June 28, 2021

Conference Leadership

On July 1, six East Ohio Conference clergy begin their new appointments serving in positions that are part of Conference leadership.

  • Rev. Ed Peterson, former superintendent of the Canal District, succeeds the retired Rev. Dr. Gary George as assistant to the Bishop. E-mail Rev. Peterson.
  • Rev. Angela Lewis, former pastor of Doylestown UMC, succeeds Peterson as Canal District superintendent. E-mail Rev. Angela Lewis.
  • Rev. Ed Fashbaugh, former superintendent of the Three Rivers District, succeeds the retired Rev. Steve Court as director of Connectional Ministries. E-mail Rev. Ed Fashbaugh.
  • Rev. Kelly Brown, former director of Congregational Vitality, succeeds Fashbaugh as Three Rivers District superintendent. E-mail Rev. Kelly Brown.
  • Rev. Beth Ortiz, former pastor of both Kilbourne UMC and Ashley UMC, is the new director of Strategic Ministries, which was formerly Congregational Vitality. E-mail Rev. Beth Ortiz.
  • Rev. Laura White, former pastor of Ashland Christ UMC, succeeds Rev. Gail Angel as Southern Hills District superintendent. E-mail Rev. Laura White.

View the list of new 2021 clergy appointments and changes of status.

Annual Conference 2021

52nd Session of Annual Conference – June 16-19
The services, celebrations, and business session presentations of Annual Conference 2021 were live from inside the John S. Knight Center in Akron. Out of an abundance of care for participants, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 624 registered clergy members and the 577 registered lay members viewed conference and voted during it remotely utilizing the services of Data on the Spot (DOTS).

View videos of the services, celebrations, and business sessions of Annual Conference 2021.

Local Church Report About Annual Conference
Clergy and lay members of Annual Conference are expected to give a report to their respective congregation(s) highlighting the outcomes of conference. This report should be given as soon as possible after the conclusion of Annual Conference – either during a Sunday worship service or during a meeting of Church Council. To assist in preparing for your local church report, the Conference Communications team each year creates resources from which information can be gathered and shared.

Read the Annual Conference 2021 recap report.
View and download images from the Annual Conference 2021 photo albums.

Annual Conference Evaluation
Members of Annual Conference are encouraged to provide your reflections about the business sessions, worship services, and celebrations of Annual Conference 2021. Information gleaned from the completed surveys will be shared with several committees as we make plans for Annual Conference 2022, to be held Thursday, June 9 through Saturday, June 11 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron.

Complete the Annual Conference 2021 survey.

Teach • Reach • Bless

Making a Difference One Donation at a Time
The East Ohio Conference has made a commitment to raise $1.5 million through the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign to build a new dormitory for female students at Africa University. The campaign needs to collect $480,056.46 to have the needed $1.5 million in hand so that ground can be broken to build the dormitory.

A challenge gift from Rev. Bill & Marty McFadden will add $1 to every $3 collected in 2021. This means that if the campaign collects $360,042.34 between now and December 31, 2021, the resulting challenge gift from that amount ($120,014.12) will put us at our goal of collecting $1.5 million.

The new dormitory for female students is needed because increasing enrollment at Africa University and a lack of on-campus housing means that some students commute from remote areas and find affordable off-campus housing, putting female students at risk of living in and being subjected to untenable situations.

Make a financial donation to the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign.
View the lists of campaign donors.


Mission Mondays – Fall of 2021
Registration is open for the fall Mission Mondays United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) journeys. They begin Monday, September 13 and conclude on Monday, October 11. While the mission trips are free, you do need to register in advance to participate.

Learn more and register.

MMDC Collection Recap: Improving Our Vision and Reach
Note: Rev. Clayton Coffey, East Ohio Conference representative on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center shares his thoughts on the recent EOC collection to benefit MMDC.

