September 7, 2021

Teach • Reach • Bless

Teach • Reach • Bless Saturation Sunday – September 19
Representatives of Africa University will preach in EOC churches for Saturation Sunday on September 19 in support of our Teach • Reach • Bless campaign to build a new campus dorm for female AU students. Click the links below to view the Saturation Sunday services live or watch them later.

9:00 a.m.             Rev. Bill McFadden @ UMC Berea 
10:00 a.m.          Bishop Marcus Matthews @ Bay UMC  
10:00 a.m.          Rev. F. Lloyd Rollins @ Brunswick UMC
10:00 a.m.          Bishop Julius Trimble @ Lakewood UMC
10:00 a.m.          Mr. James H. Salley @ Wooster UMC
10:15 a.m.          Ms. Andra Stevens @ Vermilion Grace UMC
10:30 a.m.          Mrs. Josefa Bethea Wall @ N. Olmsted UMC
10:45 a.m.          Rev. Dr. Israel Kamudzandu @ Seville UMC
10:45 a.m.          Dr. Rhodes Logan @ Wellington UMC
11:00 a.m.          Rev. Joseph Abram, Jr. @ Aldersgate UMC
11:00 a.m.          Dr. Albert Mosley @ Celebration UMC
11:00 a.m.          Mr. J. Albert Williams @ Elyria First UMC
11:00 a.m.          Dr. Henry Masters @ University Circle UMC

Note: If your Sunday services are already planned for September 19, you are asked to please schedule a Teach • Reach • Bless Saturation Sunday service for a future date. Bishop Tracy S. Malone will preach the sermon at Kent UMC during its Saturation Sunday services at 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30 a.m. on October 31.

Download Saturation Sunday worship resources.

Special Sunday Offering

World Communion Sunday – October 3
On the first Sunday in October, United Methodist congregations join many Christian churches across the globe in celebrating World Communion Sunday. The special offering taken on that day will support countless gifted and qualified youth and young adults who face financial obstacles that hinder them from preparing for the vocations for which they have been gifted by God. In The United Methodist Church, the World Communion Sunday special offering will fund scholarships for seminarians. One half of the proceeds is for World Communion Sunday scholars administered by the General Board of Global Ministries. The remaining one half is for the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Learn more about World Communion Sunday.
Download World Communion Sunday resources.

Strategic Ministries

Creative Worship Workshop – October 12
Join author, consultant, and worship coach Jason Moore for an inspirational online workshop on how to use creativity to create disciple-making, mission-oriented worship that lasts beyond Sunday. Learn numerous time-tested practices to take your worship to the next level both in the room and at home.

If your worship experiences are feeling a bit stagnant, or if you’re just feeling tired from a pandemic, revitalization is possible! Reach more people at home and in-person with gospel centered creative worship.

Learn more and register.

Missions & Community Engagement

UMVIM Mission Mondays starts September 13
Are you someone who wants to leave the world better than you found it? Are you curious about what people are doing in your state to make a difference in the world? Then you need to be a part of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Mission Mondays. Director of Missions & Community and Engagement the Rev. Kathy Dickriede invites you on a day trip to a mission site in East Ohio. Each Monday is a different site, registration is free, attend as many as you like. Sites included: Blue Rose Mission (Sept 13), Nehemiah Mission (Sept 20), Urban Mission (Sept 27), Epworth Center (Oct 4), and Covered Bridge Mission (Oct 11).

Learn more and register.

Bridges Out of Poverty Trainings – September 23 and October 27
Nordonia Hills Community Connection is offering a Bridges Out of Poverty training at Macedonia UMC fellowship hall from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on September 23. Girard UMC will also host a similar training from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on October 27. Both workshops offer a comprehensive approach to understanding poverty. Bridges Out of Poverty uses the lens of economic class and provides concrete tools and strategies for a community to alleviate poverty. Participants will review poverty research, examine a theory of change, and analyze poverty through the prism of the hidden rules of class, resources, family structure, and language.

