Love, Simon – teenage romantic comedy that is funny, wise, and kind

Photo: 20th Century FOX | Movie Review by Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a teenage romantic comedy that wore its heart on its sleeve, full of love for its characters. … Fortunately, director Greg Berlanti remembers those films and has intentionally brought the genre up-to-date, using the bestselling YA book Simon and the Home Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli as his source material.

What’s changed in the thirty years after Sixteen Candles? A few things. It’s a digital world now and social media and interconnectivity is a constant presence. The opportunity for online discussion creates both a safe place to talk about yourself anonymously and a dangerous place for online bullying and the spillover into the school cafeteria. And there is now a growing acceptance of a variety of sexual identities with younger adults and teens that was openly shunned in the 80s, although the risk of coming out as LGBTQ to family and friends is still present (and the United Methodist Church’s attempt to find a way forward is perhaps one of the most controversial movements in recent church history).

Read the entire review of this “four halo rated” film.

MARCH 19, 2018

Appointments and Changes of Status

Bishop Tracy S. Malone, in the past two weeks, has announced the following East Ohio Conference clergy appointments:

  • Greg Bush | East Springfield Christ UMC, OV
  • D. Anthony Everett | University Circle UMC (Kentucky Annual Conference ¶346.1) , NC
  • Vicky Kelley | Girard & Woodland Park UMCs, MV
  • Eric Kluth | Mogadore UMC, CN
  • Don Kuntz | Sandusky Trinity UMC, FL
  • Randy May | Geneva UMC, WR
  • Shane Russo | Girard & Woodland Park UMCs, MV


  • Stanley Dunk | retiring from Extension Ministry: Otterbein Hospice
  • Jon Heavilin | retiring from New Pittsburg UMC, NC
  • Monica Huntsman | Discontinued, TR
  • Janet Stengel | Medical Leave
  • Dale Thomas | retiring from Milan Edison Memorial UMC, FL
  • Scott Williams | retiring from Bayard Community & East Rochester UMCs, TW
Districts Key: (CN) Canal, (FL) Firelands, (MO) Mid-Ohio, (MV) Mahoning Valley,  (NC) North Coast,  (OV) Ohio Valley, (SH) Southern Hills, (TR) Three Rivers,  (TW) Tuscarawas,  (WR) Western Reserve

View the entire list of appointments and changes of status.


Berea-Midpark HS Students Walk for ChangeStudents Protest to Change Gun Control Laws
Chants of “enough is enough!” rang out from hundreds of Berea-Midpark High School students as they walked out of class on March 14 to protest the current gun control laws in the United States.

The walkout at BMHS, and at hundreds of other schools across the country, came on the one-month anniversary of the deadly shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“The issue of gun violence that prompted today’s walkout is one that our community and our congregation is concerned with and I think it’s always important for the church to show up and be a witness for what we believe when there’s an issue that impacts our neighbors,” said UMC Berea Senior Pastor the Rev. Nathan Howe.  He, and others from UMC Berea, were on hand at the school praying for the students during their march.

Read the article in its entirety.

East Ohio United Methodist Church Conference Directory.

2017 Clergy Directory
The 2017 East Ohio Conference Clergy Directory is available for viewing and download on the Conference website, in the drop down menu under the Clergy tab.  Download a personal copy by clicking on this link. Once the pdf has fully opened, click on the download arrow in the upper right corner of the page.

Congregational Vitality

Methodism on Fire: Methodism and the Holy Spirit
April 20-21 at Salem UMC, the Mahoning Valley District will host Methodism on Fire, a retreat celebrating the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church.  United Theological Seminary professors Dr. Peter Bellini and Dr. Luther Oconer will be the keynote speakers.

Cost is $20 and includes a continental breakfast and a luncheon on Saturday, April 21.  The closing worship service of the retreat will also be the opening worship service for the Mahoning Valley Spring District Conference.

Learn more about, and register for, Methodism on Fire: Methodism and the Holy Spirit.

Free Leadership Development Webinar
Tues., May 8 @ 7:00 PM CDT – Developing New Leaders: Partnering with Schools, Businesses, and Non-Profits – Is your community changing?  Who are your new leaders?  How does community transformation shape contextual ministry in your area? Is building key relationships within the community challenging?  What should the focus be, and where should the church begin to develop its outreach mission? This webinar will explore general community information to help congregational leaders gain a greater understanding of needs, challenges, discipleship practices and ministry opportunities.

