November 29, 2021

Teach • Reach • Bless

82% of Needed Funds Collected; Still Time for You to Make a Difference
The East Ohio Conference Teach • Reach • Bless campaign needs to collect only $276,025 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.

Thanks to the strong support of the laity and clergy of the East Ohio Conference, even during the pandemic, the money from the three-year Teach • Reach • Bless campaign could be collected by the end of the second year, meaning ground could be broken in early 2022 for the new residence hall. To help make this happen, a challenge gift from Rev. Bill & Marty McFadden will add $1 to every $3 collected in 2021. This means that if the Conference collects $207,019 of the needed $276,025, the resulting challenge gift from that amount of $69,006 will put us at our goal of collecting $1.5 million to build and furnish a new residence hall for female students at Africa University.

Learn more about and support the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign.

AU Offers Weekly Videos of Students Lighting Advent Candles
During Advent consider including in your worship services videos of female Africa University students lighting the Advent candles. To help us promote the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign, Africa University has produced two videos for each Sunday of Advent (showing students lighting the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love), two videos for Christmas Eve (showing students lighting the Jesus candle), plus a video of the students singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Each video ends with information showing how worshippers can support the Teach • Reach • Bless campaign.

View and download the AU Advent videos.

Financial & Administrative Services

Ezra Statistical Model UPDATE
The EZRA Stats system will continue to be used for Statistical Collection for the 2021 collection year. General Council on Finance & Administration (GCFA) is postponing the transition to the new ACStats system for data collection until later in 2022. Further information will be published in future issues of E-News as details are made available.


Publishing House Extends Permissions
The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) is extending full permission to all churches for use of UMPH-copyrighted worship materials through June 30, 2022. UMPH (Cokesbury and Abingdon Press) is assuring easy access to essential worship aids and use of the Common English Bible for online worship and studies. The copyright page in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship grants permission as follows: “United Methodist congregations may reproduce for worship or educational purposes any item from The United Methodist Book of Worship for one-time use, as in a bulletin, special program, or lesson resource, provided that the copyright notice and acknowledgement is included in the reproduction.”  

Each worship service is a one-time use. Therefore, churches are free to reproduce the liturgical text as needed (with the exception of the copyrighted service music on pages 173-223). Further, during the COVID-19 crisis, UMPH is waiving the need to ask permission to livestream and/or record worship services which read, perform, or display liturgical text from The United Methodist Book of Worship. UMPH encourages churches to utilize streaming licenses from One License or CCLI to stream copyrighted service music from The United Methodist Hymnal.

Learn more.

Neighborly Community Celebrated in National Advent Advertising Campaign
To assist people seeking an escape from the holiday blues and connection to the true source of joy and love, United Methodist Communications, the global communications agency for the denomination, has launched its Advent-Neighbors national advertising campaign. Each advertisement will direct people to one of two limited-time landing pages to start their first steps with The United Methodist Church.

“The Christmas season is a time when people are more open to experiencing something spiritual,” shared Jennifer Rodia, Chief Communications Officer for United Methodist Communications. “We hope that these messages will encourage them to connect and find community for the holiday season and beyond.”

Learn more.


Midwest Mission Christmas Collection Drop-off – Nov. 29-Dec. 5
We hope you have been gathering items for the Christmas collection to benefit Midwest Mission Distribution Center. Donate individually or as a church, and drop-off your items at one of the collection sites across the East Ohio Conference now through December 5. Please contact the site before dropping off your items to ensure that staff is on hand to receive them.

View the list of needed items and the list of drop-off locations.

Board of Missions to Match #GivingTuesday Donations to EOC Advances
The Board of Missions encourages you to consider giving a financial gift to an EOC Advance on #GivingTuesday, November 30 – and it is offering a 1-to-1 match (with a maximum match of $500 per Advance) to increase the impact of your donation. The Board will only match online donations made on November 30 and December 1, so act now.

Giving to our Conference Advances has dipped in recent years and the pandemic has hit some of them very hard. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Consider making a gift to the below Advances that requested to be spotlighted for #GivingTuesday. E-mail Melanie Thomas with any questions or call her at (330) 499-3972 Ext. 102. Kick off the Advent and Christmas season of giving by supporting a mission with connections to East Ohio.

  • ACCESS Ashland Emergency Shelter | Fund 9953 | Flyer
  • Blue Rose Mission, Mansfield | Fund 9940 | Flyer
  • East Ohio Camps | Fund 9899 | Flyer
  • Christian Children’s Home of Ohio, Wooster | Fund 9977 | Flyer
  • C.H.O.A.I.D.S, Haiti | Fund 9922 | Flyer
  • Covered Bridge Mission, Ashtabula Co. | Fund 9975 | Flyer
  • Flat Rock Homes & Care Center, Flat Rock | Fund 9174 | Flyer
  • Gifted Gaits, Quaker City | Fund 9919 | Flyer
  • Heart 4 the City, Akron | Fund 9941 | Flyer
  • Interchurch Social Service of Knox Co. | Fund 9196 | Flyer
  • Journey’s End Ministries, Newcomerstown | Fund 9931 | Flyer
  • Martha’s Cupboard, Fresno | Fund 9964 | Flyer
  • North Coast of Haiti Mission, Haiti | Fund 9947 | Flyer
  • Project Hope for the Homeless, Lake Co. | Fund 9143 | Flyer
  • South Street Ministries, Akron | Fund 9195 | Flyer
  • Urban Mission Ministries, Steubenville | Fund 9107 | Flyer
  • West Side Community House, Cleveland | Fund 9933 | Flyer

Make an online donation.
View the list of EOC Advance Specials.

