JULY 24, 2017

EOC Week of Prayer Begins July 30

The United Methodist Church is in the midst of a worldwide time of focused prayer for the mission of the church, and for the ongoing work of the Commission on a Way Forward.

Sunday, July 30 to Saturday, August 5 is East Ohio’s week to hold the denomination in prayer. During that week, Bishop Malone asks that every clergy and lay member of the conference pray specifically for the work of the Commission.  In addition, she asks that every congregation include a time of prayer for the Commission on the Way Forward during its worship services on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30.

You are invited to share prayers using the East Ohio UMC Prayer Facebook page. The Upper Room has made resources available at http://umcprays.org/.


What’s New on the Web?

Heart 4 The City in Akron (Canal District) has been designated as a mission church.

Christ UMC in Louisville (Tuscarawas District) is hosting mission groups who are taking the community by STORM (Service To Others in Relational Mission).

Young people take a bold step of faith at Ministerial Recruitment Institute.

Interpreter Magazine
United Methodist Communications announced today that Interpreter magazine, the official program journal of The United Methodist Church, will cease publication after the November/December 2017 issue.  The action comes in response to research regarding readers’ changing needs as part of an overall plan to align and clarify communication channels for the church’s various target audiences, including members, church leaders and external audiences.

“The General Commission on Communication is committed to serving the needs of local churches around the world,” said Cashar W. Evans, Jr., president of the Commission. “That sometimes means we need to move in new directions to remain both good stewards and relevant communicators.”

The communications agency initiated two new e-newsletters earlier this year, one targeted towards members and one towards potential new church members. New communication vehicles focused on the needs of church leaders – including a website, newsletter and social media channels – are under development and will begin to launch later this year, continuing into 2018.

Young People’s Ministries

Youth Annual Conference 2017: “Live It”
In order to illustrate for teens how easy it is to live out their faith, and to spur groups to think about how to serve in their communities, participants at YAC worked on service projects during Saturday afternoon. Groups were asked to bring gently used books, and personal care items.  The books were signed with inspirational words, personal items were packed together into kits, cards were created and even stones were painted to place around Lakeside.  Teens created cards and bracelets as well.  There was an overwhelming response with hundreds of donations.  Here are all the organizations that accepted the donations:

Timothy Circle Mentor Training
Youth workers of the East Ohio Conference! You know how to work with youth, and you do a great job at it.  But do you know the questions to ask youth as they figure out how God is calling them to use their gifts?  And do you know the resources that are available to young people to give them experience or guidance as they figure it out?

The Timothy Circle is designed to be a resource for exactly this.  It’s an online database of volunteer, job, internship, scholarship and schooling opportunities for young people covering a wide range of topics.  It’s also a mentoring program that churches can participate in.   Several sessions of the mentor training are enrolling right now; I bet your church would cover the $45 cost so you could gain this leadership skill.  There are several sessions of the online mentor training enrolling right now – August 7, September 11, and September 25. Each session is 4 weeks, but the class runs at a slow pace and you can participate in the discussion and readings when it fits your schedule each week.  To enroll go to  Timothy Circle.


July 29
Opiate Addiction Public Memorial Service
For families and friends of those who lost their life to opioids and other addictive substances.  The service will feature music, prayer, and a time of reflection on the individual lives lost. For more information.


Spiritual Care Training – August 26
This class helps equip members of early response teams to provide an intentional focus on the spiritual and emotional needs of persons affected by disasters as well as team members. This will provide practical tools for spiritual and emotional care, the ministry of presence, compassion and the importance of self-care. For more information.


Pastoral Care and Counseling

July 24, 2017 Resources
In this edition we feature:

  • 4th Annual Mid-Summer Spiritual Formation Retreat
  • Gospel-Driven Communities: Being a Church with a Biblical Vision of Justice
  • The Gift of Constraints
  • Rebuilding on a Contemplative Foundation: a Creed
  • Science and Practice of Staying Present through Difficult Times
  • A Yoga Story Straight from the Heart
  • Video: Free 6 Minute Yoga Lesson
  • Listings of 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 or use our quick contact form.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

  • In The Wesley Challenge; 21 Days to a More Authentic Faith small groups or whole churches will spend three weeks working through 21 questions that will engage their physical, spiritual and emotional lives and their relationship with God and others.
  • A Woman Overwhelmed: A Bible Study on the Life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus walks through the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who knew what it was like to be overwhelmed. As we explore Mary’s life we find ourselves on a journey from overwhelming joy to overwhelming sorrow and back again, learning along the way how to be consumed with the mission of God rather than the “mission of me.”
  • happy?: what it is and how to find it explores the idea of lasting happiness by examining the book of Ecclesiastes and taking a creative look at what things do not contribute to happiness. He concludes that relationships are the essence of deep contentment, emphasizing the importance of forgiveness to relationships and lasting happiness.

