March 23, 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
Ricky Burkhardt Dundee UMC TW  
Kenneth Curren Loudonville & Lakeville UMCs TR  
Annette Dimond Green Valley UMC CN  
William Payne Emmanuel UMC MO  

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

Campaign has raised $1,020,783
The EOC campaign to build a dorm on the campus of Africa University to house female students has commitments of $1,020,783. The goal of the campaign is to raise and collect $1.5 million to build and furnish the residence hall. Limited available on campus housing and increasing enrollment means that students currently must find off campus housing, a situation that places female students at risk of living in untenable situations in order to attend college.

“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,” said Bishop Tracy S. Malone.

To support the campaign, write a check payable to your church and include Teach • Reach • Bless 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.

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As our East Ohio Conference pastors, congregations, and faith communities adapt our ministries to reach church members and community members in new bold and creative ways during this COVID-19 pandemic, we are not alone. Together, we are living out our guiding principles:

  • Discipleship is our foundation;
  • Covenant guides us;
  • Connection strengthens us; and
  • Leadership moves us forward.

Area Center Closed to the Public; Staff Continues to Resource EOC
In our effort to care for you and for our East Ohio Conference staff during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Area Center is now closed to the public except by appointment for essential matters. Conference staff are continuing to work to resource and equip pastors, congregations, faith communities, and the various ministries and missions of our annual conference. Some staff are working in the Area Center and others are working remotely to do their work. The Area Center, our local churches, and other Religious Entities are classified as Essential Business and Operations by – and thus exempt from – the Stay at Home Order issued by the Ohio Department of Health.

Spring District Conferences Postponed
All Spring District Conferences have been postponed in compliance with Gov. Mike DeWine’s ban on large group gatherings. Once districts set new dates, they will be added to the online Conference calendar and shared with the clergy and laity of East Ohio.

Christ, Community, Care, and Creativity During the COVID-19 Crisis
Dear beloved pastors, congregations and faith communities of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church,

Greetings in the name of Jesus, the Vine. He still invites us to remain connected with him and bear fruit that lasts. In this unprecedented time of coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, God has called us to witness to our faith and to lead through, and to, Christ. When we committed our lives to Christ, we committed to put others before ourselves and to share His love in all that we say and do. We can do this only by remaining connected to the God who sustains us and the community of human love.

We, Bishop Tracy S. Malone and the Cabinet, offer this guidance recognizing that we will follow God’s leading during this rapidly changing situation! Spiritually mature leaders adapt to new information. This letter is long because we have been asked to provide guidance on a number of areas that are suddenly very different than they were just two weeks ago.

Read the Guidance from Bishop Malone & the Cabinet in its entirety.

COVID-19 Ministry Resources
Visit the coronavirus (COVID-19) resource page of the East Ohio Conference website to view the most up-to-date information, including messages from Bishop Malone, creative non-traditional alternatives to public worship, links to livestreamed worship services, tips for staying connected and ministering to church and community members during the coronavirus pandemic, and information from government health organizations and agencies of our United Methodist Church.

View the coronavirus (COVID-19) resources.

Licensing for Livestreaming/Posting Music
Churches MUST purchase a Steaming and Podcasting License if music will be livestreamed and/or recorded and posted later to the church website and/or Facebook, Twitter, or other online platforms. This needed license is IN ADDITION TO the CCLI license and the CVLI license each church has through the Conference office.

Once the license is purchased, churches will be able to stream/post only the music that is included in the music catalog of the company from which the license is purchased. That catalog can be found by searching song titles on the company’s website. Keep in mind that livestreaming/posting music is a rebroadcast of that music, which can only be done legally by receiving permission from the copyright holders of each piece of music – this includes preludes, postludes, offertories, hymns, anthems, special music, etc. The licensing company has secured copyright permission to rebroadcast each of the songs in its catalog.

CCLI (which covers more hymns than anthems, preludes/postludes) is offering a 20% discount on its Streaming and Podcasting License to each church that calls the office at (800) 234-2446 to purchase it.

One License (which covers hymns and more anthems, preludes/postludes) is offering one month free to churches that are brand new to the One License service and would like to take advantage of the one-month gratis reprint license. Sign up at and use code “CRVS20” at checkout. All fees will be waived.

Camps & Retreat Ministries

Open Houses Postponed
The scheduled Open Houses at Aldersgate, Asbury and Wanake are postponed. In light of the changing landscape around us, we will watch and reschedule when it is appropriate.

Now is a time for patience, hope, and planning. We are continually watching for guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health. We are also consulting with our peers and advisors, before we make decisions that could have impact on our camp operations. As things continue to move and change, we will continue to keep you updated as information is available.

Visit the COVID-19 resource on the Conference website for the most up to date  information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Health, the East Ohio Conference, and The United Methodist Church.

Summer Camp Registration
We encourage you to plan for the future and register for camp. We are planning for and looking forward to seeing your campers this summer. So that you are aware, our normal refund policy states if we cancel an event or program, you will receive a full refund. This policy would apply in these current circumstances.

Learn about summer camp programs being offered this year. Register for Summer Camp 2020.

Please call us with any questions you may have: East Ohio Camps office in North Canton, (330) 499-3972 ext. 108; Camp Aldersgate, (330) 627-4369; Camp Asbury, (330) 569-3171; Camp Wanake, (330) 756-2333.