Learn more and register for the September 23 training at Macedonia UMC.
Register for the October 27 training at Girard UMC by calling (330) 545-4361 by October 6.

Visit Christian Children’s Home of Ohio – September 29
East Ohio laity and clergy are invited to visit one of our new mission partners, Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (Fund 9977) on September 29. The home in Wooster is open for tour from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on that day. The tour is free but you are asked to register in advance by calling (330) 499-3972 ext. 102 or sending an e-mail.

Learn more and register.

Responding to the Needs of Refugees Coming to Ohio
The Nehemiah Mission and its #Corner65 ministry to the African refugee youth population of Cleveland is partnering with the Refugee Response, US Together, and Catholic Charities to provide resources for new arrivals in the weeks to come. Many of these new arrivals will be refugees from Afghanistan. You can partner in this compassionate mission to help resettle refugees in their new host country by sending financial support to the Nehemiah Mission (6515 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland, 44102) or through the Nehemiah Mission Advance fund EOC 9136.  

To find out more about how the East Ohio Conference is involved with assisting refugees call Director of Missions & Community Engagement the Rev. Dickriede at (330) 499-3972 ext. 102 or send her an e-mail.

Donate online or via U.S. mail today.

Multicultural Ministries

All In God’s Image: A Study in the History of Indigenous Peoples
What comes to mind when you think about Native Americans? What images do you see in your head?  Perhaps Thanksgiving or learning about Christopher Columbus? Perhaps Cleveland baseball or a local high school sports team? Whatever the image is that comes to mind, starting with a perspective of “the image of God” can help us to step back from preconceived notions and learn together. The East Oho Conference Native American Awareness Committee is charged with keeping before the annual conference a Native American and Indigenous perspective and does so through events, statements, and E-News articles. It is part of the repentance and repair work that the General Conference has acknowledged and part of our own growth and maturing as disciples of Jesus right here in East Ohio.

As a continuation of that work, the Board of Multicultural Vitality commissioned the creation of a series of resources grounded in research and a faith perspective to are informational for families and for Sunday school programs. In January we debuted the first of the series, All in God’s Image: A Celebration of Black History Curriculum. This four-week guide was created to teach students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Three additional All in God’s Image resources are currently in development to assist families and small groups in learning more about:

  • Indigenous People’s Day (Monday, October 11)
  • Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 25)
  • Native American Ministry Sunday (Sunday, May 1, 2022).

The study guides will include a lesson and an activity that will deepen understanding by explaining why each of the special days is observed. You are invited to join in these opportunities to expand your knowledge by considering a different perspective. Reminders about the significance of each upcoming special day – and an invitation to download each study guide – will be posted on the Multicultural Ministries page of the East Ohio Conference website and included in future issues of the electronic newsletter E-News.

Learn more by reading the entire article by Director of Multicultural Vitality Will Fenton-Jones.


Sojourn to the Past Non-Violence Parade – October 3
In the September issue of the Mahoning Valley Messenger the Rev. Abby Auman, superintendent of the district, shares this story and invitation:

“Hey, I want to invite you to this event that is really awesome, but you’ve never heard of it before,” then-Pastor Kelsey Orosan of then-Richard Brown UMC began. “The Non-Violence Parade is unique to the Mahoning Valley. You can meet me at the church and then I’ll help you find everything.”  (Notice how she made a personal invitation and also reassured me that she’d help me navigate something new – two key pieces of inviting someone to a church anything!)

I’m so glad Kelsey invited me. In all the places I’ve lived, I’ve never experienced anything like Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past’s Non-Violence Parade. I’m inviting you to join me this year in a collective United Methodist witness on Sunday, October 3 at 3:00 p.m.

