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
|Rebecca Evanoff||Northampton UMC||CN|
|Lindsey Funtik||Chapel Hill & Three Crosses UMCs||MO|
|Georgette Gaston||Cambridge Faith, Cambridge First & Cambridge Center UMCs||SH|
|Jim Gaston||Cambridge Faith, Cambridge First & Cambridge Center UMCs||SH|
|Leslie Mahaney||Nevada & Scioto UMCs||MO|
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.
Resurrection: Promise and Invitation
“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5-6 (NIV)
The Easter story is a proclamation of resurrection, new life, and hope! The empty cross and the empty tomb bear witness to God’s profound love for the world and God’s gift of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ! The Easter story reveals how God is always working for good in our lives and in the world bringing light into the darkness, hope out of despair, and turning tragedy into triumph. There is nothing impossible for God!
Do Not Be Afraid! He is not here! He has risen!
Easter reminds us that we have the promise of new life and hope in Jesus Christ, and we have the invitation to claim the resurrection power of Jesus Christ in our personal lives. We are invited to live victoriously, relying on the Lord’s endless supply of grace, love, light and hope and not yield to fear, doubt and cynicism when we are faced with trouble and uncertainty. The resurrection power of Jesus Christ can permeate even the darkest of situations and bring forth healing, peace, and reconciliation. There is nothing impossible for God!
Do Not Be Afraid! He is not here! He has risen!
Let us live with a resurrection faith! Let us believe and expect resurrection! Expect Christ to show up and manifest His glory and power in our lives, in our churches, in our communities and in the world!
The Easter story reminds us that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who is our healer, our hope, and our salvation. Therefore, let us live with a resurrection faith! Let us believe and expect resurrection today, tomorrow, and always!
Bishop Tracy S. Malone Outlines the Pathway for Disaffiliation and Separation
In this video Bishop Tracy S. Malone celebrates the movement of the Holy Spirit in East Ohio Conference churches that are sharing the love, grace, and hospitality of Jesus Christ with those who are hurting and those looking for hope and a place to belong.
Amidst anxiety caused by the postponement of the 2020 General Conference until 2024, and the uncertainty being experienced because of plans of disaffiliation and separation, the Bishop reminds us that the mission of Jesus Christ is alive in the East Ohio Conference. Together we are on a journey to live into our mission and live into our shared vision of discipleship, evangelism, and transformation.
“I want us to stay focused on our mission and on our vision because let us remember that what is not postponed and what we never disaffiliate ourselves from is our calling to share the love and the good news of Jesus Christ. We never disaffiliate and separate from our compassion for those who are hurting and grieving. We never separate ourselves from the listening and the responding to the needs of the poor and the marginalized, and our work for peace, hope, and reconciliation,” Malone shares in the video. “It is my earnest hope and my earnest prayer that none of you will choose to separate or disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church. There is a place for you.”
Though that is her hope, Bishop Malone acknowledges that some individuals and churches do not feel at home in The United Methodist Church for reasons of conscience and convictions related to differences on matters regarding human sexuality.
In this video Bishop Malone outlines the disaffiliation and separation pathway the Conference will use, and churches will need to follow. This pathway was determined after consultation between the Bishop, the chancellor, the Board of Trustees president, the CCF&A chair, the executive director of Financial & Administrative Services, the executive director of Connectional Ministries, and the executive assistant to the bishop.
Teach • Reach • Bless
Ground Broken for New Residence Hall at Africa University
Laity and clergy, working together, exceeded the goal of raising and collecting $1.5 million in support of the East Ohio Conference Teach • Reach • Bless campaign. Thanks to your generous support the funds needed to build the new residence hall for 90 female students on the campus of Africa University in Zimbabwe were collected in the first two years of the three-year campaign!
On Tuesday, April 12 ground was broken on two continents for the new residence hall. Shovels turned the earth on the site where the residence hall will be built on the campus of Africa University and a ceremonial ground-breaking took place immediately thereafter at the Conference office in North Canton.
“This is so much more than an investment in a residence hall,” said Bishop Tracy S. Malone. “We are investing in an education, investing in leadership, investing in safe and secure housing. We are investing in students’ lives!”
Annual Conference 2022 – June 9-11
Members of Annual Conference will meet in-person at the John S. Knight Center in Akron. Annual Conference will open on Thursday, June 9 with the Service of Commemoration and Holy Communion at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude on Saturday, June 11 with the 3:00 p.m. Service of Commissioning and Ordination.
