January 9, 2023


Bishop Tracy S. Malone announced the following 2023 clergy appointments and/or changes of status. Unless otherwise noted, appointments are effective July 1, 2023.

2023 Appointments
Norma BatesCharlestown UMCCN 10/23/22
Peggy GarnerMinerva UMCTW 9/1/22
Tim MorrisonChaplain, University of Mount UnionTW 9/1/22
David RinkesPleasant Grove, Tippecanoe & Londonderry UMCsSH 8/1/22
Victoria TroutmanCardington Circuit: Center & Fairview UMCsMO 9/1/22
Donald SmithWoodland Park & Girard First UMCsMV 1/1/23
Karen GossEast Liverpool First UMCMV  1/1/23
Shannon SampsonBoundary Cooperative (Bayard, Carroll County Mt. Zion, Carroll County Pleasant Grove, East Rochester & New Franklin UMCs)TW 1/1/23
Christine UlmanBoundary Cooperative (Bayard, Carroll County Mt. Zion, Carroll County Pleasant Grove, East Rochester & New Franklin UMCs)TW  1/1/23
View the complete list, including retirees and those concluding their ministry. 2023 Appointments and Changes of Status


Storyboard: Faith Witness Transformation Podcast to Debut January 16
“Transformational Discipleship: Influence, Connection and Impact” is the title of the inaugural episode of the EOC Communications Team-produced podcast Storyboard: Faith Witness Transformation. The episode will feature Bishop Tracy S. Malone leading a conversation with invited EOC clergy and laity guests. The Storyboard: Faith Witness Transformation podcast is hosted on the Anchor platform of Spotify and will also be posted on the East Ohio Conference website and social media channels. New podcast episodes will be posted the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

To download the video above, first click the share button in the upper right corner of the video window, then click the Vimeo link. Then, on the Vimeo page click the download link underneath the video window.

Transform Lives Through The United Methodist Church
Rev. Angela Lewis shares one of the reasons why she is United Methodist:

“I love God’s purpose, God’s mission, God’s call for United Methodism. I am United Methodist because I know that the Spirit of God will continue to transform lives, to touch lives, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am United Methodist for its rich history, its stance, and its love for people.”

Lewis 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

View other #BeUMC stories & the campaign website.

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

Year-End Reports
It’s that time of year again to think about year-end reports. Please click this link to print out a blank report and start collecting your data. You will receive an e-mail regarding instructions on how to log into the new system. Please read it carefully in its entirety.

Robin Whitacre Promoted to Benefits Manager
Effective January 1, Robin Whitacre was promoted to benefits manager. She has faithfully served the Conference for over 25 years, working mostly with benefits for clergy, lay employees in local churches, retirees, and Conference staff. She has also been a valuable liaison to the Board of Benefits. If you have questions about benefits, please e-mail Robin Whitacre or call her at (800) 831-3972 ext. 151.

GCFA Providing Human Resources Services to EOC
East Ohio is the most-recent conference in The United Methodist Church to contract with the human resources shared service team from General Council on Finance & Administration (GCFA) to provide HR support.

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.


New Tabs Added to the Conference Website
Visitors to the interactive online resource of our East Ohio Conference ministries will now find two new tabs in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

The Disaster Response tab offers the following information in its dropdown menu:

  • Responding to Disasters
  • EOC Disaster Response Plan
  • Disaster Response Coordinators
  • Early Response Teams

The Communications tab offers the following information in its dropdown menu:

  • About the Communications Team
  • #BeUMC
  • Storyboard Podcast (coming January 16)
  • Church Websites 411
  • Social Media 411
  • CCLI & CVLI Licensing
  • E-News

Visit the East Ohio Conference website.

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.


Amplify Media Subscription Replaces Former EOC Media Center
The Connectional Ministries office connects East Ohio Conference pastors, congregations, and faith communities with resources to assist in fulfilling our shared mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Resourcing requires adaptability. Beginning this month, the former Media Center is closed, and East Ohio Conference churches have the opportunity to join Amplify Media to stream thousands of digital study, worship, and devotional videos, each with an emphasis on Wesleyan perspectives and each accessible anywhere from any device. While we celebrate the longtime faithful ministry of the Media Center and those who served in it, conversations about an Amplify Media partnership were born from our commitment to be good stewards of apportioned resources. Last year fewer than one in four churches used the apportionments-supported DVD resources of the Media Center.