I love that the Non-Violence Parade is multi-everything drawn together to witness to a collective desire for all people to live in peace and plentyMulti-racial is immediately obvious as people begin lining up, and among those wearing the leadership organizing t-shirts. Multi-faith becomes obvious when the signs and banners come out and as individuals wear the signs of their faith whether they are with their religious or secular group. As I’ve gotten to know people and their personal politics better, I’ve realized that this is a very multi-political event … but that doesn’t come out during the parade and rally in tension. Multiple organizations walk: faith groups, marching bands, politicians, social service and civic groups and agencies, football and other sports teams, youth organizations; from Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties. For an hour or two, it is a foretaste to me of being “one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world; until Christ comes in his final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.”

If you want to tangibly contribute to increasing the hope for peace, please plan to join other United Methodists on Sunday, October 3 in Youngstown. Lineup begins at 2:30pm. At least one person from your family/church/group should email with your cellphone number.  You will receive an email the week prior with details.  You will receive day-of text updates if needed.

Learn more by reading the entire article by the Rev. Abby Auman.

Financial & Administrative Services

BSA Bankruptcy Affects United Methodist Congregations
The United Methodist Church and its predecessor denominations have a relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), which dates back more than 100 years. In February 2020, the BSA announced the national organization would file for bankruptcy to allow it to continue carrying on its mission while also compensating sexual abuse victims who were harmed during their time in scouting. While the bankruptcy is ongoing, the BSA, along with its local councils, recently reached an agreement with representatives of most of the survivors on a proposed $850 million settlement. 

The interests of BSA charter congregations are represented by an ad hoc committee established to represent UM interests, which is actively engaged in the bankruptcy process and related negotiations. Charter organizations were promised by the BSA to be covered by their insurance, but at this time, it is not clear to what extent United Methodist congregations will be covered. 

The ad hoc committee has advised that churches that support scouting units should: (1) agree to extend an expiring charter through December 31, rather than renew that charter; (2) replace an expiring charter with a facilities-use agreement that expires on December 31; or (3) terminate an existing charter and replace it with a facilities-use agreement that expires on December 31. All of those options allow more time to see how the bankruptcy will impact United Methodist congregations.

Read the entire United Methodist Communications press release.

Wespath Offers EOC Pre-Retirement Webinar – October 13
Wespath Benefits & Investments will host a virtual early to mid-career retirement workshop from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13. During this webinar the experts at Wespath will help participants: understand how to prepare for retirement in a confident and systematic fashion; create an action plan for the multiple facets of retirement; and educate about how to use Wespath benefits to achieve personal goals.

A special emphasis of the virtual workshop will be early- to mid-career attendees. The webinar will cover a myriad of topics, from health and insurance planning, to retirement accumulation and distribution planning, all the way through to investment and estate planning.

Register for the Pre-Retirement Webinar.

One-on-One Benefit Education Consultations
Don’t miss your chance to sign-up for one-on-one benefit education consultations. You need to register by the end of September.

Register for one-on-one consultation.

Higher Education

“Reading Paul in Prison: A Book Launch and Colloquium” – September 28
Methodist Theological School in Ohio Associate Professor of New Testament Ryan Schellenberg will participate in an online conversation, “Reading Paul in Prison: A Book Launch and Colloquium,” at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28. The colloquium marks the publication of Schellenberg’s book Abject Joy: Paul, Prison, and the Art of Making Do, published by Oxford University Press. He will be joined in a discussion of Paul’s letter to the Philippians by three scholars and theologians with extensive experience working alongside incarcerated persons. The group will discuss what prison tells us about Philippians and what Philippians has to say about prison.

The event will be presented free of charge by the Theological Commons at MTSO. Participants are asked to register in advance.

Learn more and register.

Credit Union

Get Out of Debt (GOOD) Loans
Soar to financial freedom with a Get Out of Debt loan. Christian Family Credit Union will begin your debt-free journey with a review of your current loans and credit cards. We will then determine the best ways we can help you lower your monthly payments, raise your credit score, and eliminate high-interest credit card debt. Rates as low as 5.99% APR*.

