February 8, 2021

2021 Appointments

Bishop Tracy S. Malone announces the following 2021 clergy appointments and/or changes of status. Appointments are effective July 1, 2021 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
Jody Baker Chardon UMC WR  
Robin Dillon Lakewood UMC NC  
Russ Ham New Leaf UMC WR  
Robert Mitchell Coshocton Roscoe UMC TR  
Beth Ortiz Hope Ridge UMC WR  
Deborah Quillen Coshocton Grace UMC TR  
Jessica Schnegg 614 Church MV  

Visit the 2021 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.


Journey Through Scripture with Bishop Malone During Lent
Bishop Tracy S. Malone has created a Lenten scripture and reflection calendar that clergy and laity of the East Ohio Conference can use together during the 40 days of Lent. The Bishop’s Lenten devotion will be posted on the Conference website on Tuesday, February 16, the day before Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday Amidst a Pandemic
Each year on Ash Wednesday (February 17 this year), Christians worldwide attend church services centered on the liturgical act known as the imposition of ashes. The marking of ashes in the shape of a cross on the foreheads of believers as a reminder of mortality and belonging is how Christians begin the 40-day journey of Lent leading to Easter and ultimately the Day of Pentecost. However, as COVID-19 cases continue to soar, churches are left with the task of re-envisioning these liturgical markers while keeping faithful to their importance and meaning in the community of faith. Discipleship Ministries, a general agency of The United Methodist Church, has suggested considerations for your preparations for Ash Wednesday that begin by sharing some scenarios and then offering some practical ideas for imposing the ashes safely.

See Ash Wednesday suggestions from Discipleship Ministries.

General Conference

General & Jurisdictional Conferences Webinar – February 13
An informational webinar about the postponed 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences will be livestreamed at 2:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, February 13. U.S. delegates will participate via Zoom and all others may view the livestream of the session.

Facilitated by Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Western Pennsylvania Conference and hosted by Tyrus Sturgis, director of Leader Communications at United Methodist Communications, participants and viewers will see presentations about the state of General Church finances, the state of the Episcopal Fund, General Conference options, the Jurisdictional Study Committee Report, and an episcopal election recommendation from the Council of Bishops.

View the livestream of the webinar.

Teach • Reach • Bless

Campaign Moves from Commitment to Collection
With your help, construction could begin in 2022 on the new residence hall for female students on the campus of Africa University. For that to happen, all $1.5 million that has been committed for this East Ohio Conference initiative needs to be collected in 2021. If you’ve made a financial commitment to the campaign, you are asked to prayerfully consider paying the commitment in full by the end of the year. If you have not yet made a financial commitment to the campaign, you are invited to make a financial donation during 2021. Thank you for your faithful support of the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign! Together, we can improve the education and wellness of women today for a better Africa tomorrow.

Make a financial donation to the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign.

Under the Acacia Tree: An African Adventure VBS
A new downloadable Vacation Bible School (VBS) curriculum has been created for churches to use this year. The VBS ties into the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign by helping children and youth learn about Africa University and Zimbabwe.

The curriculum offers content and scheduling ideas for multiple-day, one-day, and weekend VBS.

The goals of the Under the Acacia Tree: An African Adventure VBS are for children and youth to learn that Jesus calls us to learn and study, to reach out to others, to bring healing to life, to serve others, and to care for others, even if they are different from ourselves.

Learn more and download the VBS resource.

Multicultural Vitality

Black Clergy Share Their Experiences of Race and Ministry
The East Ohio Conference Black Pastors’ Fellowship and the office of Multicultural Vitality have produced a series of new videos aimed at creating discussion and moving all of us towards racial justice. Each video is accompanied by questions to be answered either for personal reflection or as part of small group discussions.

“For too long we have swept our racial matters under the rug or hidden them in our closets. We need to heal on purpose. We need to intentionally work on things that have kept us away from each other and have led to a lack of understanding between the races,” said Rev. Angela Lewis, pastor of Doylestown UMC and vice-president of the EOC Black Pastors’ Fellowship.

