August 8, 2022

Bishop’s Office

Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy – September 6-8
The 2022 Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy will meet in-person beginning at noon Tuesday, September 6 and concluding at noon Thursday, September 8. The joint retreat for African American clergy of the East Ohio Conference and the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church features Bishop Tracy S. Malone and Bishop Gregory V. Palmer.

The retreat, at the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio, will center around the theme How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Resilient Leadership. Attending clergy are encouraged to read these two books in preparation for the retreat: How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season by Susan Beaumont; We Shall Be Changed: Questions for the Post-Pandemic Church by Mark D.W. Edington.

Registration cost includes room accommodations for those staying onsite as well as dinner the first day of the retreat, three meals the second day, and breakfast and lunch on the last day of the retreat. If you have questions about the retreat, please e-mail East Ohio Executive Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Ed Fashbaugh at efashbaugh@eocumc.com or West Ohio Director of the Office of Ministry the Rev. Donnetta Peaks at dpeaks@wocumc.org.

Learn more and register by the August 22 deadline.

Tour the Holy Land with Bishop Tracy S. Malone – January 31-February 9
Bishop Tracy S. Malone and the Methodist Foundation of Ohio will lead an Educational Opportunities tour of the Holy Land January 31 through February 9, 2023. Participants will see Jericho, Qumran, Bethlehem, Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Galilee, Cana, Nazareth, Samaria, Jerusalem, and so much more during this 10-day trip.

“This pilgrimage to the Holy Land will open up the Bible in a powerful way by expanding your understanding of scripture and deepening your faith as we visit sacred sites, worship together, and encounter God in the ancient places that ground our faith. It is my hope that those who participate will experience spiritual renewal both in their personal walk with God and in their respective ministries,” said Bishop Malone.

Cost of the trip starts at $3,498 departing from Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh on January 31, 2023. For those who choose to purchase trip insurance, the cost of the insurance is due by October 18.

Learn more and sign-up for the trip.

Disaster Response

UMCOR, UMC Assisting Following Deadly Kentucky Floods
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is on the ground in the Kentucky Conference leading efforts to aid those impacted by the recent deadly flooding.

The area is not yet ready to receive Early Response Teams from other UMC conferences, but there are several ways that you can assist our brothers and sisters in Christ in Kentucky right now:

EOC Executive Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Ed Fashbaugh will notify the Conference when ERT teams are invited to assist the Kentucky Conference.

Visit the Kentucky Conference website.
Visit the EOC Disaster Response page.

For questions about Disaster Response ministry opportunities, please e-mail Rev. Ed Fashbaugh, executive director of Connectional Ministries, or visit the Disaster Response pages of the Conference website.

Connectional Ministries

Church and Community Transformation Workshops for Clergy & Laity
“Like all organizations, you have fallen into certain patterns of operation, some good and some not … you have two choices: to continue to do what you always have done or to reorganize.” – Michael Gecan, professional community organizer of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation

If this statement resonated with you, plan to participate in the upcoming Church and Community Transformation workshops being offered jointly by Dr. Angela Cowser, associate dean of Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry programs at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, and members of the “Thriving Congregations” cohort. During the two-day trainings, you will be introduced to basics of church and community transformation so that you can begin to discern the role of your congregation in this work and learn how this is part of what God calls us to when we pray, “thy kingdom come.”

It is highly recommended that participants come in teams that have both clergy and laity from your church. Lay members who attend should be those who are seen by the congregation as leaders and to whom those in the church will listen. Plan to attend the session that is most convenient for your church team. Cost is just $15 per person.

Register for the September 23-24 workshop at Wedgewood UMC in Akron.
Register to attend the October 14-15 workshop at Union Avenue UMC in Alliance.
Register to attend the November 11-12 workshop at Church Hill UMC in Youngstown.

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.

Strategic Ministries

Fall Cohorts to Focus on Small Group Experiences Outside the Church
Many clergy and laity struggle with the visioning and implementation of new ministries as they embrace new ways to share their faith in small groups, worship services, and fellowship events outside of the church building. To equip and resource leaders, fall cohorts will establish basic principles of this ministry style while inviting individuals to participate in these experiences by engaging in a small group. The basic principles and tenets will be available for online, self-paced learning. At the end of this experience, there will be time to debrief and explore contextual implementation. While these offerings are limited, one can apply what they learn as a participant to the local context while embracing their own passion and gifts. The online learning component will be available by August 20 and participants should complete its units no later than Sept 20. Post cohort reflections will take place in November.

