November 15, 2021

Bishop’s Office

Journeys of Paul in Turkey & Greece – September 26, 2022
Bishop Tracy S. Malone and the Methodist Foundation of Ohio will lead an Educational Opportunities Journeys of Paul in Turkey & Greece tour September 26 – October 5, 2022. The trip is open to all East Ohio Conference laity and clergy.

“On this trip, we will retrace some of the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul and see many significant sites of the New Testament. The Scriptures will take on new meaning as you visit the ancient communities where Paul established churches, including Colossae, Corinth, and Ephesus,” Malone shared.

During the 10-day journey, visit Istanbul, Philippi, Athens, Corinth, Cappadocia, Laodicea, Ephesus, and more. The trip starts at $3,698* departing on September 26, 2022 from Cleveland or Columbus, OH or from Pittsburgh, PA. E-mail Director of Communications Rick Wolcott with any questions.

*Price reflects a 4% discount and does not include the $50 Turkish Visa.

Learn more and register online.

Jurisdictional Conference

Special Session of Jurisdictional Conference Held November 10-11
Building Beloved Community was the theme for the special called virtual session of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference held November 10-11 from a studio in Lansing, Michigan.

Delegates worshipped together, met in breakout groups, adopted the “Covenant to Build BeLoved Community” that named their commitment to anti-racism work and LGBTQIA+ inclusion, voted to reduce the number of bishops in the NCJ by one, and affirmed “A Narrative for the Continuing United Methodist Church” written by the Council of Bishops. Delegates also:

  • received a report on work being done in the NCJ and its annual conferences on dismantling racism and considered how to further the work.
  • received a report from the NCJ Committee on the Episcopacy, the NCJ Episcopal Leadership Task Force, and others on the future shape of episcopal leadership including episcopal areas and had conversation about the future deployment of and role of bishops in The UMC,  
  • and utilized the processes being developed by the Connectional Table and other denominational leaders to discuss the future of The United Methodist Church and the future work of the North Central Jurisdiction.

Read “A Narrative for the Continuing United Methodist Church.
Read “Covenant to Build BeLoved Community.
View/download photos from the session.


Support EOC Advance Specials on #Giving Tuesday – November 30
#Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement created in 2012 as a day that encourages people to do good. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving hundreds of millions of people have been inspired to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. On #Giving Tuesday November 30 the Board of Missions asks that you consider a financial gift to one of our East Ohio Conference Advances.

The ministries of our Conference Advances improve the lives of people in countless ways every day. Now is your chance to help our Advances, which were experiencing a decrease in financial donations even before the COVID pandemic. Kick-off the Advent and Christmas season of giving by supporting a mission with connections to East Ohio. Every donation helps!

Learn more about EOC Advance Specials.
Make a #Giving Tuesday donation to support an EOC Advance.

Advance Special 2022-23 Application Now Available
If you are part of a mission or ministry with ties to The United Methodist Church, you may be eligible to become a Conference Advance Special. Becoming an Advance raises awareness of your mission/ministry throughout East Ohio and creates an easy way to receive donations from churches and individuals. If you have questions, please e-mail Melanie Thomas. Applications are due by January 15, 2022.

Download the Advance Special Application Form.

West Ohio Conference Online Early Response Team (ERT) Training – November 19
The West Ohio Conference is hosting a virtual Early Response Team Basic training class to teach individuals how to respond with compassion to natural disasters across the U.S.

Learn more and register.

Virtual Holy Land Journey – Four Saturdays Beginning November 27
You are invited to register for a free journey with Global Ministries to the Holy Land. The Journey through Advent begins at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, November 27 and continues at that time on December 4, December 11, and December 18. The Journey through Advent itinerary includes visits to Global Ministry Advance mission projects in the Holy Land; Advent devotions of prophecy, justice, covenant, and the journey to Bethlehem; building relationships with people throughout The United Methodist Church connection; and hearing from people living and working in Palestine during this Holy season.

Learn more and register.