Receive a .25% discount on an approved Get Out of Debt loan when you set-up or have an existing automatic deposit in your Christian Family Credit Union checking account of at least $500 per month with the automatic loan payment. If at any time the automatic loan payment deposit discontinues, the automatic deposit discount rate will no longer apply and the rate will adjust accordingly. Loan proceeds must be used to pay-off an existing debt from another lender. Offer is for a limited time and may be withdrawn by the Credit Union without notice. Other terms and conditions may apply. Call our toll-free number, (800) 373-1059, to schedule your free, no-obligation debt check-up today.

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Advertised rate is based on excellent credit history and discount. Membership and other qualifications apply. The interest rate you receive will be determined by your credit worthiness. Maximum term is 36 months, with a maximum amount of $10,000. This institution is not federally insured. Members’ accounts are not insured or guaranteed by any government or government-sponsored agency.

Spiritual Formation

Monthly Theological Reflection Study Group Returns
Local pastors, Elders, Deacons, and Deaconesses are invited to participate in the monthly roundtable Study Group for Theological Reflection, now in its 17th year. Using key worship texts lifted from the lectionary’s epistle readings for 2021-2022, group members will discuss, debate, ponder and apply how Scripture and theology can be integrated into the life of the church and the community. It’s an opportunity to renew, refresh, reflect, connect, holy conference, encourage, question and share.

The study group meets monthly on the second Friday of the month from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Christ Woodland UMC, 444 N Hawkins in Akron, 44313. The first meeting for this year is September 10 on which date the group will discuss the lectionary text James 5:13-20.

For more information, please e-mail the Rev. Thomas Shaw.

Media Center

The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:

  • God the Deliverer: Our Search for Identity and Our Hope for Renewal shares that throughout the Bible, we find two parallel dramas unfolding. There is the lower story, which describes the events from our human perspective. But there is also an upper story, which reveals how the events unfold from God’s perspective. See how God has been weaving our lower story into the greater upper story that he has been writing.
  • 40 Days Through the Book: 1 & 2 Thessalonians guides you through these letters from Paul to the believers in Thessalonica, revealing what the apostle’s words meant to his original readers and how they apply to you today. You will be encouraged to keep calm, remain faithful, and work hard until Jesus returns.
  • Spiritual Warfare Is Real; How the Power of Jesus Defeats the Attacks of Our Enemy shows us how to recognize we are in a spiritual war, understand the enemy’s plots against us, and develop practical strategies for fighting back. Cymbala reveals that as believers in Christ, we have been given everything we need to stand strong and take the fight to the enemy.
  • Ephesians; Head Held High teaches that the book of Ephesians is about identity. It’s about learning who we are, living who are, and then leveraging who we are. You are a chosen child of God, saved by His grace, forgiven and free. It’s time to walk with your head held high.

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

When I first saw the music-filled trailer for CODA, I thought the title was referring to the musical notation that returns you to the end of a song. What it really means – and why CODA is in all caps – is a Child of Deaf Adults.

This feelgood film won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. It’s a crowd-pleasing movie, for sure.

Unfortunately, CODA hits a few too many false notes. I am a big fan of Eugenio Derbez and enjoy him whenever he pops up in a film, but I cannot begin to understand how he teaches music. Mr. V is a mashup of Mr. Holland (Mr. Holland’s Opus) and Harold Hill (The Music Man), with a teaching style that’s quirky and a school choir that has watched too many episodes of Glee.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Fredric E. Jeansretired Elder, died August 16.
  • Dolores Jeansspouse of the Rev. Frederic Jeans, died August 13.

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

  • Service Organist/Choir Accompanist – Family of Faith UMC in Akron
  • Administrative Assistant – The UMC of Macedonia
  • Church Organist – Simpson UMC in Canton

Items Available / Wanted

  • 12 Pews – North Canton Faith UMC
  • Organ – Waltz UMC in Medina

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

To Subscribe

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, September 16, 2021. Send articles to