June 27, 2022

Bishop’s Office

Ten EOC Districts to Be Served by Eight Superintendents
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

“Yes! God is doing a new thing in the East Ohio Conference and in these unprecedented times, God is making a way and unfolding new ministry and leadership possibilities,” said Bishop Tracy S. Malone in a letter to the Conference on February 15 describing her superintendency plan for 2022-23.

As of July 1, the 10 districts will be served by eight superintendents and there will be new superintendency models implemented in two regions of the Conference.

  • Rev. Bruce Hitchcock is the new superintendent of the North Coast District after previously serving as Ohio Valley District superintendent.
  • Rev. Laura White, Southern Hills District superintendent, will expand her leadership to also serve as co-superintendent of the Ohio Valley District.
  • Rev. Rev. Kelly Brown, Three Rivers District superintendent, will expand his leadership to also serve as Ohio Valley District co-superintendent.
  • Rev. Nestor Nazario, superintendent of the Mid-Ohio District, will expand his leadership to also serve as the superintendent of the Firelands District. Currently, Rev. Donna Van Trees assists the Firelands District superintendent. She will continue to work part-time and be appointed to serve as the district superintendent associate.

Read Bishop Malone’s February 15 letter in its entirety.

Council of Bishops

UMC Bishops Bemoan US Supreme Court’s Decision on Abortion
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church says the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade has denied the sacred worth of women who face “the tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion.”

In a statement released June 25 by COB President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, the bishops said the decision serves to create a further divide between persons of privilege who have the means to seek necessary health care and those who lack this privilege due to their current economic condition, their disproportionately affected lives, or the color of their skin.

Read the COB press release in its entirety.

General Commission on the Status and Role of Women

A Response of Lament to the SCOTUS Decision to Overturn Roe V. Wade
The Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V. Wade creates gender, racial and economic injustice for all Americans. It draws deeper lines between those who have means and those who do not. It creates geographical disparities that erase equal access and opportunity to healthcare. By reducing a woman’s rights, our class structure is further divided, contrary to our belief that all women and men are created equal.  We grieve this injustice.

Read the GCSRW statement in its entirety.


UMVIM NCJ Summer Mission Academy – July 25-29
The focus of this year’s online United Methodist Volunteers in Mission North Central Jurisdiction (UMVIM NCJ) Summer Mission Academy is team leader training. The Academy, which will meet at 6:00 p.m. each day Monday, July 25 through Friday, July 29 is for anyone who has not yet taken team leader training and for anyone for whom it has been a while since they have completed the training. If you are already a certified team leader and wish to have a team leader refresher, you can sign-up for that class being offered on Saturday, July 30.

There is no cost to participate in the UMVIM NCJ Summer Mission Academy – but you need to register in advance. If you have questions about the Academy, e-mail Rev. Tammy Kuntz, NCJ UMVIM coordinator.

Learn more and register for UMVIM NCJ Summer Mission Academy.

Midwest Mission Distribution Center Collection at Annual Conference 2022
A big “thank you” to EOC churches and individuals for your generous support of the Midwest Mission Distribution Center during Annual Conference. Thank you for donating items to and/or assembling kits for MMDC! Your efforts contributed to 8,340 lbs. of supplies being collected, including 306 cleaning kits, and we are waiting to learn the amount of money donated during the week of AC.  

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.

Young People’s Ministries

Youth Annual Conference 2022: Relentless
Youth Annual Conference 2022 met in-person on the campus of Walsh University in North Canton June 17-19. Approximately 80 youth and 40 adult leaders gathered to worship, fellowship, witness, and grow in their faith. Following two years of YAC being held virtually there was energy across the campus all weekend as participants rekindled old friendships and made new ones. Over three days youth and their leaders heard inspirational messages, enjoyed live music, worked together in breakout sessions, relaxed during recreation time, engaged with and laughed at an improv group, worshipped and took communion, and walked together in prayer.

Throughout the weekend the Rev. Dr. Stephanie Hand, a Deacon serving as Vitality strategist in the Metro District of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, repeated her messages to the youth and their youth leaders that as Christians we must show up for God and that we can win with what we’ve got.

“Do you know why we have to show up? Because God, through Jesus Christ, got off the cross for you and for me so therefore we too on a day-to-day basis we, too, must show up. When people bully us in school we still have to show up. When we bully other people and we go home and can’t sleep at night because the Holy Spirit is agitating our spirit we still have to show up and apologize, Amen? When someone is struggling, and you know they’re struggling, when they’re in your community and they don’t have all the things they need, and you can see it, instead of walking by we have to show up,” she said. “Your youth leaders showed up today when they picked you up to bring you to this great place. They show up for you every single time. They show up when you are in need. So, therefore, my young friends, this weekend I want you to show up in the fullness of who God created you to be.”

Christian singer Sarah Reeves and the comedy ministry 321 Improv were this year’s guest artists.

View and download the YAC 2022 recap video.
Read the YAC 2022 recap article.
View the YAC 2022 Flickr album.