Four videos are currently available for viewing and downloading. New videos will be uploaded to the Conference website each week in February and featured on the homepage of the site. In a joint statement promoting the video series Lewis and the Rev. Dawan Buie, associate pastor of Medina UMC and president of the EOC Black Pastors’ Fellowship, said their hope is the project will “bring people to the table to break bread as brothers and sisters to reason together so that we may be one as our Lord Jesus desires us to be.”

View and download the videos.

Young People’s Ministries

Free Curriculum for Youth for Spring
Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church has created a new online resource of youth lessons for the “Living the Resurrection” worship series for Easter 2021.

Learn more and access the resource.

Church & Society Summer Internship
If you know a young person passionate about justice issues be sure to let them know that the General Board of Church & Society is looking for summer interns.

Learn more and apply.

Practically Honest
In the month of February topics for the Practically Honest Podcast/Blog for those who work and live with young people includes “Post-Truth Era,” “Learning About Diversity,” and “Black History Month.” The blog and podcast can be found online, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and you can like and share on social media @practicallyhonest4u.

Learn more and access Practically Honest.


Nehemiah Mission Annual Celebration Dinner
This year’s fundraising event will be held in your dining room – because we will celebrate virtually! It’s been a different kind of year so we’re going to celebrate our 17th anniversary in a different kind of way, with a Chama Box. You can now place orders for your very own Chama Box celebration. Each box comes with ingredients and a recipe for an authentic African dish, some awesome hand-crafted gifts from ButterPear, the Nehemiah Mission of Cleveland year in review, and a message from Bishop Tracy S. Malone.

By buying a Chama Box you will receive the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the ongoing support of a ministry that has served 1,500 community meals through Bread on Bridge; mentored, tutored, and loved more than 100 African refugee children through #Corner65; fed and sheltered the homeless and distributed 6,000 lbs. of food through the Luke 3:11 Trailer and Sheltering Ministry; and heated, painted, cleaned, and restored homes through Seeds of Hope.

You will receive all of that – plus learn who has been named 2020 Volunteer of the Year – for a donation of $100. If you wish to support the mission with a donation of $150, you will receive a Chama Box plus a hand-crafted wood carving from one of ButterPear’s artists in West Africa. You will receive your box(es) after the week of April 6.

Learn more and buy a Chama Box.

EOC UMVIM Journeys – Mondays in March
Each Monday in March, the Rev. Kathy Dickriede, director of Missions & Community Engagement will lead United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Journeys to East Ohio Conference mission sites including Urban Mission, Epworth Center, Blue Rose Mission, Nehemiah Mission of Cleveland, and Covered Bridge Mission. COVID-19 safety precautions, such as wearing masks and maintaining six-foot social distancing, will be observed. You can register for all of the journeys or for just specific ones, your choice.

Learn more and register.

Get Your EOC Mission News Online
The Mission News page, located on the sidebar of the Mission Journeys page of the Conference website, has been updated with information about #stillinmission events, youth missionary Global Mission Fellows program, the virtual immigration justice trip from Justice For Our Neighbors & more!

Visit the Mission News page.

Camps & Retreat Ministries

Summer Camp Is Back in 2021
The East Ohio Camps leadership team has been praying, seeking counsel, and working diligently on what move to make about Summer Camp in 2021. After much prayer, consultation, and creative thinking we have decided to move forward with our plans for Summer Camp programs in 2021 at Camp Aldersgate, Camp Asbury, and Camp Wanake. We can’t wait to see you at Summer Camp 2021!

Learn more about East Ohio Conference Summer Camps.

Disaster Response

Early Response Team (ERT) Training
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) ERT-trained volunteers assist survivors, remove debris, clean out flood-damaged homes, place tarps on homes, and prevent further damage, while providing a caring Christian presence following disasters. Learn more about Early Response Teams.

If you are interested in participating in an ERT Basic Training course, please e-mail Melanie Thomas or call her at (330) 499-3972 ext. 102. If enough people are interested, the Disaster Response Committee will look to schedule an in-person training event in April or May. Those who have completed Basic ERT training in the past and need to recertify should consider enrolling in the West Ohio Conference course being offered via Zoom on February 20. Learn more.

