SEPTEMBER 10, 2018

Special Session of General Conference 2019

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EOC Delegation Offers Listening Posts
There are four remaining opportunities to ask questions of, and share your thoughts with, members of the East Ohio Conference delegation to the Special Session of General Conference 2019.

The delegation is offering the following listening posts:

Delegates will listen to attendees at each post after giving brief recaps of the three plans offered by the Commission on a Way Forward: the One Church plan recommended by the Council of Bishops; the Connectional Conference plan; and the Traditional plan.

Registration is not required but is helpful to the host churches in planning seating and hospitality for the listening sessions.  Learn more and register.

Young Peoples Ministries

Preactically Honest LogoAnnouncing the New Blog and Practically Honest Podcast 
Young People’s Ministries is publishing a new blog for those that live and work with teens and young adults.  This week’s topic is, “You are not alone! Let’s talk networking.”  It features Tim Beck, Char Messenger, and Kaye Wolfinger as they discuss how important it has been to them to connect with other youth leaders.  You can check out the blog and listen to podcast HERE.

Peace with Justice Trip Scheduled for July 2019
Peace with Justice Trip to Washington DC: July 20-23, 2019 for those ages 14 to 35 years old.  Those younger than 18 who are traveling must be accompanied by a parent or youth leader.  Youth groups are invited as well as individuals.  We will visit all of the memorials; get a tour of the African American History Museum and the Capitol building; have conversations around immigration with Barbara Ferris, founder of Int’l Women’s Democracy Center; discuss human trafficking at the General Board of Church and Society; and worship at the National Cathedral.  Cost is $280 per person, which includes, bus, lodging, meals, t-shirt and all entry fees.  Learn more HERE. Register HERE.

Multicultural Ministries

PerspectivesPerspectives Events
Too often we let fear get in the way of us starting new, bold, and courageous ministry.  Those fears can prevent us from being in ministry with God and with others, especially those who are different from us.

Understanding the individual perspectives of those with whom we are in ministry is the first step in easing our fears.  To help in that process, the East Ohio Conference office of Multicultural Vitality is scheduling Perspectives events to assist participants in learning from another perspective.

Our first event is Perspectives: Black Theologian Day on October 6 at Church of the Saviour UMC in Cleveland Heights.  This year’s theme is Faith in Action: Beginning a Good Work, based on Nehemiah 2:17-18.

Keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. Joseph Daniels returns to East Ohio to inspire us on how to begin a good work.  He challenged us during Annual Conference 2018 to be involved and make differences in the lives of people in our communities, if we truly want to bear real fruit.

You are invited to join us from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 6 for Perspectives: Black Theologian Day to learn how you can begin a good work in your community and participate in building God’s Kingdom.  View Flyer | Register Now!

Spiritual Formation

September 20 – “How To” Discussion of Small Membership Churches
If you have an average worship attendance of 120 or less, and a desire to minister with the young people in your community, come join the conversation – Being Disciples, Making Disciples, and Maturing Disciples for the Next Generation: A “How To” Discussion for the Small Membership Church.

Presenter, Stephanie Caro, of Ministry Architects, and keynote speaker for Vision Discipleship at Annual Conference 2018, will continue the conversation about reaching young people in our communities at Camp Wanake and Retreat Center.Caro has more than 30 years of experience working with children, youth, and adults in all aspects of church ministry. View her hilarious AC presentation. (start video at 1 hr. 10 min. mark)

Don’t miss this important presentation and discussion! Information and registration here.

NEW! Resources for the Journey
The Conference Spiritual Formation and Christian Education Committee has launched  “Resources for the Journey” blog for those who are guiding others along the pathway to discipleship. This is a resource of ideas, topics, methods, and encouragement. The blog is focused on connecting people in United Methodist churches with Wesleyan education and spiritual formation resources. Posts will alternate between a focus on “tools for the journey” – pointing people towards resources available around the web, and guest bloggers from East Ohio focused on “it worked for us.” Bloggers will share their church experiences, ideas that have worked for them, and what resources have been invaluable, and more.

