By Bishop Tracy S. Malone
Advent is a gift of time and space to slow down and be present to God, who comes to us in the ordinariness of our lives. Advent is a process of active waiting and watching for God’s perpetual light to shine in the midst of darkness bringing calm to our fears, anxieties and sorrows.
Advent is a time of welcoming Jesus, who is the Light, who is always coming into our hearts, our lives and the world offering the extraordinary gifts of love, peace, hope and joy. Advent is the anticipation of a miracle, God showing us a way where there was no way before … birthing something new in us, through us and beyond us. Advent is a holy season and a spiritual journey. It is an ongoing journey of becoming more like Jesus.
Financial and Administrative Services
Local Church Year-End Report
The local church year-end report is now available online, but only as a worksheet. It will not be live and ready for data input until after we close our books. We will publish an update in E-News when the report is live in early January.
Shared Ministry Receipts
Friday, January 3, 2020 is the last day that the Conference office can accept shared ministry receipts for 2019. Please be aware that the funds must be deposited in our bank by close of business on January 3. Payments received in our bank after that date will be considered 2020 receipts, regardless of the postmark on the envelope. Please communicate this information with pastors, treasurers and financial secretaries so that everyone can plan accordingly.
Young People’s Ministries
Church Leader Training Labs – Feb. 1 and May 2
Church leaders of all ages. You will not want to miss out on these two one-day training labs! Stephanie Caro from Ministry Architects will be with us to offer quality, hands-on training both Saturday, February 1 for “2020 Vision: Making Goals Actually Happen” and Saturday, May 2 for “Discipleship Path: More Than a Theory.” The cost is $10 with a max of $50 per church, so bring your whole team.
2020-21 Advance Specials Applications Due January 15
Applications for new or renewed Advance Special Mission Partners must be received by January 15, 2020 in the Conference Council on Ministries (CCOM) office. Written support from your district’s superintendent must accompany the application when it is submitted. Being an Advance Special gives missions and ministries partners an opportunity to engage volunteers and to request individual donations from all churches in the East Ohio Conference.
Global Water Justice Summit – January 24-25 in Detroit, MI
Over the past year, teams based in Detroit and in Liberia, West Africa have been preparing a Global Water Justice Summit to highlight local and international efforts aimed at promoting water security. Together, we will ask and answer the question: What is the role of The United Methodist Church in addressing water inequity and in promoting water justice in our communities locally and around the world?
Early-bird registration before December 31 is only $50/person, and scholarships may be available. E-mail Rev. Kathy Dickriede, coordinator of EOC Missions and Community Engagement, if you are interested in attending.
Pathways to Ministry
The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:
- 20/20: Seen. Chosen. Sent. helps develop a new understanding of how God sees you and has chosen you to help make Jesus’ name known on this planet.
- Character by God’s Design, Vol. 1 (Diligence, Faithfulness, Gratitude) is designed to equip kids with the character qualities they need to each become the person God created them to be.
- Defined; Who God Says You Are defines who God is and then who we are defined by Him.
- Safe & Secure Church Kit helps you recruit, train, and equip a safety and security team that both protects and serves your congregation.
- Soul Reset; Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness explores themes of authenticity and wholeness, highlights vital scripture practices modeled by Jesus Christ, shares insights into how to experience your own “soul reset” and live the life God desires for you.
On Tuesday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 25, all offices of The United Methodist Financial Credit Union will be closed in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Fall Enterprise Promotion to End December 31
The United Methodist Financial Credit Union is partnering with Enterprise Car Sales to give our members a better vehicle-buying experience! Now through December 31, receive $500* when you purchase a vehicle from Enterprise and finance it through United Methodist Financial Credit Union. Contact one of our loan officers to discuss getting pre-approved today!
*Terms and Conditions: To receive the $500, you must purchase a vehicle from Enterprise Car Sales from October 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, finance the vehicle with United Methodist Financial Credit Union, and make your first four payments on time. $300 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 $500 within 30 days of purchase. Offer void if the 7-Day Buyback is activated.
Message in the Movies
Marriage Story does a nice job showing how the legal process of divorce can exacerbate a potentially amicable separation with a process that is costly in every sense. The genius of this film is that it is honest about the pain of hiring lawyers to end a marriage (and the ironies and contradictions involved), but also straightforward about the necessity of this process. We have a fine trio of lawyers in this movie, with Laura Dern, Alan Alda and Ray Liotta all having memorable scenes.
Events: December 16 – January 12
- Wed, Dec 18
Gentle Yoga @ Chardon UMC
- Sat, Dec 21
Blue Christmas @ Trinity UMC
- Thurs, Jan 9
Church Unique Learning Cohort @ EOC Area Center
- Fri, Jan 10
Candidacy Summit @ MTSO
- Sat, Jan 11
How to Turn Tippers into Tithers Workshop @ Carroll County Fairgrounds
- Sun, Jan 12
Baptism in The Circle @ University Circle UMC
(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:
- Ronald H. Goetz, retired Elder, died December 2
- Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries – Shreve UMC
- Director of Operations – Church of the Saviour UMC
- Director of Music and Organist – Niles First UMC
- Piano and Organ Musician – Woodland Park UMC
- The Administrative Assistant – Canal Fulton UMC
- Account Clerk – Canal Fulton UMC
- Director of Connectional Ministries – The Susquehanna Annual Conference of The UMC
- Assistant Church Administrator – Strongsville UMC
- Director of Youth and Discipleship Ministries – New Philadelphia First UMC
- Piano/Organ Accompanist – Lockwood UMC
- Administrative Assistant – Willoughby Hills UMC
- Custodian – First UMC of Massillon
Items Available/ Wanted
- Five 48-key telephones and 10 12-key telephones – Church of the Lakes UMC
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