April 20, 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
Warren Brown Port Clinton Trinity UMC FL  
James Ellis Nova Community, Brighton & Rochester UMCs FL  
Mike Farmer Vine & Crossroads UMCs TW  
Dave Haydu Park UMC CN  
Fred Higgins Sebring & Berlin Center UMCs MV  
Tim Morrison Voluntary Leave of Absence NC  
Howard Pippin Akron First & Akron Centenary UMCs CN  
David Smithey Scioto & Nevada UMCs MO  
Mark Vincent West Ohio Conf.: Wauseon Christ & West Unity UMCs    

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 Commitments of $1,067,142 Toward the Needed $1.5 Million
The EOC campaign to build a dorm on the campus of Africa University to house female students has commitments of $1,067,142 – of this amount, $216,211.89 has been received. The goal of the campaign is to raise and receive $1.5 million to build and furnish the residence hall so that female students will not need to find off-campus housing that makes them vulnerable to untenable situations.

“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.

Financial and Administrative Services

Paycheck Protection Program UPDATE
Attention EOC churches/ministries applying for the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. According to its website, “The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding.”

Senate Democrats and Republicans are reportedly negotiating allocating additional funds for the program, but a deal has not yet been reached. Now is the time to finalize loan paperwork if your church intends to apply for a PPP loan if more funds become available.

Learn more about the PPP by downloading and viewing the CARES Act webinar that includes audio narration.


Two New COVID-19 Ministry Resources
Visit the COVID-19 Ministry Resources page of the Conference website to find many sites dedicated to equipping ministries to reach more people in bold and new ways during the current coronavirus pandemic. The two new resources added in the past few days include:

Young People’s Ministries
Youth Ministry resources to equip leaders during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

UMCOR Sheltering in Love Fund
Support this COVID-19 Response fund to equip Methodist partners to assist vulnerable populations in the U.S. and around the world.

Get guidance from Bishop Malone and other Conference leaders on how best to respond to and reach out to others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Change in Events Request
Please e-mail Sean Williams if you cancel an event, reschedule one, or change it to a Zoom meeting. We need your assistance to ensure that visitors to the online calendar on the Conference website continue to receive the up-to-date information they rely on and expect. Thank you.

Young People’s Ministries

Bishop Malone Message to Young People
The mother of both a college senior and a high school senior, East Ohio Conference Bishop Tracy S. Malone offers words of encouragement to young people in East Ohio and beyond who are missing out on milestones, activities and experiences due to the current Stay at Home orders under which we are each living.

“I want you to know that the people who are in your life, your family, your friends, your church community, we recognize your disappointment, your frustration, and even the stress your experiencing. We know that these once in a lifetime memories and experiences can’t be recreated. We know that the struggle is real,” Malone said in her video message. “You have the fortitude to navigate this season of change in your life, and even more, we know that God will see you through.”

View Bishop Malone’s message it its entirety.

COVID-19 Resources from Discipleship Ministries
As we navigate the Stay at Home orders put in place to help flatten the curve, United Methodist Discipleship Ministries has compiled this list of helpful resources to help youth ministry leaders respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have questions about these or other resources for young people’s ministries, please email Kaye Wolfinger or call her at (330) 499-3927 ext. 116.


Safe Sanctuaries: Best Practices for Online Ministries
As we continue to move forward in ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic, many folks have turned to having gatherings using various online platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and others that are great for keeping relationships strong and ministries moving forward. As we use these platforms, we need to remember the importance of adhering to Safe Sanctuaries best practices.

EOC pastors, congregations and faith communities are encouraged to read – and put into practice – the tips offered by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries in its article Safe Sanctuaries: Eleven Online Gathering Suggestions. If you have questions about Safe Sanctuaries policies, please reach out to the Rev. Gary Jones via email or phone, (330) 499-3972 ext. 120.


Special #GivingTuesdayNOW on May 5
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a special Giving Tuesday on May 5. Physical distancing mandates and a sudden increase in unemployment have put a financial strain on non-profits, including churches and church-related missions and ministries. Please support your local church as your first mission and then consider also supporting our East Ohio Conference mission partners.

Clergy Session, AC 2020, YAC 2020, & Summer Camp

Clergy Executive Session, AC & YAC 2020 Postponed; Camp Decision Announced This Week
The health and safety of East Ohio Conference clergy and laity are paramount. Bishop Tracy S. Malone, after prayerful discernment and in consultation with the Extended Cabinet, leadership of the Board of Ministry, and the Annual Conference secretary, has made the decision to postpone Clergy Executive Session and Annual Conference 2020 until the Fall.

