August 22, 2022

Bishop’s Office

Last Chance to Register for the Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy
Today, August 22, is the last day to register for the 2022 Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy featuring Bishop Tracy S. Malone, resident bishop of the East Ohio Conference, and Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, resident bishop of the West Ohio Conference. The in-person retreat at the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center in Lewis Center begins at noon on Tuesday, September 6 and concludes at noon on Thursday, September 8. The theme of this year’s retreat is How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Resilient Leadership.

Learn more and register by the August 22 deadline.


Must-Have Information for Church Websites & Phone Messages
Take a few minutes right now to make sure that your church website and phone message are each communicating accurate information about worship time(s) and small group opportunities for this week. Be sure your church website and phone message contain:

  • An invitation to “worship with us this week.”
  • The time of each worship service this week.
  • A note about whether those attending will be wearing formal or casual attire.
  • The address of the church.
  • A note about the location of the parking lot in relation to the main entrance of the building.

For questions about Communications ministries such as live-streaming, licensing, social media and more, please e-mail Rick Wolcott, executive director of Communications, or visit the Communications pages of the Conference website.

Connectional Ministries

Rev. Dr. William H. Willimon to Speak in EOC – October 1
The church is often criticized for being out of touch or lacking in relevance. We may find ourselves turning to business strategy or marketing or psychology for answers. Can we find a word from God among the noise and anxiety of our age? Proclaiming God’s Word – or even hearing it – requires courage and commitment. Do we dare?

The East Ohio Conference Connectional Ministries office and the Church of the Saviour UMC Myers Lecture Series are co-sponsoring the Daring to Speak & Hear God’s Word event with the Rev. Dr William Willimon, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1. The event will be held at Church of the Saviour UMC, 2537 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, 44118.

Rev. Dr. Willimon has taught and lectured around the world in some of the most prestigious universities and in small church meeting rooms and has authored nearly 100 books, selling over a million copies. With a combination of humor, affability, and incisive wisdom, Willimon has set the standard for more than a generation of preachers and has inspired life-changing discipleship among congregations. Willimon is a bishop of The United Methodist Church (retired), former dean of Duke Chapel, and continues to serve as professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School.

Learn more and register to attend.

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 Focus on Small Groups Outside the Church Walls
In embracing new ways to share their faith in small groups, worship services, and fellowship events outside of the church building to align with the shared mission and vision of the East Ohio Conference, clergy and laity can struggle with visioning and implementation within their ministry setting. To help equip and resource leaders, our fall cohorts will help establish basic principles of this ministry style as well as invite individuals to personally engage in these small-group ministry opportunities:

  • D&D&D Dungeons & Dragons & Discipleship uses a common role-playing game to help youth and adults to grow in their discipleship and moral development.
  • Bibles & Bowling uses a bowling alley as the setting for meeting and worshipping and fellowshipping with people who may not come into your church building.
  • Book Club uses a popular format to create discussions about real issues using fictional characters and stories so participants can connect with Christ within the story of their lives.
  • Pub Theology engages folks in questions that speak to their lives while leading them into deeper conversation with theology and real-world application.

Learn more and register for the individual fall cohorts.

Join Our Online Learning Platform
If you’re interested in learning more about small groups ministries and new visions for faith community but you’re unable to participate in any of the fall cohorts, sign-up for Portico, the online learning platform we share with other conferences in The United Methodist Church.

Learn more and sign-up for Portico.

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


United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Cleaning Kit Drive
UMCOR continues to help those impacted by the deadly historic flooding in eastern Kentucky, most recently delivering approximately 3,000 UMCOR cleaning kits to affected areas of the state. To assist in replenishing its depleted kit inventory, UMCOR is asking conferences, particularly those in the mid-west and northeastern regions of the country to donate cleaning kits.

This is your chance to do hands-on mission work and help the flooding victims you see profiled on local and national news. Be creative by forming partnerships with schools, libraries, other churches, and service agencies in your community to assemble cleaning kits. Collection sites will be set up in the East Ohio Conference. Details will be released as soon as plans are finalized. Plan to having your kits assembled and ready for drop-off in late October. The kits will then be delivered to the Eastbrook Mission Barn in Pennsylvania. The district that assembles the most cleaning kits will receive a $500 UMVIM scholarship for someone who wants to be a part of a disaster team deployment. Note we will have a collection drive (requesting different items) in December to support Midwest Mission Distribution Center.

Learn more about United Methodist Committee on Relief.
Learn more about the Kentucky floods.

Donate to UMCOR; Assist Kentucky Flood Clean-up
There are multiple ways you can make a financial contribution to assist those whose lives have been impacted by the deadly historic flooding in Kentucky:

Mission Speakers
Are you looking for someone to share a mission message on a Sunday morning or for a United Women in Faith gathering? Do you have young people and families curious about how and where to serve in ministry to transform the world? Rev. Kathy Dickriede has a list of people eager to inform and inspire about how you can be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus in the world, locally or globally. E-mail Rev. Kathy Dickriede and she will connect you with the names of available speakers.

UMC Day at Christian Children’s Home of Ohio – September 15
Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO) in Wooster (EOC Advance Fund 9977) will host an appreciation day from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 15 to thank the East Ohio Conference and The United Methodist Church for our support of CCHO’s children’s ministry. Pastors and church members are invited to the free appreciation day to tour the 165-acre CCHO campus, see the five residential cottages the equine therapy stables on Thursday the rock wall and more, and take a wagon ride tour around the back campus. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Reservations are required by September 8. Reservations, including church name, pastor’s name, and how many from the church will attend, should be e-mailed to Pastor David Walker. If you have questions about the event, please call Pastor Walker at (330) 345-7949 ext. 2617.