An Amplify Media basic membership costs $29.99/month and provides access for up to 100 members of a member church to access/download resources. For East Ohio Conference churches that join Amplify Media by March 30, 2023, by using the online coupon code EOCUMC there is a special rate during the first year of membership.

Learn more about the special Amplify Media offer for EOC churches.
View the Amplify Media resource catalog.

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.

Connectional Ministries

All In Community Impact Survey
All clergy and laity in East Ohio are invited to complete a brief survey about incarceration and crime and our churches response to it. The results from this survey will help us determine if a strategic response is needed to support local churches. We look forward to developing collaborative efforts to be the Church for our members, loved ones, neighbors, and communities affected by crime and incarceration.

Complete the All In Community Impact Survey.

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

Simplified Governance Workshop Offered Online
This month the Strategic Ministries team of the Connectional Ministries office is offering three-hour online workshops about simplified governance. The workshops are ideal for church leaders considering moving to a simplified committee structure and for those already using the simplified structure who would like to further their skills.  The workshops are free, but preregistration is required. 

Learn more and register for the workshop on the Events Registration page of the EOC website.

New Courses Offered Online via Portico Learning Platform
The Connectional Ministries team is pleased to offer East Ohio Conference clergy and laity the opportunity to learn and grow by engaging in online courses offered via the Portico platform, named for a place where people gathered to learn in ancient times.

Newly posted to Portico are:

  • courses designed for those serving on local church committees, especially those new to these positions.  These courses will help members of the committee to understand the broad scope of their work.
  • Safe Sanctuaries training offered in Spanish.  This course is designed not just for UMC churches but also congregations of any denomination that meet on UMC property who learn best in Spanish.  It is crucial that all share the same basic understanding of Safe Sanctuaries, and this training helps East Ohio live into our shared vision and mission. 
  • Staff Parish Relations Committee training.

Learn more about Portico – and register to use the courses for free.

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

UMVIM Mondays During Lent starts February 27
All are invited to participate in United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Mondays during Lent as a spiritual practice for the season. Each Monday will be at a different UMVIM site in East Ohio. Registration is free and lunch is included, but you do need to register in advance.

  • Feb. 27, North Street Mission, Wooster (UCC)
  • Mar. 6, Urban Mission, Steubenville (UMC)
  • Mar. 13, Epworth Center, Bethesda (UMC)
  • Mar 20, Blue Rose Mission, Mansfield (UMC)
  • Mar 27, Covered Bridge Mission, Jefferson (UMC) 
  • Apr 3, Nehemiah Mission, Cleveland (UMC)

Register to attend UMVIM Mondays in Lent on the Events Registration page of the EOC website.

Advance Special and Health & Well-Being Renewals Due in January
If you are an existing Conference Advance or Health & Well-Being (H&W) agency, you should have already received the renewal forms via e-mail from the Connectional Ministries office. If you have not received them, or you wish to apply to become a new Advance or H&W agency, please e-mail Melanie Thomas. Advance Special applications are due on January 15, H&W applications are due on January 31.

Giving Tuesday Match Recap
On Giving Tuesday November 29 generous individuals donated over $5,000 to 14 of our Conference Advance Special Missions & Ministries. The Board of Missions announced a maximum match of $500 for each online donation to an Advance on Giving Tuesday and six Advances earned that maximum match. This match was made possible by the churches and individuals who donated to Undesignated Missions Fund 9001. Thank you all!

Learn more about Conference Advance Specials.

UMVIM Team Leader Training – February 25
If you are interested in organizing and leading a mission trip, this free training is for you! It will take place at Celebration UMC in Euclid on Saturday, February 25 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. or you can join online over Zoom. Led by Rev. Kathy Dickriede, you will learn United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) best practices for mission trips.

Register for UMVIM Team Leader training on the Events Registration page of the EOC website.

