Update from Bishop Tracy S. Malone About Boy Scouts of America & The UMC
Dear East Ohio Pastors and Churches,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
This update is being shared with all pastors and local churches within the Conference to ensure it reaches every local church that might receive a Disclosure Statement Package in the near future. If your church has not chartered a Boy Scout troop, it’s possible that you might not receive the Disclosure Statement Package described below – and that’s ok. But if you do receive the Package, DO NOT FILL IT OUT.
In the coming days, many of our United Methodist churches will receive a package in the mail from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) bankruptcy case. The mailing is called a Disclosure Statement Package and it is being sent to all chartered organizations that sponsored a troop with the Boy Scouts. It is intended to summarize for chartered organizations how the BSA’s proposed plan of reorganization will affect the legal rights of chartered organizations with respect to Scouting-related sexual abuse claims potentially connected to chartered organizations. The Disclosure Statement Package will include:
- a “plan language” summary of the Disclosure Statement drafted specifically for chartered organizations;
- an “opt out” form relating to options all chartered organizations have as to how sexual abuse claims against each chartered organization will be dealt with. THIS SHOULD NOT BE FILLED OUT BY A LOCAL CHURCH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE (more information on this will be provided in the next two weeks); and
- a ballot for casting a vote for or against the plan (only local churches that timely filed a “proof of claim” with the bankruptcy court will receive a ballot, other chartered organizations will only receive the rest of the Package). THIS SHOULD NOT BE FILLED OUT AT THIS TIME (more information on this will be provided in the next two weeks).
The Package is being sent by the BSA to all known chartered organizations, so it will be received by local churches that are chartered organizations regardless of whether they filed a proof of claim. ANY LOCAL CHURCH THAT RECEIVES THE PACKAGE SHOULD TAKE NO ACTION AT THIS TIME.
The United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee is developing recommendations for local churches on how to complete the included ballot, which will be shared as soon as they are complete (and well before the voting deadline of December 14, 2021).
Local churches will also be provided with a summary of the most important aspects of the plan. Additionally, information sessions for district superintendents, as well as webinars for church leaders about how to complete the form, why the vote matters, and how the outcome may affect our congregations, will be provided.
Bishop Tracy S. Malone
Teach • Reach • Bless
Building a New Residence Hall for Female AU Students
The East Ohio Conference Teach • Reach • Bless campaign needs to collect only $337,616 to reach our goal of collecting the needed $1.5 million to build and furnish 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.
A challenge gift from Rev. Bill & Marty McFadden will add $1 to every $3 collected in 2021. This means that if the campaign collects $253,212, the resulting challenge gift from that amount of $84,404 will put us at our goal of collecting $1.5 million.
Call for Daily Prayer – November 1 – 11
The Mission Council of the North Central Jurisdiction is calling on all United Methodists in the jurisdiction to prayerfully support the November 10-11 virtual NCJ Jurisdictional Conference. Beginning November 1 and each day until November 11 pause at 10:11 a.m. and pray the following prayer based on Psalm 22:21:
Long Prayer: “For all to get along well with God and be at peace; that something good will come to your people, Almighty God; we pray for the guidance and fire of your Holy Spirit to be with everyone at the 2021 Special North Central Jurisdictional Conference. May the Holy Spirit fill the hearts and minds of leaders and delegates with wisdom and peace that work towards all that you want carried out at this time. Let us remember to give all glory and honor to our Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.
Short Prayer: “For all to get along well with God and be at peace, Almighty God, we pray for the guidance and fire of your Holy Spirit to be with everyone at the 2021 Special NCJ Conference. In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen”
Season of Advent Begins November 28
Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins this year on November 28 and ends on Christmas Eve. The church liturgical year begins with the season of Advent. During this time, we remember the Jews longing for a Messiah as we anticipate and prepare for the coming of Christ. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.
Learn about and download the UM Discipleship Ministries Advent candle lighting liturgy and view and purchase Advent resources from the General Commission on Religion & Race.
Advent Journey with Zoe Empowers Ministry
Zoe Empowers is a “mission done right” that empowers orphaned and vulnerable children to lift themselves out of extreme poverty in three years. The ministry is offering an inspiring resource for traveling through the season of Advent in which we prepare to truly welcome the Savior at Christmas and beyond. The Advent guide and videos are meant for use by individuals and families as a devotional, or by small groups, youth groups, or Sunday school classes of any age. Each session includes scripture, meditations, prayer, and some live links to video reports from Zoe Empowers groups in one of the seven countries where Zoe is at work: Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Liberia, Zimbabwe, and India. In this way you will meet some of the Zoe young people and hear their stories of transformation first-hand.
