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Let Us Live LOVE
Annual Conference 2022 was June 9-11 with 448 clergy and 467 laity meeting inside the John S. Knight Center.
Services and Celebrations
The first day of Annual Conference began with 66 clergy, clergy spouses, and laity who passed away since last year’s Annual Conference were remembered during the Service of Commemoration and Holy Communion. Bishop Tracy S. Malone was the preacher for this service. The day concluded with the bishop sharing reflections during the Celebration of Retirement recognizing 28 retiring clergy. This year’s class of retirees served a combined 791 years ministering in local churches and extension ministry positions.
Pastor Sheena Cameron of Mt. Pleasant UMC and St. Paul UMC was the preacher for the Friday morning worship service and Rev. Ed Fashbaugh, executive director of Connectional Ministries, was the preacher for the Saturday morning service. Annual Conference concluded with Bishop Laura Barbins of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the ELCA preaching the sermon in the Service of Commissioning and Ordination. During the service, one person was commissioned a provisional Deacon, one person was commissioned a provisional Elder, and 10 were ordained as full Elders in The United Methodist Church.
During the business sessions of Annual Conference 2022:
- Bishop Malone celebrated the success of the $1.5 million Teach • Reach • Bless campaign.
- Members approved a 12% increase in 2023 health care premiums.
- Members approved a 10% increase in 2023 minimum salaries for clergy.
- Members approved the 2023 Conference budget of $9,764,559, a budget that is 5.3% lower than the 2022 budget.
- Members approved: Resolution 2022-01: “Reclaiming Peace” and Resolution 2022-03: “End the Death Penalty in Ohio”. Motions were approved to table two other resolutions and two additional resolutions were not acted upon before the conclusion of Annual Conference 2022.
- Members approved the disaffiliation of 11 churches and the closing of five churches.
- Members endorsed two episcopal candidates, listed in the order in which motions were made from the floor and approved by the body: Rev. Cara Stultz Costello and Rev. Jonathan Priebe.
Living Into Our Shared Vision Teaching Sessions
At the invitation of Bishop Tracy S. Malone, the Rev. Dr. Michael Beck, director of Fresh Expressions for the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church led three teaching sessions that encouraged East Ohio Conference clergy and laity to live into our shared vision in new ways.
Live LOVE Ministry Moments
Throughout the three days of Annual Conference, the East Ohio Conference Connectional Ministries team led by Executive Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Ed Fashbaugh highlighted the many ways that pastors, congregations, and faith communities are living love in their mission fields. The four segments were:
- A Disciple Worships (view and download the video)
- A Disciple is Generous and Serves (view and download the video)
- A Disciple is Part of a Community (view and download the video)
- A Disciple Advocates for Those in Need (view and download the video)
Missions and Ministry Opportunities
- Ministry Opportunities tables displayed materials highlighting EOC and UMC ministries.
- Dignity kits were assembled for use by Midwest Mission Distribution Center in assisting others.
- Relief kits filled a Midwest Mission Distribution Center collection truck.
- Money was also raised for missions with a 5K Run/1-Mile Walk.
Annual Conference Offering
You can still support the Annual Conference 2022 offering (Fund 9214) that will benefit:
- EOC Fund 1301 which supports United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
- The Nehemiah Mission of Cleveland, an EOC Health & Well-Being organization.
- The Bishop’s Discretionary Fund used by Bishop Tracy S. Malone in supporting ministry needs.
Walk for Our Lives Against Gun Violence
On the day before Annual Conference 2022, Bishop Tracy S. Malone led nearly 150 clergy and laity in a 1.4-mile Walk for Our Lives against gun violence. The walk began with a rally outside the John S. Knight Center, wove through the streets of Akron, Ohio and concluded with a vigil outside Family of Faith United Methodist Church.
“We are putting our faith and our prayers and our feet to action to say, ‘no more’ to violence,” said Bishop Tracy S. Malone, resident bishop of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Courtesies and Announcements
Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, executive director of the Ohio Council of Churches and Rev. Nick Bates, director of the Hunger Network in Ohio addressed the body and Executive Director Rev. Ed Fashbaugh presented the One Matters: Discipleship Ministries award to Pastor Georgette Gaston and Cambridge Faith UMC.
Annual Conference 2023
The 54th session of East Ohio Annual Conference is scheduled for June 8-10, 2023, at the John S. Knight Center in Akron.
Financial & Administrative Services
New IRS Mileage Rate Effective July 1
Beginning on July 1, 2022, the standard mileage rate for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be 62.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 4.0 cents from the rate established earlier this year. The rest of the mileage rates remain unchanged.
