March 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
Theresa Carter Aldersgate UMC TW  
Tom Fish North Lawrence Chapel UMC CN  
James Lances Smithville UMC CN  
Lorry Mabiala Mansfield First UMC MO  
Sturman Moore Cambridge Christ UMC SH  
James D. Porter Beverly UMC SH  
Darlene Robinson Wildare UMC WR  
Ryan Skelton Kilbourne & Ashley UMCs MO  
Matthew Wald Strasburg UMC TW  
Lyle Warren Beverly UMC TW  

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.

Bishop’s Office

Bishop Malone has not – and would not – send an e-mail asking you to purchase anything for her.

In recent weeks some clergy and laity of the East Ohio Conference have received e-mails from individuals pretending to be Bishop Malone asking the recipients to do her a favor. The e-mails were spoofing attempts, one person impersonating another attempting to gain something of monetary value.

There is nothing that can be done to prevent spoofing from happening but there is action you can take so that you don’t fall victim to spoofing. Before responding to e-mails you should check the e-mail address on the From line. If it’s not a match to the known e-mail address of the purported sender, or if you question its validity, there’s a good chance the e-mail is a spoof and you should delete it.

General Conference

EOC GC Information Forum – March 13 @ 1:00 p.m.
Clergy and laity of the East Ohio Conference are encouraged to participate in a livestreamed East Ohio Conference information forum that will take place this Saturday, March 13. The Conference Council on Ministries, members of the East Ohio General Conference delegation, and Bishop Tracy S. Malone will give leadership to this forum, which will:

  • explain why the 2020 General Conference has been further postponed until Aug. 29-Sept. 6, 2022, and
  • explain why the implications of further delaying General Conference warrants the need for a Special Called Session of General Conference that will take place online this May 8.

The design team is interested in receiving questions that you would like answered during the forum. Before the end of the day this Wednesday, March 10, please text your question to (330) 790-5786. You may also call that number and leave your question on the voice mail.

View the EOC information forum livestream.

Multicultural Vitality

Seven Last Words of Jesus Service – April 2 @ Noon
In his article “The Black Church and the Seven Last Words of Jesus” the Rev. Dawan Buie writes, “The Black Church was born in hushed harbors and places away from the seeing eyes of white slave masters so we could express ourselves as we desired. In these gatherings, we could speak to God in our unique ways that were influenced by our African traditions. These gatherings were the roots of the Black church.”

Buie, associate pastor of Medina UMC and president of the EOC Black Pastors’ Fellowship, then details in his article three reasons for the emergence of the Black Church: the need for affirmation of our worth, the need to organize ourselves to work toward social upliftment, and because we were not welcomed, or even allowed, in many white churches. One of the many rich traditions of the Black Church is the Seven Last Words Service. The EOC Black Pastors’ Fellowship continues this tradition of seven preachers reflecting on the seven last words of Jesus on the cross.

This year’s Seven Last Words service will be livestreamed from Church of the Saviour UMC in Cleveland Heights at noon on Good Friday, April 2. The preachers are: Rev. Edgar Brady (first word), Rev. David Whitt (second word), Rev. Gerald Cameron (third word), Bishop Tracy S. Malone (fourth word), Pastor Sheena Cameron (fifth word), Rev. Neriah Edwards-Boone (sixth word), and Rev. Dawan Buie (seventh word). “Each preacher will offer a captivating reflection on Jesus’ final words before he died for humanity’s sins as the sacrificial lamb of God,” Buie said.

Read “The Black Church and the Seven Last Words of Jesus” by Rev. Dawan Buie.
Watch the livestream of the Seven Last Words Service on April 2.

Financial & Administrative Services

Wespath EY Webinar for Clergy & Laity – March 26
East Ohio Conference laity and clergy can register now to take part in a Wespath/EY webinar titled “Social Security/Financial Planning/Estate Planning 101.” The webinar designed to help participants achieve financial wellness is planned for 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 26.

The workshop webinar will explore:

  • Many aspects of Social Security benefits including utilizing Social Security as retirement planning and reviewing a six-step process for achieving your retirement goals;
  • How you can determine your current financial health, develop a plan to get on track for retirement, and learn how to use Wespath benefits to help achieve your financial goals; and
  • what an estate encompasses, the pros and cons of probate, the role of trusts, important estate documents, estate taxation, tools to reduce estate taxes, and resources available to assist you.

Learn more and register.

HealthFlex Benefits

Wespath Benefits Access Updates
Wespath is committed to improving your online experience and empowering you to manage and use your benefits to their full potential. Now, Benefits Access is the website for all of your Wespath benefits: retirement, health, wellness, and life and disability. This new website will make it easier for you to view summaries of your benefits, find benefit detail information and access benefit partner websites.