Jesus was clear we do not lose our reward for small gifts of kindness and helping others (Matthew 10:42 & 25:31-45). I am very grateful to Rev. Frank McAtee for driving June 14-15 as we picked up donations from many contributing churches. Thanks to all who brought items to the pickup locations and helped with loading the truck. The saying is worth repeating, “many hands make light work.” We appreciate the efforts at Carrollton First UMC, Boardman UMC, Mentor UMC, Strongsville UMC, Sandusky Trinity UMC, Family of Faith UMC in Akron, North Canton Grace UMC, Mt. Gilead UMC, and Coshocton Roscoe UMC. When we returned to Old Washington UMC, the truck was nearly full. Last year the summer collection was just over one ton. This year we exceeded seven tons of buckets, kits, and other useful donations!

The MMDC logo shows hands around a globe. All who helped make this collection a truckload of hope have seen how they can help someone they don’t know and have reached people around the world. Thanks for being the hands of Jesus as we are connected in the Body of Christ. We will have another opportunity to collect buckets and kits the last week of November. Visit the MMDC website for information and directions for assembling kits and donations.

The June collection has ended but you can still make a financial donation to EOC Fund 9944 to benefit the Midwest Mission Distribution Center, and/or you can include the November collection in your church’s Advent plans.

Spiritual Formation & Christian Education

Spiritual Formation Network Zoom Gathering – June 29
If you are involved in Spiritual Formation and Christian Education, join your friends and colleagues for devotions, support, question-asking and -answering, and sharing ideas. The next Zoom gathering of our network is 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 29. Invite any of your friends and colleagues involved in Spiritual Formation and Christian Education. We gather every three weeks, alternating between 9:00 a.m. on Tuesdays or 1:00 p.m. on Thursdays. E-mail Rev. Gary Jones to receive the Zoom meeting invitation.

Media Center

The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:

  • Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table uncovers the meaning of Psalm 23 – God is saying you do not have to give a place to fear, envy, or despair in your life. Discover practical ways to defeat the enemy’s lies as you learn to listen to the voice of your Shepherd.
  • What’s So Amazing About Grace? (Revised and Updated) explains that true grace is shocking and scandalous, for God does not excuse sin but always treasures the sinner. God always extends his grace to individuals regardless of what they have done—for no one is unforgiveable in his eyes. Revised and updated.
  • The Miracle Moment offers practical tools to help you respect emotions without letting them control you, speak words that improve the likelihood of getting what you need and be your best self even when you’re tempted to shut up, blow up or give up.

To reserve these or other resources, call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 x139 or send an e-mail to ageorge@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at www.rqmweb.com/eocumc.

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

The film is beautifully rendered and set in the early 1960s. The voice cast is fine, although it’s a strange mix of non-Italian accents and overplayed Italian accents (of “That’s a spicy meat-a-ball!” variety). The director and lead animators spent much time recreating the village of Portorossa and they work in visual references to the films of Fellini and Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. Most viewers won’t care about these details.

The story would have been better with just a bunch of Italian kids enjoying a summer of innocence together before growing up. But once you eliminate the sea creatures with no princesses in sight, there are no toys. That’s a line that Pixar and Disney just won’t cross anytime soon.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Joseph A. Santomenretired Elder, died June 17.
  • Esther Mae Sellerssurviving spouse of the Rev. Charles P. Sellers, died June 4.
  • Floredda H. Wagnersurviving spouse of the Rev. Robert S. Wagner, died June 2.

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

  • Director of Youth Ministries – Crosspoint UMC in Massillon
  • Pianist/Organist – Canfield UMC
  • Director of Discipleship – Canfield UMC
  • Church Secretary/Administrator – Uniontown UMC
  • Pianist/Organist – Trinity UMC in Mount Gilead
  • Pianist/Keyboardist – Amboy UMC in Conneaut
  • Two (2) Co-Youth Leaders – Grace UMC in North Canton
  • Administrative Assistant – Ontario UMC in Mansfield

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

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, July 8, 2021. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.