June 17, 2019

Annual Conference 2019

Bishop Tracy S. Malone presided over the 50th session of Annual Conference, which was held June 10-13 at Lakeside Chautauqua on the shore of Lake Erie. There were 60 first-time members to Annual Conference among the 691 clergy and 727 lay members assembled in Hoover Auditorium.

View the Annual Conference 2019 recap video.

Read the Annual Conference 2019 recap report.

Visit the Annual Conference 2019 website for articles, videos, photos and more.

Annual Conference 2019 was the third conference centered on our quadrennial theme Bearing Fruit that Lasts: Called, Committed, Connected. This year we highlighted the joy of making a commitment to take up residence in God’s love and extend that love to others.

“Being committed to Christ commits us to one other. We are bound together in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. We are bound through the covenant of our baptism. Friends, this is who we are,” Bishop Tracy S. Malone said in her Episcopal Address.

Episcopal Address and Sermons
You may view Bishop Malone’s Episcopal Address, as well as each of the six worship service sermons. This year’s sermons were guided by the words from John 15:9-15 (CEB). Click this link to take you to the sermon playlist, to view:

  • Service of Commemoration and Holy Communion sermon from Bishop Malone
  • Episcopal Address from Bishop Malone
  • Celebration of Retirement reflection from Bishop Malone
  • Tuesday morning worship service sermon from the Rev. Andy Call
  • Service of Commissioning and Ordination sermon from Bishop Gregory V. Palmer of the West Ohio Conference
  • Wednesday morning worship service sermon from the Rev. Karen Graham
  • Thursday morning worship service sermon from the Rev. Dogba Bass

Live Stream Archives
Each of the worship services, the Episcopal Address and the three vision segments were broadcast world-wide via live stream so that they could be seen beyond the walls of Hoover Auditorium. Click this link to view the live stream archive.

Vision Segments
Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr., director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary was the keynote speaker for each of this year’s three learning components centered around the emphases of the East Ohio Conference vision:

  • being, making, and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ;
  • being God’s agents of transformation in our communities and throughout the world;
  • and being bold and courageous leaders in reaching new people, younger people, and a more diverse people.

Ministries of the people, churches and agencies of the East Ohio Conference opened each of the three segments. Click this link to view each of the vision segments.

Inside the Numbers

  • 49 saints who joined the church triumphant were commemorated during the Service of Commemoration and Holy Communion
  • 35 clergy, who served a combined 868 years of ministry, were recognized during the Celebration of Retirement.
  • 10 clergy were commissioned during the Service of Commissioning and Ordination.
  • 7 clergy were ordained during the Service of Commissioning and Ordination.
  • $24,958.46 was given during the Annual Conference offering at Lakeside, which this year benefits Urban Mission in Steubenville, the general fund at Africa University, and the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. This total does not include donations sent to the Conference lockbox.
  • $7,391 was raised for missions during the 5k Run/1-mile Walk.

General/Jurisdictional Conference Delegations
A component of the Annual Conference 2019 business sessions was election of delegates to General/Jurisdictional Conference, which each meet every four years. General Conference, the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church, meets May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jurisdictional Conference, which elects bishops and selects members of general boards and agencies, meets July 15-18, 2020 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The East Ohio Conference delegation to General Conference 2020 is: Rev. Gary Henderson, Rev. Andy Call, Rev. Dan Bryant, Rev. Matthew Laferty, Rev. Armando Arellano, Rev. Benita Rollins, Jerry Rinehart, Ellen Burrows, Dr. Martha Banks, Betty Wilson, Bob Wagner, and Holly Grant.

The East Ohio Conference delegation to Jurisdictional Conference 2020 is: Rev. Gary Henderson, Rev. Andy Call, Rev. Dan Bryant, Rev. Matthew Laferty, Rev. Armando Arellano, Rev. Benita Rollins, Rev. Cara Stultz Costello, Rev. Abby Auman, Rev. Nestor Nazario, Rev. Karen Oehl, Rev. Jon Priebe, Rev. Susan Brown, Jerry Rinehart, Ellen Burrows, Dr. Martha Banks, Betty Wilson, Bob Wagner, Holly Grant, Connor Prusha, Sarah Dixon, Donald Burdsall, Thomas Lewis, Susan Achberger, and Lucinda Starr.

The alternate reserve delegates to Jurisdictional Conference 2020 are: Rev. Carrie Antczak, Rev. Heidi Welch, Rev. Jared Gadomski Littleton, Rev. Laura Jaissle, Rev. Clinton Quillen, Jr., Allen Laferty, Kimberly Green, William Watts, Richard Corder, and Kathy Palmer.