Farmer to Farmer Celebration from Pryde Bass
On October 10 Bucyrus UMC celebrated 200 years of Methodist presence in the Bucyrus, Ohio. In 2011 Bucyrus UMC was created from the successful merger of First Methodist UMC, Grace UMC and Epworth UMC. That same year, Bucyrus UMC established a sister church relationship with St. John United Methodist Church in Harrisburg, Liberia. When the Epworth UMC pews were donated to St. John UMC in Liberia, Bucyrus UMC members Sharon Hahn and Nathan Brause traveled to Liberia with a Farmer to Farmer United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) team. Hahn reassembled the pews in the St. John UMC sanctuary and Brause taught farming and trained individuals on how to make repairs and maintain farming equipment.

The relationship has grown over the years and is still growing. Bucyrus UMC member Sally Ruth, a local educator, partnered with school superintendent Amy Taylor-Sheldon to create a drive aimed at collecting 200 pairs of shoes that have adjustable on the top and sides to fit growing children. The collection barrels are full and waiting to be shipped to Liberia in time for Christmas. Bucyrus UMC also provides scholarship funds for at-risk elementary school students in the community. The money pays for the students’ mandatory school uniforms, pays school fees, and buys supplies.

We invite Churches, groups, and individuals with a burden for making Disciples to join a ministry that is making a difference in lives and the Harrisburg community. If you have questions about the Farmer to Farmer ministry e-mail Pryde Bass.

Support Farmer to Farmer (EOC Advance # 9026).
Learn more about EOC Advance Specials.

Strategic Ministries

Aligned with Our UMC Mission & EOC Vision
The work of the office of Strategic Ministries is aligned with our shared East Ohio Conference vision of how we can each best live into the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The East Ohio Conference equips and supports pastors, congregations, and faith communities to grow in their capacity to bear fruit that lasts by being disciples of Jesus Christ and making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ.

Discipleship is truly at the heart of all that we do. Without disciples, transformation of ourselves, our communities, and our world are impossible. The director of Strategic Ministries works with the other directors in the Connectional Ministries office to make disciples by transforming leaders within the church.

The East Ohio Conference equips and supports pastors, congregations, and faith communities to grow in their capacity to bear fruit that lasts by being God’ agents of transformation in our communities and throughout the world.

We are called to be agents of transformation, and also to be transformed ourselves. However, often when called to transformation we have a hard time finding our path forward. One way the office of Strategic Ministries is assisting communities be transformed is by working with cooperative parishes to help them reclaim their roles in transformation as well as to discover a new and creative path forward to both being disciples and making disciples. Cooperative parishes should not be seen as something we must do, but rather as an opportunity for transformation and empowering of disciples regardless of the size of their congregations.

The East Ohio Conference equips and supports pastors, congregations, and faith communities to grow in their capacity to bear fruit that lasts by being bold and courageous in reaching new people, younger people, and a more diverse people.

Being bold and courageous leaders is a difficult task. So, to help EOC leaders live into this call, the office of Strategic Ministries is continuing the work begun by the Congregation Vitality office by providing coaches for clergy and churches to help them grow into the leaders God means them to be. We will also continue to provide trainings to help leaders continue to grow, adapt, vision, and be healthy.

Learn more about Strategic Ministries.

BOTH/AND: To Be Continued Webinar – December 9
It’s not even Advent yet and Strategic Ministries is sending you a Christmas gift – even more free training! Jason Moore has developed a second part of the Both/And training, which we are offering to you for free. This training focuses on the why and how of continuing hybrid worship as a key part of living out our mission in the world today and in the future. The online webinar from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 9 will include reasons why BOTH/AND must continue, address the “what if they don’t come back to the building?” question, and more.

Like all sequels on the Christmas Netflix loop – you didn’t have to see the first to enjoy the second. All are welcome to attend even if you did not do the first Both/And training. There is no cost to attend but you are asked to register in advance.

Learn more and register.

Multicultural Ministries

A Different Perspective of Thanksgiving
All In God’s Image: A Study in the History of Indigenous Peoples is a series of guides to help non-Native adults and children learn more about specific days that are widely observed in this country so that we can grow together in our knowledge and respect for the Native American Tribal Nations in the United States. All in God’s Image A Study in the History of Indigenous Peoples Unit 2: A Different Perspective of Thanksgiving provides information about the Native American perspective of Thanksgiving, which is observed on the fourth Thursday of November and has been celebrated in this country for more than 100 years.