UMCOR Kit Collection During Annual Conference 2021
The Conference will be collecting UMCOR kits like cleaning buckets during Annual Conference this summer. Details will be released closer to the date. If you already have kits and can’t hold onto them until then, contact Midwest Mission or Eastbrook Mission Barn to see if anyone will be in your area before then. There are currently no permanent collection sites in East Ohio.


Toward Healing the Harm – March 8 via Zoom
“Toward Healing the Harm: A One-Day Event to Address the Fight, Flight, or Freeze Response in Gender Discrimination and Harassment” is an event many clergy having been longing for – something that begins to equip us to deal with boundary violations by others. But clergy are pulled in lots of directions, and clergy parents in particular often think, “this sounds good, but what will I do about the school bus?” Since it’s all by Zoom, you can be home to meet the bus or join your parent telehealth appointment. The more you can attend, the more you will get out of it – but come when you can! The morning will begin with worship and move to a presentation by a counselor with time for processing. After lunch, we will cover practical strategies, process those, and conclude with worship.

Learn more and register.

Credit Union

Visa Balance Transfer Promotion
The Christian Family Credit Union is accepting applications to transfer balances from high-interest-rate credit cards to its credit card that has a fixed rate of 4.99% APR* for 36 months. Our goal is to provide a sound solution to help you pay off your credit card debt more quickly. There is a balance transfer fee of $10 or 3%, whichever is greater. We would love to consult with you, and help you get on a better financial footing for 2021. Call the North Canton office of the credit union using its new toll-free number, (888) 651-0971, and ask to speak with a loan officer.

*Available to qualifying cardholders. Balance transfers are considered cash advances; therefore, finance charges will begin to accrue on the transaction date. Cash advances do not qualify for ScoreCard Rewards.

Media Center

Susan Arnold to Retire as Media Center Coordinator
Media Center Coordinator Susan Arnold has announced plans to retire after 12 years of faithful service to the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church. Her last day in the office will be April 30. “I have so enjoyed working with my clients at the Media Center. They are dedicated teachers, small group leaders, and church pastors who have truly enriched my life, and I will miss them,” Arnold said.

Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Steven Court shared his appreciation of Arnold, noting the care she has given to the Media Center, its customers, and to all those she has worked with over the years. “I am grateful for the dedication, professional conduct, friendship, and deep faith that Susan has brought to our team. We will miss her,” he said.

Conference Council On Ministries (CCOM) will continue to offer Media Center resources after Arnold’s retirement. Given changes in technology in recent years, Court created a 10-question survey to learn what current and additional services will best equip and resource EOC local churches. Survey responses will be reviewed to identify ways in which staffing can best provide the resources and platforms needed in coming years. Click the link to participate in the Media Center survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/EOCMediaCenter.

The Media Center has 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 sarnold@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at www.rqmweb.com/eocumc.

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

The Dig
The Dig is the latest example of British comfort food, and it is a hearty meal. Based on John Preston’s novel (which takes place in 1939), it tells the story of Edith Pretty (Mulligan), a recent widow, who hires Basil Brown (Fiennes), a self-taught “excavator”, to explore some of the mounds on her extensive Sussex country estate, in hopes of finding archeological treasure. As their project is beginning to take off, England is preparing for war with Germany. Soldiers march by and warplanes fly overhead. Edith’s health is beginning to wane; this project is giving her something to believe in. Her young son Robert (Archie Barnes) is happy to hang around the dig and shadow Mr. Brown and the other amateur townsfolk who are recruited to assist.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • A. Jeannette Gareysurviving spouse of the Rev. Doran Garey, died December 17, 2020.
  • Donald A. Yaussyretired Elder, died January 23.
  • Paul D. LaLondespouse of the Rev. Christina LaLonde, died January 14.

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, by phone at (330) 499-3972 ext. 112 or via e-mail.


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Administrative Assistant – Norwalk First UMC
  • General Secretary – The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR)

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

To Subscribe

To subscribe to E-News and all East Ohio Conference news updates, enter your email address in the “Follow News via Email” widget on the right sidebar. Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church. The next scheduled edition of the E-News is Monday, February 22, 2021.

Deadline for submission is Thursday, February 18, 2021. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.