AC 2022 Speakers
- Bishop Tracy S. Malone – Service of Commemoration and Holy Communion
- Bishop Laura Barbins – Service of Commissioning and Ordination
- Pastor Sheena Cameron – Friday Morning Worship
- Rev. Ed Fashbaugh – Saturday Morning Worship
- Rev. Dr. Michael Beck – Living into Our Vision Teaching Sessions
New Seating Format for Annual Conference 2022
Because members will be seated around tables this year, seating for plenary sessions and worship services will be limited to Annual Conference members and those invited by worship service designers.
All AC plenary sessions and worship services will be available to view via livestream.
Schedule an Annual Conference Luncheon for Your Group
If you are interested in hosting a luncheon for your group inside the John S. Knight Center or Greystone Hall during Annual Conference please e-mail Melanie Thomas or fill-out this online request form.
Annual Conference Choir
The Annual Conference choir will sing during several worship services during this year’s conference.
Connectional Ministries Luncheon at Annual Conference
Join the Connectional Ministries team at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 9 for a box lunch gathering in the Grand Ballroom of Greystone Hall, across the street from the John S. Knight Center. You will need to register online in advance, as the lunch is limited to the first 200 people to register. Cost is only $8.
For questions about ministries of the Connectional Ministries office, please e-mail the Rev. Ed Fashbaugh, executive director of Connectional Ministries, or visit the Connectional Ministries pages of the Conference website.
Leading Through COVID Trauma
While we all hope the darkest days of COVID are behind us, the impact that it has made on our lives and in our churches will continue years into the future. In many cases, our churches have experienced something they have not before in their lives – a deep collective trauma.
You are invited to participate in the three-part Leading Through COVID Trauma training to help you gain insights for you and your congregation. Training sessions are scheduled from 10:00 a.m.- 12 noon on Thursday, May 12, Thursday, May 19, and Thursday, May 26.
The Leading Through COVID Trauma training acknowledges that COVID is not just a hiccup in the path but rather in some communities has inflicted pain to the level of collective trauma. This training will first help clergy name how this has impacted them and then provide some tools to help churches begin to heal. Open wounds like uncared-for trauma will fester and harm all future ministry, but as we move to healing, wounds become scars which instead tell the story of our resilience and faith.
Leading Through COVID Trauma is led by Rev. Felix Ortiz Cotto. Rev Ortiz Cotto served as a Disciples of Christ pastor in Puerto Rico, a missionary in Paraguay and Haiti, and as area executive for Latin American and the Caribbean in Global Ministries of Disciples of Christ and UCC. He brings us not only insight from his personal background, but as a trained clergy in the Reborn from Ashes – Hope in Trauma ministry from the Shalom Center in Chili, based on Eastern Mennonite University and Global Ministries of Disciples and UCC.
Missions & Community Engagement
Volunteers Needed for Nepali Worship Service at Grandview UMC
Are you looking for a local mission opportunity for your church that engages with a new culture and works with children right here in East Ohio? Grandview UMC in Cuyahoga Falls is in need of volunteers (missions teams, youth groups, Sunday school teachers, confirmation classes, etc.) to lead children’s Sunday school for the church’s Nepali-language worship service on Sunday afternoons from 3:00 – 4:15 p.m. You would lead your Sunday school class in English and the lesson could include a Bible lesson, games, snacks, music, etc. If interested, please e-mail the Rev. David Hull-Frye or call him at (740) 343-9550.
Blue Rose Mission Brings Christ to Homeowners in Richland County
“We believe that by being the hands and feet of Christ, we will spread the Lord’s seeds throughout our community,” said Abby McCready, executive director of Blue Rose Mission in Mansfield, which is an East Ohio Conference Advance Special.
One homeowner whose life was recently touched by Blue Rose Mission is Paula B, who is raising her four-year-old granddaughter, is unable to work due to a disability, and has trouble moving around because of back issues among other health problems. The back porch and ramp leading to her house were hazardous and needed repair, and Paula feared using them. “It felt helpless,” she told us.