  • D&D&D (Dungeons & Dragons & Discipleship) uses a common role-playing game to help youth and adults grow in their discipleship and moral development. The eight-session cohort meets every other Tuesday from 1:30-4:00 p.m. beginning Sept. 13. Cost is $50 plus supplies. Learn more and register.
  • D-10: Virtual World, Real Problems leads participants through a role-playing game that engages them in real world issues such as justice, isolation, and more. The nine-session cohort meets every other Tuesday from 1:30-4:00 p.m. beginning Sept. 6. Cost is $50 plus supplies. Learn more and register.
  • Bibles & Bowling will meet in Mentor on Sept. 22 and Oct. 20 at 1:00 p.m. for two worship and fellowship experiences. Each participant is also invited to be part of bowling alley worshipping community on Wednesday nights. Cost is $50 plus the cost associated with bowling. Learn more and register.
  • Book Club uses fictional characters and stories to pivot to deep, honest faith conversation opening the door for folks to connect with Christ within the story of their lives. This cohort will meet online at noon on the first Tuesday in September, October, and November.  meets 3 times online on first Tuesdays of the month at noon in Sept, Oct & Nov. Learn more and register.
  • Pub Theology engages participants in questions that speak to their lives while leading them into deeper conversation with theology and real-world application. The cohort will meet at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 20, Oct. 11, and Nov. 1 at Lock 15 Brewing Co in Akron (21 W. North Street). Cost is $40 plus the cost of food/drink that is ordered. Learn more and register.

Interested in learning more about small groups ministries and new visions for faith community but unable to be part of these cohorts? Sign-up for our online learning platform and view the courses after August 20.

For questions about Strategic Ministries opportunities, please e-mail the Rev. Beth Ortiz, director of Strategic Ministries, or visit the Strategic Ministries pages on the Conference website.

Missions

Long-Term Recovery Mission Journeys Planned for Fall
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) long-term recovery projects assist communities that are still recovering from disasters that happened months and sometimes years ago. East Ohio Conference long-term recovery teams are scheduled for the following areas this fall:

  • Detroit, MI led by Tom King,
  • Hopkins County, KY led by Bob Catchpole,
  • Madisonville, KY led by Earl Kerr, and
  • Lake Charles, LA led by Becky Zatezalo.

Learn more about these trips and other mission journeys and view the updated best practices guidelines for leading an UMVIM mission team on the Mission Journeys page of the Conference website.

Learn About EarthKeepers Creation Care – September 21
What is the connection between Creation care and our faith? Anita and Bob Dygert-Gearhart from Spokane, WA will help answer that question when they present their UMC EarthKeeper project Wake Up World, A Comprehensive Introduction to the Climate Crisis for Faith Communities at 7:00 p.m. on September 21 at Church of the Saviour UMC. You can attend the event in-person at the church (2537 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights 44118) or join on Zoom. The project focuses on the ways our lives intertwine with creation justice issues, where our responsibility lies, and developing an action plan. The presenters will show participants how to facilitate their course of study for individuals, Bible studies, and Sunday schools. For questions and to request the Zoom link for the event, e-mail Kevin Schaner, EOC secretary of Global Ministries and a 2022 EarthKeeper.

Virtual 5K & Worship Concert to Support Mission Trip to Guatemala
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. You can help support the mission journey by participating in a virtual 5K run/walk or giving a love offering at the September 24 worship concert featuring both the Bridge Band and Samuel Atkinson to be held at the Bride church at the Carroll County Fairgrounds.

Learn about other scheduled EOC mission journeys.

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 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida – July 25-28
Every four years, youth from across The United Methodist Church gather for four days of discipleship, fun, interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service opportunities, and fellowship time. The theme for YOUTH 2023 is Bold: Being Ourselves. Living Different and the event is for youth entering sixth grade through just-graduated high school seniors.

Adult leaders who take youth to the event can expect inspiration, support, and chances to authentically experience what it means to be part of the Methodist and Wesleyan family. Because COVID-19 restrictions have limited youth ministry opportunities over the last two-plus years YOUTH 2023 is a chance to experience cutting-edge speakers, amazing artists, and for youth to broaden their understanding of what they and their church are capable of.

Learn more and register for YOUTH 2023.
Chartered bus to YOUTH 2023 information form
Mission and service opportunities for YOUTH 2023

Youth Leaders Network
For those that work with young people, come join us for coffee, lunch, or dinner and let’s chat! All are welcome.

