UMC Leaders Resource Added to #BeUMC Page of EOC Website
On the sidebar of the #BeUMC page of the Conference website you will now find the UMC Leaders Resource, which has been created and updated by United Methodist Communications to keep accurate information about The United Methodist Church front of people and to provide relative resources.
Transform Lives with Us through The United Methodist Church. #Be UMC.
You are invited to be part of – and spread the word about – the grassroots #BeUMC campaign that is built upon powerful stories of congregations and people living their faith through The United Methodist Church.
The #BeUMC campaign, calling us to embrace our Wesleyan heritage, honors these core values that align with our shared East Ohio Conference vision and connect the people of The United Methodist Church:
- Disciple making
- Belonging & inclusion
- Influence, connection & impact
- Experiencing God through The UMC
For questions about Communications ministries such as the #BeUMC campaign, 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.
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.
New Events Registration Tab Added to the Conference Website
All events planned by or in conjunction East Ohio Conference ministry teams for which there is online registration are now accessible on one page of the Conference website by clicking the Events Registration tab at the top of the site.
For questions about Communications ministries such as the #BeUMC campaign, 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.
BSA & The UMC
A Scouting Message from United Methodist Men
The congregations of The United Methodist Church have sought to work within communities as the body of Christ for generations. This work has opened doors to partnerships with food banks, homeless shelters, local schools, and to youth serving organizations. Our partnership with the Boy Scouts of America is one of these ongoing missions to support youth growth in character and faith. Since 1920, the Methodist Church has held a formal relationship with the BSA. As we are entering into a new relationship, the need for communication is critical. The challenge is the overlapping of both United Methodist Conference boundaries and the BSA Local Council boundaries.
The East Ohio Conference values the ministry of Scouting. Bishop Tracy S. Malone has been engaged in helping find a positive way forward as a part of the broader UMC Leadership Team. There is a clear direction from the episcopal leadership of the East Ohio Conference: the Updated Affiliation Agreement or the Facilities Use Agreement. These two paths are also the ones that the Center for Scouting Ministries at the GCUMM supports. Please use them as they were negotiated in good faith with the BSA to best protect the churches, support the units, and stay faithful to ministry.
Kaye Wolfinger Leaves EOC after 12 Years
Connectional Ministries Office Young People’s Ministries & Higher Education Director Kaye Wolfinger has left the Conference office after 12 years of faithful service.
“Kaye’s commitment to be in ministry to and with young people has been an exceptional example to the East Ohio Conference of what it means to reach newer, younger, and more diverse people. Through her service, many youth and adults have come to Christ, heard God’s call to ministry, and have worked to transform this world. Having such a valued asset for East Ohio has blessed us all,” said Connectional Ministries Executive Director the Rev. Ed Fashbaugh. “We are sad to see Kaye go, but we are joyful that she will continue to serve the cause of Christ in a new way. Kaye, our prayers and love go with you!”
“I thank God and the East Ohio Conference for the opportunity to serve the young people, leaders, pastors and communities for the past 12 years,” Wolfinger said. “Our time together has been a blessing in my life. In my faithful pursuit of living my call, I am starting a new adventure to reach teens in different and exciting ways. It has always been my passion to teach leadership development and life skills to our young people and this new career allows me to accomplish it. You will always been in my prayers as you faithfully serve God and our young people.”
Wolfinger is joining the Effective Leadership Academy. In her new role with the non-profit, she will do something she is passionate about, helping young people become effective leaders in their workplaces and communities. The Connectional Ministries office will soon begin a broad process of discernment regarding how East Ohio will continue to move forward in support of our vision calling us to reach newer, younger, and more diverse people. In the meantime, the strong youth leader network and Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) leadership Wolfinger developed will continue with upcoming planned youth events and activities.
Church and Community Transformation Workshops – October 14-15 or November 11-12
If you desire to reach out into your community, and both transform it and yourself. If you hunger for ‘thy kingdom come.’ If you know the church can be a powerful movement of good in your community, then register to take part in the Church and Community Transformation workshop either at Union Avenue UMC on October 14-15 or at Church Hill UMC on November 11-12.
In this two-day training, you will be introduced to some basics of church and community transformation, to begin to discern the role of the congregation or charge that you are part of in this work, and to 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 lay. Lay members should be leaders within the church – those dedicated and faithful leaders who believe in the power of the church and who will be listened to in the broader congregation. Cost is just $15 per person.