Perspectives: Black Theologian Day is Saturday, October 23
“I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.” (Matthew 25:35) Jesus calls each of us as individuals and churches to participate in repairing communities that are broken. East Ohio Conference clergy and laity can do that by registering to participate in Perspectives: Black Theologian Day 2021, a learning opportunity for pastors, congregations, and faith communities to hear from a Black theological perspective.
This year’s theme is Food Insecurity: Addressing the Needs of the Most Vulnerable. Participants will take a deep dive in responding to food insecurity, which affects many areas of our Conference, but disproportionately impacts communities of color. Guest theologian is Rev. Kyle Brooks, Ph.D., assistant professor of Homiletics, Worship, and Black Church and African Diasporic Studies at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He will explore best practices for addressing food insecurities while sharing about organizations that exist beyond the local church, and what we can do to make a difference.
Perspectives: Black Theologian Day is Saturday, October 23 from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon at Crossroads UMC – Harmont in Canton, located in the former James S. Thomas UMC building at 3412 Harmont Ave. NE.
Critical Conversations: Next Steps – Multiethnic Conversations
In our covenant together to Stand Against Racism, EOC clergy and laity are invited to participate in a weekly training designed to help participants break down the earthly barriers to becoming the church described in Revelation 7:9. Guest presenter Kimberly Chapmon-Wynne, founder and principal consultant at Mosaic Insights Consulting, LLC, will lead the 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Tuesday sessions that begin October 26 and conclude December 21. The training will utilize the book Multiethnic Conversations: An Eight-Week Journey Toward Unity in Your Church by Mark DeYmaz along with other resources to assist participants in gaining skills to be “ambassadors of reconciliation” within our church and beyond.
All In God’s Image: A Study in the History of Indigenous Peoples
Thank you for celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day on October 11. As we approach Thanksgiving there will be a second guide to give families an opportunity to learn and do activities together during this treasured holiday. To prepare for the second installation of All In God’s Image: A Study in the History of Indigenous Peoples, take a moment to read this article written by the Multicultural Vitality team for Thanksgiving 2020. President Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to “heal the wounds of our land.” As a Conference, let us continue to pray for national healing as we seek to honor the contributions, stories, and history of Native and Indigenous peoples. Stay tuned to E-News and the Multicultural Vitality Facebook page to view and download the second All in God’s image resource when it is published.
Bridges Out of Poverty in Girard – October 27
Bridges Out of Poverty is a nationally renowned training to help professionals and community members gain a better understanding of people living in poverty. This training is beneficial for medical professionals, social service professional, law enforcement, clergy, and lay people, as well as community members who want to make a difference. Hosted by Girard First UMC on Oct. 27 from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., cost is $49 which includes book and breakfast. Call (330) 545-4361 with any questions.
Nehemiah Mission Farewell to Becky Trout – October 24
You’re invited to Nehemiah Mission (6515 Bridge Ave., Cleveland, 44102) from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on October 24 to say good-bye to Becky Trout, who is leaving after more than 10 years of faithful service. Becky is a world changer in the city of Cleveland and around the world having worked in refugee ministry, Liberia, Butter Pear and in individual homes. Come and wish her well and bless her next adventure with Refugee Response.
UMC Missions EarthKeepers and Climate Justice
Global Ministries seeks U.S.-based United Methodists to lead grassroots environmental projects that are action-oriented, anti-racist, bold, and entrepreneurial. Do the topics of global warming, loss of our tree canopy, community gardens, or pollinator pockets interest you or someone you know? If so, then you should explore being a UMC EarthKeeper.
HealthFlex Benefits Enrollment Nov. 3 – Nov. 18
The enrollment window for HealthFlex 2022 benefits opens Wednesday, November 3 and closes Thursday, November 18. Enrollment resources can be found on participants’ personal Wespath Benefits Access account and on the Health Benefits page of the Conference website.
