New Conversations on a Way Forward Scheduled
There have been many positive responses to the Conversations on a Way Forward, and the originally scheduled conversations in February and March are near capacity. Due to demand, you now have three new opportunities to actively engage in the Conversations on a Way Forward:
- Feb. 25, 2018, 2-5 pm – Newcomerstown Christ UMC
- Mar. 8, 2018, 6-9 pm, Delaware Asbury UMC
- Mar. 10, 2018, 9 am-12 pm, Fredericktown UMC
Each of these churches can accommodate the meeting spaces needed for 10-12 groups of eight people. You must register online in advance. We cannot accommodate walk-in registrations.
To register, click here. To change locations, click here, sign in with your email, add the new location ticket, and then cancel the prior location ticket. If you need assistance, please e-mail email@example.com.
For questions or concerns, feel free to e-mail Steve Court at SCourt@eocumc.com
East Ohio Conference Seeks Communications Specialist
The Communications office of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church seeks a self-starting individual with excellent written and oral skills to join the team as Communications Specialist. Click here for more information.
The Importance of Discipleship
“Discipleship, first and foremost, begins with me. In other words, you cannot teach what you do not know. You cannot model what you do not practice. You cannot lead where you have not been.”
That was just one of the messages that UMC Discipleship Ministries General Secretary the Rev. Junius B. Dotson shared with congregation members and community leaders during his Myers Lecture presentation at Church of the Saviour UMC (North Coast District) in Cleveland Heights. He explained that when a church is intentional about discipleship it has a clear plan and a clear process for helping people live into their baptismal covenant to support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness.
“Do you know what those are? Habits of disciples. So how are we intentional about teaching the habits of discipleship?” Dotson asked. “Every church should be able to answer this question, ‘What is our intentional plan of discipleship? What is our process? How do people grow and progress spiritually within this body of Christ?’”
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
The season of Advent is a joyous, but busy, time for all in the church. In case you missed it, here are three ministries that were highlighted during the last few weeks of December:
- Vienna UMC (Mahoning Valley District) created a life-size Candy Land that attracted 365 children of all ages to the church. Each participant ended the game at the manger, where they learned who Jesus is.
- Garfield Memorial UMC (North Coast District) distributed 300 dozen donuts to people who had to work on Christmas Eve. The one church in two locations worshipped together under one roof, and invited members of the community to join them, that evening.
- Greentown UMC (Tuscarawas District) celebrated choir director Juanita Woods’ 73 years of service to the church. She has also directed children’s choir, been a camp counselor, junior church leader, Sunday school teacher, and Bible study facilitator over the years.
Financial and Administrative Services
2018 Tax Amnesty Program
February 15 is the last day to apply for the Ohio Department of Taxation 2018 Tax Amnesty Program. Individuals and businesses – including local churches – with unreported or underreported tax debts – such as unreported and unpaid employee withholding tax – are eligible to apply for the program. Accepted participants can get current on their tax payments while avoiding paying ANY penalties and only HALF of the normally charged interest. 2018 Tax Amnesty Program Application
Clergy Housing Allowance Tax Exemption Ruling
On October 6, 2017 U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that 26 U.S.C. § 107(2) violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. On December 13, 2017 Judge Crabb enjoined the IRS from enforcing section 107(2), which is the section permitting a housing allowance for ministers of the gospel, but she stayed the injunction until 180 days after either the conclusion of any pending appeals or the failure to file an appeal by a party. This means that the clergy housing allowance is still available while any appeals are pending.
2018 Mileage Rates
The standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) are:
- 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
- 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
New Ohio Minimum Wage In 2018
The new minimum wage in the State of Ohio is $8.30/hour. Pay for tipped employees is now $4.15/hour. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr.
Employers whose gross earnings are $305,000 or more are required to pay whichever minimum wage is higher. Employers who gross less than $305,000 shall pay their employees no less than the current federal minimum wage rate.
Charles Peek has announced his retirement after more than 15 years as computer administrator at the Area Center. We thank him for his faithful service to the East Ohio Conference and wish him well in retirement. January 12 is his last day.
Camps and Retreat Ministries
Summer Camp Registration is Open! It’s time to think about how your children are spending their summer vacation!
Camping can satisfy what children need! They experience faith, responsibility, and cooperation as part of a caring community. They experience self-esteem as children of God. In a world where it is hard to be a kid, AND it is hard to be a parent, let East Ohio Camps be your partner in faith and the development of your child. With hundreds of events to choose from, one will be right for you and your child! Sports! Drama! Water! Horses! Great Places! Great Experiences! All with trained, caring staff. Contact your local church, call the East Ohio Conference Camping Office at 1-330-499-3972 extension 108, or visit us on the web at www.EOCSummercamps.org.
Want to Become Part of our Summer Camp Staff?
The staff is a cornerstone of the ministry of East Ohio Camps. Our summer program requires a great number of staff to be successful. We are looking for outstanding Christian women and men for summer staff positions. We offer great Christian Community, excellent training, free room and board, opportunity for ministry, and growth in leadership skills. We are looking for counselors, lifeguards, program staff, food service, administration and maintenance. Go to www.EOCSummercamps.org and click on the “Staff & Volunteer” tab.
Confirmation Retreat Dates are fast approaching!
At both Camp Asbury and Camp Wanake we will be hosting Confirmation Retreats in February. The focus will be on UM History & Beliefs, the Sacraments and UM Structure. You will have the opportunity to answer the question, “Where did the UMC get its start and what are they about?”, play a life-sized game of Jenga, enjoy making new friends, discover great ways to grow closer to God through practicing spiritual disciplines, and be a part of a creative worship experience. One adult chaperone is required for every 6 youth. Click here for more information. or contact the East Ohio Conference Camping Office at 1-330-499-3972 extension 108, Camp Asbury at 330-569-3171, or Camp Wanake at 330-756-2333.
