April 29, 2019

2019 Appointments and Changes of Status

Bishop Tracy S. Malone announced the following clergy appointments and/or changes of status since publication of the April 15 E-News. Unless noted otherwise, appointments are effective July 1, 2019.

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

2019 Appointments
Pastor Appointment District Effective
Curt Bissell Garfield Memorial UMC, Associate NC
Brandon Keck New Philadelphia First UMC TW
Sean McLeod Woodlawn UMC MO
Matt Merriman Northampton UMC CN
Phil Murphy Birmingham & Irish Ridge UMCs TR
Steve Nelson Mt. Zion UMC TW
Juan Ramirez Lakewood UMC, Associate NC
Robert Rathburn Lisbon & Highlandtown UMCs MV
Heather Runser (McLeod) Galion Christ UMCs MO
Betsy Schenk Amboy & State Line UMCs WR
David Smith Steam Corners & Johnsville Grace UMCs MO
DeWayne Smith Newton Falls & Pricetown UMCs MV
Ivy Smith Simpson, Crossroads & James S. Thomas UMCs TW
David Whitt Twinsburg Faith UMC NC
Mark Zimmer Lower Salem & Pleasant Hill UMCs SH
2019 Retirements
Pastor Retiring From District Effective
Stephen Sparling Medical Leave 5/1/19
2019 Concluding Ministries
Clergy who are retiring from an appointment they accepted after having previously retired; and retiring Local Pastors who have either not completed the five-year Course of Study or have not served 10 years of service without interruption as an Episcopal-appointed Local Pastor.
Pastor Retiring From District Effective
Sheila Brooker State Line UMC WR

View the complete list, including retirees and those concluding their ministry. 2019 Appointments and Changes of Status

Judicial Council Rules on GC Legislation

The Judicial Council has ruled that while some provisions of the newly-adopted Traditional Plan remain unconstitutional, the rest of the plan is valid as church law. The Council, the top court of The United Methodist Church, was asked to review the Traditional Plan, which was approved at the Special Session of General Conference held in February.

In a separate ruling, legislation to provide an exit strategy for local churches wishing to leave the denomination meets three minimum requirements and thus is constitutional “when taken together with the consent of the annual conference” as specifically outlined in The Book of Discipline, the court said.


The Judicial Council, the top court of The United Methodist Church, has reviewed and ruled on the constitutionality of the legislation passed at the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. The letter from the Council of Bishops, found at the end of this message, provides a helpful explanation of the Judicial Council rulings. The parts of the legislation that were determined to be constitutional will take effect on January 1, 2020 (except in Central Conferences). Until then, our current 2016 Book of Discipline remains in effect.

The Judicial Council has done the work it was tasked to do. I encourage us to remain faithful to the task that is always at hand for each member, pastor and congregation of the Church. And that is to stay focused on the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

I encourage us to be mindful that the decisions and actions of the General Conference have caused great harm to many. Let us be committed to offering Christ’s hospitality to all persons and to treating each other as God’s beloved. Let us show love, compassion and support to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer siblings in Christ (and to their families and allies) who are deeply hurting and who continue to be marginalized in our beloved United Methodist Church.

Let us continue to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength and to love all our neighbors as ourselves. Let us remain steadfast in prayer and scripture, growing in our personal walk with Jesus Christ and invite others to walk with us. Let the peace, welcome and joy of Christ be so evident in our words and actions so that others will experience the love of Jesus through our witness.

In these times of uncertainty, we can be certain of one thing: “Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:9) God who raised Jesus from the dead will also give new life and give us a future with hope.

As we live into this season of Eastertide, we are reminded that we serve a Risen Lord and Savior who is always at work in our lives and in the world dispensing love where there is hate, light where there is darkness, and hope where there is despair. As a people of faith, we believe that the Resurrection of Christ is a continuing event for today, tomorrow and forever. It is victory over death! It is the promise of new life! It is the certainty of our hope! It is the power of our love! And it is our commitment to embody and share the radical love and grace of Jesus Christ with all of God’s beloved children.

Therefore, I call on all East Ohio pastors, congregations and faith communities to keep the main thing the main thing:

  • Be committed to living into our shared vision of being disciples, making disciples and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • Be committed to being Gods agents of transformation in your community and throughout the world.
  • Be committed to being bold and courageous in reaching new people, younger people and a more diverse people.

And be committed to holding on to each other by praying for one another, staying in conversation with each other and making room for one another. And while holding on to each other, remember John Wesley’s three simple rules: Do good. Do no harm. Stay in love with God.

Read the letter from the Council of Bishops.

Camps and Retreat Ministries

Early Bird Registration Rate Ends May 1
Register by May 1 and your camper will receive a limited-edition 2019 Summer Camp T-shirt that is not available in the camp store – and you will also save $20 off their summer camp fee.

Don’t Have A Boring Summer, Have A Camp Summer
How many times this summer do you think you’ll hear, “I’m bored!”? Yes, your kids get bored. Yes, they hope you have a solution to their boredom – and yes, they’ve stopped listening to your answers. What if you gave them (and you) a week apart? A week where someone else gets to provide the plan for the day, the activities, and the food! Even greater, what if they came back from that week as better people? Now, that’s a plan any parent should love.Check out camps available this summer at www.EOCSummercamps.org or call 1 (800) 831-3972 ext. 108 to get a brochure.