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

ReachOut Alumni Reunion – September 10-11
Anyone who has attended ReachOut in the past 55 years is invited to an alumni reunion September 10-11 at Lakeside Chautauqua. If you were a camper, a nurse, or on staff for ReachOut at any of its locations (Camp Bethesda, Camp Wesley, Mount Union College, Lakeside Chautauqua, or the various churches that hosted weekend camp), sign-up for the reunion. we would love to see you again. Bring your family, rent a cottage for the weekend (no gate fees), or rent a room at the Fountain Inn or Hotel Lakeside. Events start at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 10. There will be morning worship on Sunday, September 11 – and there will be plenty of downtime to reconnect. If you have questions, please e-mail Ron Panovec or call him at (330) 515-1061, or e-mail Linda Kretschmaier or call her at (614) 560-1682.

Learn more and register to attend. Note housing is not included.

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.


Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors Meeting July 23
Associate members and local pastors are invited to the annual Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors (FAMLP) meeting on July 23 at Cuyahoga Falls First UMC. The 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. meeting will be the first in-person gathering of the fellowship since the start of the pandemic. The meeting will include worship, introduction of the FAMLP Board, elections, revisions to the constitution, a box lunch, and the keynote address “The Importance of Taking Sabbath” from Board of Ministry Chair the Rev. Jonathan Priebe. Cost is $10 and the deadline to register is July 18. If you have questions, please e-mail Pastor Jeri Johnson, president of FAMLP.

Learn more and register by July 18.


GCUMM Shares New Path Forward for Scouting Ministry
The General Commission on United Methodist Men (GCUMM) announces that a highly skilled team of chancellors, insurance risk advisors, and UMC leaders have forged a path through a difficult landscape to provide a safer way for Scouting ministry to continue within local United Methodist churches.

After months of negotiation between the Ad Hoc Committee of United Methodist’s leadership team and the Boy Scouts of America, a new “Affiliation Agreement” has been finalized and approved by The UMC Ad Hoc Leadership Team, BSA top executives and GCUMM top executives. The new agreement defines the roles and responsibilities of the various parties – the Boy Scouts of America, the local councils, affiliated organizations, and Scouting units — and specific information regarding indemnity and insurance agreements (including the types of insurance coverage and limits). The ownership of the local Scouting unit will reside with the local Scout Council. The support of the ministry with the unit will still reside with the local church. Under the older relationship known as “chartering,” the local church “owned” the Scouting unit while the local Scouting councils and BSA national acted as resource partners. As a result of the class-action lawsuit against BSA and their subsequent bankruptcy case, it became imperative to redefine the relationship and re-establish ownership. This move allows the local church more freedom of choice in how to engage Scouting ministry while building a responsible framework and relationship moving forward.

In the midst of change and alongside the legal and more technical pieces of Scouting ministries, GCUMM is poised to assist the local church to offer safe Scouting ministries with resources and guidance. If you have questions, please e-mail the General Commission on United Methodist Men.

Read the GCUMM press release in its entirety.

Media Center

The Media Center highlights these new resources:

To reserve these or other resources, call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 ext. 139 or send an e-mail to ageorge@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at www.rqmweb.com/eocumc.

For questions about the Media Center and its resources, please e-mail Amy George, Media Center coordinator, or visit the Media Center pages of the Conference website.

Message in the MoviesMessage in the Movies banner (colorful film strip

After Yang
After Yang takes place in an alternative world sometime in the near future and spends most of its time with one family – Jake (Farrell), Kyra (Turner-Smith), their adopted Chinese daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja), and Yang (Justin H. Min), the “techno sapien” android purchased to be a guardian to Mika and also her tutor about her culture, full of “fun facts” about China.

I was not initially on board with After Yang when I first saw it. I wanted the film to tell me more about its characters and the world in which they live. I wanted to know more about why some technologies in this future world are advanced and others absent.

Now that I have viewed the movie three times, I am convinced that After Yang wants these questions to remain unanswered. The film functions as a beautiful poem. In just 90 minutes, this movie opens up thoughts and feelings about grief and loss, parenting, humanity, cultural appropriation, community, beauty, and mortality.

Read entire review.

Celebrations of Life

Please pray for the families of:

  • Mary Lu Warstlerretired Elder, died June 18.
  • Fred A. Schmidt, Jr.retired Elder, died June 10.
  • Philip N. Carlretired Elder, died June 7.
  • Mitchell Ladichretired Elder, died March 3. A Celebration of Life will be held July 9 at 11:30 a.m. at Baxter’s Ridge UMC (4006 Jade Rd. NW, Carrollton, OH). Visitation will precede the service at 11:00 a.m.

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

  • Maintenance Person – Rocky River UMC

Items Available/Wanted

  • Media Center Garage Sale – resources available for donation of your choice.

To submit a classified ad please e-mail swilliams@eocumc.com.

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, July 7, 2022. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.