February 24, 2020

2020 Appointments

Bishop Tracy S. Malone announces the following 2020 clergy appointments and/or changes of status, effective 7/1/20 unless otherwise noted.

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

Pastor Appointment District Effective
Jeffrey Croft Shelby Trinity & Shelby First UMCs MO  
Wesley George Prairie Chapel & Canal Lewisville UMCs TR  
Ricky Harvel Marion Salem UMC MO  
Garland Harvey Nankin Community & Polk UMCs MO  
James Macdonald Tiro UMC MO  
Christ Suffecool Mt. Tabor UMC TW  
Steve Sullivan Salem First UMC MV  
Jonathan Williams Minerva UMC TW  

Visit the 2020 Appointments and Changes of Status page of the Conference website to read the Cabinet’s Core Values for Making Appointments and to see the lists of appointments, retirements, and those who are concluding their ministry.

Teach • Reach • Bless

Africa University Campaign Has Raised $608,462.05
When launching the Teach • Reach • Bless Conference mission initiative, Bishop Tracy S. Malone stated, “My vision is for East Ohio to build an on-campus women’s dorm that will provide a safe, secure environment and a community of support, so that female AU students will be able to focus on education without risking their very lives.”

To date, the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign has raised $608,462.05 of the $1.5 million needed to build and furnish a residence hall for female students at Africa University. There is still time for you to show your commitment to improving the education and wellness of women today for a better Africa tomorrow by making a financial contribution to the campaign.

Checks should be made payable to your local church and “Teach • Reach • Bless” should be written on the memo line. Church treasurers should send all collected campaign donations to the Conference lockbox and include the amount on their church remittance form under Fund 9915.

Learn more, download resources, and support the campaign.

General Conference 2020

GC 2020 Information Forum – March 7
You are encouraged to attend an informational forum on Saturday, March 7 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Garfield Memorial UMC in Pepper Pike. The Protocol of the Reconciliation and Grace through Separation will be presented. The Protocol is one of the major proposals to be acted upon at GC 2020, but it does not represent a final decision for a course of action for The United Methodist Church. When General Conference receives this recommendation and proposed legislation in May, delegates will be able to adopt it, modify it, or do something different.

East Ohio GC 2020 delegation members and Bishop Tracy S. Malone will give leadership to this forum.

The session will be live streamed on the Conference website at www.eocumc.com/gc/GC2020infoforum and recorded for future viewing and use.

Annual Conference 2020

Registration Opens March 1
We are a week away from the March 1 opening of registration for Annual Conference 2020. The registration and housing packet will begin arriving in mailboxes the first week in March.

Our quadrennial theme is Bearing Fruit that Lasts: Called, Committed, Connected. The keyword for Annual Conference 2020 is Connected. When we gather June 15-18 at Lakeside Chautauqua, we 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.

The Annual Conference 2020 website, your one-stop shop for everything related to AC 2020, will also go live on March 1.


Download EOC Videos on Vimeo
The Conference Communications office now uses Vimeo as our video platform. One reason for the switch from YouTube is that Vimeo makes it easier to download Conference videos for playback during worship services and small group meetings. All EOC YouTube videos from the past three years are now available on Vimeo. Visit the EOC Vimeo page.

Suggest a Calendar Event
The Communications office accepts event listing suggestions from Conference churches, and from United Methodist conference offices, jurisdictions, and general agencies. If you would like to suggest an event for the online East Ohio Conference calendar, please complete this online submission form.

No one knows your event better than you, so we ask that you complete the form, instead of emailing details for the Communications office to create the event listing. Please include flyers, pdfs, and any other applicable promotion that can be included with the event listing and be sure to include accurate contact information so we may contact you if there are questions.


United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Trips
The UMVIM Mission Journeys page is a great resource for people looking to go on a mission trip that is close to home or one that travels abroad. Pastor Jason Hockran and the Rev. John Partridge will each lead a team to Liberia in 2020 and Sandy Bittner will lead multiple teams to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Illinois this year. E-mail the Rev. Kathy Dickriede, if your church has a mission trip coming up this year or if you have any questions about serving on a mission team.

Camps & Retreat Ministries

Want to Become Part of our Summer Camp Staff?
The staff is the cornerstone of the ministry of East Ohio Camps. Our summer program requires a great number of staff to be successful. We are looking for outstanding Christian women and men for summer staff positions. We offer great Christian community, excellent training, free room and board, opportunity for ministry, and growth in leadership skills. We are looking for counselors, lifeguards, program staff, food service, administration, and maintenance.

Learn more and apply.

Think About How Your Children Will Spend Their Summer Vacation
Camping can satisfy what children need! They’ll experience faith, responsibility, and cooperation as part of a caring community. They’ll experience self-esteem as children of God. In a world where it is hard to be a kid, AND it is hard to be a parent, let East Ohio Camps be your partner in faith and the development of your child. With hundreds of events to choose from, one will be right for you and your child. Sports … drama … water activities … horses … great places … great experiences – all with trained, caring staff. Contact your local church, call the East Ohio Conference Camps office at (330) 499-3972 ext. 108, or visit us on the web at www.EOCSummercamps.org.