Bishop Malone recognized and thanked the Rev. Sondra Snode and the Rev. Dr. Brad Call, who are coming off the appointive Cabinet July 1 and welcomed to the Cabinet the Rev. Edgar Brady and the Rev. Ed Fashbaugh. Brady will succeed Snode, who was appointed to pastor Mentor UMC, as superintendent of the Western Reserve District. Fashbaugh will succeed Call, who is retiring, as superintendent of the Three Rivers District.

Click this link for a full list of all appointments, which are effective July 1 unless otherwise noted.

Closed Churches
Annual Conference members approved the motion that closed the following five churches, each of which was remembered by the Cabinet during a litany for closed churches:

  • Aurora UMC (Western Reserve District),
  • Dennison Good Shepherd UMC (Tuscarawas District),
  • North Lawrence Faith UMC (Canal District),
  • Seven Hills UMC (North Coast District),
  • Wellsville UMC (Mahoning Valley District).

East Ohio Conference statistics from Thursday’s Financial Report

  • East Ohio Conference paid General Church Apportionments at 100% for the 14th-consecutive year.
  • Proposed 2020 Conference budget is $11,559,663, a 5% decrease from the 2019 budget.
  • Membership continues to decrease, in 2018 by 4.09%, to 133,219.
  • Average worship is down 6.04% from the previous year to 47,722.
  • Professions of faith have decreased 3.98% to 989.
  • Baptisms decreased 7.15% in 2018 to 1,233.
  • Average weekly attendance in Sunday school decreased approximately 1.32% to 14,626.
  • The number of ongoing small groups, support groups or classes other than Sunday school saw a 3.12% increase to 2,515.
  • The number of persons serving in mission/community ministries increased 4.05% to 27,628 in 2018.

Midwest Mission Distribution truck and Eastbrook Mission Barn truck left Lakeside carrying more than $12,000 in cash donations as well as:

  • 850 cleaning buckets,
  • 750 hygiene kits,
  • 540 school kits,
  • 1,325 personal dignity kits,
  • 185 baby palettes,
  • 300 homemade hospital gowns, and
  • medical supplies.

Award Recipients

  • Council of Bishops United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT) Certificates presented by Bishop Tracy S. Malone to the Rev. Karen Graham, chair of East Ohio Conference Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR) committee; Will Jones, East Ohio Conference director of Multicultural Vitality; and Joy Parker, director of new ministry development in the North Coast District.
  • Epikoinonia (Eppy) Award for Excellence in Communication Ministry presented by the Rev. Gary Henderson, chief relationship officer with United Methodist Communications, to Rick Wolcott, director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.
  • One Matters Discipleship Award presented by the Rev. Kelly Brown, East Ohio Conference director of Congregational Vitality on behalf of Discipleship Ministries to the Rev. Adam Davis and Pastor Kelsey Orosan of Lorain Lighthouse UMC.

Click this link to learn more about the following five resolutions
that were acted upon at Annual Conference 2019:

Resolution 2019-01: “To Rebuild, Reclaim the Christian Community: ‘Church’”
Submitted byEast Ohio Methodist Federation of Social Action, East Ohio Reconciling Ministries Network, East Ohio Board of Church & Society, and East Ohio United Methodist Women
The motion was approved.

Resolution 2019-02: “Culture of Call Sunday”
Submitted byEast Ohio Conference Spiritual Formation Committee, East Ohio BOM Executive Committee
The motion was approved.

Resolution 2019-03: “Maintain Unity through the Structural Realignment of The United Methodist Church”
Submitted byRev. Dan Bryant, Rev. Karen Oehl, Tim Beck, Rev. Andrew Call, Rev. Joe Burkhardt, Rev. Kimberly Arbaugh, and The Young Clergy Network
The motion was not approved.

Resolution 2019-04: “Educate and Inform the Conference Concerning the Need for Reform of Post Release Sexual Offender Laws such as Public Registries and Residency Restrictions”
Submitted byDennis P. Brinton
The motion was approved.

Resolution 2019-05: “A Healthy Way Forward”
Submitted byJoy Parker, Dr. Martha Banks, Jason Hockran, Rev. Dianne Tobey Covault, Kelsey Orosan, Rev. Dan Bryant, Connor Prusha, William Jones
The motion was not approved.