HealthFlex is more than a health insurance plan. It’s a comprehensive approach to healthier living – an integrated, wellness-driven health program offered through Wespath Benefits & Investments, a general agency of The United Methodist Church. Pastors appointed at 75% time or more are eligible for HealthFlex benefits, as are lay employees of local churches and district offices who work at least 30 hours per week. To sponsor HealthFlex for lay employees a HealthFlex sub-adoption agreement must be completed by the employer.
Fall Flea Market – October 22 & 23
United Methodist Women of Church of the Saviour UMC in Cleveland Heights (North Coast District) is organizing a Fall Flea. Lots of home goods, furniture, toys, and more will be available – but no clothing or linens at this time. All proceeds will go to church missions.
Prepare for the holiday shopping season with a low-rate Visa credit card from Christian Family Credit Union with which you can enjoy: no annual fees; six-month introductory rate; 25-day grace period on purchases; and you’ll earn rewards on qualifying purchases.
Subject to credit approval. Rates are subject to lender’s credit criteria, certain conditions, and restrictions. Your rate and corresponding APR may be higher than the published rate. Rates are subject to change at any time without notice. After 6 months the balance and new purchase rate will convert to the rate, based on their score at application. The full Visa credit card disclosure can be found at www.christianfamilycu.com. Rewards are for consumer credit cards only. Church and corporate accounts are not eligible for rewards. For full details on rewards visit www.ScoreCardRewards.com. By members choice, all accounts are insured to $250,000 by ASI (American Share Insurance) a private member owned insurer. This institution is not federally insured. Members’ accounts are not insured or guaranteed by any government or government-sponsored agency.
The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:
- How Much More helps you discover divine love in the often overlooked and misunderstood passages. You’ll be delighted to find that Jehovah of the Old Testament is the same redemptive and compassionate God we see through Jesus Christ in the New Testament. He has always been and will always be for us!
- The Problem of God responds to the top ten questions people raise against God and Christianity, including, among others: The Problem of Evil and Suffering, The Problem of Sex and The Problem of Hypocrisy. Each session answers the specific challenge using a mix of theology, philosophy, and science on the one hand, while also using stories and anecdotes.
- Understanding Spiritual Gifts addresses the many bizarre and misleading understandings of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit and confronts the tendency to downplay their importance for Christian living and ministry. Storms addresses common questions about the gifts and provides practical training for using and exercising the gifts in ministry.
- Reading the Old Testament Through Jewish Eyes explores the first five books of the Hebrew Bible and highlights the key points of interest to Christians. Moffic presents the biblical text and interpretations of it in the way Jewish leaders during the time of Jesus would have studied it while examining different commentaries from thousands of years of Jewish sources.
Message in the Movies
No Time to Die
No Time to Die is the twenty-fifth entry in the James Bond film series which began almost sixty years ago with 1962’s Dr. No starring Sean Connery. This movie is the last episode featuring Daniel Craig as Agent 007. It was originally slated to come to theaters in the spring of 2020, but then the pandemic happened.
No Time to Die is a combination of a big budget movie experience and a sentimental send-off/appreciation of Daniel Craig as Bond (and he was a very good James Bond). These two approaches simply don’t work well together.
Please pray for the families of:
- Evelyn M. Weaver, retired Elder, died September 27.
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.
- Executive Assistant – The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR)
- Church Musician/Organist/Pianist – Brimfield Faith UMC
- Assistant Director of Program at Wanake Camp and Retreat Center – The Camps & Retreat Ministries of the East Ohio Conference of The UMC
- Assistant Director of Guest Services and Finance at Wanake Camp and Retreat Center – The Camps & Retreat Ministries of the East Ohio Conference of The UMC
- Assistant Camp Director at Camp Asbury – The Camp & Retreat Ministries of the East Ohio Conference of The UMC
- Worship Leader – Westbrook Park UMC in Canton
- Children’s Ministry Leader – Westbrook Park UMC in Canton
- Praise Team Leader – Western Reserve UMC in Canfield
- Two Administrative Coordinators – The EOC Office of Connectional Ministries
- Director of Children’s Ministry – Avon UMC
- Contemporary Worship Leader – Rocky River UMC
- Administrative Assistant – First UMC of Akron
- Director of Worship Arts – Northampton UMC in Cuyahoga Falls
- Director of Music Ministry – Christ UMC in Louisville
- Pianist/Organist – Trinity UMC in Mount Gilead
- Chief Financial Officer/Director of Administrative Services – The United Methodist Churches of Indiana
- Director of Christian Education and Program Coordinator – Brunswick UMC
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