Health and Welfare

The largest Health and Welfare ministry of the East Ohio Conference, OhioGuidestone (Advance Special Fund 9173) serves over 29,300 adults, children, and families each year, most of whom live at or below the federal poverty level. Through compassion and high-quality substance use disorder and behavioral health services, the agency seeks to help individuals reset their paths, reclaim their autonomy, and restore their purpose.

Learn more about OhioGuidestone, including becoming a foster parent, organizing a collection drive, attending an advocacy event, and promoting and supporting the health and welfare agency. Contact Agency Chaplain the Rev. A. Renee Jacobs by phone at (440) 260-8254 or via e-mail.

Learn more about all Advance Specials of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Spiritual Formation

Pray About Your “Why”
The Spiritual Formation Committee invites you to pray about your “why” this year. Why does following Jesus matter to you? Why do you go to church? Why be a disciple? Why do church and discipleship go together?

When faced with uncertain times, it is good to get back to the roots of who we are to focus on our mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The challenge is to look at the things we are putting or energy and money towards, and ask, “why are we doing this?” Our answers should begin with “So that …” and push us closer to our mission. If we cannot make the connection between our “so that’s” and the mission, we need to question if we should be doing it. If we can do that, 2020 can be transformed from a year of great challenges to a year of great focus.

Small Church Ministry

Large Conference for the Smaller Church – March 27-28
The majority of churches in Ohio have smaller congregations. Town and Rural Resource Program and others are excited to offer this training to focus on the value and potential of ministry in smaller churches.

Join us at First UMC in Marysville for this conference at which attendees will: be affirmed in the value of their church and their ministry; have a better understanding of how healthy small churches function; be better equipped to understand your church’s unique gifts, personality and  calling; and receive tools to help church leaders assess your church’s strengths and weaknesses.

Learn more and register.

Educational Opportunities

Holy Land via Jordan – Nov. 30-Dec. 9
Pastors Karen and Don Upson invite you to join them on a Holy Land tour via Jordan program that will expand your knowledge of the Bible. Stand on Mount Nebo and view the land of Ancient Canaan as Moses did, sail on the Sea of Galilee like Jesus and his disciples and remember his resurrection at the garden tomb with a special service. Arrangements for the trip are made through Educational Opportunities Tours. E-mail Karen Upson with questions and to learn more.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

  • Jude; Contending for the Faith in Today’s Culture dives into themes of being called, loved, and kept, and learn how to point others to Jesus in grace and truth.
  • Better; A Study of Hebrews demonstrates how the new covenant is superior to the old and how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of every promise.
  • Know What You’re FOR points out God is FOR the people in our world. He is FOR breaking down unnecessary barriers that keep people away from experiencing his love. And as his followers, he calls us to do the same.
  • Jesus; The God Who Knows Your Name reveals that because Jesus became human, it is now possible for us to see God and hear his voice. If we want to know what matters to God, all we need to do is look in the Bible to see what matters to Jesus.
  • Why Easter Matters reveals how the story of Easter became real to them when they found themselves caught up in the events of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
  • Overcomer Church Campaign Kit guides you with clips from the Kendrick brothers film, Overcomer, to examine how we determine our identity and how we can find our true identity in Christ.

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

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Here comes Birds of Prey. Its cartoon prologue tells us that she has broken up with The Joker (for closure she blows up the chemical plant where they first met) and is on the outs with the general populace of Gotham City. Harley is a fun-loving breaker of rules and this film shows her not only battling the criminal boss Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor) but befriending Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), a shoplifting girl, and getting to know the women who would become the team known as Birds of Prey.

You might call this film the first #MeToo comic book movie, since it clearly shows women standing up against men who try to objectify them. However, when every man turns out to be a bit of loser and there are no romantic overtones, female empowerment seems a bit of a shallow victory. To its credit, this is a fast-paced and colorful film and I liked the character development. But the overkill of strong language and ironic death and torture scenes makes for an uncomfortable watch.

Read entire review.

Events: February 24 – March 8

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:

  • Ronald E. Bensonretired Elder, died February 15.
  • Vergil A. Herzbergerretired Elder, died February 15.

View obituaries


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Administrative Assistant – Fairhope UMC in Louisville
  • Office Administrator – Northampton UMC in Cuyahoga Falls
  • Connections Staff Member – Columbus Ave. UMC in Sandusky
  • Organist/Accompanist/Bell Choir Director – First UMC in Massillon
  • Church Organist – Christ Woodland UMC in Akron
  • Administrative Assistant – North Canton Faith UMC
  • Church Journalist/Communications Coordinator – North Canton Faith UMC

Items Wanted

  • 1989 Methodist Hymnals (will be sent to Methodist Churches in the Philippines) – East Shore UMC, Armando Arellano
  • Glass plates, cups, and small dishes – Kelloggsville UMC in Conneaut

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

To Subscribe

To 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, March 9, 2020.

Deadline for submission is Thursday, March 5. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.