Register at  Contact Jacqui King of UMC Discipleship Ministries at

EOC Summer Camp

20`18 Summer Camp logoJoin the EOC Summer Camp Staff
Camp Aldersgate, Camp Asbury, and Camp Wanake are looking for outstanding Christian young men and young women to join our summer staffs.  Camp staff members are vital parts of the powerful, life-changing experience campers have each summer as they learn about God and take the next steps in their faith journey.

Available staff positions include counselors, lifeguards, program staff, adventure staff, food service, special needs staff, administration, and maintenance crew.

East Ohio Camps and Retreat Ministries offer great Christian community, excellent training, free room and board, opportunities for ministry, and the chance for staff to expand their leadership skills.  If you are interested in working at one of our sites this summer, click here to begin the application process.

Camp Wanake Preview Day & Resurrection Egg Hunt
On Saturday, April 7 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. celebrate Christ’s resurrection and see what Wanake summer camp has to offer – all in the same visit! The events are free and everyone is invited to attend.  Camp Wanake is located at 9463 Manchester Ave. SW in Beach City.

The egg hunt is for children, infant through high school.  Registration for the hunt begins at 2:00 p.m.  At 2:30 p.m. the egg hunt starts, complete with prize eggs, candy, and awesome prizes – like up to $100 camperships for summer camp.

Camp preview begins at 4:00 p.m., including great activities like wagon tours of camp, pony rides, rock climbing, and more!  When you invite a friend to the preview day, you and your friend/friend’s family will get an extra entry into the grand prize drawings for $100 camperships!

Kids Need Camp
Today, like never before, teens and pre-teens are under tremendous pressure.  Self-doubt, peer pressure, substance abuse, self-injury and a myriad of harmful voices nag at kids every day.  Even kids who have a strong support structure face obstacles.  Camp provides opportunities for kids to pull away and get a breather – to catch a vision for the bigger picture of their lives.  Kids need the Power of Camp.   Contact your local church, call the East Ohio Conference Camping Office at 1 (330) 499-3972 ext. 108, or visit us on the web.

Bring a Friend to Camp!
Don’t tell your friend about camp – bring them with you!  Experience together your cool counselors, the new kids you meet, and the great adventures and challenges that you find at camp.  Find all you need to register online, or get a Summer Camps brochure by sending an e-mail to or calling us at (330) 499-3972 ext. 108.


Puerto Rico
Unfortunately, natural disasters have become an all-too-familiar occurrence.  When hurricanes caused major devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and beyond in the fall of 2017,  United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) went to work.  Initially Early Response Teams from conferences neighboring the disaster area were deployed.  Invitations have now been extended to our conference to come to Puerto Rico and help in the long-term rebuilding efforts.

The East Ohio Conference is coordinating two UMVIM teams to Puerto Rico.  Cost for each team member is $1,200-1,500.  Teams will fly into and out of San Juan.  Work will be cleaning out and rebuilding.  Electricity is not guaranteed.  If you are able to participate in one of these trips, please contact the UMVIM team leader today.

April 23-30
UMVIM Team Leader: Tom Ruth from Elyria UMC
Phone: 440-610-3877 | E-mail:

May 24-31
UMVIM Team Leader: Bob Catchpole from Church Hill UMC
Phone:  330-506-0339 | E-mail:

Multicultural Ministries

Native American Ministries Sunday is April 15
On Sunday, April 15, celebrate the gifts and contributions to the church and the community that were made by our Native American brothers and sisters in Christ.

When our churches support Native American Ministries Sunday, we empower Native American congregations to minister to their communities with the love of Jesus Christ. Your special offering on April 15 will support Native American outreach ministries and provide scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.

To help your leadership team promote this Special Sunday, download the Native American Ministries Sunday Pastor and Leader’s Kit.


Building Community Bridges: Conversations on Disabilities  – April 11-12
The Methodist Theological School in Ohio is hosting a workshop featuring lectures by disabilities author and consultant William Gaventa, a panel with self-advocates and their families, and breakout sessions with experts in the field.  Cost is $25.  Learn more and register online.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Bi-weekly Resources
In the March 19 edition we address: Compassion is a powerful energy that heals and unites. In this issue you will find biblical instructions for unity, the transition of awakening, and how a practice of radical acceptance that can free you to live the abundant life Jesus promises.

