Teach • Reach • Bless
The East Ohio Conference has set a goal of raising and collecting $1.5 million to build and furnish a residence hall for female students on the campus of Africa University in Zimbabwe. The Teach • Reach • Bless campaign currently has commitments of $1,067,142 toward that $1.5 million goal and to date $324,107.78 has been received.
Building and furnishing a new dorm will enable more female students to live on campus, meaning they won’t need to find off-campus housing that makes them vulnerable to untenable situations. In supporting the campaign you are joining with the laity and clergy of the East Ohio Conference in being committed to improving the education and wellness of women today for a better Africa tomorrow.
UMC Missionaries Teach At – and About – Africa University
Larry and Jane Kies are both United Methodist Church Global Ministries missionaries assigned to Africa University. View the video above that they created to learn more about Africa University.
Financial & Administrative Services
August 8 Deadline to Apply for a PPP Loan
East Ohio Conference churches have only a couple of weeks remaining to apply for a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses, such as churches, to keep their staff on the payroll. The Small Business Administration reports that loans will be forgiven if all employee retention criteria are met and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Read more about PPP loan forgiveness.
Church leadership can apply for a PPP loan through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured credit union and any Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
Churches and the New Statewide Mask Mandate
Recent data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is still widespread. Here in the East Ohio Conference alone several counties have shown an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. We, the Body of Christ, can play a vital role in helping to slow the spread of this disease and save lives. We are each called to do our part.
The mask mandate from Governor Mike DeWine that went into effect July 23 is for all people ages 10 and over to “wear facial coverings in public at all times when at an indoor location that is not a residence.” Since the church building is an indoor, non-residence venue, the governor’s mask order is in effect for indoor worship services, bible studies, small group gatherings, etc. Therefore, the Church is not exempt from this mandate.
The Guidelines for the Phased-in Reopening of EOC Church Buildings have consistently encouraged churches to “… follow the guidance of your local health department, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), government officials, hospitals, care facilities, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and pray for them.”
Support United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
The 2020 hurricane season is well underway. Hurricane Douglas and Hurricane Hanna are impacting Hawaii and Texas respectively, with more hurricanes and tropical storms expected in the next few months. You can help UMCOR respond to the urgent requests it will receive from those in need of relief.
For 80 years UMCOR has provided humanitarian relief and disaster response in the United States and internationally. Its efforts are targeted in places where natural disasters, war, or conflict have done so much damage that communities are unable to recover on their own.
Red Cross Disaster Volunteers Needed
The American Red Cross needs volunteers from our region who are willing to travel (14-day commitment) when necessary to provide support for emergency shelters and disaster health services. The volunteers deploy during and immediately following a disaster. United Methodist Early Response Teams deploy during relief and recovery phases after the disaster has passed.
Areas of urgent need:
- shelter service associates who staff shelter areas by serving in reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and in other vital areas.
- disaster health services associates who are licensed health care professionals assisting with activities of daily living, personal assistance services, providing health education and helping to replace medication.
If you have questions about this opportunity, please e-mail Melanie Collins or call her at (330) 204-6615.
West Side Community House
The Healthy Aging Center at West Side Community House provides stability in uncertain times. Staff there recently assisted an older woman in the neighborhood who wasn’t able to get food for herself because she couldn’t take the bus to go shopping. A homebound meals staff member soon delivered her regular meals and a box with five days of shelf-stable meals.
In addition to delivering meals to clients, West Side Community House is currently utilizing its partnerships with the Greater Cleveland Foodbank and Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging to distribute fresh produce, shelf-stable meal boxes, and commodity boxes to those in need and it is offering fitness classes and activities to support cognitive function and connection online.
Stand Against Racism Resources
Seven new books have been added to the Resources for Children page of the EOC Stand Against Racism resource. They are:
- Hands Up! By Breanna J. McDaniel
- I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoet
- Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyan
- Brown Sugar Babe by Charlotte Watson Sherman
- All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
- Honeysmoke by Monique Fields
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Also, a discussion guide to generate follow-up conversation about the movie Just Mercy has been added to the Video and Podcast Resources page.
United Methodist Communications Increases Online Trainings
The communications agency of The United Methodist Church has launched a new set of online courses designed to assist those in leadership tasked with creating and maintaining engaging online worship experiences in a socially distanced world.
- Communicating about Online Giving offers effective tools and strategies for communicating about giving online so that your church can have fruitful ministries.
- Ministerio en los grupos de Facebook provides a Spanish translation option for those wishing to use Facebook groups in their ministry efforts.
- Leading Remote Worship helps leaders start, continue, or improve their technology use to provide meaningful remote worship experiences.
- Recording Great Videos shares tips about how to use technology that churches may already own as well as offering ideas about a few accessories to start recording video for your ministry.
Click on the links to learn more and register for each training. Visit United Methodist Communications online to learn about services, tools and resources it offers.
New Office Hours
We are extending office hours at our North Canton and Cincinnati branches of the United Methodist Financial Credit Union to serve you. The new hours at those locations are:
- 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – M, T, W, F
- 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Th
Christmas in July
‘Tis the season … to start saving money. Merry Christmas in July! Before we know it, the time for giving will be upon on us. Start saving for all of your holiday spending needs now. The United Methodist Financial Credit Union offers Christmas Club accounts and personal loans to help you manage your budget for this coming winter. Call one of our loan officers today to get started.
The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:
- Dream Big; Know What You Want, Why You Want it, and What You’re Going to Do About It will help group members understand that God has a plan for their lives and provide a step-by-step road map to breaking through the barriers that are holding them back.
- Believe Series God desire is for you to think like Jesus so you can act like Jesus and ultimately be like Jesus. This process begins with the transformation of your thoughts – for the way you behave, the habits you form, and the character that defines you are all driven by what you believe. Think Like Jesus; What Do I Believe and Why Does It Matter? Act Like Jesus; How Can I Put My Faith into Action? Be Like Jesus; Who Am I Becoming?
- One Small Step; The Life-Changing Adventure of Following God’s Nudges embrace the life-changing adventure of becoming the hands and feet of Jesus to the people right outside your front door. You will soon discover that “random acts of kindness” are not so random after all.
Message in the Movies
Relic is not a film for everyone. Most horror fans will not appreciate its slow pace and lack of jump scares. Logical thinkers will want more things spelled out rather than intimated. If you are currently a caregiver for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, this may not be for you. (I personally found Relic to have much sympathy with this topic, which sets it apart from M. Night Shyalaman’s 2015 The Visit which is exploitative in comparison.) This film is unsettling, with an ingenious art design that reveals a house filled with hidden passageways, many doors, and a shifting perspective not only of physical dimensions but of the present and the past. The film concludes with a final image that is jarring and unforgettable, horrid and poignant at the same time.
I found Relic to be original and haunting, with a great performance by Robyn Nevins as Edna and a stunning directorial debut for Australian Natalie Erika James.
Please pray for the families of:
- Betty A. Boulton, surviving spouse of the Bishop Edwin C. Boulton, died July 15.
- Charles H. Frye, retired Elder, died July 9.
- Campus Minister – The UMC of Berea
- Executive Director – Canton Calvary Mission
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