July 26, 2021

Teach • Reach • Bless

Making a Difference One Donation at a Time
With your help, by the end of the year we can collect the needed $1.5 million to build a new residence hall for female students at Africa University. The new hall 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.

The East Ohio Conference Teach • Reach • Bless campaign needs to collect only $442,349 to reach our goal of collecting the $1.5 million dollars needed to build and furnish 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 $331,762, the resulting challenge gift from that amount of $110,587 will put us at our goal of collecting $1.5 million.

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


Virtual Guatemala Journey – August 8
This summer, Rev. Kimberly Arbaugh is leading a live, interactive, virtual United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Journey to Guatemala with VIM Coordinator Lourdes Ramirez. The final day of the virtual mission journey is Sunday, August 8 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. A slide show from one of the earlier sessions can be viewed here. The virtual journey is free, and anyone is welcome to attend – but you will need to register in advance.

Learn more and register.

In-person Journey to Michigan – October 17-23
Rev. Kathyrn Adams will lead a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) journey to Detroit to help renovate homes as the Michigan Conference continues to recover from severe flooding that devastated areas of the Conference in 2019. Construction skills are helpful but not required for participants of the October 17-23 East Ohio mission team. For more information about the trip, please e-mail Rev. Kathryn Adams.

Learn more about EOC Mission Journeys.
Learn more about long-term UMVIM projects.

Blue Rose Mission Mini Golf Fundraiser – August 7
Have fun while supporting the Blue Rose Mission (EOC Mission Advance Fund 9940) by participating in its third annual mini golf fundraiser, held this year on August 7 at Kelly’s Dairy Bar and Mini Golf in Mansfield. If you have questions about the event, please e-mail Abby McCready of Blue Rose Mission.

Learn more and register.

Visit Christian Children’s Home of Ohio – September 29
You are invited to tour the Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (EOC Mission Advance Fund 9977) on September 29. Located on a 165-acre campus in Wooster, the Christian Children’s Home has for more than 50 years provided a safe environment where abused and traumatized children find healing, discover hope and experience unconditional love. Many of the children arrive with only a garbage bag filled with a few items of clothing. Their lives have been turned upside down by abuse, neglect, and trauma of all kinds. The residential program for children 6-18 years of age features a variety of therapeutic approaches designed to meet the mental, emotional, physical, recreational, and spiritual needs of each child. We also help the children experience their worth in Christ. With guardian approval, children can attend Bible study and worship services. We also have a full-time chaplain who interacts with the children every day.

Rev. David Walker of the Christian Children’s Home said, “We hope you come and visit our campus. The children love having visitors! It makes them feel special. It is truly a unique place where you can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit at work every day.”

The tour is free, but you are asked to please e-mail your RSVP by Sept 22.

Learn more about the Christian Children’s Home of Ohio.
Learn more about EOC Advance Specials.

Camps & Retreat Ministries

Wanake Camp & Retreat Center recognized by Veterans Ministry
Congratulations to the Wanake Camp & Retreat Center for being awarded the Carroll “Gene” Stalnaker Got Your Six Award by Warriors’ Journey Home (WJH) Ministries. Veterans served by WJH are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and moral injury. A group of these veterans meets frequently at Wanake in their journey toward wholeness and healing. Rev. Dr. John Schluep, founder and CEO of the ministry expressed his gratitude to Camp Director Julie Lautt and the Wanake staff for all the care and support they have provided the veterans involved with the WJH ministry.

“The staff of Wanake Camp & Retreat Center demonstrate Christian love and hospitality to our veterans, which I find to be a universal characteristic of every legitimate religion and denomination,” Schluep shared.

The award will be presented to Lautt at the WJH Annual Gala on Friday, September 10 in Akron. Learn more about the Warriors’ Journey Home.

Multicultural Ministries

Mosaix Regional Learning Lab – September 24-26
Work Smart. Avoid Mistakes. Gain Confidence. is the theme for the Mosaix Regional Learning Lab at Garfield Memorial UMC in Pepper Pike. Designed for all church leadership teams, it’s your chance to “get under the hood” of a healthy multiethnic congregation and learn some best practices to help your church reach more diverse groups of people. The Learning Lab will begin at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, September 24 and conclude at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, September 26. Four meals are included in the registration price of $189/person or $149/person for groups of three or more. If cost is a barrier for you or for your leadership team, please e-mail Melanie Thomas in the Conference Connectional Ministries office or call her at (330) 499-3972 ext. 102. Spots are limited so register today.

Learn more and register.

Health Benefits

How to Ease Back into Social Interactions After a Year of Isolation
Over the past year, social distancing and isolating at home were all too normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions eased in many areas, if the thought of socially interacting with others leaves you feeling anxious, you are not alone.

“Humans are creatures of habit, so initially, adjusting to isolating at home was incredibly challenging,” Dr. Paraskevi Noulas, a psychologist at NYU Langone Health, was quoted as saying in an article on the Healthline website. “But now, a year later, we’re accustomed to the new normal. Our ability to adjust is a double-edged sword because now that we’re used to isolating so much, it’s going to be yet another transition to engage with others socially in-person again, both indoors and outdoors.”

