APRIL 3, 2017

2017 Appointments/Changes of Status

Districts: (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

Note: effective 7/1/2017 unless otherwise noted

Matt Anderson:
West Lafayette UMC, TR
Brad Bloomster: Smith Corners UMC, MV
DeBorah Graham: 
Mount Pleasant UMC, NC
David Hull-Frye: Grandview  UMC,  CN
Deb Quillen: East Fairfield UMC, MV
Jeremy Roseberry: Spencer and Lafayette UMCs, FL
Heather Runser: Coalburg UMC, MV
Stephen Sparling:  Incapacity Leave, 5/1/17
Holly Stephens: New Hope UMC, MV

Lenore Robinson: Spencer UMC, FL, 10/1/17

Concluding Ministry:
Dan Jenkins: 
Honorable Location

View the current appointment list

A Way Forward… Building God’s Beloved Community

By Bishop Tracy S. Malone
Ephesians 4:1-6 (CEB) really resonates with me as I consider the faithful work we are all being called to do as United Methodists across the connection… to find our way forward through the present impasse related to human sexuality. This monumental task of maintaining and strengthening the unity of the church is all of our work to do.

One of the marks of the Christian calling is to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The unity of the Spirit is created through our baptism and our common faith in Jesus Christ. Our unity in Christ does not exist in the absence of diversity (experience, perspective, theology or culture) but because of it. For we are all uniquely created in the image of God.

We are on body, and one spirit, just as God called us in one hope. When we “live as people worthy of the call we received from God and when we conduct ourselves with all humility, gentleness, patience and accept each other in love”… we will find our way forward and create God’s beloved community.

Read the entire letter.

Visit Africa University

“I invite you to join me on a visit to the campus to explore ways to partner together for mutual support in mission, witness and the development of principled leaders,” said Bishop Tracy S. Malone.

August 20-30, 2017, the bishop will lead an East Ohio delegation to visit Africa University.  While in Zimbabwe the group will tour the 3Cs-supported Emsizini School, visit Victoria Falls, cruise the Zambezi River, take a game drive in a national park, and see a drum and dance show.

Approximate cost of the trip, including airfare, is $5,300/person.  A $750 deposit is due, along with the trip application, by May 15.  To request an application and receive the payment schedule, please e-mail Bruce Hitchcock at bhitchcock@windstream.net.  Space is limited to 28 people.  Reservation deadline is May 15.


2017 Annual Conference –  June 12-15

Bearing Fruit that Lasts: Called, Committed, Connected

Be sure to visit the 2017 Annual Conference website to register for this year’s conference. The site has a preview of this year’s AC schedule, information about the speakers, proposed constitutional amendments, and much more. New information is added to the Annual Conference website as it is submitted.

Congregational Vitality

April 6, 7 & 24
Church Leadership Webinar Series

The East Ohio Congregational Vitality Team listens to church leadership and compass groups to identify common goals. We then work to provide resources to be used in pursuing these goals.

After listening to you, a church leadership webinar series was created to help us live into Developing Principled Christian Leaders, which is one of the Four Areas of Focus for The United Methodist Church.  Each webinar is accompanied by a downloadable handout and shares resources designed to improve your skills in a particular area.

Register to participate in one of the remaining webinars:

April 6- 7:30 pm:  Creating a Leadership Culture
April 7- 2:30 pm: Closing Performance Gaps
April 24- 3:00 pm: Ignite Your Leadership            


Missionaries Request Prayers
Aaron and Mary Vandersommers were commissioned as missionaries for Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church at General Conference 2016.  They ask for your prayers as they serve in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“Following the collapse of talks between the government and opposition parties, Kinshasa has turned to demonstrations and rioting followed with police actions.  Many of the roads have been barricaded with a very large presence of police and soldiers.  Mary and I are staying at home and the embassies warn about traveling in town for the rest of the week,” Aaron wrote in an e-mail.

“Additionally there has been major military fighting in the interior along with executions of dozens of military police by opposing forces. This comes along with the news of the two western UN Security Specialists found executed following their kidnapping in one of the interior provinces.  This has created a very tense situation for everyone.  Please pray for peace and security here in the DRC. Mary and I have a couple of weeks of food and water so we should be fine while we wait for things to change.”  

Read the Vandersommers’ blog at http://www.umcmissioncongo.com/


Celebrate Recovery Ministry
Winfield United Methodist Church (Tuscarawas District) is one of 29,000 churches worldwide that offers Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered program for those struggling with hurts, hang-ups, and habits.