Young People’s Ministries

YAC 2020
Early bird registration has been extended to May 8. Full refunds will be given should the event need to be canceled.

Resources for Youth Leaders
During this COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, we will share resources, ideas, and other suggestions to stay connected to the young people in your community on our Young People’s Ministries Facebook page and blog. If you have any questions, need help with using social media/tech resources, please e-mail Director of Young People’s Ministries Kaye Wolfinger.

Disaster Response

Connecting Neighbors
A good way to prepare for concerns related to any virus outbreak is to host a Connecting Neighbors training event like the one recently held at Wedgewood UMC in Akron. The Connecting Neighbors curriculum consists of an overview of disaster ministry in three modules:

  • Module 1: Ready Congregants focuses on preparing individuals and families to be disaster ready.
  • Module 2: Ready Churches emphasizes the importance of protecting church property and the people within the property before and immediately following a disaster, and of appropriate use of church property in disaster response.
  • Module 3: Ready Response encourages churches to explore their capacity for various disaster response ministries and to consider ways to engage community partners.

Learn more about Connecting Neighbors. If you are interested in hosting a Connecting Neighbors training when we return to being able to gather as groups, please e-mail the Rev. Kathy Dickriede.

General Conference

GC 2020 Postponed
In an article published March 18, UM News reported that, “With the coronavirus disrupting lives worldwide, General Conference organizers determined they have no choice but to postpone The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly.”

Conversations are taking place about potential new dates for General Conference, but the conference has yet to be rescheduled.

Pastoral Care

Offering Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Pastors and their families are reminded that you can call the office of Pastoral Care to arrange phone or video sessions. Call the office at (330) 456-0486 or toll free at (866) 456-3600.

You can also visit our website to learn more about our services and to read recently posted articles about praying during and managing times of stress.

Credit Union

Lobbies to Close to the Public Beginning March 24
Credit Union staff will continue to process phone calls, post mail, and utilize our outdoor drop boxes. Some of this work will be done by employees working on site and some of the work will be done remotely from home offices. We are extending our phone hours, have some loan option and skip-a-pays in place to help those in need, and are continually looking for ways to serve in this time of need. At the same time, we are looking for the best methods of protection from the spread of this virus.

Skip A Payment
Usually held at the end of the year, the United Methodist Financial Credit Union (UMFCU) is offering our Skip-A-Payment option for members with existing loans who are encountering financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members may skip their March or April payments on qualifying loans with NO FEE.

If you wish to utilize the Skip-A-Payment option, complete the form send it to our Cincinnati office via e-mail (, fax (513-528-7480) or U.S. mail (431 Ohio Pike, Suite 100 N, Cincinnati, OH 45255).

Ministry Relief Loans
We find ourselves in unprecedented times. In an effort to eliminate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, most United Methodist churches have suspended in-person worship services. It is reasonable to conclude that local churches will experience a significant decline in giving. This will make it difficult for many of our local churches to meet their financial obligations, which may include paying the pastor and staff.

The United Methodist Financial Credit Union will be offering Ministry Relief Loans to replace lost income during these difficult times for our local churches, active clergy, clergy spouses, and employees of United Methodist organizations within the field of Membership. Interest rates are as low as 2.99% for churches and 4.99% for individuals with loan repayment commencing 90 days after the loan in made. For more information on individual loan solutions please contact Terry Laws at (800) 373-1059 ext. 15 or  For more information on church loan solutions please contact Rev. Rachel B. Miller at (614) 551-1365 or

Health and Welfare

Flat Rock Homes says, “Thank You!”
Through your heartfelt gifts and volunteer service, our residents had a wonderful Christmas! It is a sheer joy to see faces light up as gifts are opened, Santa’s hugs are shared, and the message of God’s greatest Gift is given – it’s all a blessing. We thank our supporting churches, UMW circles, men’s groups, mission teams, youth volunteers, Sunday school classes, and Christmas Wish grantors. Without your support, none of this would have been possible.

Read the monthly Faith Connections newsletter to learn more about the ministries of Flat Rock Homes.

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 Browse the resource catalog at

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

The Way Back
Jack Cunningham (Affleck) was once the shining star playing for Bishop Hayes High School, leading them to a state championship and himself to a potential future in sports. But somehow Jack’s trajectory ended and, now in his forties, he spends his days as a construction worker (while drinking on the job) and spending his nights at “Harold’s Place”, escorted home by a barfly buddy when he is fall-down drunk.

Do we really need another film about a down-and-out coach leading a come-from-behind sports team towards victory?

Well, no, not really. But The Way Back may be worth your attention for a few reasons. First of all, it is a Catholic high school basketball team that invites Jack back to fill a coaching position. The movie is surprisingly grace-filled. The priest who invites him to come back (John Aylward) is aware of Jack’s struggles; the assistant coach (Al Madrigal) who helps him get acclimated to the team is patient in his mentoring; and the priest who serves as team chaplain (Jeremy Radin) gently advises him in his language and anger management issues.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Elizabeth Burgesurviving spouse of the Rev. Donald Burge, died March 18.
  • Donald D. Newlandretired Elder, died March 8.

View obituaries


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Administrative Assistant – Canton Calvary Mission
  • Administrative Assistant/Treasurer – The Firelands District Superintendent

Items Wanted

  • Brother Intellifax 1360 Fax Machine along with 2 new ink cartridges for sale – Gay Street UMC
  • Spanish Bibles – Chippewa Church at the Lake UMC

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

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