After a year of video calls, in-person interactions could be an adjustment because people are out of practice at communicating non-verbally by making eye contact and picking up on facial cues and body language. In the article, Noulas stated that the best treatment for people with anxiety is exposure therapy that entails gradually and safely easing into social interactions.

HealthFlex participants can explore Wespath’s emotional well-being resources such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or behavioral health benefits, which are confidential. For families covered by HealthFlex, the EAP provides eight free in-person or virtual sessions per concern. To get started, call (866) 881-6800. Learn more about Emotional Well-Being on the Conference website.

Emotional Support

Walking Through Grief – Thursdays
Willoughby UMC is offering the 10-week virtual grief support group Walking Through Grief: Tools for Finding Hope Along the Grief Journey. The goal of the group is to be the “arms of Jesus” to people who are grieving the death of a loved one and give them much needed tools, support, encouragement and hope in their grief journeys. Over 200 people have come through this program since it was started in 2014. Many in our own congregation have come through the program & found help.

The class will meet via Zoom from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays beginning September 9 and concluding November 18. All materials are provided free of charge and there is no cost to attend. If you have any questions about the group, please e-mail Cathy Schneithorst, the group facilitator.

Learn more and register.

Lakeside Chautauqua

Lillian Daniel is Preacher of the Week – August 1-5
Recent surveys find that Christians are perceived in our contemporary culture as judgmental, condemning hypocrites. But does that describe you and me? Does that describe us as United Methodists? I hope not! In her book Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To: Spirituality without Stereotypes, Religion without Ranting, which will be the subject of her “Faith for Living” presentations, author and preacher Lillian Daniel will give us some tools to talk with people about our faith in ways that are convincing and appealing. She will share her firmly held belief that religious community matters. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with the church, then and now, she will move us toward a future filled with hope and possibility. We are fortunate to have Lillian Daniel come to Lakeside Chautauqua to share with us.

Plan to attend “Faith for Living” from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. each day Monday, August 2 through Thursday, August 5, while enjoying all that Lakeside has to offer. For more information, please e-mail Rev. Dr. Charlie Yoost, director of Religious Life at Lakeside Chautauqua.

Media Center

The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:

  • How to Fight Racism is a handbook for pursuing racial justice with hands-on suggestions bolstered by real-world examples of change. Tisby offers an array of actionable items to confront racism in our relationships and in everyday life through a simple framework–the A.R.C.
  • Wild at Heart; Updated version reminds men we need adventure in our lives . . . in our work, in our love, and our spiritual lives. He reveals how God designed men to be dangerous. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: to be a hero, to be a warrior, and to live a life of adventure and risk.
  • The Difficult Words of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to His Most Perplexing Teachings shows how these difficult teachings would have sounded to the people who first heard them, how have they been understood over time, and how we might interpret them in the context of the Gospel of love and reconciliation.

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

Summer of Soul (or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Summer of Soul reaches a place of deep spirituality during the gospel concert (a thematic choice for the July 13th show). The Edwin Hawkins Singers launch into “O Happy Day” (their Top 40 radio hit), which alone is cause for celebration. They are then followed by a set by The Staple Singers, featuring a young Mavis Staples sharing lead vocals with her father. Then something truly transcendent happens. As part of her program, Mahalia Jackson is planning to sing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”, a personal favorite of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s. She turns to Mavis and tells her that she would like Mavis to lead her in and provide a foundation that she could build upon. Mavis is both honored and humbled by this request, wondering why someone of Jackson’s stature would stoop to invite her in this fashion. Mavis begins the hymn beautifully, with Mahalia then joining her in song, singing each verse with mounting intensity, joined with instrumental call-and-response. It is true worship.

Summer of Soul is a gift to the world. Take two hours to open this lovely present.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Gene Cheneysurviving spouse of the Rev. Richard G. Cheney, died June 20.
  • John G. McLachlanretired Elder, died May 3, 2020. A private burial was held for family. A Celebration of Life will be held at Union Avenue UMC, 1843 S Union Ave., Alliance, OH on Saturday, August 7 at 2:00 p.m. Please gather your best Rev. John stories to share with all of us and come help us celebrate his life.

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

  • Contemporary Worship Leader – Rocky River UMC
  • Teachers for the Children’s Place Learning Center – The UMC in Stow
  • Director of Discipleship – Finley UMC
  • Administrative Assistant – The UMC in Stow
  • Director of Choirs – Asbury UMC
  • Pianist/Organist – Coalburg UMC Hubbard
  • Piano Accompanist – The UMC of Uniontown
  • Assistant Worship Band Leader – The UMC of Kent
  • Director of Youth Ministries – Crosspoint UMC in Massillon

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, August 9, 2021.

Deadline for submission is Thursday, August 5, 2021. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.