“The Church desires to fulfill its role as Christ’s healing agent. All of us in some way need help and healing in body, soul, mind, and spirit,” said the Rev. Lu Ann Youngman, Winfield UMC pastor.  “We truly want to be a safe place for people to come and worship and share their lives with us.”

To that end, the church offers Celebrate Recovery Leadership Training sessions to build teams of people who help individuals work through their drug/alcohol/gambling addiction, eating disorders, depression/anxiety/grief, and finance/anger/control issues.

Youngman has seen the program work. “We have members teaching and helping with the group sessions who have been delivered from addictions and have found positive ways to live with hope and joy, and are now living for Christ to help others know that with Jesus nothing is impossible!”

Celebrate Recovery meetings are held at Winfield UMC every Tuesday at 7pm. The evening begins with worship followed by individual group sessions, with women leading the women’s group and men leading the men’s group.  To learn more, call the church office at (330) 343-1494.


May 17
Confronting the Issue of Opioid Addiction
Cuyahoga County made national headlines on February 6 with news that, in one weekend, 14 individuals died from drug overdoses.  Church of the Saviour will host a panel of experts who will speak from their experience about dealing with the complex issue of opioid addiction. The event begins at 7 pm. Presenters include: Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson, MD, Signature Health Medical Director Libbie Stansifer, MD and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Synenberg. For more information. 

UM Financial Credit Union

April 14 Good Friday
The Credit Union offices will be closed on Good Friday, April 14. The Board of Directors and staff wish you and your family a blessed Easter weekend as you celebrate the resurrection of Our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Take advantage of our surcharge free CO-OP Shared Branches to access your funds.  Find a credit union near you.  For additional information, contact the credit union at 1-800-831-3972 Ext 6.

April 22
Notice of Annual Meeting & Election of Officers
The Credit Union Board of Directors, volunteers and staff would like to invite you to join us for the United Methodist Financial Credit Union’s Annual Meeting. The meeting will take place at North Canton Faith UMC, 300 Ninth Street North Canton, OH 44720.  Our time together will begin with brunch served at 10:00 am followed by the business of the annual meeting and election of officers.  There is no cost to attend the annual meeting.  However, if you will be joining us for brunch, there is a cost of $5 per person.   Reservations for brunch are required.  To make your reservation, please email slong@umethodist.com  or  call at 800-831-3972 Ext 127.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

April 3, 2017 Resources
In this edition we feature:

  • Video: Power of Self to Heal our Parts
  • Alcohol Rehab Guide
  • Author Sam Quinones, Local Appearance: Opiate Addiction
  • Video: Opiate Epidemic and Resources
  • Opiate Podcasts
  • Holy Week Meditation and Study Guide
  • Video: What You Practice Grows Stronger
  • When Avoidance Rules Your Life
  • Create a Living Faith
  • Listings of Spiritual Formation Groups and 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 hkhumphress@gmail.com 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 sarnold@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at  www.rqmweb.com/eocumc

Message in the Movies

Review by Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
Photo by Walt Disney Films

Beauty and The Beast  “The great thing about Beauty and the Beast is that it offers up its positive messages through its characters and their decisions rather than by speechifying. Good stories should show us rather than tell us what to think. There is a happy ending to this fairy tale, but it requires people to grow and change in relationship to one another. If the love of God is to be at work in the world, it deserves nothing less.”

For full review.

Classifieds/Items Available

  • Youth Coordinator, Marion Salem  UMC
  • Pianist, Portage Faith UMC
  • Summer Ministry Worker, Salem First UMC
  • Director of Christian Education, Church of the Lakes UM

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

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

Events – April 3-17

April 7-8
Listening Circles for Communal Life, Methodist Theological School
April 8
Sibshop, Greensburg UMC
April 8
Goods Distribution, McKinley Community Outreach Center 
April 8
Easter Egg Hunt, Newcomer’s Chapel of Pigeon Run UMC
April 9
Palm Sunday Celebration, Smithville UMC
April 13
Holy Thursday Service, Smithville UMC
April 14
Free Breakfast, Smith Corners UMC
April 14
Good Friday Service, Smithville UMC
April 14
Tenebrae Worship Service, Brecksville UMC

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

Dates to Remember

April 29
Racial Justice Training, Christ Woodland UMC

April 18
PAUMCS Spring Conference, Oak Chapel UMC

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  April 17, 2017.  Deadline to submit an article is April 12.