Would you be willing to write a post for the blog?  If you have a “tool” or resource that has worked for you, or something that has worked well in your setting, why not share it!  All you need to do is write two or three paragraphs and send them to

Financial and Administrative Services

Enroll Your Church in the EOC Payroll Service
The office of Finance and Administrative Services is currently accepting new churches for enrollment in the East Ohio Conference payroll service program.  If you enroll your church before the deadline, there is no additional set-up fee.  This is a wonderful program to ensure your church is compliant with applicable federal, state and local payroll requirements at a relatively low cost.

Learn more about the program, its benefits, and requirements.  Don’t delay, take advantage of this opportunity today! Enrollment Deadline for a January 2019 start date is Monday, October 1.

Don’t forget! Sept. 20 “Achieving Financial Wellness” Workshop
This one-day workshop, offered from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm at Westbrook Park UMC,  will help you review and evaluate your current financial status. Wespath Benefits & Investments partners with EY Financial Services to a present the“Achieving Financial Wellness” workshop  The balance of the day will include an overview of Conference-sponsored benefits, inclusive of pension, death & disability benefits, as well as healthcare. Reservations are a must for everyone attending, including spouses. Seating is limited. No walk-ins can be accommodated as personalized information is provided for each pastor attending.

Questions? Contact Betsy Stewart at (800) 831-3972, Ext. 103 or Robin Whitacre, Ext. 151. Click to register.


United Methodist Community Center
The board of directors regrets to announce that the United Methodist Community Center will suspend services indefinitely effective September 15, 2018, due to a lack of sustainable funding.  Every effort will be made to connect our clientele with other area agencies.

We are proud to have followed in the footsteps of the Pearl Street Mission of Youngstown and the Rebecca Williams Community Center of Warren, and are hopeful that we will serve the communities of the Mahoning Valley again in the future.

UMVIM Team Leader Training
Share best practices for leading a mission team locally, nationally, and internationally on Saturday, October 27, at Church of the Savior Cleveland Heights. View details and register here.

Invitations to the Mission Journey
The North Coast of Haiti Mission March 4-11
Plan now for this introductory tour of schools in the North Haiti Methodist District. The UMVIM Team is limited to nine volunteers and may have only one representative from any individual church. The vision is to introduce many churches to the work of the North Coast Haiti Mission and specifically the work of Church of the Saviour UM that enhances the education of one (Dondon, Haiti) of the five primary schools. The outcome would be that churches in East Ohio would become a part of this transformational partnership.

Deadline to sign up is Oct. 1, 2018.  Please join us for a meeting at 7:00 on October 1 at Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights. Contact: Tom Sperl

View all additional scheduled mission journey options here.

Puerto Rico!
Anyone intersted in joining an UMVIM Journey to Puerto Rico in late January or early February please contact Kathy Dickriede.  Plans are being made now.  An informational meeting is set for Sunday October 7th for 3:00 at Brecksville UMC.  Contact for more details.

UMCOR Makes Changes to Relief Supply Kit Ministry
UMCOR is consolidating the number of kits it provides. Moving forward, UMCOR will supply cleaning kits, hygiene kits and school kits. Layette, birthing, bedding and sewing kits are being phased out, but supplies will be distributed until the inventory is depleted.

  • Why is UMCOR changing the relief supply kits?
    The new kit content lists were designed to offer our donors greater ease and flexibility in purchasing their donations.
  • Why is UMCOR changing the types of kits it distributes?
    Production of kits is based on demand. Based on the shipping and distribution data we have collected in recent years, demand for kits has changed.
  • Frequently-asked questions about UMCOR’s relief supply kit changes

Special Sundays

World Communion Sunday is October 7
The first Sunday in October is World Communion Sunday, a day to honor the global diversity of The United Methodist Church.

The special offering collected on World Communion Sunday supports the World Communion Scholarships of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM); and the Ethnic Scholarships, Journey Toward Ordained Ministry Scholarships, and Ethnic In-Service Training Programs of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM).