All In Community Training Experience – October 12-13
Building Bridges of Opportunity is a collaborative effort throughout the entire state of Ohio that works with those who assist citizens affected by the criminal justice system. This includes public entities like the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, private entities like All In Community of the West Ohio Conference, and individuals interested in building healthier, more equitable and just communities.
The training is being offered in East Ohio on October 12-13 at Wedgewood UMC. The training is 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and is free for all Ohioans. All In Community is the signature initiative out of the West Ohio Conference that works to assist on the continuum of care for those affected by the criminal justice system: those who are incarcerated, those who have returned to society after incarceration, victims, and families for all. Building Bridges of Opportunity is just one area of the All In Community ministry.
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.
Micro Grants Offered for New Ministries
The Board of Congregational Development and the Conference Connectional Ministries Strategic Ministries office is sponsoring micro grants for new East Ohio Conference ministries. The grants are for Fresh Expressions, small groups, and/or new ministry that seeks to reach those not within the current church community. The grants, which may be awarded up to $5,000 as determined by the Board of Congregational Development, must be spent in totality by June 1, 2023. Whether you need a few hundred to just get started, or a little bit more, we are looking to support our churches and leaders as they embrace our shared East Ohio Conference vision. Deadline to apply is November 1 and awardees will be announced November 15.
If you have questions about the grants and/or wish to submit a grant application, please e-mail the Rev. Beth Ortiz, Connectional Ministries office Strategic Ministries director.
Faith and Fake News Workshop – Begins October 31
The Faith and Fake News workshop – meeting for four consecutive Mondays beginning at 7:00 p.m. on October 31 – will look at the intersection of faith and misinformation. We’ll explore our culture’s current information landscape and how to interact with information from a mindful, Christian perspective. We’ll discuss various tips and techniques to help you to fact-check what you find and read online. We’ll also talk about different reasons why this work matters for Christians and how to bring your faith and Christian identity to online spaces. This workshop is not about politics or a particular set of beliefs but about how to interact with news in a faithful way. Participants will meet at 7:00 p.m. Cost is just $20.
Simplified Accountable Structure Fall Retreat – November 5
In this one-day retreat at Camp Wanake on Saturday, November from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., we will help prepare your church for this new leadership structure formerly known as the one-board model. This is a group event with the expectation that as much as your incoming leadership team as possible to be in attendance. This is for any church currently in this structure type or moving to it in 2023. Topics covered will include life cycle of the church, foreground/background, values, SMART goals, leadership covenant, and more.
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.
Missions & Community Engagement
Three from East Ohio Conference Commissioned as EarthKeepers
Congratulations to Claire Jencson, Barbara Dawson, and Kevin Schaner, who were recently commissioned as EarthKeepers, a grassroots, U.S.-based group of United Methodists that equip people to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, anti-racism, community organizing, and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. Training dates for 2023 will be announced later this year. Until then, you are invited to join the next North Central Jurisdiction networking Zoom call of the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 26. On that call Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Professor Timothy Eberhart will share about the newly launched Center for Ecological Regeneration and other ecological justice ministries at the seminary.
All The Good We Can: Doing Ministry in New Ways Event – November 17-18
John Wesley long ago in Great Britain proclaimed, “The world is my parish.” Next month, United Methodist pastors and practitioners across Ohio are gathering in Canton to forge fresh ways to pursue ministry in their local communities at the intersection of congregational and community development.
Drawing upon their collective experiences, the participants in this two-day event will share their insights and passion for expanding ministries that transform neighborhoods as well as individuals. This assembly will conclude by launching the new statewide United Methodist Community Development Collaborative.
Board of Missions Grants Are Making a Difference
Over the past year, the Board of Missions has awarded grants to missions and ministries in East Ohio utilizing undesignated missions giving to the Conference by churches and individuals. The Board is following up with grant recipients to see how the funding has made a difference in their respective mission or ministry. Rev. Michael Parisher, a Deacon appointed to the Nehemiah Mission of Cleveland (EOC Fund 9136) shares this report on how the Mission has and is using the grant:
“Our 4-H program has gotten off to a FAIRly great start! On August 11, we took 16 students to the Cuyahoga County Fair to expose them to some of what 4-H has to offer. The students were able to learn about showing rabbits at the fair and had the opportunity to talk with numerous other 4-Hers about their experiences in the program. The kids are also excited for our fall programing here at Nehemiah. We will be focusing on a few different projects in the fall and winter months. There is a sewing program that teaches kids all the ins and outs of sewing and fashion. There is a photography program where kids use their phones to learn how to take quality pictures for fun, as a hobby, or for their families and friends. The last program for the students, for now, is a financial literacy class that gives them the skills they need to live and work in our world successfully. We also have plans for a rocket-building program in the future that many kids, as well as the adults leading them, will find enjoyable and enriching.”
