Transform Lives Through The United Methodist Church
Will Fenton-Jones shares some of the reasons why he is United Methodist:
“The United Methodist Church has been committed to justice for as long as I can remember and for caring for marginalized and people who have been left out,” he said. “I love that we are in partnerships in our communities with different organizations, with different ecumenical partners, non-profits, and that we have a voice to speak into our world about God’s love.”
Fenton-Jones is one of many East Ohio Conference clergy and laity sharing how their lives continue to be transformed through The United Methodist Church. To share your #BeUMC story of transformation, e-mail Brett Hetherington, EOC Communications specialist.
The denomination-wide #BeUMC campaign calls us to embrace our Wesleyan heritage and honors these core values that connect each of us in The United Methodist Church:
- Disciple making
- Belonging & inclusion
- Influence, connection & impact
- Experiencing God through The UMC
Storyboard: Faith Witness Transformation Podcast to Debut January 16
The inaugural episode of the EOC Communications Team-produced podcast Storyboard: Faith Witness Transformation will be posted to the East Ohio Conference website and social media channels on Monday, January 16. The twice-a-month podcast will highlight the four core values of the #BeUMC campaign and feature clergy and laity sharing personal stories of how lives are being transformed through the ministries of The United Methodist Church.
Bishop Tracy S. Malone will moderate the inaugural episode, which will highlight transformation through discipleship.
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.
Financial & Administrative Services
2022 Apportionments Must Be Received by January 5, 2023
If you plan to send your church apportionment payment through the U.S. Postal Service, you will want to get it in the mail ASAP. It always takes longer for mail to arrive during the Christmas season and that delay in delivery could impact your apportionment payment counting for 2022.
For shared ministry apportionment payments to be applied for 2022, our outside audit firm requires that checks BE IN OUR LOCKBOX on or before Thursday, January 5, 2023. The lockbox address is P.O. Box 76019, Cleveland, OH 44101-4755).
- the postmark on a mailed payment IS NOT a factor in determining timeliness; only whether it arrived in the lockbox on or before January 5.
- if you use a credit card in the VANCO system for a year-end shared ministry payment before the last business day of 2022, the transaction will be counted as a 2022 receipt.
- if you use a credit card and make the transaction in 2023, it will be counted as a 2023 item. Please be aware of these distinctions.
We appreciate all you do! We also must abide by the rules of the audit firm that conducts our annual GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) audit.
EOC Database in Brick River to be Released Soon
The database is almost ready for church use. Additionally, East Ohio Conference staff is working with General Council on Finance & Administration (GCFA) so that the new Brick River program AC (Annual Conference) Stats will be used for submitting year-end local church reports that are due in January 2023. We appreciate your grace and patience as we diligently work on these projects. You will receive an update in the January 9 E-News.
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.
All In God’s Image: Refugees and Global Migrants
In this time of Advent, we look towards the story beginning again with the birth of our Savior – remembering that Jesus’ family had to flee to Egypt, fearful and afraid refugees. All In God’s Image: Refugees and Global Migrants is a new resource, to be released in January, that will educate study participants using the stories and experiences of present-day people who, like Jesus’ family, had to flee their home.
The EOC Order of Deacons encourages congregations to select a date in 2023 on which to celebrate Global Migration Sunday, centering the stories of others through worship. The All In God’s Image: Refugees and Global Migrants study guide can be used in conjunction with the service, providing Sunday school programs, small groups, and families with first-hand stories and learning activities to teach about the refugees and global migrants who are our new neighbors. Through the guide you will learn how the East Ohio Conference is building relationships with and supporting families as they have migrated.
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.
Missions & Community Engagement
UMVIM Mondays in Lent – Mondays February 27 – April 3
Be a part of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Mondays during Lent 2023 as a spiritual practice for the season. We will visit and be in ministry at a different East Ohio UMVIM site each week following this daily itinerary:
- 9:00 a.m. – gather
- 9:30 a.m. – begin with worship, learn about the ministry, participate in mission project
- 12:00 p.m. – lunch followed by continued participation in mission project
- 3:00 p.m. – depart
UMVIM Mondays in Lent will offer hands-on opportunities at these mission sites:
- Blue Rose Mission, Mansfield
- Covered Bridge Mission, Jefferson
- Epworth Center, Bethesda
- Nehemiah Mission, Cleveland
- North Street Mission of the UCC, Wooster
- Urban Mission, Steubenville
More information and the link to online registration will be included in E-News in January.
