Bishop Tracy S. Malone announces the following 2022 clergy appointments and/or changes of status. Each is effective 7/1/22 unless otherwise noted.
Districts: (CN) Canal · (FL) Firelands · (MO) Mid-Ohio · (MV) Mahoning Valley · (NC) North Coast · (OV) Ohio Valley · (SH) Southern Hills ·
(TR) Three Rivers · (TW) Tuscarawas · (WR) Western Reserve
|Matt Darrin||Howland, Tod Avenue, Hubbard, & Warren Grace UMCs||MV||1/1/22|
|Lee Ann Dunlap||McConnelsville McKendree, McConnelsville Grace, McConnelsville Pisgah, & McConnelsville Trinity UMCs||SH||11/15/21|
|Carolyn Greene||Perrysville & Bigelow UMCs||TR||2/1/22|
|James C. Jensen, Jr.||Medical Leave||CN||1/1/22|
|Charles Kettering||Empire UMC||OV||12/1/21|
|Roger Morrow||Smith Chapel UMC||SH||12/1/21|
|Deborah Nees||Christ Woodland UMC – Interim||CN||1/1/22|
|Terry Schmelzenbaugh||Stafford UMC||SH||8/1/21|
|Amy Shaw||Greentown UMC||TW||1/1/22|
|Patrick Smith||Lisbon, North Lima Calvary, & New Waterford UMCs||MV||1/1/22|
|Steven Smith||Cambridge Christ UMC||SH||1/1/22|
|Steve Sullivan||Moreland, Holmesville, & Mt. Hope UMCs||TR||2/1/22|
|Marc Tibbs||Centenary UMC||CN||2/1/22|
|Charles Tyler, Sr.||Celebration UMC||NC||1/1/22|
|Elizabeth Weed||Palmyra UMC||MV||1/1/22|
Visit the 2022 Appointments and Changes of Status page of the Conference website to read the Cabinet’s Core Values for Making Appointments and to see the lists of appointments, retirements, and those who are concluding their ministry.
Words of Guidance & Encouragement from Bishop Tracy S. Malone
Happy New Year! I rejoice in this New Year and celebrate that we worship a God who has plans for our good and not for our harm, to give us a future with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). I rejoice that God has carried us through another difficult year.
I know that navigating life and ministry during this time of pandemic has not been easy for any of us. I understand the frustration, anxiety, and exhaustion you’re experiencing and know that all of us are ready for this pandemic to end. Thank you for all the efforts you have made and continue to make in caring for the safety and well-being of yourself, your family, and your neighbor. I thank you for the attention and care you have given as you adhere to the East Ohio Conference COVID guidelines and the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and your local health department.
I remind us that we are still in a pandemic. The pandemic is not over! I encourage you to not relax the health and safety precautions in your church and in your personal life, instead I encourage you to double down on your efforts to preserve your health and the health of others. Everyone’s health matters.
I encourage everyone to get vaccinated. If you have not been fully vaccinated and are eligible to receive the vaccine, do it. And if you are eligible for a booster, get it. It is the single most important thing you can do to care for yourself and others.
Bishop Malone Holds Conversations of the Heart with Laity & Clergy of the EOC
Bishop Tracy S. Malone invites you to join her for A Time of Conversations of the Heart with the Laity & Clergy of the East Ohio Conference.
The Bishop is traveling the Conference to engage in meaningful conversation about the mission and vision of ministry in the East Ohio Conference and the future of The United Methodist Church.
You are invited to attend one of the following A Time of Conversations of the Heart with the Laity & Clergy of the East Ohio Conference, at which we will adhere to the health and safety guidelines established the leadership of each host church:
- Monday, January 10 | 2:00-4:00 p.m.
New Concord UMC (20 E High St., New Concord)
- Monday, January 10 | 6:00-8:00 p.m.
New Concord UMC (20 E High St., New Concord)
- Tuesday, January 18 | 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Faith UMC (300 9th St. NW, North Canton)
- Tuesday, January 18 | 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Faith UMC (300 9th St. NW, North Canton)
- Thursday, January 27 | 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Aldersgate UMC (4069 Eastwood Ln., Warrensville Hts.)
- Thursday, January 27 | 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Aldersgate UMC (4069 Eastwood Ln., Warrensville Hts.)
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. Bishop Malone shares, “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.”
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.
Annual Conference 2022
Annual Conference 2022 – June 9-11
The theme of Annual Conference 2022 is Let Us Live Love. The theme scripture is 1 John 4:7-13 (NIV):
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.”
Annual Conference 2022 is June 9-11 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron.
The 2021 Conference Journal is Available Online
The Conference Journal is available on the Conference website, www.eocumc.com. To view and/or download it, visit the website then select Conference Journal from the dropdown menu of the Resources tab. The Journal contains the reports and records of the past conference year as well as the daily proceedings of the Annual Conference session. Use the bookmark feature in the upper right corner of the pdf window to easily access any section of The Conference Journal.