Puerto Rico UMVIM Journey Recap
Participation in 2021 United Methodist Volunteers in Missions (UMVIM) opportunities has been low because of COVID-19. Despite the pandemic, though, teams from Hudson UMC and Strongsville UMC traveled to Puerto Rico. They worked with ReHace Methodist Church of Puerto Rico to help with continued recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria, which struck the island in 2017. These were the first teams from the U.S. since the COVID shutdown that were permitted to assist. ReHace was able to continue working through COVD and have helped over 1,200 families return to their homes.

Read the full journey recap written by Cheryl P. Smith.
View the list of upcoming UMVIM Journeys.

Global Migration Sunday

The East Ohio Conference Order of Deacons encourages pastors, congregations, and faith communities to participate in Global Migration Sunday on January 9, 2022, or on a future Sunday of your choosing during the year.

Paragraph 162.H in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016 advocates for the rights of immigrants as part of The Social Principles of our denomination: “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all. We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families.”

The Order of Deacons has developed a worship resource for your church to use, either in its entirety or as elements of your worship service. This resource meets the shared vision of Conference clergy and laity to reach new and diverse people in bold and courageous ways so that we together can be God’s agents of transformation in our communities and throughout the world. 

Learn more and view the Global Migration Sunday resource.


Certified Lay Ministry Introduces New Video Resource
Lay members of The East Ohio Conference, are you feeling a call to expand and extend the use of your individual gifts and talents to serve God? If so, Certified Lay Ministry may be a way for you to fulfill your calling into deeper, more focused ministries. A Certified Lay Minister (CLM) is a member of a United Methodist congregation who completes specialized training and works under the supervision of a clergy person to lead a team in achieving agreed upon ministry goals. The roles of a CLM are varied and depend upon the gifts and talents of the CLM and the goals of the team.

In the East Ohio Conference, becoming a CLM consists of successfully completing all required training and being recommended by your district to the conference Lay Servant Committee for approval. Training consists of four online modules through and a course specifically designed for the East Ohio Conference to be offered through beginning 2022.

Learn more about Certified Lay Ministry.

Credit Union

Credit Cards
Enjoy the gift of giving this Christmas season. Shop with your Christian Family Credit Union Visa® credit card and enjoy low rates plus earn rewards on qualifying purchase. In addition, when you shop with your Christian Family credit card, you will enjoy: no annual fees; a six-month introductory rate; 25-day grace period on purchases; and 24/7 access to your account via

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 six 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 Rewards are for consumer credit cards only. Church and corporate accounts are not eligible for rewards. For full details on rewards visit 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.

Learn more.

Media Center

The Media Center has recently acquired the following resources:

  • Truthfilled; the Practice of Preaching to Yourself Through Every Season In every changing season of life, we can rest in God’s character, rehearse our identity in Christ, respond in faith, and remember God’s provision for us. Trade the lies found in culture, our minds, and our hearts for the truth of God’s Word.
  • The Chosen: Season 2 The Chosen is a multi-season show about the life of Jesus Christ and His disciples. Word is spreading that Jesus is the Messiah. Increased fame brings growing crowds, new disciples, more miracles, and trouble. Jesus’ disciples continue to passionately pursue the man they don’t always understand but will always follow.
  • You Were Made for This Moment: How the Story of Esther Inspires Us to Step Up and Stand Out for God The book of Esther was crafted for those who feel outnumbered by foes, outmaneuvered by fate, and outdone by fear. Esther’s story reaches out to us with a singular message: God is present, and he will act. What will we do when he does?
  • Acts; Awakening to God in Everyday Life Journey with Jesus’ first followers and witness the birth and growth of the early church through spiritual awakening to the power of God’s Spirit, grace and direction. Learn postures that will help you experience God’s presence, hear God’s voice, and see God at work all around.

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

King Richard
In telling the story of Richard Williams and how he coached and motivated his daughters Venus and Serena to become two of the greatest tennis players in history, King Richard is a movie that is vastly entertaining, often laugh-out-loud funny and – yes – inspirational. It’s a story about how hard work, perseverance, talent, and a bit of luck can move a person straight out of the violent and gang-run streets of Compton and into a life of fame and fortune. It’s a tale that also includes faith (Jehovah’s Witnesses) and marriage as key players in the script. It’s anchored by memorable and awards-worthy lead performances by Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis as Richard and Brandy Williams and energetic and disarming depictions of Venus and Serena by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton. The tennis scenes are incredible recreations of historic matches (the closing credits give away the digital trickery that helped create the amazing athleticism on display).

Read entire review.


Please pray for the families of:

  • James M. Bloomretired Elder, died November 16.
  • Stephanie LeeElder, died November 9.
  • Sandra K. Payetteretired Local Pastor, died October 30.

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

  • Digital Communications Coordinator – Church of the Lakes UMC in Canton
  • Aldersgate Choir Director – New Concord UMC
  • Director of Worship Arts – Northampton UMC in Cuyahoga Falls

Items Available/Wanted

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

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, December 9, 2021. Send articles to