Better Together MLK Day Program – January 15
Rev. Chip Freed, chief missional strategist and teaching pastor of Garfield Memorial UMC, is the guest speaker for the 2023 Nordonia Hills Community MLK Day program Better Together. The program, sponsored by the Nordonia Hills Ministerium, will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 15 in the Nordonia High School auditorium located at 8006 South Bedford Road in Macedonia, 44056.
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.
The 2022 Conference Journal is Available Online
Per our Conference rules, The 2022 Conference Journal is available for viewing on and for downloading from the East Ohio Conference website. To access the digital version of The Journal, click on the Resources tab of the website and in the drop-down menu select Conference Journal. The publication contains the reports and records of the past conference year as well as the daily proceedings of the Annual Conference session. Use the bookmark feature in the upper right corner of the pdf window to easily access any section of The Conference Journal.
BSA & The UMC
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) bankruptcy agreement with The United Methodist Church was approved by the court and is now under further review along with the BSA reorganization plan. Currently, BSA is ahead of projections this year for recruiting new troops and has decided not to extend all previous charters beyond December 31, 2022, for two reasons:
- in most areas, the affiliation agreements and facility use agreements are being implemented and the implementation is going well.
- BSA wants to assure the court that it is emerging from bankruptcy and its business plan is working as evidenced by new scouts and organizational agreements.
If you have questions about the BSA Affiliation Agreement or about the Facilities Use Agreement, please e-mail Steven Scheid, the scouting executive for United Methodist Men. If your local BSA Council is not complying with the new BSA organizational agreement, please e-mail Jeffrey Hunt, who oversees the BSA Councils across the United States.
The Media Center highlights these new resources:
- Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times provides the awareness and skills you need to strengthen your weary soul. Drawing on wisdom from Scripture, Christian tradition, and practical experiences, Eldredge offers powerful supernatural graces to sustain you through these trying times as well as prepare you for future storms.
- Good Boundaries and Goodbyes: Loving Others Without Losing the Best of Who You Are asks, “Is it unloving or selfish to set a boundary? And what does the Bible instruct us to do when a relationship is no longer safe or sustainable?” TerKeurst has discovered that good boundaries pave the road for the truest version of love to emerge within the relationships that make up so much of who we are and what we want the most.
- Jesus Followers: Real-Life Lessons for Igniting Faith in the Next Generation teaches that we must be intentional as we seek to ignite faith in the next generation by receiving, running with, and relaying the Truth that leads to personal faith in Jesus Christ.
Message in the Movies
Inspired by Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland, a newspaper comic strip from 1905, Slumberland takes place in a storybook world in which 11-year-old Nemo (Barkley) lives with her sailor father (Kyle Chandler), in a lighthouse. One night her dad leaves to rescue boaters in peril and doesn’t return. Nemo is sent to live with her Uncle Philip (Chris O’Dowd), Peter’s brother. Since she had never met him before – and Philip is single knows little about parenting – there is awkwardness and hesitation about what the future may hold.
While Nemo is wondering about her future, she sleeps and enters into a land of dreams in which she meets Flip (Momoa), a man with ram horns, who says he is a friend of her father and invites her on a treasure hunt. They will encounter a number of other folks along the way and run, drive, and skip between alternative worlds, facing capture and other obstacles as their friendship slowly grows.
Celebrations of Life
Please pray for the families of:
- Sheryl Seitz, Elder, died December 4.
- Marybelle H. Landrum, surviving spouse of the Rev. John H. Landrum, died November 26.
- Ellen Purchase, retired Elder, died November 22.
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.
- Human Resources Assistant – GCFA
- Director of Choral Ministry – Roscoe UMC in Coshocton
- Maintenance Manager – The UMC of Macedonia
- Two Custodians – Willoughby UMC
- Handbell Choir Director – Delaware Asbury UMC
- Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Leadership and Partnerships Sr. Specialist – GCORR
- Treasurer/Financial Supervisor – The UMC in Stow
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