Financial & Administrative Services
Deadline to Enter Local Church Report Online is January 18
The deadline for churches to enter their data for the local church report is Tuesday, January 18. The EZRA Stats system will continue to be used for Statistical Collection for the 2021 collection year. As previously reported, General Council on Finance & Administration (GCFA) postponed the transition to the new ACStats system for data collection until later this year for the next reporting year.
Coach Training for Clergy and Pastors
Coaches help to bring out the best in leaders! By active listening and asking good questions, coaches help others journey along their own path. By being a coach, you will help other clergy grow as well as find uses for these skills in your own ministry. Classes meet virtually on Thursday mornings starting in mid-February. For more details, e-mail the Rev. Beth Ortiz, director of Strategic Ministries.
Camps & Retreat Ministries
Camps Aldersgate, Asbury, and Wanake in Need of Summer Staff
To be successful each year, the East Ohio Conference Summer Camps program requires a great number of qualified staff. We are looking for outstanding Christian women and men to staff the following positions this summer: counselors, lifeguards, program staff, food service, administration, and maintenance. For more information, visit us online at www.eocummercamps.org then click the Staff & Volunteer tab, or call the camps directly:
- Aldersgate, (330) 627-4369
- Asbury, (330) 569-3171
- Wanake, (330) 756-2333
Summer Camp 2022 Registration is Open
At East Ohio Camps, we want every camper to have a summer story full of fun, faith formation, adventure, and growth. Our hope is when your child tells the story of what they did this past summer they include a week of camp where, “I connected with great friends and great counselors, had fun adventures, learned new things, experienced God in nature, and now my faith is soaring!” And that is what we are planning for summer 2022!
Please encourage the children, youth, and families of your congregation to include East Ohio Camps as a chapter of the story of summer 2022. The program options from which campers can choose are posted on the summer camps website, www.eocummercamps.org, and are laid out in the brochure that is currently being printed. If you need brochures or promotional materials, call the Camps office at (330) 499-3972 ext. 108 or ext. 120, or e-mail the office.
Advance Special Application Deadline is January 15
Saturday, January 15 is the deadline to submit an Advance Special application – for both existing Conference Advance Specials and those interested in becoming one. The Mission Awareness Committee will review and recommend the 2022-23 class of missions and ministries for churches and individuals to support. Advance Special designation is not guaranteed funding but allows for promotion by Mission Awareness, volunteer recruitment, and an EOCUMC Fund number for ease of donations by churches or individuals. If you have questions, please e-mail Melanie Thomas or all her at (330) 499-3972 ext. 102.
Virtual Mission to Cameroon – January 22 & 29
Join us for a virtual mission to Cameroon in Africa. Share in the discussions and learning with leadership of Cameroon Missions and pastors of Ebeneezer Community UMC. This is a great opportunity to begin to build relationships ahead of the in-person mission journey scheduled for October 15-31, 2022.
Winter Mission Academy 2022 – January 31-February 5
Join United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) for the 2022 Winter Mission Academy. This event is free, and you can register for as many workshops are you’d like. All sessions will be live on Zoom at 12:00 p.m. EST, and they will also be recorded for those who can’t attend live. Schedule and topics are:
- Mon., Jan. 31: Engaging the Community for Social Transformation led by Rev. Brian Tener of Discipleship Ministries
- Tues., Feb. 1: Creating the Family Mission Experience led by Amy Foc, Kimmy Farone & Collette Ndobe
- Wed., Feb. 2: Volunteerism with Justice for Our Neighbors led by Rev. Tom Lank
- Thurs., Feb. 3: Raising Money (Without Embarrassment) for Your UMVIM Project led by Cesie Scheuermann
- Fri., Feb. 4: Equipping the Church for Preparedness and Resilience for Extreme Weather and Disaster
- Sat., Feb. 5: Mobile Photography and Mission led by Rev. Matt Lacey, SEJ UMVIM executive director
New Board of Missions Grant and Scholarship Application
Each year, churches and individuals donate to East Ohio Undesignated Missions (Fund 9001) and for many years, those funds where simply divided among existing Advance Specials. To find a more intentional and impactful use for these funds, the Board of Missions has approved a new application process. It is available to anyone going on a UMC mission journey and any ministry connected to The UMC – whether the ministry is a current Advance Special or not. If you are not a UMC member but going on a UMC mission journey, you can apply too. The Board of Missions will review applications during its meetings throughout the year. To be reviewed during the February Board meeting, applications must be received by February 1.
