April 5, 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

Amy BarrLiberty, Martel, & Canaan UMCsMO 
Matt SkeltonCenterburg & Marengo UMCsMO 

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.

An Easter Message from Bishop Tracy S. Malone
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

At Easter, we read the biblical accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and discover over and over again that the facts remain the same and the promise is ever true … yesterday, today and all of our tomorrows. 

The tomb is empty! Jesus has conquered the grave! Christ is Risen!

God’s majesty and power transforms the cross, an emblem of death, suffering and shame, into an eternal and life-giving symbol that reveals the mystery of God’s redemptive love, God’s radical gift of salvation and God’s victory over pain, evil and death. 

The Easter story reminds us that no matter what we go through in life and amid the many adversities and uncertainties we face, God’s spirit is always at work in transforming ways in our lives and in the world bringing light into the darkness, hope out of despair, joy out of sorrow, and turning tragedy into triumph. There is nothing too hard for God!

Read Bishop Malone’s message in its entirety.

Annual Conference

Registration Begins for AC 2021 and for Clergy Executive Session
Presentations and worship for Annual Conference 2021 Christ Alive in Us! will be live from the John S. Knight Center in Akron. Members will participate remotely via a Zoom webinar and will vote online.

Registration is now open for Annual Conference 2021 and for this year’s Clergy Executive Session.

Each AC member and each clergy session participant will register using their e-mail address, so each person registering needs their own e-mail address that is not shared by another person. District administrative assistants are available to assist those needing help creating a new e-mail account. The e-mail address is the only place that participants will receive: the link to the webinar/voting practice session; the link to the Annual Conference and Clergy Executive session webinars; and their unique, non-transferable voting ID.

Those who miss the May 14 registration deadline will be able to view the livestream of Annual Conference but will not have the ability to vote during this year’s conference. Those missing the Clergy Executive Session registration deadline will not be able to view the session or vote during it because the clergy session is not livestreamed.

Register for AC 2021 and Clergy Session.

Stand Against Racism

Critical Conversations With Laity – April 10
Wednesday, April 7 is the deadline to register for the virtual “Critical Conversations with Laity: A Step Towards Standing Against Racism” learning event that will take place on Saturday, April 10. The webinar that day is open to all EOC laity. It is an opportunity to discern and learn together and to intentionally listen to the Holy Spirit’s call upon our lives to do the work of dismantling racism.

Rev. Dr. Michelle Ledder from the General Commission on Religion & Race will give a presentation and will answer questions during the webinar, which will also feature several EOC lay persons sharing from their perspectives. Participants will learn together how this anti-racism work is biblically and theologically grounded and is foundational to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. There is no cost to participate in the April 10 critical conversations with laity event, but you do need to register online in advance.

Learn more and register.

End Acts of Anti-Asian Violence
In May 2020, Bishop Tracy S. Malone and the Extended Cabinet committed to stand against racism and to take action, learn together, and continue to press forward in transforming our Church, our communities, and our world into the “beloved community.”

Today, the Board of Multicultural Vitality encourages clergy and lay members of the East Ohio Conference to prayerfully and consciously seek ways to respond to the racism and violence we have witnessed against Asians and Asian Americans.  In the face of hate and racism, we as Christians are called to live into our baptismal vows to “accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”

We stand in solidarity with East Ohio congregations like Grandview UMC and our Korean UMCs and others that are in ministry with Asian and Asian Americans. We pray for our Asian American church members, congregations, their families, and the Asian American community locally and nationally.

As United Methodists, our Social Principles urge us to: “deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, status, economic condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation.” We condemn these acts of violence and demonizing words aimed at devaluing the sacred worth of Asians and Asian Americans and urge all East Ohio Congregations to do the same.

As an act of learning read the Statement Against Anti-Asian Violence written by the New Federation of Asian American United Methodists.

Council on Ministries

Two Openings on the CCOM Team
The East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church is seeking to fill two open job positions, one full-time and one part-time.

  • The director of Strategic Ministries provides theological reflection, development, and coordination of strategies in congregations and new faith communities which have been identified as having receptivity and capacity for implementing necessary changes to fulfill the vision of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church. This is a full-time clergy appointment which will require weekends and evenings as needed. The East Ohio Conference offers a competitive compensation, housing, and benefits package. View the job description.

To express interest in this position, please e-mail a brief resume and letter of interest to Director of Benefits & Human Resources Michelle Anderson by April 16.

  • The Conference Council On Ministries administrative assistant provides office support for the directors who relate to specific areas of focus in accomplishing the mission and vision of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church. This position is part-time, non-exempt, 20-25 hours per week. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Hours will be coordinated with the directors. The hourly wage will be based on experience and departmental budget. View the job description.

To express interest in this position, please e-mail a brief resume and letter of interest to Director of Benefits & Human Resources Michelle Anderson by April 16.

The East Ohio Conference is an equal opportunity employer and accommodates ADA needs.


“Easter People: Transformation” Weekly Study Begins April 5
Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) is sponsoring a weekly Zoom study Easter People: Transformation, a journey of repentance and reconciliation that will examine what it might require to be “resurrection people.”

The weekly study begins at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 5 and will end on May 17. Focuses of the study include:

  • beginning the journey that carries us to new life
  • asking, “What does God require of me?”
  • examining and discussing “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song”
  • discussing “Racial Reckoning: The Soul of a Nation”

Learn more and register for the study.


Puerto Rico Mission Opportunities
Puerto Rico needs long-term recovery United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) teams to partner in ministry and clean up from hurricanes and earthquakes. East Ohio has three teams preparing to help: two in November 2021 and one in January 2022. We are looking for experienced contractors and people with building experience to answer the call. Teams need just four to eight people. Would you like to be a Puerto Rico team leader? E-mail Rev. Kathy Dickriede to learn more about the upcoming UMVIM Team Leader training on May 1 at the Nehemiah Mission. Learn more and register.