A work group of adults from Lansing, MI who regularly serve at Blue Rose Mission were dispatched to help Paula. Within days, the porch and ramp went from hazardous to near perfect condition. In a letter to Blue Rose, Paula shared that her favorite part about the process was the end because she is “no longer scared.” Paula was so moved by the experience that she sent a Christmas card to Blue Rose Mission. Inside was a tracing of her granddaughter’s hand. Paula’s story is just one of many from homeowners whose lives have been positively impacted through the Blue Rose Mission.
Missions 5K Run/1-Mile Walk at Annual Conference – June 9
Raise money, exercise, and fellowship – all at the same time! Register to participate in the 5K Run/1-Mile Walk on the towpath in Akron. The run/walk will start at Lock 3 on Thursday, June 9 at 6:00 p.m., following the first day of Annual Conference. If you can’t join in the run/walk, sponsor someone who will. Suggested donation is $25.
Midwest Mission Collection at Annual Conference June 9-11
The Midwest Mission Distribution Center collection truck will be onsite during this year’s Annual Conference at the John S. Knight Center in Akron.
For questions about Missions & Community Engagement ministries and opportunities, please e-mail the Rev. Kathy Dickriede, director of Missions & Community Engagement, or visit the Missions & Community Engagement pages of the Conference website.
Celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday – May 1
Churches, clergy, and laity are encouraged to make time during services on Sunday, May – Native American Ministries Sunday – to honor, celebrate and reflect on the contributions of Native Americans in society. The special offering collected on Native American Ministries Sunday is used to develop and strengthen Native American ministries in UMC annual conferences and Native American rural, urban, reservation ministries and communities. Funds also support ministry that impacts Native and Indigenous peoples right here in East Ohio!
Learn more about Native American Ministries Sunday and download bulletin inserts, graphics, liturgy, and a sermon starter that will ensure you have a meaningful time in worship.
All in God’s Image: A Study in the History of Indigenous Peoples
To help celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday, the Multicultural Ministries office invites you to download and read the third and final installment of our All in God’s Image: A Study in the History of Indigenous Peoples family guide designed to teach families and church congregations about Native American Ministries Sunday.
Young People’s Ministries
Youth Annual Conference – June 17-19
Youth Annual Conference returns to meeting in-person this year. Our June 17-19 gathering of youth from across the state of Ohio will be held on the campus of Walsh University in North Canton. This year’s theme is Relentless and the featured speaker is Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand. Sarah Reeves and 321 Improv will be the guest artists, and Mahoning Valley District Superintendent the Rev. Abby Auman will be our Sunday worship speaker.
Young Adult Laity Members to Annual Conference
If you are an adult under the age of 30 and are a laity member of Annual Conference 2022, please email e-mail Letty Damian in the Young People’s Ministries office for information about a block of hotel rooms available to Young People’s Ministries for Annual Conference. When you e-mail Letty, you will also be placed on the contact list for all social events for young people during Annual Conference.
Young People’s Ministries Leaders Book Club
Youth leaders and pastors please join us April 28 or April 29 for our monthly book club. This month’s book is 3 Big Questions that Change Every Teenager: Making the Most of Your Conversations and Connections by Kara Powell and Brad M. Griffin. Please join us for the discussion even if you haven’t read the book.
Conference Council on Youth Ministries
Conference Council on Youth Ministries is a great opportunity for teens who have completed the sixth grade to those entering their senior year in high school to take their discipleship journey to the next level of serving our Conference and beyond. If you know a teen who might be ready for this challenge of leadership development, please e-mail Kaye Wolfinger director of Young People’s Ministries or complete the online application.
For questions about Young People’s Ministries opportunities, please e-mail Kaye Wolfinger, director of Young People’s Ministries, or visit the Young People’s Ministries pages of the Conference website.
Camps & Retreat Ministries
Take Advantage of Early Bird Registration for Summer Camp 2022
Register by May 1 and your camper will receive a limited-edition 2022 Summer Camp t-shirt that is not available in the camp store at Camp Aldersgate, Camp Asbury, or Camp Wanake. Plus, you will receive $20 off your camper’s summer camp fee. E-mail the Camps office for a Summer Camp brochure or call the office at (330) 499-3972 ext. 108.
Open House Events at Camp Wanake and Camp Aldersgate
Here’s your chance to tour two of our East Ohio Conference camps, talk to the staff, and see what is being offered for Summer Camp 2022. Join us on the following dates.
