August 9, 2021

Teach • Reach • Bless

Saturation Sunday is September 19
Representatives of Africa University will preach in East Ohio Conference churches on Sunday, September 19 as part of Saturation Sunday to promote the University and our Teach • Reach • Bless campaign to build a new dorm for female students on the AU campus. The dorm will enable more female students to live on campus, meaning they will not need to find off-campus housing and commute to class – situations that make them vulnerable to untenable situations.

On Saturation Sunday, September 19 – or on a future Sunday of your church leadership’s choosing – pastors, congregations and faith communities of the East Ohio Conference are asked to share the story of Africa University and the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign. In supporting Saturation Sunday and the campaign, we are showing our commitment to improving the education and wellness of women today for a better Africa tomorrow.

The August 23 E-News will contain the list of Saturation Sunday speakers, the EOC churches at which they will speak, and the times of the services.

Download Saturation Sunday worship resources.

Missions & Community Engagement

UMVIM Team Leader Training – August 15
If you are interested in leading a mission team someday, sign up today for the next United Methodist Volunteers in Mission team leader training scheduled for August 15 at Cambridge Faith UMC. Director of Missions & Community Engagement the Rev. Kathy Dickriede will lead the in-person training from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. that day. Participants will connect with others who have a heart for missions while learning best practices for leading a mission team locally, nationally, or internationally. There is no cost for the class, but you must register by August 13 to participate.  

Learn more and register

Engaging the Community for Social Transformation Webinar – August 19
Thursday, August 19 from 12:00 noon until 1:00 p.m. is the next community engagement webinar produced by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church. The topic of this second session in the series will be a continued look at best practices for engaging the community, including ecumenical work, partnering with other churches, and engaging in conversations around race, social justice, and other impactful work. The series offers participants a chance to explore how congregations are engaging the community and to consider how that looks in their own context and social climate.

The August 19 conversation will be led by the Rev. Dr. Shannon Fleck, executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, which promotes cooperation, education, unity, and understanding, while moving toward justice and change. There is no cost to participate in the webinar, but you do need to register in advance.

Learn more and register.


Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy to be Virtual August 24-25
East Ohio Conference Bishop Tracy S. Malone and West Ohio Conference Bishop Gregory V. Palmer will host the 2021 Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy via Zoom on August 24-25.

Participating clergy will be inspired and refreshed in their ministry as they worship together, fellowship together, and learn together. The two-day virtual retreat will address the crises of racism and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Day one will focus on the importance of self-care through crises and day two conversation will address leading through crises.

The Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy begins on Tuesday, August 24 with a session from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. That evening from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. a virtual social gathering is scheduled that will feature a dessert cooking demonstration and virtual trivia. The retreat will conclude on Wednesday, August 25 with a session from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Each day will begin with worship, led by the East Ohio Conference on Tuesday and the West Ohio Conference on Wednesday.

There is no cost to participate in the Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy, but you do need to register in advance.

Learn more and register.

Young People’s Ministries

Help Us Connect with Your Youth Leaders
Pastors and leaders, please take two minutes to click this link and fill out the questionnaire so that we can connect and support those that lead youth.

Sign-up for a Youth Leader Coaching Call
Attention youth leaders: As you start to plan for fall and into 2022, we are all struggling to understand ministry throughout the pandemic. If you need someone to coach you through these uncertain times, be sure to sign up for a coaching call with Kaye Wolfinger, director of Young People’s Ministries. She can talk you through what is best for your context, listen to your ideas, and share trends that we are seeing in young people’s ministries. She has availability during business hours as well as evenings and Saturdays. Click this link and schedule your one-hour coaching call.

Financial & Administrative Services

Review Monthly Remittance Statements
Please take the time to review your monthly church remittance statement each month. This is the third quarter of 2021. We want to ensure that all apportionment payments are included in the current year so that each church gets the benefit of having achieved 100% of its apportionment commitment.

In keeping with the notice in The East Ohio Annual Conference Journal, the final payment of the 2021 apportionment year needs to be received in our lockbox on or before January 5, 2022. Checks received in our lockbox after January 5, 2022, regardless of the postmark date on the envelope, will be counted as having been received in 2022.

Relief for Pastor’s Student Loan Debt?
Student debt is a big issue for clergy, but a new loan forgiveness program may be able to provide some relief. A Church Law & Tax online article published August 5 by Christianity Today shares information about the new Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. A change took place on July 1, 2021, that makes the program available to ministers and other religious workers who have made 10 years or more of payments and meet other criteria. Check with your lender to see if you qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Read the article and learn more.

Media Center

The Media Center offers these hidden gems:

  • Five Love Languages teaches us how to build and sustain a loving relationship using affirming words, quality time, giving gifts, serving, and physical touching. These five special ways of “speaking” will get your new marriage off to a great start or enhance the emotional climate of a long-standing one!
  • Too Busy Not to Pray calls both young and old to make prayer a priority, broadening our vision for what our eternal, powerful God does when his people slow down to pray. Slow down, listen to God, and learn how to respond. As a result, you will grow closer to God.
  • What’s in the Bible? Vol. 10 Jesus Is the Good News brings the Bible and its stories to your church elementary classes in a whole new way with 4 weeks of video, sing-along worship songs plus print materials. Volume 10 takes kids through the 400 Intertestamental period and then delves into the life, miracles and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the gospels. From VeggieTales creator, Phil Vischer.
  • Velocity 3: A Bible Study For Teenagers: Life is zooming by. Everything is changing. Teenagers are clinging to anything just to survive. More than ever, young people are looking for acceptance. Through dramatic real-life stories, Velocity deals with doubts and struggles of youth by bringing practical and Biblical solutions to their fast-paced world. Lessons include Freedom, Culture Clash, Relevant, Fitting in and Hope.

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 MoviesMessage in the Movies banner (colorful film strip

The Prom
I was won over by the commitment of the cast to the material (which also includes Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, and Ariana DeBose) and the joyful celebration that results when actors and crew come together to celebrate inclusion and diversity.

As The United Methodist Church continues to ponder division and separation over this topic, I hope that you might find time to experience The Prom and allow its passion and sincerity to touch your heart and mind. There is a song midway called “Love Thy Neighbor” that is not afraid to list the many Levitical prohibitions that the church has managed to move beyond, encouraging listeners to take the words of Jesus to heart. It’s a nice little sermon accompanied by a big dance number around a shopping mall fountain.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Mary Sue Sturgeon, spouse of the Rev. William J. Kouth, died March 20.

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

  • Virtual Worship Coordinator – Shoregate UMC in Willowick
  • Organist – Shoregate UMC in Willowick
  • Evening/Sunday Custodian – Faith UMC in North Canton
  • Director of Youth Ministry – Faith UMC in North Canton
  • Youth Ministry Coordinator – Lakewood UMC
  • Staff Accountant – The Virginia Conference of the UMC
  • Childcare Provider – Christ UMC in Louisville
  • CMO Administrative Coordinator – The East Ohio Conference of The UMC
  • Director of Music Ministries – Hudson UMC
  • Custodian – Hudson UMC
  • Lake Lucerne Camp Site Director – The Wisconsin Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries
  • Contemporary Worship Leader – Rocky River UMC
  • Teachers for the Children’s Place Learning Center – The UMC in Stow
  • Director of Discipleship – Finley UMC

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

To Subscribe

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, August 19, 2021. Send articles to