OCTOBER 16, 2017

Annual Conference 2018

A reminder that the dates announced at the conclusions this year of both the East Ohio Conference session and the West Ohio Conference session were changed in July.

Annual Conference 2018 for East Ohio will be held at Lakeside Chautauqua June 11-14.  Youth Annual Conference 2018 will be June 8-10.

Financial & Administrative Services

Benefits Enrollment Begins Nov. 1
The East Ohio Conference is switching to the HealthFlex benefits program in 2018.  Our conference joins 28 others across the denomination in using the health benefits plan offered by Wespath Benefits and Investments, a general agency of The United Methodist Church.

Participants select medical/pharmacy, dental, and vision plans; choose eligible dependents to cover; and can contribute to reimbursement accounts for pre-tax savings in 2018 and to save for future health needs.

The HealthFlex Benefits Election booklet and the online Alex Benefits Counselor may be used to determine whether the base plan or the optional buy-up plans best suit participants’ needs.

Click here to view the HealthFlex Benefits workshop video and learn more about the plan and available options.

PARTICIPANTS MUST ELECT A PLAN during the enrollment period of Wednesday, November 1 to Thursday, November 16.

New Employees Welcomed
Amy Lowdermilk
and Teri Capron joined the East Ohio Conference Financial and Administrative Services office on October 2.

Lowdermilk is our new senior accountant. She has a wealth of experience, having previously worked as a cash manager, a treasury analyst, and a corporate accountant.  She can be reached via e-mail at alowdermilk@eocumc.com or via phone at (800) 831-3972 x-156.

Capron is our new accounts receivable clerk. She has more than 20 years of experience as an administrative assistant for a law firm specializing in workers compensation cases.  She can be reached via e-mail at tcapron@eocumc.com or via phone at (800) 831-3972 x-135.

Ohio Minimum Wage Increasing in 2018
Minimum wage in the State of Ohio will increase beginning January 1, 2018. The new minimum wage will be $8.30/hour, an increase of $0.15.  Pay for tipped employees will increase from $4.08 to $4.15/hour.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr.  Employers are required to pay whichever minimum wage is HIGHER.

Connectional Ministries

Positions Available
The Conference Council on Ministries of the East Ohio Conference is receiving applications for two full-time positions:

Applicants must e-mail a letter of interest and a current resume to scourt@eocumc.com by November 1.


Advance Special 9143- Project Hope for the Homeless
As the only emergency homeless shelter in Lake County, Project Hope for the Homeless operates three programs to respond to the human hurts and hopes of persons who are homeless in Lake County by providing emergency shelter, care, and guidance, in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ. The shelter operates a 50-bed program for individual adults including a 12-bed enclosed wing for families with children (Families Moving Forward), and an aftercare program that serves all guests.

In 2016, 88 percent of the record-breaking 430 individuals who stayed at 25 Freedom Road made a successful transition to secure a positive housing transition and/or secure behavioral health care or chemical dependency treatment. Former guests are now board members, employees, volunteers, and active in their communities. Thank you to the East Ohio United Methodist Conference for being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ! Others can join our efforts by visiting www.projecthopeonline.org.


A Word from OCUIR
The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR) reports that last month’s Christian Churches Together 2017 Special Convocation focused on how the church can set an example for civil discourse in today’s society.

During the convocation:

  • Christian Churches Together Founding Director Michael Kinnamon recommended that churches, as an ecumenical witness, should make sure they know some of the joys and concerns of other churches in the community, and pray for them by name.
  • Biola University’s Dr. Tim Muelhoff, author of Winsome Persuasion: Christian Influence in a Post-Christian World affirmed his analysis of today’s culture of argument.
  • Roman Catholic Bishop Michael Rozanski noted that services on October 31 remembering the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will be opportunities for common Catholic Protestant witness.

Christian Churches Together is a fellowship of Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Orthodox, African-American and Protestant Christian Communions & organizations in the U.S.A. witnessing together to the reconciling power of the Gospel of Jesus.

Clergy Seminar

November 13-15
revitup! for a Lifetime in Ministry
Wespath is hosting an educational event for clergy ages 39 and under. This event serves to strengthen personal, financial and leadership skills in order to sustain a lifetime in ministry.

The UMC Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders is offering a limited number of scholarships through a Lilly Endowment grant which seeks to strengthen personal and congregational financial stewardship leadership. The opportunity includes complimentary registration and two nights at the host hotel if the recipient agrees to the following requirements:  participate in an online survey, and complete the EY financial assessment survey. To apply for this scholarship, registrants should utilize the code provided during the registration process.  For more information.


UM Financial Credit Union

International Credit Union Day
October 19, 2017 is International Credit Union Day. Stop in at our North Canton or Cincinnati branch to celebrate the credit union movement with us! Learn more information on how your credit union works for YOU and the different products and services we offer.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Christmas Club Accounts
If you currently have a Christmas Club savings account with UMFCU, checks from those accounts will be sent out on October 25.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact one of our offices for more information: North Canton (800) 831-3972 or Cincinnati (800) 373-1059.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

October 16, 2017  Resources

In this edition we feature:
“Kindness is a language the deaf hear and the blind see.” –Mark Twain

  • A Careful Grace: Sex Offender in the Church
  • How to Deal with Ex-Sex-Offenders
  • Trying to Get Sober: Alcohol Treatment Navigator
  • Audio: 5 Minute Mindful Practice to Restore Attention
  • Thomas Merton On Being a Mystic
  • 5 Surprising Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
  • 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:

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: ©A Quiet Passion/Hurricane Films/Courtesy of Music Box Films

Stronger “The film is a master class in art direction, using the exterior of Dickinson’s Amherst home to set the stage for an authentic recreation of mid-19th century America. Emily’s family lived through the Civil War and was intellectually engaged with the world beyond their neighborhood. In several scenes involving doctors we are reminded that the best medical knowledge of the time was often inadequate to treat many serious conditions; the possibility of death was ever-present.”

For full review by Rev. Bruce Batchlor-Glader


Positions available:

  • Youth Director, Lexington Church of the Cross UM
  • Director of Church Development, Indiana Conference
  • Office Manager, Johnson UMC
  • Administrative Assistant to the Director of Connectional Ministries, East Ohio Conference
  • Administrative Assistant to the Directors of Congregational and Multicultural Vitality, East Ohio Conference
  • Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry, Shreve UMC

Items available/needed:

  • Hymns of Faith hymnals (available)  and The United Methodist Hymnal Pew (in search of). Lansing 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 – October 16-30

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

Dates to remember


Please pray for the families of:

  • Augusta A. Lange, retired local pastor, who died Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 and
  • Carolyn Clemence, surviving spouse, who died Friday, October 6, 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 October 30, 2017.  Deadline for submission is October 25.