Applications Being Accepted for Global Missions Fellows
Become a Global Mission Fellow and join the legacy and movement of young adults in the United States who have crossed boundaries to better understand and respond to various forms of injustice since 1951. The Global Mission Fellows program of The United Methodist Church places young adults, ages 20–30, in social justice ministries for two years of service, either in the United States (US-2 track) or around the world (international track). Applications are now being accepted for the 2023-25 US-2 cohort.
East Ohio Conference Churches Supporting Ukrainian Refugees
If you want to partner and help resource East Ohio Conference churches and organizations that are supporting Ukrainian refugees here in Ohio, please e-mail the Rev. Kathy Dickriede, Connectional Ministries office Missions & Community Engagement director.
Global Migration Sunday
Plan on promoting the plight of refuges and the many ways that United Methodist congregations can assist those who are displaced by participating in Global Migration Sunday in January. Pick whatever date works for your church! Discover how you, no matter where you live, can come alongside newcomers by offering radical hospitality and generosity.
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.
Support the UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response Fund
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is assisting those impacted by Hurricane Fiona, Hurricane Ian, and the tropical storms that preceded and followed them. You can help by praying for those affected and those assisting and by donating to UMCOR.
Donations Sought to Assist Recovery in Puerto Rico
The Council of Bishops (COB) of The United Methodist Church is appealing for donations to assist the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following the devastation left on the island by Hurricane Fiona. The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico sent a letter to the COB asking for help and donations. In the letter of appeal, Bishop Lizzette Gabriel Montalvo, said: “our beloved brothers and sisters from different locations, we kindly ask for support on this journey in which once again we humbly give what we have received by grace. Your act of love by sending monetary donations for us to continue purchasing first aid supplies to thousands of families around the Island will make the difference in the lives of many people experiencing difficulties in their recovery process.”
In response, COB President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton urged all Methodists to support the recovery effort which is being done in conjunction with United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). “Our sincere thoughts and prayers are extended to you in the midst of this latest crisis in Puerto Rico. We stand with you and our dear friends in Puerto Rico in this time of extreme need,” Bickerton shared.
Read Bishop Montalvo’s letter in its entirety to learn how you offer financial assistance.
EOC Cleaning Kit Drive to Support UMCOR and Disaster Victims – October 24-30
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) delivered approximately 3,000 UMCOR cleaning kits after flooding impacted eastern Kentucky this summer. To assist in replenishing its depleted kit inventory, UMCOR is asking UMC conferences to donate cleaning kits.
East Ohio Conference Disaster Response invites clergy and laity to join in an UMCOR cleaning kit drive with assembled kits collected October 24-30. This is your chance to do hands-on mission work by partnering with groups in your community to supply UMCOR with cleaning kits for future disasters. Make this a part of your Trunk or Treat Events by collecting kit items or handing out flyers that day. Partner with your school, Rotary, or other civic organizations to assemble cleaning kits that will delivered to the Eastbrook Mission Barn, the closest UMCOR site to our Conference. Then drop-off your assembled kits to these East Ohio Conference locations on the specified dates:
- CN @ Tallmadge UMC – Oct. 24 and Oct. 26
- FL @ Trinity UMC from Oct. 24-28
- MO @ Trinity UMC from Oct. 24-28
- MV @ Boardman UMC from Oct. 24-28
- NC @ Strongsville UMC from Oct. 24-28
- OV @ Carrollton First UMC from Oct. 24-28
- SH @ Old Washington UMC from Oct. 24-30
- TR @ Roscoe UMC from Oct. 24-28
- TW @ Newcomers Chapel UMC from Oct. 24-28
- WR @ Mentor UMC from Oct. 24-28
For questions about Disaster Response 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.
Spiritual Formation & Christian Education
Spiritual Formation Network Gatherings Scheduled
Invite any of your friends and colleagues involved in spiritual formation and Christian education to a time of devotions, support, question-asking and -answering, and sharing ideas. The next Zoom gathering of the Spiritual Formation network is 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 4. The succeeding two online gatherings are 7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 27 and 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 15. To receive the Zoom invitation for the gatherings, please e-mail the Rev. Gary Jones.