Confirmation Weekend at Camp Asbury
COST: $99/youth; $92/adults.
Confirmation Weekend at Camp Wanake
COST: $99/youth; $92/adults.
Welcoming People of All Abilities
According to national statistics, one in five people in the United States has some type of disability. Why, then, are there so few people with disabilities actively a part of a faith community?
Thoburn United Methodist Church (Ohio Valley District) began examining that question after being given an opportunity to partner with The Arc of Ohio to be in ministry to, and with the people with disabilities in Belmont County. Read how Thoburn UMC is committed to being a welcoming church to all.
January 15 – 9:00 a.m. at Aldersgate UMC
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Observance
Bishop Tracy S. Malone is the keynote speaker for the 2nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Observance breakfast program at Aldersgate UMC in Warrensville Heights. This year’s theme is The Dream Will Not Die Under Our Watch.
Following breakfast and leading up to Bishop Malone’s address, civic, school, and church leaders will offer words and the age group winners of the “I Have a Dream” oratory competition will recite Dr. King’s famous speech.
Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for children younger than 12 years old.
UMVIM Team Leader Training
When you are part of an UMVIM team, you participate in each of the Four Areas of Focus of The United Methodist Church: you develop principled leaders, engage in ministry with the poor, improve global health, and create new and renewed faith communities. Living as a disciple, being the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus Christ in this way, makes new disciples and transforms the world.
Two new training dates have been set:
- Saturday, April 28 – Brecksville UMC
- Friday, June 15 – Lakeside, Ohio
Learn how to lead in the ministry of mission. Details of training opportunities available here.
Safe Sanctuaries Facilitators
East Ohio Conference has several trained Safe Sanctuaries Facilitators who are able to go to churches throughout the conference to answer questions and help guide churches in their Safe Sanctuaries Policy, Procedures and Guidelines. Contact Rev. Gary Jones at 330-499-3972 ext. 120 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule some time with a Safe Sanctuaries Facilitator. More about Safe Sanctuaries here.
Pastoral Care and Counseling
Spiritual Direction is a sacred opportunity to draw into a deeper relationship with God. A Spiritual Director serves as your spiritual companion – walking with you as you journey into a deeper relationship with God. Most spiritual directors have rigorous training in spiritual direction and spiritual disciplines. There are a num-ber of UM spiritual directors in the East Ohio Conference who have been meeting monthly for the past year under the Pastoral Care and Counseling Program of the EOC. Find an EOC spiritual director, access pro-files and contact info or call the Passtoral Care and Counseling Office at 866-456-3600.
In the the January 8 edition we feature:
- A Way Forward and Perennial Tradition
- Book: Stilling the Storm
- Creativity in Crisis
- Fear of Transformation: A Guided Meditation for the New Year
- Walking with the Wise Men
- What Christmas Can Teach Us About New Year’s Resolutions
- Resolving to Lose Weight? Food-Tracking Apps
- 6 Things You Should Never Do After Eating
- Passion Will Spark Your Resolutions, Not Pressure
- Spiritual Practice Groups and Listings of our Spiritual Directors
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 email@example.com or use our quick contact form.
As of January 2, 2018 we have launched our new Visa Balance Transfer Promotion! 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). For more information, contact one of our offices at:
- North Canton (800) 831-3972
- Cincinnati (800) 373-1059
- Indiana (317) 296-7177
*Available to qualifying cardholders. Balance Transfers are considered cash advances; therefore, finance charges will begin to accrue on the transaction date. Cash advances do not qualify for ScoreCard Rewards.
Martin Luther King Day Closing
On Monday January 15, 2018 all offices of The United Methodist Financial Credit Union will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Day. Members may check share account balances, pay bills, or transfer funds anytime through our website www.umethodist.com or our mobile app.
The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:
- Tactics; A Guide to Effectively Discussing Your Christian Convictions demonstrates how to get in the driver’s seat in discussions about faith, keeping any conversation moving with thoughtful, artful tact.
- Defiant Joy; What Happens When You’re Full of It teaches us about the gift God has given us all to lead us into the full life you were always meant to live. All you need to do is answer yes when joy, whom author Candace Payne personifies as a friend, calls you to come and play.
- Church of the Small Things; Making a Difference Right Where You Are offers women the grace to embrace what it means to live a small, yet incredibly meaningful life and how to find all the beauty and laughter that lies right beneath the surface of every moment.
- The Triune God offers thoughtful, concise, and understandable lessons that explore the biblical, creedal, and confessional shape of the doctrine of the Trinity.
To reserve these or other resources, call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 x 139 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Message in the Movies
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle “In this often cynical and selfish world, it’s refreshing to see a family film as hopeful and joyful as this one. Life if full of real adventure, if we take the time to work together for a greater good.” Read the entire review here.
- Communications Specialist, East Ohio Conference
- Director of Bell Choirs, Strongsville UMC
- Communications Coordinator, Mayfield Church
Details of above classified listings may be found here. To submit job postings and items available please email email@example.com
January 8- 21
- January 14
Men’s Community Breakfast – Berlin Center UMC
- January 15
Area Center Closed
- January 15
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Observance – Aldersgate UMC
- January 19
Gospel Bluegrass Jam – Manchester UMC
- January 20
Mahoning Valley District Leadership Academy – Trinity UMC
Please pray for the families of:
- William G. Alvey, retired elder, who died December 17, 2017.
- Alva W. Taylor, retired elder, who died December 12, 2017.
To subscribe please send your request to Sue Zakovec. Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church.
The next scheduled edition of the E-News will be January 22, 2018. Deadline for submission is January 17.