UMVIM Long-term Recovery Team to Kentucky – March 26 – April 1
A team is forming to travel to Beverly, KY to assist in recovery from deadly flooding in July 2022. Estimated cost is $150 per person. If you are interested or need more information, please e-mail Earl Kerr, the team leader, or call him at (330) 347-4177.

Message from Conference Secretary to Global Ministries Kate Colbow
How does your congregation care for God’s creation? Do you regularly conduct an energy audit to minimize wasted electricity and water in your church building, reuse resources that would otherwise be tossed in a landfill, encourage biking to church by providing a bike rack in the parking lot, or teach sustainable gardening practices through community gardening? Have you found a creative new way to be good stewards of our natural resources? We want to hear your story and celebrate the impact your ministry has on God’s world! Please e-mail Kate Colbow to share how your congregation cares for creation.

As your congregation makes plans to support missionaries and Advance projects in 2023, please take a moment to confirm that your project or missionary is still active. The link below will allow you to search by missionary name, Advance number, region of the world, or type of project so that you can easily connect with the mission projects that are important to your congregation.

Access the Global Ministries Online Advance Search.

The new year is also a great time to establish a new covenant relationship with a missionary or renew an ongoing one. Please remember to fill out the new Covenant Relationship form. Please e-mail Kate Colbow if you need assistance.

Complete a new Covenant Relationship form.

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

All In God’s Image: Refugees and Global Migrants
As the Christmas story continues in Matthew 2:13-23, Mary and Joseph must take baby Jesus and flee to Egypt because Herod was searching for the child. Jesus becomes a refugee, seeking safety in Egypt.

All In God’s Image: Refugees and Global Migrants is the newest All In God’s Image resource that will educate participants and readers on the stories and experiences of others, like Jesus’ family, who have had to leave their home.

Designed for young people ages six- to 12-years old, the All In God’s Image: Refugees and Global Migrants resource is ideal for Sunday school programs, small groups, and families to learn more about who refugees and global migrants are; to understand how they are our neighbors right here in our communities; and to discover how the East Ohio Conference has begun to build relationships and support families as they’ve migrated. 

Multicultural Ministries will host an All In God’s Image: Refugees and Global Migrants training opportunity at the end of February that will give educators, families, and those interested in an in-depth look at the resource and an opportunity to dive deeper and hear from the author, Corinne R. Dunn, M.Ed., M.A. certified diversity professional.

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

Take A Charter Bus to YOUTH 2023 in Daytona Beach, FL – July 22-28
Attention all youth leaders and pastors: the East Ohio Conference has booked a charter bus to provide transportation for EOC youth and leaders attending YOUTH 2023 July 22-28 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The deadline to request a seat on the bus is January 23.

The cost of the bus is covered by the Conference. Seating is limited and is offered on a first-come first-serve basis. There is a $100/person deposit to hold a seat and you will get information about how to pay the deposit after you complete the form in the link below. Those who attend YOUTH 2023 will have the full $100 deposit refunded when they return from the trip. There will be no refund for those who pay but do not go to YOUTH 2023.

The trip itinerary is:

  • Saturday, July 22 – Depart from EOC Area Center in North Canton
  • Saturday, July 22 – Tuesday, July 25 – serve in the Charlotte, NC area. Mission is still being coordinated but every effort is being made to keep cost as low as possible.
  • Tuesday, July 25 – Travel to Daytona Beach, FL
  • Tuesday, July 25 – Friday, July 28 – YOUTH 2023 in Daytona Beach
  • Friday, July 28; Depart Daytona Beach and drive straight through to EOC Area Center

NOTE: Requesting bus seats does not register you or your group for the events or lodging. The bus will drop participants off at the Hilton Oceanfront Resort, where special rates have been obtained for those participating in YOUTH 2023. If you have questions about YOUTH 2023, please e-mail Stephanie Williams.

Request a seat on the EOC charter bus by January 23.
Learn more about YOUTH 2023.

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

Higher Education

UMHEF Accepting Scholarship Applications Until March 1
Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards more than $2 million to students planning to attend one of the more than 100 United Methodist-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. These scholarships are separate from those offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education!

Learn more and apply for a UMHEF scholarship by March 1.