Kentucky Tornado Disaster Response
Before Christmas, the Disaster Response Committee reached out to United Methodist Committee on Relief Early Response Team (UMCOR ERT)-trained people to ask who would be interested in traveling to Kentucky if/when impacted areas invite teams. We were later informed that a current UMCOR ERT badge will not be required for everyone on a team. If you would like to be kept ‘in the loop’ on a possible team to Kentucky, please e-mail Melanie Thomas or call her at (330) 499-3972 ext. 102 and you will be added to the list of people interested. This doesn’t mean you are committed to going, just that we will include you in communications regarding our Kentucky response. Keep in mind that, like many disasters that ‘drop out’ of the news cycle, clean-up and rebuilding can take years.
Get the latest updates from the Kentucky Conference.
View UMVIM long-term recovery projects. Click on Disaster Recovery, Long Term on the chart.
Zoe Empowers Wins Global Mission Award
We are honored to share that Zoe Empowers, a United Methodist global mission with strong support from EOC churches, has been named the winner of the 2021 .ORG Impact Award in the category of Ending Poverty and Hunger. Zoe works to empower orphaned and vulnerable children in seven countries to become self-sufficient, and never need charity again! The awards recognize mission-driven organizations that work to improve their communities and make the world a better place, and this year, 633 nominees from more than 40 different countries submitted entries. Why not share this great mission in your 2022 VBS? The resource below can be used along with any VBS curriculum. Join the many EOC churches that have been inspired by partnering with this cost-effective, child-empowering, indigenous–led mission with a proven record of transforming young lives.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance & Human Relations Day Sunday
“The prophetic witness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for justice and peace embodies the spirit of the Social Creed, the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church and the inclusiveness of our denomination” (Resolution 3065 Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church). Dr. King reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” and as United Methodists we have an active role in moving our society closer to peace with justice. In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King laments the church during the Civil Rights era as weak and an ineffectual voice on matters of morality particularly around race. He challenges white churches to recapture the passion and power of the early church that had the ability to transform the world. As a denomination and conference that is predominantly white (approximately 95% here in East Ohio), we have the opportunity, even now in 2022, to fulfill Dr. King’s vision of the beloved community, of brotherly and sisterly love for one another, and of peace with Justice.
Human Relations Day, one of denomination-wide special Sundays of The United Methodist Church, is celebrated on the Sunday before the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – or on any Sunday that’s appropriate for the church. Occurring during Epiphany, this Sunday manifests God’s light into the world through the recognition of all of God’s children in relationship to one another. The Board of Multicultural Vitality challenges the East Ohio Conference to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day wherever you are through acts of service. Post your service or observance to social media using #BendingTheArc2022. Opportunities to observe:
King In the Wilderness movie discussion via Zoom – January 16 @ 6:00 p.m.
Guest presenter and facilitator is Dr. Tejai Beulah Howard, Ph.D., assistant professor of History, Ethics, and Black Church and African Diaspora Studies at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Learn more and register.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance and Essay Contest – January 17 @ 10:00 a.m.
Aldersgate UMC, 4069 Eastwood Lane, Warrensville Heights (44122). For more information, call the church office at (216) 921-4075 or send an e-mail.
East Ohio Conference Celebrates Black History Month in February
As we approach Black History Month 2022 the East Oho Conference takes time to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of the Black community to our common history. During Black History Month 2021, we featured the stories of EOC Black clergy. Taking time to hear the stories and learn the history of Black colleagues, friends, and the Black community is an essential part of Black History Month. Starting as “Negro History Week” in 1926, February was chosen because it included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. What started as a movement became officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976 who called upon the public to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
The East Ohio Conference continues to seize the opportunity and invites you to seize it as well. During February 2022, the Multicultural Vitality office will release downloadable family guides, which we invite you, your family, and your small groups to use each week. The guides are designed to teach elementary school-aged students, with adult help, to celebrate Black history. The guides will be put together using material from “All In God’s Image: A Celebration of Black History and Diversity” which is a Sunday school resource released in 2021 written by Corinne Dunn an East Ohio lay person who is a professional Diversity Learning consultant and trainer. The guide and other resources can be used to grow personally, or with a group, in your appreciation and understanding of Black history.
Guides will be posted on the homepage of the Conference website on the following Mondays: January 31, February 7, February 14, and February 21. You are also invited to participate in a preview and demonstration on how to use the resource on January 26 from 7:00-7:30 pm on Zoom with Corinne and Will Fenton-Jones, director of Multicultural Vitality.
Young People’s Ministries
Youth Annual Conference – June 17-19
Relentless is the theme for Youth Annual Conference 2022. We will gather at Walsh University June 17-19 for a weekend filled with worship, fellowship, discipleship, and leader training for teens and their leaders.