• A Way Forward: How Church Can Achieve True, Biblical Unity
• A Hospice Counselor’s Compassion
• Awakening: Transition from Being Unconscious to Becoming Conscious
• Radical Acceptance: Saying “Yes” to Life
• 10 Yin Yoga Poses to Embrace Spring’s Spirit of Renewal
• Spiritual Practice Groups and Listings of our Spiritual Directors

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

United Methodist Financial Credit Union

Good Friday Closing
On Friday March 30, all offices of The United Methodist Financial Credit Union will be closed in observance of Good Friday. Members may check account balances, pay bills, and transfer funds, anytime through our website or mobile app. From all of us at The United Methodist Financial Credit Union, we wish you a Happy Easter!

Visa Promotion Still Going On!
Don’t Miss It! Our Visa Balance Transfer Promotion is still going on now through April 30, 2018! Transfer your balance to a UMFCU Visa and receive a 5.24% APR* for a 36 month term. Balance transfer fees apply (3% of the transfer or $10, whichever is greater). Contact one of our offices for more information!


PAUMCS Workshop April 17
The Ohio Chapter of PAUMCS (Professional Administrators of The United Methodist Church Structure) is pleased to offer a Spring Workshop on Tuesday, April 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Reynoldsburg UMC in the West Ohio Conference.  All East Ohio and West Ohio United Methodist Church secretaries, administrative assistants, office volunteers, district staff, etc. are welcome to attend! You do not need to be a PAUMCS member to attend.  Learn more about the Ohio PAUMCS Spring Workshop.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

  • In the I Can Only Imagine Study, Bart Millard of MercyMe shares his own personal story leading you on a redemptive journey to recall your past wounds, reorient your present identity, and reimagine your future.
  • Life-Changing Prayer; Approaching the Throne of Grace explores how God promises in his Word to always hear you, answer you, and extend his mercy when you come to him.
  • Liking Jesus; Intimacy and Contentment in a Selfie-Centered World taps in to some of the most up-to-date studies on social media to help us understand how it affects our emotions, our relationships, our attitudes, and our beliefs.
  • Ephesians Teen Bible Study; Your Identity in Christ will help students better understand the importance of finding identity in Christ, and will help students better understand the relationship between our spiritual adoption and our daily lifestyle.
  • Messy Grace will inspire and empower Christ followers to completely love their LGBT neighbors (and any other neighbor) while remaining committed to Scripture.

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

boy and girl in forest
Photo/Disney | Review by Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader

A Wrinkle in Time There is no doubt in my mind that Ava DuVernay is a gifted filmmaker, capable of creating the memorable Selma as well as the outstanding documentary 13th. When she announced her desire to make a film version of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved 1963 novel A Wrinkle in Time (with the blessing of Oprah Winfrey), I had high hopes that something wonderful would happen.

What happened? Find out!

Events -March 20 – April 2

Click to view East Ohio Conference Calendar.

To submit your event to the East Ohio calendar use this form.


Positions Available
Details of listings may be found here. 

  • Executive Director, New England Camp and Retreat Center
  • Director of Praise Worship, Wintersville UMC
  • Part-time Youth Group Leader, Cardington 1st UMC
  • Part-time Director of Music Ministries, Shreve UMC
  • Administrative Assistant/Secretary, Faith UMC, Tiffin
  • Modern Worship Leader, Church of the Saviour, Cleveland Hts.
  • Conference Treasurer and Director of Administration, Upper New York Conference
  • Counselors, Support Staff (Lifeguards), Wanake
  • Ranch Assistant, Wanake
  • Kitchen Assistant/Dishwasher, Wanake
  • Supervising Cook, Wanake
  • Music Ministry Coordinator, Johnson UMC
  • Director of Discipleship, Richmond UMC
  • District Administration Assistant, Ohio Valley District
  • Crib Room Attendant, Tallmadge UMC

To submit a classified ad please email


Please pray for the families of:

  • Mary Louise Rogersretired local pastor, died March 11, 2018
  • Sonia M. Hardman, spouse of John D. Hardman, RE, died March 4, 2018.
  • Mary Ann Seith, spouse of William A. Seith, RE, died February 26, 2018.

For full obituary notices.

To Subscribe

Subscribe to E-news and all East Ohio Conference news updates, Enter your email address in the “Follow News via Email” widget on the right sidebar.   Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church.

The next scheduled edition of the E-News is April 2, 2018.  Deadline for submission is March 28.

“Enough is enough!” Students Protest to Change Gun Control Laws

By Rick Wolcott*

“Alyssa Alhadeff, student, age14
Scott Beigel, teacher, age 35
Martin Duque Anguiano, student, age 14”

Outside Berea-Midpark High School, one by one the names were read of the 17 people killed during the Valentine’s Day shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

massive group of students bow heads for moment of siklence
Moment of Silence Prior to Walk at Berea-Midpark HS

Berea-Midpark students joined thousands of others from schools across the country when they walked out of class on the one-month anniversary of the deadly shooting to protest the current gun control laws.

