December 14, 2020


Christmas Week Virtual/Parking Lot Services
“Advent is here and nothing can stop Christmas … not a pandemic nor disappointment nor injustice nor despair nor anything else that seeks to overwhelm our existence. That’s a fact, a promise, and our hope,” wrote Bishop Tracy S. Malone in her Advent message Love Came Down at Christmas!

Your assistance is requested to help all of us share the love of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible this Christmas. On Monday, December 21 the Conference website will list dates and times of Christmas week online services and/or parking lot services offered by EOC churches. To include your church’s virtual and/or parking lot service(s) on the list, please e-mail Sean Williams and provide the following:

  • Church name
  • Date and time(s) of the service(s)
  • The link to the online page on which the service(s) can be viewed
  • The address of the parking lot service(s)

Annual Conference 2020

2020 Conference Journal Available Online
The Conference Journal is available for viewing and download by selecting Conference Journal from the dropdown menu of the Resources tab on the East Ohio Conference website. The Journal contains the reports and records of the past conference year as well as the daily proceedings of the Annual Conference session. Use the bookmark feature in the upper right corner of the pdf window to easily access any section of The Conference Journal.

View/download the 2020 Conference Journal.

Annual Conference Offering
The 2020 Annual Conference offering (Fund 9214) totaled $8,640. The beneficiaries of this year’s offering are Puerto Rico UMVIM, Flat Rock Homes & Care Center, and the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund which each received $2,880 to support its ministries.

Donate to the AC Offering and/or EOC Advance Specials.

Multicultural Vitality

Black History Month Sunday School Training – January 19
The East Ohio Conference is sponsoring training for K through 6th-Grade Sunday School teachers, parents, and educators on the Conference’s new Sunday School curriculum, All in God’s Image: A Celebration of Black History Month and Diversity. The session will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m.

The curriculum, intended for use as a four-week celebration of Black History Month and diversity in the Sunday school classroom, will include information about some pertinent events and people, specific lessons, questions for discussion, Bible verses, craft and activity ideas, and outside resources. Because of the age span, some information will be identified for Younger Students (Grades K-2) or Older Students (Grades 3-6).

Learn more and register.

Book Study – White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity
Clergy are invited to join Director of Congregational Vitality the Rev. Kelly Brown every Friday (February 5 – March 26, 2021) from 10:00-11:00 a.m. for a journey through Robert Jones’ book White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity. The book explores the history of white supremacy in the church. By participating in the weekly book study, you will be taking the next step in the critical conversations being held across the East Ohio Conference as we together address and stand against racism. The study is limited to 12 clergy participants.

Learn more and register.

Online Training – Intercultural Development Inventory
Director of Multicultural Vitality Will Jones will lead a monthly training that will inform participants how they might grow in their personal intercultural competency. The training is open to clergy and laity of the Conference.

How inclusive are we? How do we create an environment that does not ask others to check core aspects of their identity at the door? How good are we at recognizing commonalities and differences? These are some of the questions that will be explored during the training that begins on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 and will then meet the third Wednesday of every month. There is a limit of 15 participants and each training session will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m.

Learn more and register.

Young People’s Ministries

Young People’s Ministries Leaders Book Club
If you are passionate about teens, join us for this awesome book club starting in January. Take your pick of the books you want to read and discuss each month. You can do one or all 12. Multiple days and options for Zoom book discussion are available.

Join a Zoom book club starting end of January.

The East Ohio Conference Board of Higher Education and Collegiate and Christian Ministry (BHECCM) is excited to partner with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) to offer online applications for our undergraduate scholarships. The Merit, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) scholarships will all be available through the GBHEM site, as the agency will handle the administrative work, while EOC BHECCM will continue to select recipients. BHECCM is also collecting applications for local churches and campus ministries to apply for ministry grants.

Learn more about available scholarships and grants.

Practically Honest
Attention those who work and live with young people. Be sure you check out Practically Honest, a blog/podcast. We give practical, real advice and experiences of living and working with young people in an honest way.

View Practically Honest blogs/podcasts.

YAC 2021 – June 11-13
Ohio Youth Annual Conference will be June 11-13, 2021. Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) is working on options and praying that by June we will have something where we can meet face-to-face. Registration will begin March 1.

HealthFlex Wellness

Delivered to You Virtual Clergy Event – Feb. 8-9, 2021
The Wespath Benefits and Investments meetings and events team has changed direction from live, in-person opportunities to offering a virtual event that will provide an energizing customer experience in a new and different way. Delivered to You is a virtual event that will bring education and five dimensions of well-being to all active clergy in their workplace/home space. The event is designed to inspire and encourage clergy of all ages and in all stages of ministry.

Wespath Benefits and Investments Delivered to You will be hosted the afternoons of Mon., Feb. 8 and Tues., Feb. 9, 2021. The registration fee of $49 offsets the cost of an event Care Kit that will be delivered to each attendee who is registered in advance.

Learn more and register.

Clergy Well-Being

Mental Health and Care Webinar
Mental Health and Care: Coping with Stress During This Season and Beyond is the latest in a series of webinars presented by Amplify Media. Millions of Americans live with a mental health condition, and the holidays increase depression, anxiety, and other mental stressors. This year, because of COVID-19 and the inequalities it has exacerbated, adults are reporting considerably higher mental stress.

From sadness and anger to depression and suicidal thoughts, this series will help pastors and individuals understand and better cope with the heightened stress this year has brought. Join therapeutic and pastoral experts to discuss the practical and spiritual disciplines needed for surviving this season.

Learn more and register.

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

Hillbilly Elegy
When J.D. Vance’s (played onscreen by Gabriel Basso and Owen Asztalos) Hillbilly Elegy was published in 2016, I discovered an original voice and a tale that told a personal memoir about rising from poverty, growing in maturity through military service in Iraq with the Marines, and eventually attending The Ohio State University and receiving a law degree from Yale. While his family life was filled with struggles, including his mother Bev’s opioid addiction, his intimate bonds with his Mamaw (Close) and sister Lindsay (Haley Bennett) kept him close to family, accompanied by the support of a Yale classmate (Freida Pinto) who would eventually become his wife.

Hillbilly Elegy was a huge hit with library book clubs, so there are bound to be plenty of copies available. Read the book instead.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Roy A. Waltherretired Elder, died December 9.
  • Thelma Hawkinssurviving spouse of the Rev. Richard E. Hawkins, died December 1.
  • Randy G. Cetorelliretired Elder, died November 30.
  • Joan MarLettsurviving spouse of the Rev. Frank MarLett, died November 26.

View obituaries To submit the obituary of an EOC clergy, clergy spouse, or surviving spouse, family should contact Melissa McGee, executive secretary to the bishop’s office, by phone at (330) 499-3972 ext. 112 or via e-mail.


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Secretary/Treasurer – Mt. Zion Community Church

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

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