The downloadable World Communion Sunday Pastor and Leader’s Kit has everything you need to promote this Special Sunday in your local church.  You will find sermon starters, social media images, infographics, PowerPoint presentations, and testimonials from past scholarship recipients.

Conference Council on Ministries

CCOM Welcomes Two Administrative Assistants
We are excited to announce the hiring of two new administrative assistants in the office of the Conference Council On Ministries.

Melanie Thomas will serve as the administrative assistant supporting both Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Steve Court and the Rev. Kathy Dickriede, coordinator for Missions and Community Engagement.  Letty Damian will serve as the administrative assistant supporting Director of Young People’s Ministries Kaye Wolfinger.

Thomas brings five years of experience as an administrative assistant at Canton Crossroads UMC, where she’s been a part of the congregation since she was 12 years old. Her experience in supporting the local church brings knowledge and awareness of our United Methodist processes. She lives in Canton with her daughter Sophia. They enjoy traveling (especially to comic cons and zoos), going to parks and reading together.  She’s excited to begin serving the East Ohio Conference.

Damian is a part-time licensed local pastor at Chippewa Church at the Lake UMC and a student at Methodist Theological School in Ohio.  She has served in several local church communities, as well as with Starting Point Outreach Center in Willard, and with the General Board of Global Ministries.  She enjoys family time with her husband, Cruz, and children Armando, America, and Cruz III.

Melanie Thomas can be reach at (330) 499-3972 ext. 102 and

Letty Damian can be reached at (330) 499-3972 ext. 132 and


Communications Specialist
The Communications office of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church seeks a self-starting individual with excellent written and verbal skills to join the team as Communications Specialist.

Interested applicants should submit a current resume along with a cover letter that explains what makes you the best candidate to be a Communications Specialist for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.

A full job description may be found here. Requested documents accepted via e-mail only to Director of Communications Rick Wolcott at


Study Group for Theological Reflection – 2018-2010 Season

Join the conversation at this year’s “Study Group for Theological Reflection” as it begins the 2018-2019 season on Weds., Sept. 19. The theme: “A Christian Response Fear, Loathing and Anger”

The plan: To use lectionary epistle lessons for theological reflection and discussion in confronting the idolatries of racism. The study group is open to elders, deacons, diaconal ministers and local pastors, seeking and welcoming theologically diverse participants for theological reflection on key worship texts lifted from the lectionary’s epistle readings.

The premise, ancient though it may be: that “all scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work” (II Tim. 3:16-17).

Each of this year’s five roundtable discussions will be held on a Wednesday from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm at Christ Woodland UMC in Akron at 444 N. Hawkins Ave., Akron, OH, 44313, followed by optional lunch at a local eatery.

Building on the models of previous years, some key worship texts have been suggested as the starting point for discussion, study and theological reflection. They are:

  • Wed., Sep.  19
    James 3:13-4:8 (the epistle lectionary for Sunday, Sept. 30).
  • Wed., Nov. 21
    Philippians 1:3-11 (the epistle lectionary for Sunday, Dec. 9).
  • Wed., Jan. 16
    I Corinthians 12:12-31 (the epistle lectionary for Sunday, January 27).
  • Wed., Mar. 20
    II Corinthians 5:16-21 (the epistle lectionary for Sunday, March 31).
  • Wed., May 15
    Galatians 5:13-25 (the epistle lectionary for Sunday, June 30).

The study group is open to elders, deacons, diaconal ministers and local pastors, seeking and welcoming theologically diverse participants for theological reflection.

For more detailed article and information click here or to simply sign up, please contact Rev. Thomas Shaw at

Michael Card Biblical Imagination Conference
Michael Card will present his Biblical Imagination Conference on LUKE-the Gospel of Amazement at Mentor UMC on October 26-27. Michael Card is a nationally known Bible teacher. He’s authored several books including A Sacred Sorrow, A Fragile Stone-the Emotional Life of Simon Peter, The Biblical Imagination Series and his newest book to be released in December Inexpressible: Hesed and the Mystery of God’s Lovingkindness. He’s written numerous songs including “El Shaddai” Hymn #123 in our UMC Hymnal.