Both Clergy Executive Session and Annual Conference will meet at Lakeside Chautauqua the last weekend in September. If you have already registered for Clergy Session and/or Annual Conference, you do not need to re-register.

Clergy Executive Session will meet from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 25. The 51st Session of Annual Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 26 and will conclude by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 27.

The Annual Conference Planning Team is working on details for the September session. Annual Conference members will receive an updated housing packet at the end of June. Remember that last week’s Annual Conference announcement includes information from Lakeside Chautauqua about how to transfer or cancel housing plans made for the original June conference dates.

We will begin the day on Saturday, September 26 with the Service of Commemoration and Holy Communion at 10:00 a.m. and the 4:30 p.m. Service of Commissioning and Ordination will conclude the day. Sunday, September 27 will begin at 8:00 a.m. with morning worship.

Child care will be provided at Annual Conference 2020 but there will not be VBS this year.

Youth Annual Conference will not meet at Lakeside Chautauqua this summer. The decision on the date and details regarding YAC 2020 will be provided after Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) meets April 25.

A decision about East Ohio Camps & Retreat Ministries will be announced later this week.

Learn more on the Conference website pages for Annual Conference 2020, Youth Annual Conference 2020, and Summer Camp.

Health and Welfare

Flat Rock Postpones Race at the Rock
The Dick Parks Memorial Race at the Rock has been postponed due to the uncertainty of how long the current stay at home orders associated with the coronavirus pandemic will last. There will be a race this year – just not on May 2. The new date will be announced as soon as it is known. All people who are currently registered will remain so and all friends and family sponsorships that have come in and will continue to come in will continue to be counted towards the person they are for. We appreciate everyone’s understanding during this time and look forward to seeing you all at the race! Read more about Flat Rock Homes in the April Faith Connections newsletter.

Credit Union

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 Skip-A-Payment, complete the form and either: mail it to 431 Ohio Pike, Suite 100 N. in Cincinnati, OH 45255; email it to sdavidson@umethodist.com; or fax it to (513) 528-7480.

Ministry Relief Loans
We find ourselves in unprecedented times. In an effort to eliminate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, 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 offer 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, reach out to Terry Laws by phone, (800) 373-1059 ext. 15, or email, tlaws@umethodist.com. For more information on church loan solutions please reach out to the Rev. Rachel B. Miller by phone, (614) 551-1365, or email, rmiller@umethodist.com.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

  • Better Together; How Women and Men Can Heal the Divide and Work Together to Transform the Future helps us understand how oppression works–whether it relates to gender, race, socioeconomic status, or religion–and how to overcome it. Let Danielle inspire you to believe that change is possible and equip you with ideas and strategies that will compel you to action.
  • Get Out of Your Head Curriculum Kit inspires and equips us to transform our emotions, our outlook, and even our circumstances by taking control of our thoughts. Our enemy is determined to get in our heads to make us feel helpless, overwhelmed, and incapable of making a difference for the kingdom of God. But when we submit our minds to Christ, the promises of goodness of God flood our lives in remarkable ways.
  • Hebrews: Grace and Gratitude helps us see the connection between God’s grace in our lives and the call to invest ourselves in God’s mission in the world. In doing so, we express gratitude for the salvation we have received and respond to God’s grace by being faithful to the One who delivers us.

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 Movies Message in the Movies banner (colorful film strip

Writer-director Andrew Yang has spent many years writing and producing televised comedy shows including Master of None, Parks and Rec, and The Good Place. For his first feature film he wanted to share the world of his father and three generations of Taiwanese people, each with their own language. While not strictly autobiographical, the film appreciates the compromises that had to be negotiated with immigration to America. In many ways it is a love letter to his parents and the sacrifices that were made.

Tigertail is a lovely film and covers a lot of territory in 90 minutes. A fine companion film that tells another cross-cultural story (set in Changchun) is last year’s The Farewell (previously reviewed and available to stream on Amazon Prime). Both films are rated PG and well-worth your time. And time is what you have. Watch and learn.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • William Harveyretired Elder, died April 15.

View obituaries


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Administrative Assistant – Fairhope UMC

To submit a classified ad please e-mail swilliams@eocumc.com.

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, April 30. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.