Learn more about Christian Children’s Home of Ohio.

For questions about Missions & Community Engagement ministries and opportunities, please e-mail the Rev. Kathy Dickriede, Connectional Ministries office Missions & Community Engagement director, or visit the Missions & Community Engagement pages of the Conference website.

Multicultural Ministries

Perspectives: Black Theologian Day – October 8
Reaching Across the Racial Divide is the theme for Perspectives: Black Theologian Day 2022 to be held at Strongsville UMC from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 8.

Cousins Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Kilby will share their experiences of discovering they are connected through slavery and then embarking on a path toward reconciliation and reparation. Their presentation will draw on lessons from their 2021 book, Cousins: Connected through slavery, A Black woman and a White woman discover their past – and each other. The cousins are living out a dream of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that the children of former slaves and the children of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table in fellowship.

Perspectives: Black Theologian Day 2022 participants will learn ways to reach across the racial divide and work toward racial reconciliation in their personal lives, in their churches, and throughout their communities.

For questions about Multicultural Ministries opportunities, please e-mail Will Fenton-Jones, Connectional Ministries office Multicultural Ministries director, or visit the Multicultural Ministries pages of the Conference website.

Young People’s Ministries

Teen Mental Health First-Aid Class – September 17
Teachers, volunteers, youth leaders, and parents of youth are invited to participate in the Teen Mental Health First-Aid class at Dover First UMC from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 17. Take time to learn more about teenage mental health, warning signs to watch for, and ways you can continue to support young people. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

To register for the class, please e-mail Deena Wolfe, Dover First UMC director of Children’s and Family Ministries, or call or text her at (904) 536-3635.

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about the class.

Young Adult Fall Retreat – October 14-16
The focus of this year’s Young Adult Fall Retreat is rest. Matthew 11:28 reminds us, “Come to me, all who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” This year’s young adult fall retreat offers participants an opportunity to connect with others at Lakeside Chautauqua for a time of rest, devotions, and fellowship. The retreat at 314 Third Street in Lakeside begins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 14 and concludes at noon on Sunday, October 16. The $50 cost includes housing and breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. If you have questions about the retreat, please e-mail Chasity Opphile.

Learn more and register.

For questions about Young People’s Ministries opportunities, please e-mail Kaye Wolfinger, Connectional Ministries office Young People’s Ministries director, or visit the Young People’s Ministries pages of the Conference website.

Camps & Retreat Ministries

ReachOut Reunion – September 10-11
For more than 50 years, ReachOut United Methodist camp has been changing lives across the East Ohio Conference. What began as the Girls School of Mission, then United Methodist Women/United Woman in Faith, has evolved into what we now know as ReachOut, a co-ed, youth-led, mission-focused camp that has been hosted in many locations over the years, including Bethesda, Mount Union, Camp Wesley, and Lakeside Chautauqua. If you have ever been a ReachOut camper or served on the ministry’s staff, you’re invited to the ReachOut alumni reunion scheduled for September 10-11 at Lakeside Chautauqua.

Learn more and register.

For questions about Camps & Retreat Ministries opportunities, please e-mail the Rev. Gary Jones, Connectional Ministries office Camps & Retreat Ministries director, or visit the Camps & Retreat Ministries pages of the Conference website.

Credit Union

Christian Family Credit Union Offers Remote Deposit Services
If you are far from our Credit Union offices or just don’t want to make a trip to the office, you can take a photo of your check through our mobile app and deposit it to your Credit Union account without ever leaving home. Download the Christian Family Credit Union mobile app from the Google Play Store or the App Store today.

Remember that when you do business with Christian Family Credit Union, you participate in the Kingdom-building work and ministry of the Credit Union.  We invite you to align your finances with your faith when you bank with Christian Family Credit Union.

Learn more about the Christian Family Credit Union.

Media Center

The Media Center highlights these new resources:

  • Crazy Faith: It’s Only Crazy Until It Happens reveals how to step out in faith and dive into the purposeful life of trusting God for the impossible. Even if we start with baby faith, we can become empowered to let go of our lazy faith, trust God through our hazy faith, and learn to live a lifestyle of crazy faith.
  • Rest and War: A Field Guide for the Spiritual Life shares how to develop a practical strategy of resting in God’s strength and warring against the enemy’s attempts to keep us locked into patterns of sin. Develop strategies to overcome sin, orient our lives around God, recognize our deep longing for God, and discover methods of overcoming personal shortcomings.
  • Signs and Wonders: A Beginner’s Guide to the Miracles of Jesus explores selected miracles of Jesus in historical and theological context. For each miracle, it discusses not only how past witnesses would have understood the events, but also how today’s readers can draw meaning from Jesus’ words and actions.

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

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

The Girl Who Believes in Miracles
I am pretty sure that Jesus wasn’t intending to preach a children’s sermon when he said: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Nevertheless, when young Sara (Johnson) hears her pastor preach about mustard seed faith, she takes it to heart, believing that God may have some big plans for a sincere believer. During a trip to a nearby lake Sara summons up the power of the Holy Spirit (evoked by the blowing of the wind across the water) to bring a dead bird back to life.

Read entire review.

Celebrations of Life

Please pray for the families of:

  • Leslie A. Peineretired Elder, died August 10.

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

  • Church Administrator – Bay UMC in Bay Village
  • Pianist – Fields UMC in North Ridgeville
  • Director of Children’s Ministries – Willoughby Hills UMC

Items Available/Wanted

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

To submit a classified ad please e-mail

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Deadline for submission is Thursday, September 1, 2022. Send articles to