Click this link to learn more about the following four petitions
that were acted upon at Annual Conference 2019:

Petition 2019-01: “Jurisdictional and Central Conference Equivalency”
The motion was not approved.

Petition 2019-02: “Remove Geographical Restrictions on Jurisdictional Conferences”
The motion was not approved.

Petition 2019-03: “Establish Process of Reinstatement of Provisional Membership”
The motion was approved.

Petition 2019-04: “Add Domestic Violence to the List of Chargeable Offenses”
The motion was not approved.

Annual Conference 2020 is June 15-18, 2020 at Lakeside Chautauqua. The last Annual Conference using the quadrennial theme Bearing Fruit that Lasts: Called, Committed, Connected will underscore the importance of being connected to God and to our neighbors if we are to bear fruit by making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Camps and Retreat Ministries

Camp is Happening Right Now
Right now, hundreds of children, youth and adults, are attending summer camp here in East Ohio. Campers are experiencing God in creation and their lives are being transformed. Campers are testing their limits in new adventures, they are experiencing community, and making new friends. Do you want your child to be a part of this life-changing experience? Contact your local church, call the East Ohio Conference Camping Office at (330) 499-3972 ext. 108, or visit us online at www.EOCSummercamps.org.


We Are Called to Serve in Mission
Many United Methodist Church teens and adults are preparing to participate in, currently participating in, or returning home from participating in a mission trip work project.

We are called to serve by being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Wherever you feel called, you will find a work project that could use your help, whether it be physical labor with your hands or relationship building with your heart.

The Missions tab of the East Ohio Conference website has information you can use to learn about United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) teams and local, national, and international mission sites.

The site also offers information about how you can join scheduled mission journeys here in the East Ohio Conference, across the United States or to countries around the world.

Discover…Mission: Peru | Dec. 30, 2019 – Jan. 10, 2020
Discover…Mission is a unique opportunity for young adults, ages 18-35, to engage in an intentional cultural immersion mission journey. The world is a big place, with its peoples brought together through the love and grace of God. How might you Discover….Mission?

Join team leaders Jody Pratt (prattgji09@gmail.com) and Lynnette Jordan (lynnette.jordan0707@gmail.com) and develop leadership skills partnering with Peruvian young adults, and complete light construction projects at Miramar and Ica Peru. Cost is $1,100 plus transportation. The team will stay at Miraflores Church in Lima. Scholarship Application.

Puerto Rico UMVIM Teams Needed
The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico (MCPR) and the social holiness arm of the Church (Rehace, Inc.) report that between February 2018 and March 2019 170 teams, totaling 1,863 volunteers, have assisted in repair and rebuild of homes on the island that were damaged by deadly Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

There is still much work to be done! Currently, there are 35,000 houses that still have blue tarps on their roof. The MCPR has set a goal, starting this month, of hosting eight teams (of no more than 12 people/team) per week – which would bring 32 teams and 384 volunteers a month to assist with repair and rebuild.

If you are interested in scheduling a team, or being part of one, please e-mail East Ohio UMVIM Coordinator the Rev. Kathy Dickriede at kdickriede@gmail.com.

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

All Is True
And (to quote Shakespeare) “there’s the rub”. All Is True was written by Ben Elton, a television writer best known for period comedy sitcoms including Blackadder and Upstart Crow (a satirical comedy based on Shakespeare!). But actor-director Branagh plays it straight and serious, utilizing irritating period effects such as digitally hazy sunrises and many occasions of natural candlelight (that fail to match the visual mastery of 1975’s Barry Lyndon). The widescreen compositions often place actors talking indirectly to one another; my eyes were constantly scanning to make sure they were watching the correct speaker. And the language is all over the place, with stately dialogue interspersed with contemporary phrasing. Even the curse words seem off a bit.

The film concludes with a heartfelt reading of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, followed by a musical setting of the exact same sonnet during the closing credits. All Is True is less than true and often trite. Get thee to a nunnery and pray that Branagh’s next film is better than this one.

Read entire review

Events: June 17 – June 30

Click to view East Ohio Conference Calendar.

(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

  • Director of Modern Worship – Chardon UMC
  • Administrative Assistant – Stow UMC
  • Office Assistant – Wadsworth UMC
  • Director of Children’s Ministry – Chardon UMC
  • Director of Communications – Carrollton First UMC
  • Nursery Workers – Carrollton First UMC

Items Available/Wanted

  • Linen Alb – available for free

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, July 1, 2019. Deadline for submission is Thursday, June 27. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.