For questions about Spiritual Formation & Christian Education ministries opportunities, please e-mail the Rev. Gary Jones, Connectional Ministries office Spiritual Formation & Christian Education director, or visit the Spiritual Formation & Christian Education pages of the Conference website.
Financial & Administrative Services
Review Your Church Remittance Statements Monthly
The Conference Finance team reminds church finance teams to please take the time each month to review your monthly church remittance statement. This is the final quarter of 2022 so now is the time to be sure that apportionment payments are made on time so that each church gets the benefit of having achieved 100% of its apportionment commitment.
2022 Apportionment Payments Due on or Before January 5, 2023
In keeping with the notice in the East Ohio Annual Conference Journal, to be counted as a 2022 apportionment payment, funds must be received at the Conference lockbox on or before January 5, 2023. Payments received after January 5, 2023, regardless of the postmark date on the envelope, will be counted as having been received in 2023.
For questions about Financial & Administrative Services ministries and opportunities, please e-mail Vera Rebrovich, executive director of Financial & Administrative Services, or visit the Financial & Administrative Services pages of the Conference website.
Renewal Scholarship Offered by Lakeside Chautauqua
As people of faith, keeping “sabbath” is essential to maintaining one’s relationship with God. Lakeside Chautauqua provides a place to which clergy can get away for sabbath time, and it helps defray the cost of doing so. United Methodist clergy may apply for a renewal scholarship that will provide hotel lodging for up to three nights in the Fountain Inn.
Clergy are invited to take time with God along the beautiful shores of Lake Erie for rest, renewal, prayer, planning, and mediation. The time is yours – and Lakeside Chautauqua provides the hotel room free of charge.
Labyrinth and Prayer Stations @ Faith UMC – October 2-9
Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton is offering a labyrinth and prayer stations in the church chapel during business hours October 2-9 for a time of prayer and reflection. All are welcome. Office hours at the church (300 Ninth St. NW, 44720) during that week are: Sundays 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.; and Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. If you have questions about this opportunity for prayer and reflection, please e-mail Kathy Schmucker.
The Media Center highlights these new resources:
- The Faithful: Heroes of the Old Testament explores crucial moments in the lives of five Old Testament figures: Esther, Gideon, Malachi, Nehemiah, and Hosea. Through their stories, discover how God uses the lives of ordinary people for His glory and the good of His people. Strengthen your faith as you walk alongside these larger-than-life figures who all chose to obey God no matter the circumstances.
- Amos: An Invitation to the Good Life shares that Amos is often called a prophet of doom. On the surface, his prophecy doesn’t sound like a happy formula for the good life. However, every condemnation he gives serves as an invitation, a cry for us to “seek God and live” (Amos 5:4). You’ll be invited to live assured, faithful, chosen, humble, justly, prayerful, and hopeful. This kind of living will bring us and others around us peace and true prosperity.
- Fighting Your Battles helps you identify what it looks like to let God lead you through life’s hardships, remain assured in your beliefs, and persevere toward the purpose to which He has called you. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of how your trials and troubles have developed your faith. Meanwhile, you’ll build new spiritual habits that will prepare you to approach life’s peaks and valleys with a heart of hope, endurance, and confidence in God’s goodness.
Message in the Movies
The Woman King
Viola Davis commands the screen as General Nanisca, a leader that demands discipline from her warriors and chooses to fight alongside them when it’s time for battle (and she has the scars to prove it). She is also thoughtful and resourceful in her dealings with King Ghezo (John Boyega). It’s still mostly a man’s world, but Nanisca has full autonomy to run the show her way, assisted by her second-in-command Amenza (Sheila Atim) and trustworthy lieutenant Izogie (Lashana Lynch).
One day a teenager named Nawi (Mbedu) is left with the tribe by her father after refusing an arranged marriage. Much of the film follows Nawi’s transformation from a rejected nobody into a member of an elite fighting force, through boot camp, tribal competitions and times of active combat.
Celebrations of Life
Please pray for the families of:
- Catherine (Kay) Dunlap, retired Diaconal Minister, died September 26.
- Paul E. Froman, retired Elder, died September 17.
- Ernest Edward Gardner, retired Associate Member, died September 21.
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.
- Youth Director – Gay Street UMC in Mount Vernon
- Director of Children’s Education – Gay Street UMC in Mount Vernon
- Children’s Choir Director – Rocky River UMC
- Director of Family Ministries – Hudson UMC
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