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called for a nationwide day of thanksgiving to “heal the wounds of our land.” We continue to pray for national healing. All in God’s Image A Study in the History of Indigenous Peoples Unit 2: A Different Perspective of Thanksgiving is an opportunity to continue the journey of learning and healing. In it, you will be challenged on the myths you may have learned about Thanksgiving, and you’ll be pointed to Native and Indigenous voices through resources and activities that widen our perspective and help us to see each other in the image of God. This study guide offers enlightening facts, activities, and resources appropriate for children and adults.

Download Unit 2: A Different Perspective of Thanksgiving.
Download Unit 1: What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

Higher Education

Scholarship Opportunities for East Ohio Students
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) awards over $5 million in scholarships to United Methodist students throughout the connection each year. East Ohio students, especially those planning on attending a United Methodist-related college or university, are eligible for many of these scholarships, including those specifically for members of East Ohio churches. Parents, pastors, and youth leaders of high school seniors are encouraged to let their students know about the existing local and denomination scholarship opportunities that can be found on the Conference website.

Learn more and apply beginning in December.

Credit Union

Auto Loans
Free up cash for Christmas when you refinance your auto oan with Christian Family Credit Union. Bring us your existing auto loan from another financial institution and we will drive down your monthly payment with rates as low as 2.74% APR*. Is a new car on your Christmas wish list? Christian Family can get you on the road with our low-rate auto loans. Whether you are buying or refinancing, Christian Family Credit Union has you covered.

Apply for an auto loan online.

*Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Advertised rate is based on excellent credit history and discount. Membership and other qualifications apply. 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, and if the institution fails, the Federal Government does not guarantee the depositors will get back their money. Members’ accounts are not insured or guaranteed by any government or government-sponsored agency.

Media Center

The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:

This unique DVD series on growing a stronger marriage is a great starting point for couples as they pursue deeper communication and understanding with one another. Through videos, discussion with other couples, and Bible study, this resource helps couples become rooted and grounded together in Christ and committed to each other. Learn from candid interviews with famous Christian authors and leaders: John & Stasi Eldridge, Gary & Lisa Thomas, Art & Lisa Terkeurst, Chip & Theresa Ingram, Gordon & Gail MacDonald, and Les & Leslie Parrott. Use volumes individually or in a series.

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

Passing is based on a classic 1929 novella by Nella Larsen, a writer of Afro-Caribbean and Scandinavian lineage. Actor Rebecca Hall chose to adapt Larsen’s book as her first directorial project after learning of her own mixed-race background. The film not only recreates 1929 New York City through art direction and costumes, but faithfully reproduces the mannered dialogue of its era, of outsiders desperately wanting to fit in with a culture that would deny them their aspirations.

This is a film that will reward patient viewing, but it will require your patience. It is a slow, quiet movie that is not rushing to explain things to you. There are no long expositional monologues. There is very little plot. (Although the running time is just a tad over 90 minutes, this story could have been told in a leisurely-paced hour.) The black and white cinematography by Edward Grau is stunning, although the mildly dissonant jazzy musical piano score by Devonté Hynes (aka Blood Orange) quickly got on my nerves.

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • Miriam Bablesurviving spouse of the Rev. Dr. Donald C. Bable, died October 25.
  • Nancy Wiebrechtspouse of the Rev. James Wiebrecht, died October 22.

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 Worship Arts – Northampton UMC in Cuyahoga Falls
  • Custodian/Maintenance Person – The UMC of Macedonia
  • Director of Preschool/Child Care Center – The UMC in Stow
  • Director of Spiritual Formation for Children and Youth – Vermilion Grace UMC
  • Assistance Treasurer/Controller – The Great Plains Conference of the UMC
  • Custodian – Doylestown UMC

Items Available/Wanted

  • 2 Artificial Christmas Trees available for free – Church of the Lakes UMC

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

To Subscribe

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Deadline for submission is Tuesday, November 23, 2021. Send articles to