Mondays in March Mission Recap
Mission Ministry in March just wrapped up with 70 people having participated over the five weeks, journeying to the East Ohio overnight United Methodist Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM) sites on Mondays in March.

We discovered visions for building relationships through serving at Blue Rose Mission in Mansfield; standing in the gap of needs in communities in Jefferson at Covered Bridge Mission; raking leaves and cleaning chicken coops at the Cleveland Nehemiah Mission; hauling down trees at Epworth Community Center; and realizing the potential for vision and partners coming together for amazing vital ministries at the Urban Mission. We experienced hospitality, hope, and promise as we witnessed firsthand some places where our youth, young adults, families, and adults could serve in ministry right here in East Ohio. Each of these mission sites is scheduling day, weekend, and week-long mission experiences. Contact them for details and to make your reservation now. You will be blessed to be a blessing!

Where should we go next? Do you want to host an UMVIM journey in your ministry or mission location? Can we get a behind the scenes look at what is happening in your ministry and share how volunteers can be a part of transformational ministry and mission? E-mail Rev. Kathy Dickriede to make plans! Let’s plan something for spring, summer, or fall in your district!

Southern Border Virtual Mission Journey Begins April 8
Discover what Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors (a U.M. Immigration Ministry) is doing in Tucson, AZ and in the desert as it advocates, rescues, save lives, and lives out the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Learn more and register on the Mission News page.


Lay Servant Ministry Changes
The Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries (LSM) has updated the East Ohio Conference lay servant categories to reflect changes made in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016. The Discipline no longer uses “Local (Basic) Lay Servant” as an LSM category. This change will take effect July 1, 2021.

Persons are encouraged to take the Basic LSM course as a way to grow as a disciple, as a step toward discerning a call to lay ministry, or as a step in becoming a certified lay servant, certified lay speaker, or certified lay minister. A certificate of completion is issued for Basic training, but persons will not apply to become a lay servant at that point. Persons may apply to become a certified lay servant after completion of both the Basic and any Advanced course. Persons completing the Basic course will no longer need to fill out the Lay Servant Annual Report to charge conference. All Certified Lay Servant categories will continue to fill out the annual report. Read the revised report and please do not use prior year reports.

Due to the COVID pandemic, the LSM Committee has also extended the deadline requiring that certified lay servants and certified lay speakers must complete an Advanced course every three years. Persons whose last Advanced course was completed in 2017, 2018, or 2019 must take an Advanced course in 2021 or 2022 to be renewed. The LSM Committee will review the format and availability of courses in order to provide multiple alternatives for training in our current environment. BeADisciple continues to be an excellent resource for online training as well.

View the list of district directors of lay servant ministries and contact the director in your district if you have any questions or need additional information.

Health Benefits

Health Care Benefits for Retirees 65 and older
The East Ohio Conference has contracted with United Health Care (UHC) to provide a Group Medicare Advantage Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan for health and prescription drug coverage. The plan is available to qualifying Conference retirees and their spouses who are Medicare eligible, no longer working, and enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

The UnitedHealthcare® Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan is a Medicare Advantage plan that delivers all the benefits of Original Medicare (Parts A and B), includes prescription drug coverage (Part D)] and offers additional benefits and features. It is not a supplement plan and does not pay secondary to Medicare. All claims are submitted directly to UnitedHealthcare for payment, not Medicare.

View resources and learn more.

Credit Union

Easter Blessings
He is Risen! Death could not hold Him. Rejoice in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! From all of us at Christian Family Credit Union, Happy Easter!

Tax Deadline 2021
The 2021 tax deadline is fast approaching. April 15 is the tax deadline to make contributions to your Health Savings Account (HSA) and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) for the 2020 tax year. If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail Kim McMillan in our Cincinnati office or call her at (800) 373-1059 ext. 10.

Media Center

The Media Center offers these hidden gems:

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 MoviesMessage in the Movies banner (colorful film strip

News of the World
British director Paul Greengrass chose to adapt Paula Jiles’ 2016 novel because he wanted the chance to make an American western. The book was a bestseller, filled with some memorable characters, interesting historical details, a cross country journey, and a few narrow escapes. It’s PG-13 rating made it a perfectly fine film for families with older children to see together during Christmas vacation (when it was originally scheduled to hit theaters before Covid-19 hit the world).

Hanks plays Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (not a pirate), a veteran of three wars who now travels throughout Texas in the 1870s as a news reader, providing a program of interesting and timely stories from a variety of newspapers to folks in small towns hungry for a night of entertainment. Kidd is a loner, carrying in his heart the fatigue and trauma of his own personal loss.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Clara Mae Georgesurviving spouse of the Rev. D. Scott George, died March 24.

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

  • Choir Director – Christ UMC in Cleveland
  • Strategic Ministries – The East Ohio Conference of The UMC
  • Conference Council On Ministries Administrative Assistant – The East Ohio Conference of The UMC
  • Two (2) Summer Associates – Crossroads UMC in downtown Canton
  • Director of Christian Education and Program Coordinator – Brunswick UMC
  • Pianist/Organist – Trinity UMC in Mount Gilead
  • Office Administrator – Church Hill UMC
  • Worship Leader – Heart 4 the City Mission Church
  • Office Manager – Brecksville UMC
  • Office and Digital Communications Coordinator – Granger UMC
  • Organist/Pianist – Chardon UMC

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, April 19, 2021.

Deadline for submission is Thursday, April 15, 2021. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.