October 7, 2019

Bishop’s Retreat with Black Clergy

Bishop Tracy S. Malone preached the opening worship service sermon of the Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy. The theme for this year’s retreat at Mohican State Lodge was Quietly Courageous, based on Deuteronomy 31:6.

Clergy from the East Ohio and West Ohio Conferences of The United Methodist Church gathered September 25-27 to worship and fellowship together, to be in covenant relationship with one another, and to renew mind, body and spirit.

View Bishop Malone’s sermon.

Health Care Benefits

Last week, the East Ohio Conference Board of Benefits hosted three HealthFlex workshops to provide participating active clergy, lay employees, and retirees who are younger than 65 years old a review of the medical plan options for 2020, an opportunity to discuss buy-ups/premium credits, and to focus on the Wellness features of HealthFlex.

View the HealthFlex workshop.

Financial & Administrative Services

Ohio Minimum Wage to Increase in 2020
Effective January 1, 2020 the minimum wage in the State of Ohio will be $8.70/hour, an increase of $0.45 for non-tipped employees. Pay for tipped employees will increase $0.05 to $4.35/hour. The Federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour.

Employers whose gross earnings are more than $319,000 are required to pay employees whichever minimum wage is higher. Employers whose gross earnings are less than $319,000 shall pay their employees no less than the Federal minimum wage. Employers are required to post the minimum wage and overtime information in a conspicuous place, such as an employee break room or office, that can be accessed by employees. A free downloadable copy of the poster is available here.


UMVIM Team Leader Training – November 9
Register now to participate in the November 9 United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader training at Heart 4 the City mission in Akron. Don’t miss this opportunity to become a UMVIM-trained mission team leader for a special-reduced fee of $10 (normal cost is $35).

Learn more and register by November 4.

Christian Education and Spiritual Formation

Share Your Story – November 9
The registration deadline is quickly approaching for this training event at which church leaders will learn how to equip people to tell their story. The deadline to register is November 2 for clergy, local pastors, staff, lay leaders, teachers, Bible study leaders, volunteers, and others who wish to attend. Congregations will benefit from their leaders attending this event because when we are able to share our stories, we can build relationships and lead others to Christ.

Share your story Saturday, November 9 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Coshocton Grace UMC. Learn more and register.

Share Your Story is sponsored by the Spiritual Formation & Christian Education Committee of the East Ohio Conference and the East Ohio Chapter of CEF (Christians Engaged in Faith Formation).

Camps & Retreat Ministries

Confirmation Retreats Announced for 2020
Join us at Camp Asbury and Camp Wanake for the annual Confirmation Retreats, where we’ll explore our United Methodist understanding of the sacraments, look at ways we talk about and experience God and the ways we can connect with God in prayer, and learn the heritage and organization of our United Methodist Church.

Confirmation Weekend at Camp Asbury
February 7 – 9, 2020
Cost: $109/youth; $99/adults
Registration deadline is January 31, 2020.

Confirmation Weekend at Camp Wanake
February 21 – 23, 2020
Cost: $109/youth; $99/adults
Registration deadline is February 10, 2020.

One adult chaperone is required for every 6 youth. For more information, contact the East Ohio Conference Camping office at (330) 499-3972 extension 108; Camp Asbury at (330) 569-3171; or Camp Wanake at (330) 756-2333.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

  • Encountering the Holy Land provides an engaging, accurate, and faithful companion to God’s Word–illuminating the text with footage filmed in the Holy Land and Egypt.
  • I Give Up; The Secret Joy of a Surrendered Life demonstrates the ironic joy found when we surrender it all to God and simply give up. Surrendering expectations and power is not a step-by-step process but a willful, daily decision worth every single ounce of effort.
  • White Savior; Racism in the American Church explores the historic relationship between racism and American Christianity, the ongoing segregation of the church in the US, and the complexities of racial reconciliation.
  • Dialogues on Race features a series of interviews to highlight the topic and help you dive deeper into issues around race and the church.

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

Why should anyone bother seeing Abominable? One word: Beauty. This is one of the best-looking animated films that I’ve seen in years, coming from Pearl, a Chinese animation studio that has partnered with Dreamscape. The natural vistas are reminiscent of the films from Japan’s Studio Ghibli and the magical Everest reminded me of Hayao Miyazaki’s Totoro (1988’s My Neighbor Totoro). It’s a film that could be enjoyed with the sound turned down. I am really looking forward to future films from Pearl. These animators know what they’re doing. The film is also quite gentle in its storytelling. And even though there are brief scenes of violence (including shooting tranquilizer darts), the film has a quiet and hopeful resolution.

Read entire review.

Events: October 7 – October 20

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.)


Please pray for the families of:

  • William A. Seithretired Elder, died September 21.

View obituaries


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Director of Christian Education and Program Coordinator – Brunswick UMC
  • Children’s Sunday School Coordinator – Family of Faith UMC
  • Worship Leader – Family of Faith UMC
  • Childcare Professional – Westbrook Park UMC
  • Youth Director – Shreve UMC

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

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, October 17, 2019. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.