For questions about Financial & Administrative Services, please e-mail Vera Rebrovich, executive director of Financial & Administrative Services, or visit the Financial & Administrative Services pages of the Conference website.
Supporting Global Missions Missionaries
The good news is that the UMC is #STILLINMISSION through these challenging days of pandemic and war. Through a covenant relationship, you and your church can partner with one of the 200-plus Global Ministries missionaries to provide financial, spiritual, and emotional support.
Your church can begin a Covenant Relationship by establishing a financial goal of $10 per member of your church per year. Individuals can also covenant with a missionary for $500 per year. This partnership is much more than a financial commitment. It is a dynamic relationship where the church and missionary pray for one another and communicate regularly. When you covenant with one missionary, you are supporting the entire United Methodist missionary community on their behalf and in their name.
Mission Journey to Guatemala, December 4-10
A team led by Rev. Kimberly and Doug Arbaugh will work at the United Methodist-related Camp Lemoa in Guatemala to prepare for future mission teams, pastor retreats, children’s programming, and more. Trip participants will do light construction work and relationship building. To learn more, please call Rev. Arbaugh at (330) 627-7671 or (740) 491-0514. Planning meetings will start in June.
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.
United Women in Faith Mission U 2022 – July 9-10 & 16-17
Our newly-designed Mission u 2022 is more flexible and intergenerational than ever with curricula for youth, children, and adults focused on Luke chapter 13. This year we find ourselves in a period of disruption and uncertainty. Amidst a devastating pandemic, divisive political climate, unaddressed systemic racism, ecological crises, and economic turmoil, we turn to the stories of Jesus that have anchored Christian communities for two millennia. Our hope is that we will leave Mission u with a bigger and broader vision of the community Christ is calling us to be in times of loss, grief, and massive disruption.
The adult study will be via Zoom July 9-10 and July 16-17 for two hours each day. Saturday sessions are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Sunday sessions from 7:00-9:00 p.m. We will study Who Can Be Together? A Biblical Exploration of Luke 13 by Candace Simpson. There will also be an in-person retreat at the University of Mount Union July 22-23. The youth study will be in-person during the July 22-23 retreat. Youth will discuss Community in the Midst of Challenging Times by Kenya Cummings. The children study will also be held at Mount Union during the retreat using the book The Growing Tree by Ilka Vega.
Media Center Garage Sale
Incredible resources from the Media Center can be yours – for only a donation. Some of the items that are available are copies we no longer need, some have served well over the years but are ready to retire, and others are items that have been discontinued. Companion pieces are included, where applicable. These resources are available first come, first serve. Cost is a donation of your choice. Proceeds from the garage sale will be used to purchase new Media Center resources.
After reviewing the list in the link above, e-mail Media Center coordinator Amy George the name(s) of item(s) you wish to have. She’ll pull them from the garage sale shelf and hold them for you to pick up at the Area Center (8800 Cleveland Ave. NW in North Canton, 44720) or she can mail them to you for the cost of postage.
Message in the Movies
Top Gun: Maverick
Whenever a sequel to a popular film comes out, one of the first questions asked is whether it is important to have seen the original film prior to viewing the new movie. Since Top Gun was released in 1986 this is a valid concern, but a problem easily solved by Top Gun: Maverick. After an opening prelude in which Capt. Peter “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise) pushes the envelope with a supersonic jet prototype, he is disciplined and given orders to serve as an instructor for the graduating class of Top Gun pilots. If you have seen the earlier film, you will remember that Maverick’s best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards) perished during a training flight. As fate would have it, Goose’s son is now one of the Top Gun pilots, Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), and there is some real rancor from Rooster towards Maverick. This new group of younger Navy pilots have distinctive monikers with customized logos on their helmets. Say hello to Hangman, Hondo, Phoenix, Warlock, Payback, and Bob.
Celebrations of Life
Please pray for the families of:
- Janet L. Jennings, spouse of retired Elder the Rev. Irwin Jennings, died June 5.
- Robert S. Phillips, Jr., retired Elder, died May 30.
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.
- Maintenance Person – Rocky River UMC
- Director of Congregational Development – The Illinois Great Rivers Conference of The UMC
- Director of Adult Choirs – Faith UMC in North Canton
- Part-Time Childcare Providers – Faith UMC in North Canton
- Pianist/Organist – Lakeview UMC in Barberton
- Communications Senior Specialist – The General Board of Church and Society
- Media Center Garage Sale – resources available for donation of your choice.
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