Berea-Midpark HS Walk for Change

Gathered near the memorial garden before their march around the school, Ben, a Berea-Midpark senior, told his fellow Titans, “take out your phones, take pictures, take videos, use the hash tag enough is enough, show people that we are no longer sitting back and letting things happen.”

“Today is all about the students and has been organized by them,” said Berea-Midpark High School Principal Vincenzo Ruggiero.  “Ben and the other students have been phenomenal in the planning of this march.  This is a student movement and our role has been to support it.”

“Nicholas Dworet, student, age 17
Aaron Feis, football coach, age 37
Jaime Guttenberg, student, age 14”

Berea-Midpark HS Students Walk for Change
Berea-Midpark HS Students Walk for Change

Clergy and laity from the United Methodist Church of Berea (North Coast District) stood in the school parking lot, watching the protest and praying for the students participating in it.

“The issue of gun violence that prompted today’s walkout is one that our community and our congregation is concerned with and I think it’s always important for the church to show up and be a witness for what we believe when there’s an issue that impacts our neighbors,” said UMC Berea Senior Pastor the Rev. Nathan Howe.

Rev. Nathan Howe, Don Moody, Rev. Carrie Antczak, and Claire Powell
Rev. Nathan Howe, Don Moody, Rev. Carrie Antczak, and Claire Powell

“As a former educator and school principal, I feel this is a really critical issue for our students to undertake because of their safety,” said Claire Powell, a lay member of UMC Berea.  “Hopefully they can be able to make a statement to the country and to the lawmakers and the NRA that there needs to be tighter gun control laws so that these incidents of gun violence will stop and children can feel safe when they go to school every day.”

“I think there is value in supporting the youth of our community and the causes that they believe in.  I think we need to stand with them and to pray for and with them,” said UMC Berea lay member Don Moody.

Ben was encouraged that members of the community were present for the walkout.

“It makes me happy that people have come out and are supporting what we are doing,” he said.

Student Protest at Youngstown Chaney HS
Student Protest at Youngstown Chaney HS

Outside Chaney High School in Youngstown, students also began their walkout by reading the names of those who lost their lives in the Parkland shooting.

“Chris Hixon, athletic director, age 49
Luke Hoyer, student, age 15
Cara Loughran, student, age 14”

Rev. Abby Auman, Mahoning Valley District superintendent, was in attendance offering prayer and showing her support.

“It is important to show the students that adults care about them and their safety, and that The United Methodist Church stands with them in calling for reform,” she said.  “I don’t know how Columbine wasn’t enough.  I don’t know how Sandy Hook wasn’t enough, or Chardon, or any of the other mass shootings enabled by AR-15s.  So if these high school students are ready and willing to stand up and say that gun ownership in America does not have to be an all or nothing proposition, and that their lives matter more than unlimited and unfettered gun ownership, I’m willing to stand with them and support them however I can.”

“Gina Montalto, student, age 14
Joaquin Oliver, student, age 17
Alaina Petty, student, age 14
Meadow Pollack, student, age 18”

“It was amazing to see so many students stand up for something,” said the Rev. Kelsey Orosan, pastor of Richard Brown Memorial and Trinity UMCs in Youngstown, and associate pastor of Boardman UMC.

Lucy Smith and Rev. Kelsey Orosan
Lucy Smith and Rev. Kelsey Orosan

She and Auman credit Richard Brown Memorial UMC members Penny Wells and Lucy Smith with organizing the Youngstown walkouts through their work with Sojourn to the Past, which takes students on a journey along the path of the Civil Rights Movement through the American South.

“The Sojourn students led the charge at all three Youngstown high schools with thoughtful and thought-provoking speeches that called students to take specific actions.” Orosan said.

In Youngstown and in Berea, students sent many messages on this day.  With their feet, they walked in protest of current gun laws.  With their hands, and the stroke of a pen, they registered to vote, giving them the power to make a difference at the polls.

“I’m encouraged by the students wanting to use their voice to share what’s on their hearts in the ways that they are peacefully protesting and making their concerns known to lawmakers,” said the Rev. Carrie Antczak, pastor of Christian formation and outreach at UMC Berea.  “I want to support that the students are doing what they can to change the world that they live in.”

“Helena Ramsay, student, age 17
Alex Schachter, student, age 14
Carmen Schentrup, student, age 16
Peter Wang, student, age 15”


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