Updates earlier this year to Benefits Access make it easier to use on mobile devices and your computer. Now, you’ll continue to enjoy this improved site design and navigation with the new ability to have all your Wespath benefit information together in one place. The new home page will summarize your Wespath benefits, allowing you to see all your benefits without having to search through different websites. You will see benefit highlights and may see benefits you didn’t know you have. Detailed benefits information and benefit provider sites will be just a click away via the Details button in each benefits section.

View a video and read the FAQ about Wespath Benefits Access.

HealthFlex Benefits For Mind & Body
Managing stress and caring for your emotional well-being can improve your physical health and reduce your need for medications. It is important to Wespath to provide benefits and services to help you achieve this balance. In five of the six HealthFlex plans, the plan pays 50% of the cost of a massage. For the H1500 and H2000, the deductible must be met first. The H3000 plan pays 40% after your deductible is met. Your massage does not need to be a medical necessity or at a network provider. You will need to submit your out-of-network claim manually and ensure that the receipt includes the name of the individual receiving the massage, the service received, and the duration of service.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers a variety of support services around emotional well-being. One of the top benefits is confidential counseling to help manage issues in your personal or professional life that may impact your work, family, and ministry.

Camps & Retreat Ministries

Summer Camp Offers Something for Everyone
Explore an adventure of faith, fun, and friendship this summer at Camp. We have it all:

  • Friendship and Laughter
  • Challenge and Skills
  • Praise and Worship
  • Fun and Adventure
  • Exploring and Relaxing
  • Campfire and Prayer
  • Horses and Nature
  • Swimming and Canoeing
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Leadership Development

If you have questions about Summer Camps, contact your local church, call the East Ohio Camps office at (330) 499-3972 Ext. 108, or visit the EOC Summer Camps website.

Spiritual Formation

Summer Missions Facebook Live Conversation – March 10
Join EOC Director of Missions & Community Engagement the Rev. Kathy Dickriede and others at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10 for a Facebook Live conversation about what is on tap for summer mission opportunities in 2021. The conversation, sponsored by the Spiritual Formation Ministries of the East Ohio Conference, will also be recorded and available for future viewing.

Participate in the March 10 conversation.

Higher Education & Ministry

Rick Steves “Travel as a Spiritual Act” – March 23 @ 9:00 p.m.
Along with Rev. Tammy Gieselman of the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry world-renowned TV host and author Rick Steves will inspire attendees through Steves’ own journey of transformation through travel. Join other clergy, students and fellow travelers to consider how experiences with people from different places and cultures can shape faith, while promoting curiosity, empathy and transformation. You may even be surprised that travel need not be a journey to the other side of the world to challenge yourself.

Learn more and register.

Credit Union

Visa Balance Transfer Promotion
The Christian Family Credit Union is accepting applications to transfer your balances from high-interest-rate credit cards to our credit card with 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 Christian Family Credit Union today at (888) 651-0971 and ask to speak to 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

The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:

  • In Emerge; Volume 1 and Volume 2 you’ll discover fresh encouragement to flourish as a single mom in your roles as the cook, taxi driver, homework monitor, and more! You’ll gain practical insight and godly wisdom from eight single-parent experts through pertinent topics relevant to your life.
  • A Fragile Stone; Peter: Jesus’ Friend lets you see through the eyes of Peter the apostle as he walks with Jesus along the Sea of Galilee. You will gain insights into God’s Word that will fire your imagination and invigorate your faith.
  • Luke; Gospel Of Reassurance explores the historical and social context in which the gospel of Luke was written, presenting insights to help participants gain a greater appreciation for the Word of God.
  • Romans; The Letter That Changed the World shows just how radical a message Paul’s letter to the Romans really was-why it has inspired both hope and conflict through the centuries and why today it continues to challenge our culture and change hearts and lives.

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

Judas and the Black Messiah
Judas and the Black Messiah should definitely be a part of the curriculum, since it does what a good historical film should do; it provides nuance and reconsideration of events from our past that were grossly misrepresented and misunderstood at the time.

America in the 1960s was a nation that was conflicted about our military presence in Viet Nam and the country’s racial divide. Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcom X approached civil rights in ways that were at times in agreement and at times perceived as adversarial. J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen), long-time director of the FBI, approached every effort for racial equality (including the Black Panthers) as a dangerous threat.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Paul G. Schurmanretired Elder, died February 19.

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

  • Organist – Dueber UMC in Canton
  • Director of Modern Worship – Chardon UMC
  • Organist/Pianist – Chardon UMC
  • Worship Technology Leader – Strongsville UMC
  • Administrative Assistant – Shreve UMC
  • Custodian – Gay Street UMC

Items Available

  • 1940s Wurlitzer Console Piano available for free

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, March 18, 2021. Send articles to