September 8, 2020

Annual Conference

AC 2020 – September 26-27
We will gather virtually via a Zoom webinar on September 26-27 to conduct the essential business of the Conference. During this final year of our quadrennial theme, Bearing Fruit that Lasts: Called, Committed, Connected, we will highlight the importance of being connected to God, to our neighbors, and to our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

You may view the livestream feed of the worship services and business sessions of Annual Conference on the Conference website at

Learn more about Annual Conference 2020.

AC Sunday Morning Worship Service
East Ohio Conference churches are invited to livestream the Sunday, September 27 10:00 a.m. service to their congregations, either in place of or in addition to their regular morning service that day. The easiest way to do this will be to place the AC livestream link,, on the church website or Facebook page.

AC 2020 Information for Voting Members
Registration for Annual Conference 2020 opened March 1 and closed several weeks ago. If, for some reason, you have not yet registered online, please call Registrar Brenda Vaccaro at (800) 831-3972 ext. 153.

  • All voting members of Annual Conference 2020 should have already received the following: 1) a packet in the mail containing the Pre-Conference Workbook of reports, the proposed 2021 Conference budget, and other materials, and 2) an information letter that was e-mailed on August 18 and also sent via U.S. mail that day to those for whom the Conference office does not have an e-mail address.
  • The expectation is that voting members will participate in this year’s virtual session using the internet network in your home or at your office. You will need bandwidth to support an hours-long video webinar. On your computer you will be able to both view the webinar and cast online votes from the same browser. Please note that you can NOT use a smartphone to both view the webinar and cast online votes. If you would like to cast online votes using your smartphone, you will need to log into the webinar using a laptop or desktop computer.
  • Please refer to the August 18 e-mail/letter for the locations of 11 internet hotspots that will be available on Saturday, September 26 for those AC voting members who need internet access to participate in the sessions of Annual Conference 2020. There is limited seating at each location, so to use an internet hotspot you must register no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16 to reserve your spot. Each hotspot will show the webinar on a monitor or screen and voting members using the internet hotspot will be able to cast online votes using their smartphone or a laptop computer.
  • A letter with information about, and a link to, a practice online voting session will be e-mailed/mailed to each AC voting member in the next week to 10 days.


Clergy Executive Session – Sept. 25
This year’s session will be conducted virtually via a Zoom webinar, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 25 and concluding by 12:30 p.m. that day. Voting members in the Clergy Session will need a laptop and internet access with a bandwidth able to support an hours-long video webinar. On your computer you will be able to both view the webinar and cast online votes from the same browser. Participants will NOT be able to view the webinar and cast online votes using a smartphone – so please make plans accordingly.

If you did not previously register online for the Clergy Executive Session, please call Registrar Brenda Vaccaro at (800) 831-3972 ext. 153.

FAMLP Annual Meeting – Sept. 16
Attention local pastors and associate members of the East Ohio Conference, the annual meeting of the Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors (FAMLP) is set for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16. We will meet via Zoom and elect the 2022-23 class of the board of directors. Register on the private Eventbrite link by September 14 using the information in the e-mail that was sent to all members. If you did not receive the e-mail, please check your spam filter and then e-mail Melanie Thomas or call her on the phone at (330) 499-3972 x. 102 for assistance registering.

Learn more about FAMLP.


New Online Resource: East Ohio Votes
You are invited to utilize the new East Ohio Votes online resource created by the East Ohio Conference Multicultural Vitality team.

“The Wesleyan tradition has a long tradition of fighting for voting rights,” wrote Dr. Jessica M. Smith in the article “Free and Fair Elections for All” published by UMC Church & Society.

Oct. 5 is the deadline to register to vote. Visit the page: for information about registering to vote; to learn about the Sept. 21 Ohio Pastors & Church-Based Lawyers Election Protection Webinar; and more. The new page can be found in the dropdown menu of the Advocacy tab as well as on the sidebar of both the Multicultural Ministries page and the Stand Against Racism page of the Conference website.

Visit the East Ohio Votes page.

The General Commission on Religion & Race asks all United Methodists to take part in September’s 30-days of anti-racism. Participants pledge each day to engage in an activity that helps us to become more anti-racist in the ways we think and act. Share your progress with a picture or a reflection using #30DaysAntiRacism. Learn more about 30 days of anti-racism.

View the EOC Stand Against Racism resource.