  • Thurs., Sept. 8 @ 6:00 p.m. at East Main Kitchen in Baltic
  • Fri., Sept. 9 @ 10:00 a.m. at Tremont Coffee in Massillon
  • Fri., Sept. 9 @ 11:00 a.m. at Yankee Kitchen in Vienna
  • Mon., Sept. 12 @ 12:30 p.m. at Panera in Highland Heights
  • Thurs., Sept. 15 @ 10:00 a.m. at Aquila Coffee in St. Clairsville
  • Thurs., Sept. 22 @ 10:00 a.m. at Three Bean Coffee House in Galion
  • Wed., Sept. 28 @ noon at Panera in Wadsworth

If you have a day, time, or place you would like to see added to our list, please e-mail Kaye Wolfinger.

National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training – September 24
Take advantage of this one-day training hosted by Download Youth Ministry beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 24. Bring your entire youth ministry team for one low price, then join your United Methodist friends for lunch and to debrief after the event. Choose the EOC location closest to you:

  • Willoughby Hills Friends Church – 2846 SOM Center Road, Willoughby Hills 44094
    Lunch at Firehouse Grille (2768 Stark Dr., Willoughby Hills)
  • Austintown Community Church – 242 South Canfield-Niles Road, Youngstown 44515
    Lunch at Tequila Jalisco (583 E Main St, Canfield)
  • First Christian Church – 6900 Market Avenue North, Canton 44721
    Lunch at BAM! (2185 East Maple Street, North Canton)

Learn more and register for the National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training.
Choose the East Ohio location at which you will participate.

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

Celebrate Camp Asbury and Rev. Bill Graham – September 3
All are invited to Camp Asbury on Saturday, September 3 to celebrate 65 years of Camp Asbury and the 23-year ministry of recently retired Camp Director the Rev. Bill Graham. The events are free, but you are asked to register by August 15 so that food service can prepare the proper amount of food.

The festivities begin at noon and include the grand unveiling of the Art Pavilion, live music, swimming in the lake, self-directed activities, wagon rides, and more. At 6:30 p.m. the vespers service will celebrate Rev. Graham’s 23 years of ministry. The festivities conclude with a bonfire and s’mores at 8:00 p.m. If you would like to stay on camp property for the entire weekend, please e-mail Camp Asbury or call the camp office at (330) 569-3171.

Learn more and register by the August 15 deadline.

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.

Resources

Disaffiliation and Separation Pathway
The Disaffiliation and Separation Pathway resource on the East Ohio Conference website has a wealth of information from The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, from Conference leadership, from Wespath Benefits and Investments, and more to assist discerning churches. The following new question and answer have been posted to the resource’s Disaffiliation FAQ:

Will the Conference recalculate church pension liability to account for changes in the market?
No. To treat each inquiring church equitably in an economy that is never static, pension liability is calculated by the EOC Financial & Administrative Services office when it receives an inquiry about disaffiliation from a local church. That figure – which is different for each church – is calculated using current-month pension liability amounts provided by Wespath Benefits and Investments. Once a church’s pension liability figure is calculated by the Financial & Administrative Services office it will be used throughout the disaffiliation process for that church.

View the EOC Disaffiliation and Separation Pathway Resource.

Jurisdictional Conference

NCJ Committee on Episcopacy Recommends Episcopal Election
Per a press release from North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy: “The North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) will convene in Fort Wayne, Indiana, November 2-5, 2022, with the theme We Press On. This Jurisdictional Conference will gather delegates (lay and clergy) from across Illinois (Northern Illinois, Illinois Great Rivers), Indiana, Iowa, Ohio (East Ohio and West Ohio), Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin for a momentous time filled with worship and collective discernment regarding the election of episcopal leadership and receiving episcopal assignments.

“We have been offered flexibility by the recent Judicial Council ruling and GCFA affirmation: ‘Absent General Conference action, the formula and number of bishops for each jurisdiction approved by the 2016 General Conference remain legally binding and effective until replaced by a new formula.’ ResourceUMC | Judicial Council Memorandum Number 1446

“Therefore, the NCJ Committee on the Episcopacy, after consultation with the NCJ College of Bishops, proposes the following: 1) The North Central Jurisdiction will reverse the decision of NCJ 2021, thereby returning the total number to nine active bishops, beginning January 1, 2023, until the next General Conference declares otherwise. 2) Additionally, the NCJ will be asked to reaffirm the Dakotas and Minnesota returning to a single episcopal area, being served by one (1) bishop.”

Read the NCJCOE press release in its entirety.
Meet the candidates for the episcopacy in the NCJ.

EOC Resolution Encourages Electing Two or More Bishops at NCJ 2022
During its meeting at the end of July, the East Ohio Conference delegation to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference passed a resolution encouraging NCJ delegates to the November 2-5 NCJ “to elect two or more bishops (depending on further retirements) at the NCJ Jurisdictional Conference to ensure the NCJ has nine active bishops to help lead us through this time of turmoil.”

