 16:   Willoughby Hills UMC
Nov. 13:  Ashland First UMC

Bishop Malone  can be reached at

 Director of Multi-Cultural Vitality

The East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church seeks a director of Multi-Cultural Vitality. The new position was created by an action of Annual Conference 2016 when delegates approved a recommendation from the Conference Personnel Committee to change the part-time director of Racial-Ethnic Ministries position into full-time and to expand its scope of focus and work.  

Learn more about the role of the director of Multi-Cultural Vitality.

Qualified candidates should e-mail a letter of interest and their resume to the Rev. Steve Court by October 31.

Treasurer’s Office/Benefits

2017 EOC Health Care Premiums
The premiums for clergy and lay employees will increase by 8% in 2017. Full details can be found here.


November 17
Community Clergy/Laity Training to Aid Veterans

Do you have a passion to help veterans? Do you feel more can be done to help veterans and their families? Do you know veterans suffering from PTSD and depression?  If you answered yes to any one of these questions then you need to attend this help churches connect with veterans. This can be an outreach for you & your church. In this training you will be given materials and resources to help create a safe space and develop trusting relationships, and listen without judgment.  For more information.


Health Kits/School Kits Needed
The United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) thanks us for our timely and generous response to the urgent need for flood bucket clean-up kits!  The director of UMCOR relief supplies reports that there are currently enough available cleaning buckets in the network. We are asked to please re-direct our efforts into creating health kits or school kits.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

September 26, 2016 Resources
In this edition we feature:

  • Cultivating Church Leaders
  • Positive Audacity
  • Rethinking Connecting with God: an Interview with Fr. Richard Rohr
  • Searching for Blessings in Tragedies: Being the Peace We Want to See in the World
  • Tips for Dealing with a Diagnosis of Diabetes
  • Help! I’m Being Threatened with Hell: Rabbi Rami Shapiro
  • Listings of Spiritual Formation Groups and our Spiritual Directors

Contact Us
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address, or would like to get email alerts when new resources have been posted, please contact Howard Humphress at or use our quick contact form.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

To reserve these or other resources, call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 x 139 or send an e-mail to Browse the resource catalog at

Message in the Movies

Movie review by Bruce Batchelor-Glader Photo by NetFlix

The Fundamentals of Caring  “In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus speaks of the kindness that is shown to the king when “I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me.” (Matthew 25:35-36) In its own quirky, snarky way The Fundamentals of Caring gives us an elementary lesson about the opportunities every day to grow into better persons, modeling Christ-like love by learning to care for the needs of others.   For full review.

United Methodist Financial Credit Union

Balance Transfer Promotion
Only 3.24% for 12-months and NO balance transfer fee! (Term begins on the date of the cardholder’s first transfer.) this offer is available now through December 31,2016 to qualifying UMFCU cardholders. For more information, please contact credit union loan officer at 800-831-9372, option 6  or 800-373-1059, ext. 12.

UMFCU Is Now Part of the Shared Branching Network
We are pleased to announce that it is now possible for you to walk into one of the 5,500 + participating credit unions and transact business on your UMFCU account. To locate a participating credit union open link and enter location.

Community Christmas of Stark County Collection Box
The North Canton office is collecting gently used warm winter coats from October 3-December 2. Items may be placed in the collection box during the credit union’s regular business hours of 8:30 am-4 pm.

Columbus Day Holiday
Both UMFCU branches will be closed for business Monday, October 10, 2016.

New E-News Feature

You may now use the archive listing on the right side of the page  to view past issues of E-News.

Classifieds/Items Available

  • Director of Multi-Cultural Vitality, East Ohio Conference
  • Organist/Choir Accompanist/ Bell Choir Director, Massillon First UMC
  • Associate Director of Finance and Administration – Support Services, Indiana Conference
  • Ministry Coordinator – Youth, Service, and Witness Ministries, Christ and First UMC’s in Ashland

Details of the above classifieds/items wanted can be found here.

Events – Sept. 26-Oct. 10

September 27
Farmers Market, Crestline UMC 
October 1-2
Cardboard City, Wellington UMC
October 1
Craft and Vendor Sale, Chagrin Falls UMC 
October 3-5
Coaching Foundations, Area Center 
October 4
Church Planter Coaching, Area Center
October 8
Youth Mission Roundtable, North Olmsted UMC
October 8-9
Apple Butter Festival, Chatham
October 8
Swiss Steak Dinner, Chippewa Church at the Lake UM

Follow this link to the events calendar.
To submit a calendar event.

Dates to Remember

November 5
Team Leader Training
November 4-6
November 14-16
Fall-For-All Clergy Retreat


Please pray for the family of:

  • James Sun Nam Han, retired elder, who died September 17, 2016.

For full obituary notices.

To Subscribe

To subscribe please send your request to Lois Speelman.  Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church.

The next scheduled edition of the E-News will be October 10, 2016.  Deadline to submit an article is October 5.

East Ohio Conference Seeks Director of Multi-Cultural Vitality

The East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church is seeking a director of Multi-Cultural Vitality. The new position was created by an action of Annual Conference 2016 when delegates approved a recommendation from the Conference Personnel Committee to change the part-time director of Racial-Ethnic Ministries position into full-time and to expand its scope of focus and work.

“Every level of our conference leadership has been saying ‘we need to reach more people, more young people, and more diverse people,’” said the Rev. Steve Court, director of Connectional Ministries.  “Providing a full-time person focused on multi-cultural vitality will help us be accountable to that goal by assisting churches, pastors, superintendents and conference leaders in identifying strengths and developing strategies for this important ministry.”

“We are committed to increasing the number of vital, healthy and growing congregations in the East Ohio Conference,” said Bishop Tracy S. Malone.  “There is a beautiful diversity of people in our mission field we have the opportunity to reach. As a conference, we want to help build the capacity of every local church to embrace the racial, ethnic, cultural and generational diversity within their communities.

“We want to be faithful in our mission of making and maturing disciples of Christ who will transform the world. The director of Multi-Cultural Vitality will focus on resourcing and equipping clergy and congregations in creating and expanding strategies for developing multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-generational ministry, and traditional racial and ethnic ministries,” she said.

Qualified candidates should e-mail a letter of interest and their resume to the Rev. Steve Court by October 31.

Read the job description.