Book Club 2022
All adult church leaders are invited to join the conversations we have during our Young People’s Ministries Leaders Book Club. The January book we will discuss is “Love Does” by Bob Goff.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship
Once again, this year, the East Ohio Board of Higher Education and Christian Collegiate Ministries (BHECCM) is sponsoring the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship for students who will be entering or already attending college in the fall of 2022. This scholarship honors the legacy of Dr. King, and encourages applicants to research, reflect, and write about Dr. King’s impact on the Church and the world. The scholarship award usually ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. Questions about this or other East Ohio scholarship opportunities can be e-mailed to Rev. David MacDonald.
Conference Website Has New Scholarship & Grant Applications
Laity and clergy looking for available scholarships and grants for college and seminary students, and ministry, local church or continuing education scholarships and grants can find what you are looking for by clicking on the Scholarships/Financial Aid button on the homepage of the East Ohio Conference website. Some applications can be downloaded, filled out and mailed in, while others offer fill-able pdfs or online applications. The site has information about scholarships offered by East Ohio ministries as as well as from agencies and ministries across The United Methodist Church.
Ohio Wesleyan University Participating in UMHEF Dollars of Scholars
Every year, The United Methodist Church and UM-related colleges and universities are helping hundreds of families invest in their future. Through the Dollars for Scholars Program, United Methodist Churches and the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) each provide $1,000 to selected students. Participating United Methodist schools of higher education may match that amount, providing a “triple award” of $3,000. Lastly, participating United Methodist Conference Foundations also may provide matching funds, bringing the total scholarship amount to $4,000. That can make a world of difference for students and their families.
We at Ohio Wesleyan are proud to make this investment in the next generation of our community, national, and world leaders. Thus, a student whose local congregation chooses to participate in the program will have the $1,000 initial scholarship matched by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation and Ohio Wesleyan, bringing the total value of the scholarship to $3,000. High school seniors must submit online applications for Dollars for Scholars between January 1 and March 1 each year.
MTSO Offers Full-Tuition Scholarships to All Qualified UM Ministry Candidates
In 2018, Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO) and its donors made a bold scholarship commitment in support of the United Methodist Church and those who aspire to serve it. In the years since, that commitment has been renewed and enhanced. The school pledges to provide a full-tuition scholarship to every qualified incoming student who pursues United Methodist candidacy as an Elder or Deacon. The pledge covers those applying by Jan. 31 for the 2022-23 academic year. Interested prospective students are invited to learn more by calling an MTSO admissions counselor at (800) 333-6876 or by sending an e-mail.
The Media Center offers these hidden gems:
- My One Word challenges us to choose just one word that represents what we most hope God will do in us and focus on it for an entire year. This study encourages us to center our hopes on who God wants us to become and the transformation process. See lasting, sustainable growth through God’s power over the course of one year.
- Which Way, Lord? Exploring Your Life’s Purpose in the Journeys of Paul filmed in Turkey, Israel, and Greece, takes us to places where Paul lived and traveled. We’ll consider how Paul’s entire life—his traditions, education, travels, and challenges—prepared him for traveling roughly 10,000 miles to preach the Good News. Then, we’ll be encouraged to unpack our life alongside Paul’s to find our purpose and passion.
- Sacred Rhythms: Spiritual Practices that Nourish Your Soul and Transform Your Life explores the practices that spiritual seekers and growing disciples have used throughout history to grow closer to God. Each session offers specific instructions that allow us to experience each discipline and incorporate it into our lives.
- Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working Normal people are stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. When it comes to God, the majority believe in him, but the teachings of Scripture rarely make it into their everyday lives. Normal isn’t working. This study helps us break free from the norm to lead a radically abnormal (and endlessly more fulfilling) life.
Message in the Movies
Procession is a tough watch, capable of breaking your heart but also offering up the possibilities for healing. It is one of the most memorable films of 2021 and a witness to how the light of God’s love can shine through in unexpected places.
Note: Procession never brings up salacious details (as might be seen in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) about sexual acts, but the emotional damage is always close to the surface. You may still choose to give this one a pass.
Please pray for the families of:
- Diane Kay Johnson, Deacon, died December 25.
- David E. Naus, Local Pastor, died December 24.
- Mary Brunstetter, surviving spouse of the Rev. Glenn A. Brunstetter, died December 4.
- Lois M. Thomas, surviving spouse of the Rev. William B. Thomas, died November 30.
- Julianne Gebbie, retired Elder, died November 24.
- Laura E. Sopher, surviving spouse of the Rev. Joseph Sopher, died November 23.
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.
- Inbound Marketing Content Associate Specialist – GCFA
- Church Pianist/Organist – Dover First UMC
- Treasuer – First UMC in Massillon
- Financial Secretary – First UMC in Massillon
- Pianist – First UMC in Massillon
- Administrative Assistant/Secretary – North Industry UMC in Canton
- Accounts Receivable Clerk – The Financial & Administrative Services Office of the EOC of The UMC
- Secretary/Treasurer – Mt. Zion Community Church (a UMC Fellowship) in Canton
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