Disaster Response

September is National Preparedness Month
In coordination with the Ready campaign of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and ReadyOhio encourage households, places of worship, and others to plan for emergencies by participating in this year’s remaining theme weeks during September’s National Preparedness Month:

Financial & Administrative Services

IRS Group Rule Exemptions
In May 2020, the IRS released proposed the following updates to the rules for group exemptions, changes that could negatively impact our denomination’s group exemption: 1) A requirement that all subordinate organizations adopt a “uniform governing instrument;” 2) Specific definitions for the “general supervision” or “control” that the central organization must exercise over all subordinates; and 3) A requirement that all subordinates must fall under the same subsection of Section 509(a) of the Tax Code (limiting the types of ministries that could be included in the group exemption).

Because most of these changes would not apply to organizations already included in our group exemption, the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) strongly recommends that any United Methodist organization that wishes to apply for inclusion in the group exemption do so as soon as possible. To apply:

  • Visit
  • United Methodist organizations connected to churches, districts, and annual conferences – such as foundations, daycares, preschools, food pantries, camps, etc. – should use the form provided on the website or send an email to to start the application process.
  • Note that because the eligibility requirements for such organizations are more detailed, application processing could: take longer; and could result in the applicant making changes to its organizing documents before inclusion can be finalized.

E-mail GCFA with you any questions that you may have about group exemption.

Young People’s Ministries

Parenting In A Pandemic
Practically Honest is a podcast for those who work and live with young people. The most-recent episode features a discussion about parenting in a pandemic. Mom and mental health therapist Missy Jones, who works with children and teens, joined podcast host Kaye Wolfinger, a mom and the East Ohio Conference director of Young People’s Ministries for this informative conversation. Together they offer insight into navigating the never-before-experienced coronavirus pandemic while parenting and guiding young people.

Listen to the Parenting In A Pandemic podcast.

You can also listen to past Practically Honest podcasts here.

Virtual Youth Room Training – Sept. 15 or Sept. 17
Youth leaders are encouraged to join the regional youth coordinators for a training session on a new virtual way to teens and young adults. The Zoom training session is being offered on the following two dates and times to provide options so you can participate in the training that works best with your schedule. Join us for one of these two virtual youth room training sessions:

Tues., Sept. 15 @ 7:00 p.m.

Thurs., Sept. 17 @ 1:00 p.m.


Volunteers Needed at Urban Mission
The Urban Mission of Steubenville, an Advance Special of our East Ohio Conference, is looking for volunteers of all ages to assist in the month of September with two projects: greenhouse removal and/or renovations to the new Urban Mission thrift store. If you can volunteer your time to work on these projects, please call Tiffany at (740) 282-8010 or send an e-mail to her. Learn more about the Urban Mission.

Learn more about EOC Advanced Specials.

Media Center

The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:

  • Meant for Good; The Adventure of Trusting God and His Plans for You will show you how to trust God in your daily life, and more importantly, how to trust God’s definition of good above your own.
  • You Are Never Alone; Trust in the Miracle of God’s Presence and Power looks at the Gospel of John. This record of Jesus’ miracles reassures us that we are never stuck or without hope. All the forces of heaven have been marshalled to come to our aid.
  • The 28-Day Prayer Journey teaches us the basic tenets of prayer practice and establishes a realistic and doable pattern of prayer to be applied to our daily life for 28 days with lasting effect. Dive deep into four postures of prayers that increase our communication and relationship with God.
  • Take Back Your Life; A 40-Day Interactive Journey to Thinking Right So You Can Live Right a forty-day journey that will challenge you to see your situation with spiritual eyes, identify the roadblocks that get in the way of your faith in Christ, and ultimately take the first steps to become the difference-maker in the world that God created you to be!

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

Burden (2016)
Burden is a fact-based story of forgiveness and redemption. It’s a personal story about Mike Burden (Hedlund), a broken man who is lifted out of the depths of evil by the love of a good woman (Riseborough), her son (Taylor Gregory), and the Rev. David Kennedy (Forest Whitaker), the black preacher who sees a lost soul in need of help. The film ends with a scene of baptism and a moment of spiritual transcendence.

The cast is uniformly excellent, including Usher Raymond IV as a childhood friend of Burden. I know that it was a passion project of writer-director Heckler and over 20 years in the making. I am glad that Mike Burden saw the light. The faith of Rev. Kennedy is impressive. But there comes a time when the conversion story of one Klansman attached to a dubious fundraiser can’t wash away the stain of racism that permeates this film as well as daily life. That’s a burden that even a well-meaning movie can’t carry.

Read entire review.


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Custodian – Church of the Redeemer UMC
  • Office Manager – Church of the Redeemer UMC
  • Chief Financial Officer – The North Texas Annual Conference of The UMC
  • Children’s Choir Director – Rocky River UMC
  • Faith Community Nurse – Rocky River UMC
  • Store Director – Crossroads UMC
  • Director of Youth Ministries – Otterbein UMC Navarre

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

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