Multicultural Vitality

North Coast Poverty Simulation – May 11
The North Coast District invites you to be part of an interactive experience that helps participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month. The simulation experience will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at noon. E-mail Courtney Gould, vitality@eocumc.com, with any questions. Participants must register by May 3.

Learn more register.


Run/Walk Celebrates 200 Years of Global Ministries
Health and Welfare, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) and Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) are partnering to host the 5K Run/1-Mile Walk at Lakeside Chautauqua on Wednesday, June 12.

In recognition of the 200th anniversary of Global Ministries, our goal is to have 200 runners/walkers, each raising at least $200 in sponsorships. Participate by running in the 5k, walking the 1-mile course, or sponsoring a runner/walker from your church or district. The money that is raised will support the work of UMVIM, the Youth Service Fund, and mission partnerships in East Ohio. Learn more about East Ohio mission partnerships.

The first 200 people to cross the finish line will receive a donut, a clementine, and will further the cause of Global Ministries, which has been teaching, advocating and improving lives around the world for 200 years. Register to run/walk or to sponsor a runner/walker.

Join the Mission Trip to Manos Juntas Mission in Mexico
Tammy Kuntz is leading an EOC construction trip to Manos Juntas Mission December 26, 2019 to January 1, 2020. A passport is required and your deposit of $100 is due on July 26. Fees are $400-500 plus airfare. E-mail Tammy at tammylk58@gmail.com with any questions about the trip.

Learn about all scheduled EOC mission journeys.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Bi-weekly Resources
In the April 29 edition
: Be Peace: A Clergy Retreat

  • “Be Peace: A Retreat” May 16, 2019 — REGISTER NOW
  • YouTube Video: Easter According to Kids
  • Annual Conference Spiritual Formation Gathering
  • Woking Up with Forgiveness and Compassion
  • Recovering from the Easter Bunny—After a Binge
  • Spiritual Enrichment Groups
  • 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 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 x139 or send an e-mail to sarnold@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at www.rqmweb.com/eocumc

Message in the MoviesMessage in the Movies banner (colorful film strip

Breakthrough tells a true story about several youth who go out on thin ice on a winter’s day and fall into a deep lake. The boys are pulled out by first response rescuers, with the exception of John Smith (Marcel Ruiz) who is submerged for 15 minutes. He is pronounced dead but his mother Joyce (Metz) will not give up. She prays to God and suddenly there is a heartbeat. John is rushed to the hospital and hooked up to equipment that will sustain his comatose body. He is surrounded by an exceptional medical team and a Mama bear of a mother who tells the doctors to do their best and “let God do the rest”. The family has the support of their local church as well as a growing number of prayer warriors linked through social media.

The filmmakers were wise to choose Chrissy Metz from the TV series “This Is Us” to play Joyce, but the script tends to turn her into a bit of a bully inside the hospital. (While it’s true that you need to speak up for those you love, there’s something to be said for cooperation, too.) I appreciated the way in which John struggles with his identity as an adopted child in adolescence and how he is not a particularly likeable person before the accident. Love does not demand amiability. When Pastor John Noble (Grace) arrives at the hospital he is not particularly embraced by Grace, who considers him a hipster wannabe who includes rap music in worship. But since it has been shown that the minister has a relationship with the son, he has a right to show up! And while the power of prayer is lifted up, the dedication of the rescue team and medical workers are not underestimated.

Read entire review

Credit Union

Enterprise Promotion
The United Methodist Financial Credit Union is partnering with Enterprise Car Sales to give our members a better vehicle buying experience! Now through May 31, if you purchase a vehicle with Enterprise and finance it through United Methodist Financial Credit Union you can receive $400*. Contact one of our loan officers to discuss getting pre-approved today!

*Terms and Conditions. To receive the $400, you must purchase a vehicle with Enterprise Car Sales from March 1 – May 31, 2019, finance the vehicle with United Methodist Financial Credit Union, and make your first four payments on time. $200 will be placed in your credit union savings account within 30 days from the date of your purchase and an additional $200 if you make your first four payments on time. Borrowers who set up their loan payment by ACH will receive the $400 within 30 days of purchase.

Events: April 29 – May 12

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.)


Please pray for the families of:

  • Vivien L. Reidsurviving spouse of the Rev. Ralph L. Reid, died April 23.
  • Anna F. Wargoretired Local Pastor, died April 12.

View obituaries


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Youth Director – First UMC of East Liverpool
  • Organist – First UMC of East Liverpool
  • Worship Leader – Trinity UMC
  • Nursery Caregiver – North Canton Grace UMC
  • Director of Music Ministry – Lakewood UMC
  • Youth Coordinator – Strasburg UMC
  • Contemporary Worship Leader – Rocky River UMC
  • Director of Worship and Music – Church In The Circle – University Circle UMC

To submit a classified ad please email swilliams@eocumc.com

To Subscribe

Subscribe to E-News and all East Ohio Conference news updates, enter your email address in the “Follow News via Email” widget on the right sidebar. Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church. The next scheduled edition of the E-News is Monday, May 13, 2019. Deadline for submission is Thursday, May 9. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.