For questions about Higher Education ministry opportunities, please e-mail the Rev. Gary Jones, Connectional Ministries office Camps & Retreat Ministries/Spiritual Formation & Christian Education director, or visit the Higher Education pages of the Conference website.

Camps & Retreat Ministries

Summer Camp 2023: Every Summer Has a Story
At East Ohio Camps, we want every kid to have a summer story full of fun, faith-formation, adventure, and growth. Our hope is that when your child tells the story of what they did this past summer they include a week of camp where, “I connected with great friends and great counselors, had fun adventures, learned new things, experienced God in nature and now my faith is soaring!” And that is what we are planning for summer 2023!

Summer Camp 2023 registration is now open. Please, encourage the children, youth, and families of your congregation to include East Ohio Camps as a chapter in their story of Summer 2023. The summer programs at Camp Aldersgate, Camp Asbury, and Camp Wanake are laid out on the Summer Camps website, along with information on how to register. 

Learn more and register now to make Camp a part of your story in 2023.

Confirmation Retreats at Camp Asbury & Camp Wanake
During confirmation retreats in February, we will explore our United Methodist understanding of the sacraments, the ways that we talk about and experience God, the ways we can connect with God in prayer, and our United Methodist heritage and organization. There is still time to register for these confirmation retreats:

  • Confirmation Weekend at Camp Asbury – February 3-5
    Cost is $140/youth and $133/adult.
    Registration deadline is Wednesday, January 25.
  • Confirmation Weekend at Camp Wanake – February 24-26
    Cost is $140/youth and $133/adult.
    Registration deadline is Wednesday, February 15.

One adult chaperone is required for every six youth who attend the retreat. If you have questions about the confirmation retreats, please call either the East Ohio Camps office at (330) 499-3972 ext. 108, Camp Asbury at (330) 569-3171, or Camp Wanake at (330) 756-2333. 

Register for the confirmation retreats on the Events Registration page of the EOC website.

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

Spiritual Formation & Christian Education

Spiritual Formation Network Gathering – January 10
Join your friends and colleagues for devotions, support, question-asking and -answering and sharing ideas. The next Zoom gathering of our network is 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 10. Invite any of your friends and colleagues involved in spiritual formation and Christian education. We gather every three weeks – alternating between Tuesday mornings at 9:00 and Thursday evenings at 7:00. After January 10 we will next meet Thursday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday, February 21 at 9:00 a.m. Please e-mail Rev. Gary Jones to request the Zoom link.

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

Special Sunday

Human Relations Day – January 15
On Sunday, January 15 The United Methodist Church will celebrate Human Relations Day, one of the denomination’s six special Sundays. The offering on Human Relations Day will help fund life-changing social justice and outreach ministries that are transforming communities.

Learn more about Human Relations Day.

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

Avatar: The Way of Water
Avatar: The Way of Water takes place about fifteen years after the events of the first movie. Jake and Neytiri are parents of a blended family of youth – two sons and a daughter, one adopted child (from a miraculous birth), and a human boy. It’s a peaceful world and a lovely place to live.

That is, until the RDA returns, this time to colonize Pandora. The leader of this invading force is Recombinate Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who was killed in the first film but whose avatar is back for revenge and seeking the life of Jake Sully.

Jake and his family flee to another part of Pandora to find refuge but it is only a matter of time before the RDA arrives for another battle.

Read entire review.

Events: January 9 – January 22

Click to view East Ohio Conference Calendar.

To submit your event to the East Ohio calendar use this form.
(The East Ohio Conference only accepts East Ohio United Methodist local church, conference and general UM events for listing on the Conference calendar.)

Celebrations of Life

Please pray for the families of:

  • Joan Nethclergy spouse, died October 13.

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

  • Administrative Assistant – Northampton  UMC in Cuyahoga Falls
  • Musician – Organist, Pianist, or Keyboardist – Shoregate UMC
  • Youth Leader – Johnson UMC in Norton
  • Human Resources Assistant – GCFA
  • Director of Choral Ministry – Roscoe UMC in Coshocton
  • Maintenance Manager – The UMC of Macedonia

Items Available/Wanted

  • Piano and bench with a dolly and cover available for free – Garrettsville UMC

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, January 23, 2023.

Deadline for submission is Thursday, January 19, 2023. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.