Read the resolution in its entirety.

The BSA & The UMC

UMC Portion of Boy Scouts’ Bankruptcy Ruling Approved
A 281-page ruling July 29 in the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) bankruptcy proceedings indicates that most of the reorganization plan meets the criteria of bankruptcy law and is constitutional. The ruling approves the United Methodist portion of the settlement, but there are several more matters the BSA must address for the plan to be confirmed.

“The United Methodist settlement sought to put the survivors first and the continuation of safe Scouting for present Scouts as high priorities,” said Bishop John Schol, who chairs the United Methodist leadership team created to support United Methodist chartering associations in the matter.

The United Methodist settlement includes a $30 million contribution to the $2.6 billion survivor settlement; a commitment to hear the experiences of survivors who participated in United Methodist-sponsored troops; a review of all Safe Sanctuaries policies in United Methodist congregations and annual conferences; and the publication of three articles in denominational communication resources about sexual abuse and how to keep young people safe. The United Methodist settlement is the result of countless hours by the United Methodist legal team, the ad hoc committee, the leadership team, the staff of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and more than 200 annual conference leaders.

Read the press release in its entirety.

Local Church

A.L.I.C.E. Training – August 27
Willoughby UMC will host, and the Willoughby Police Department will provide this training to prepare local churches for how to respond to an active shooter in the building. Participants will learn the tenets of this program: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. The training will be in fellowship hall of the church (15 Public Square) from 1:00-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 27.

10-Week Virtual Grief Support Group Begins September 29
Willoughby UMC is offering its Coast to Coast 10-week online support group beginning Thursday, September 29 and running through Thursday, December 8. Each session begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern and runs for two hours. The goal of “Walking Through Grief” is to be the “arms of Jesus” to people who are grieving the death of a loved one & give them much needed tools, support, encouragement & hope in their grief journeys. If you have questions about the group, please e-mail Cathy Schneithorst, group facilitator.

Learn more and register.

Credit Union

Help Your College-bound Student Establish Good Credit Responsibly
If you have a student heading to college this fall help them establish good credit with a low-limit VISA or a share-secured VISA. The Christian Family Credit Union can help college students establish good credit habits, good spending habits, and good credit scores by starting out right with a very low limit or share secured VISA through the credit union. Call the North Canton office today at (888) 651-0971.

Learn more about the Christian Family Credit Union.

Media Center

The Media Center highlights these new resources:

  • The Gospel on the Ground: The Grit & Glory of the Early Church in Acts unpacks the life of the early church in the book of Acts and shows us that the kingdom of God is always on the move, always looking outward to bring meaning and joy to a world searching for true fulfillment and hope. Explore the call of Jesus to His disciples then and to us today. See how God’s Word can sustain us even in the most difficult of times and embrace the transformative grace we experience as children of God in His kingdom of celebration.
  • In View of God’s Mercies: The Gift of the Gospel in Romans walks us through the book of Romans to discover that salvation doesn’t just change our eternal future; it changes our present reality. Because of God’s salvation, hope, peace, life, faith, trust, and endurance are ours. After God saves us, He invites us to join Him on His two-fold mission— to sanctify and transform us into the image of Jesus and to send us out into the world to share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.
  • The Whiteboard Bible develops a twelve-point timeline which serves as the framework for all the characters and events in the Bible. Journey from creation, through the emergence of the Hebrew people and into the Roman world in three volumes:
    • Volume 2 – A Nation Divided to The Gospels
    • Volume 3 – The Church and Jesus’ Return

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

Nope
Writer-director Jordan Peele loves movies, especially horror movies. His first two films (Get Out and Us) had serious things to say about racism and class divisions, and were filled with moments of dark humor as well as dozens of references to the movies that inspired Peele to become a filmmaker.

Nope is no exception to this practice, and Peele has said that the movie pays tribute to such films as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, North by Northwest, King Kong, Jurassic Park, Signs, and The Wizard of Oz (and I would add War of the Worlds to the list). The less you know about the plot, the better.

Read entire review.

Classifieds

Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Director of Children’s Ministries – Willoughby Hills UMC
  • Preschool Lead Teacher – Faith Friends Learning Center, a ministry of North Canton Faith UMC
  • Assistant Worship Band Leader – UMC of Kent
  • Organist – Lakeside UMC
  • Preschool Administrator/Teacher – Lakemore UMC Preschool

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.

To Subscribe

To subscribe to E-News and all East Ohio Conference news updates, enter your email address in the “Follow News via Email” widget on the right sidebar. Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church. The next scheduled edition of the E-News is Monday, August 22, 2022.

Deadline for submission is Thursday, August 18, 2022. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.