- Camp Wanake: Saturday, April 23 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. (includes Resurrection Egg Hunt)
- Camp Aldersgate: Saturday, May 15 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
If you would like to visit Camp Asbury this spring, please e-mail the Camp Asbury office or reach it via phone by calling (330) 569-3171.
For questions about Camps & Retreat Ministries opportunities, please e-mail the Rev. Gary Jones, director of Camps & Retreat Ministries, or visit the Camps & Retreat Ministries pages of the Conference website.
Let Christian Family Credit Union Help You Prepare for the Unexpected
Several of our credit union’s guiding principles are related to financial well-being, and one of our goals is to make resources available to members to help them make sound financial decisions. Our free interactive, online education program will provide you with outstanding tools and resources to help you plan for the future. There are resources available for all ages, children to retirees. These free tools are available on our website.
Spiritual Formation & Christian Education
Join Us for the Next Spiritual Formation Network Gathering – April 19
If you’re involved in spiritual formation and Christian education, then join your friends and colleagues on Zoom April 19 for devotions, support, question-asking and -answering, and sharing ideas. The Zoom gathering will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19. Invite any of your friends and colleagues involved in spiritual formation and Christian education. We gather every three weeks – alternating between Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. and Thursday at 7:00 p.m. E-mail the Rev. Gary Jones for the Zoom invitation.
For questions about Spiritual Formation & Christian Education ministries opportunities, please e-mail the Rev. Gary Jones, director of Spiritual Formation, or visit the Spiritual Formation & Christian Education pages of the Conference website.
The Media Center highlights these new resources:
- Find Your People begins with a look at the original community in Genesis, the Trinity, and the creation of people to see what God had planned for us all along. Discover the five life patterns required to build deep, connected relationships: Proximity, Shared Mission, Transparency, Accountability, Consistency.
- Ephesians: Your Identity in Christ shares how Paul – in his letter to the Ephesians – focuses on who believers are in Christ and how their new identity relates to their struggles, new life, community, pursuits of unity and holiness, and challenges.
- Celebrate Recovery: A program for Implementing a Christ-Centered Recovery Ministry (Updated Version) shares a way the church can help the wounded move beyond their hurts, habits, and hang-ups to experience the forgiveness of Christ based on the Beatitudes. Celebrate Recovery helps the church fulfill its role as Christ’s healing agent.
Message in the Movies
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The title says it all. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a film that goes off in so many different directions that it’s rather surprising (in hindsight) to discover a rather straightforward story filled with a life affirming message.
Evelyn and Waymond Wong (Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan), a Chinese-American couple who operate a laundromat, have to gather together documents for a tax audit while also planning a Chinese New Year’s party for Gong Gong (James Hong), Evelyn’s father. There are a few complications. Diedre (Jamie Lee Curtis), the IRS agent, is ready to battle them every step of the way. Their teenage daughter Joy (Hsu) is struggling with her identity as she tries to figure out the best way to introduce her friend Becky (Tallie Medel) as her girlfriend. And Evelyn finds herself yanked out of her everyday problems by an alternative version of her husband who tells her that she is needed to save the world from the evil powers of Jobu Tupaki. To accomplish this mission, Evelyn will have to enter the multi-verse.
Celebrations of Life
Please pray for the families of:
- Charles Ready, retired Elder, died April 7.
- Helen L. Lewis, retired Elder, died April 7.
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.
- Church Administrator – Bay UMC in Bay Village
- Connectional Relations Specialist – GCFA
- Director of The Wesley Foundation/Senior Pastor of Wesley UMC – The Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois and Wesley UMC
- Executive Director of Finance and Administration – The Dakotas Annual Conference of The UMC
- Volunteers for Missions Teams, Youth Groups, Sunday School Teachers, Confirmation Classes, etc. – Grandview UMC in Cuyahoga Falls
- Direct Support, Housekeeping, Habilitation Specialists, Non-Medical Transportation Drivers, and other positions – Flat Rock Homes
- Family Life & Youth Leader – Ontario UMC in Mansfield
- Youth & Young Adult Director – Belden UMC in Grafton
- District Administrator – The Mahoning Valley and Western Reserve Districts of the East Ohio Conference of The UMC
- University Chaplain – The University of Mount Union
- Modern Worship Director – Church of the Saviour UMC in Cleveland Heights
- Manager of Grant Programs – GCORR
- Conference Treasurer and Pensions and Health Benefits Officer – The Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of The UMC
- 34 Choir Robes – Lakeside UMC
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