Michael engages the head and the heart in his teaching and incorporates music with lyrics that enhance each lesson. The Conference (approved for 2 clergy CEU’s) will be held on Friday night, Oct 26 from 7-9:00 and Saturday, Oct 27 from 8:00-4:30 and includes the Concert on Sunday night, Oct 28 at 7:00. Discounted tickets $73 (before 9/26) include the Conference and Concert. Purchase tickets on-line at Concert only tickets are also available. For more information contact Rev. Bev Wrobel at 440-255-3496 or View flyer.

The fall edition of TOAT is now on the conference website and is in the process of being mailed.  The East Ohio Conference Retirees Association is in need of reorganizing our Association Officers and Executive Committee.  There will be a meeting on Tuesday, October 2, at 1:30 p.m. to begin this reorganization.  The meeting will be held at the East Ohio Area Center, 8800 Cleveland Ave. NW, North Canton.  Any retiree willing to help with this reorganization is invited to attend.  If you cannot attend this meeting but wish to assist in the future please notify John Wolfe at

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Bi-weekly Resources
In the September 10 issue:  “What needs to happen today, not only in this nation but throughout the world, is that we need to make love great again.” – Meghan McCain

  • Introducing 2018-2019 Spiritual Enrichment (Formation) Groups: “Be Peace”
  • A Way Forward: Prophets Challenge Absolutes
  • YouTube: A Way Forward Self Care and Spiritual Care
  • 5 Lies We Like to Tell about Church Growth
  • YouTube: Parker Palmer, Living from the Inside Out
  • YouTube: Wayne Dyer, How God Tell You It’s Time for a Change
  • Guided Meditation: An Inquiring Practice to Notice the Body
  • 5 Reasons to Take a Fall Vacation
  • 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.

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 Browse the resource catalog at

Message in the Movies

Message in the Movies banner (colorful film strip

Operation Finale
Operation Finale tells the true story about Israel’s search for Adolph Eichmann, a Nazi lieutenant colonel who escaped Germany at the end of the war, arriving in Argentina to live out his days under an assumed name. The film focuses primarily on the Mossad agent responsible for capturing Eichmann and eventually bringing him to Israel where his trial for war crimes would be televised internationally. Read full review and view trailer.

Credit Union

Mortgage Loans
If you are looking for that new house you can make a home, we can help! The United Methodist Financial Credit Union offers home loans! Contact: Christine Smith, (800) 373-1059 ext. 12,

Certificate of Deposit Rates
Summer may be coming to an end, but not our CD Rates! Right now, members may get a rate as high as 2.12% APY for a 12-month certificate of deposit!  There are a variety of rates and terms available. Contact one of our offices today to lock in your rate.

Events: September 10-16

Click to view East Ohio Conference Calendar.

To submit your event to the East Ohio calendar use this form.
(The East Ohio Conference only accepts East Ohio United Methodist local church, conference and general UM events for listing on the conference calendar.)


Details of listings may be found here. 

Positions Available

  • Communications Specialist, East Ohio Conference Office of Communications
  • Christian Education Director, Thorburn UMC
  • Board of Ministry Administrative Coordinator, Ohio East Episcopal Area
  • Discipleship Pathway Coordinator, Medina UMC
  • Executive Director, Blue Rose Mission
  • Director of Children’s and Family Ministries, Tallmadge UMC
  • Choir Director, Garrettsville UMC
  • Pianist, Andover UMC
  • Recreational Ministries Coordinator, Church of the Lakes

To submit a classified ad please email


Please pray for the family of Ned Bixler, retired elder, who died September 2.

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The next scheduled edition of the E-News is Monday, September 24, 2018.  Deadline for submission is Wednesday, September 19. Send articles to