Call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 x 139 or send an e-mail to sarnold@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at  www.rqmweb.com/eocumc

Message in the Movies

Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures
Movie review by Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader

Dunkirk “Christopher Nolan made a creative decision to film Dunkirk as a PG-13 film. Swearing is kept to a minimum and graphic violence is non-existent. Death is real, but sensational gore is avoided. This is a war film that you can watch as a family and talk about later. You may not all agree about exactly what was happening (or why One Direction’s Harry Styles is one of the soldiers) but you will still have much to remember and talk about. There’s a good message in this movie.”

For full review by Rev. Bruce Batchlor-Glader

Classified/Items Available

  • Keyboard Player, Rootstown UMC
  • Pianist, Brecksville UMC
  • Children’s Choir Director, Kent UMC
  • Office Manager, Family of Faith UMC
  • Choir Director/Accompanist, Lakeview UMC
  • Choir Accompanist, Cambridge First UMC
  • Contemporary Worship Leader, Avon UMC

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

To submit job postings and items available please email lois@eocumc.com

Events – July 24-August 7

Follow this link to the events calendar.

To submit a calendar event.

Dates to remember


Please pray for the family of Linda Bragg, spouse of Wilbur T. Bragg, retired local pastor, who died July 18, 2017.

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 August 7, 2017.  Deadline for submission is August 2.

Louisville community is taken by STORM

By Kaye Wolfinger*

Lee Nicolson, youth pastor at Christ UMC in Louisville, (Tuscarawas District) is this week taking the community by STORM (Service To Others in Relational  Mission) Nicholson, who is serving as director for the week, caught the vision for this week long teen mission ministry from the Minnesota Conference three years ago.  The first year he took another leader and three youth to experience the week first hand in Fairbault, MN. By year three, 10 youth and adults made the trip to learn how to duplicate the week back in Ohio.  This week they are watching God’s hand and their planning take shape.

STORM youth

Groups from Danville Kentucky, as well as Mentor and Louisville, Ohio are joining forces.  There are an average of 20-30 adults per day, and 25 teens working on 25 projects for homeowners in and around Louisville.

The goal of STORM is to allow youth to experience the power of Jesus through the vehicle of service and leadership.  Teens each get a turn to be a Servant Leader of the Day, where they learn to make decisions regarding the projects, lead Bible Study with fellow youth and the people they serve.   Each night they are worshiping together and sharing testimonies of how God is working each day.  Nicholson says one of their mottos is, “Work hard, Worship hard.” This experience supports the ministry model that mission work is a part of the discipleship journey and not a stand-alone event. Nicholson’s vision has been three years in the making, and his prayer is to have 45 youth and 45 projects next year.

For more information you can contact Lee Nicholson at  STORMlouisville@gmail.com

*Kaye Wolfinger is director of Young People’s Ministries and Higher Education and Campus Ministry for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.

East Ohio Conference Week of Prayer: July 30 to August 5, 2017

Praying Our Way Forward Logo

The United Methodist Church is in the midst of a worldwide time of focused prayer for the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and for the ongoing work of the Commission on a Way Forward.  This season of prayer began in 2016 as the bishops of the church were asked to pledge 15 minutes a day in prayer for the selection and initial work of the Commission on a Way Forward. It continues in 2017 with each annual conference hosting a week of intentional prayer.

We are asking every clergy and lay member of the East Ohio Conference to pray specifically for the work of the Commission beginning Sunday, July 30 and continuing each day through Saturday, August 5, 2017.  In addition, we ask that every congregation include a time of prayer for the Commission on the Way Forward during worship on July 29 and 30.

The 2016 General Conference gave a specific mandate to the Council of Bishops to “lead The United Methodist Church in discerning and proposing a way forward through the present impasse related to human sexuality and to explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.” In response, the Council proposed – and the 2016 General Conference approved – the formation of a Commission that will assist in helping us find our way forward. The Commission on a Way Forward has been named by the Council of Bishops, and the 32 members have begun their work.

“Finding our way forward is the work of the whole church. As United Methodists we believe in the power of prayer and holy conferencing. Every annual conference is asked to be active preparers of the way forward by making a commitment to pray for the work of the commission, and by engaging in meaningful dialogue.” (Bishop Tracy S. Malone, September 9, 2016)

In her Episcopal Address during Annual Conference 2017, Malone asked that each East Ohio Conference congregation do something bold in this next ministry year, that they connect with the Four Areas of Focus, and that they do these three things:

  • Pray for the Commission on a Way Forward,
  • Participate in the a Way Forward conversations that will take place in our conference beginning this fall and continuing through the spring of 2018, and
  • Stay encouraged and focused on the mission of Christ and his Church.

We invite you to share prayers using the Facebook page East Ohio UMC Prayer. The Upper Room has made resources available at http://umcprays.org/.