January 23, 2023


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

2023 Appointments
Abby AumanStrongsville UMCNC
Nathan HoweKent UMCCN
Allison LeBrunBoardman UMCMV
Rebecca StephensBucyrus UMC, co-lead pastorMO
Scott WalshWilloughby Hills UMCWR
View the complete list, including retirees and those concluding their ministry. 2023 Appointments and Changes of Status


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Transform Lives with Us through The United Methodist Church.
“It’s a beautiful thing to be part of The United Methodist Church. It’s a beautiful thing to see the Church used by God for the salvation of this world. I’m a United Methodist because of that transformation, because of the wonderful work of God that began in my life so long ago as a 12-year-old and is still going on today,” shared the Rev. Bruce Hitchcock.

He 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. View #BeUMC stories & the EOC #BeUMC website.

Storyboard: Faith Witness Transformation
What does it mean to Be UMC? We explore this question in each episode of our Storyboard podcast with clergy and laity of the East Ohio Conference sharing stories of how lives are being transformed through the ministries of The United Methodist Church. This is Storyboard: Faith Witness Transformation.

Listen now to Episode One “Transformational Discipleship: Influence, Connection and Impact” featuring Bishop Tracy S. Malone leading conversation with invited clergy and laity guests.

Episode Two focusing on belonging and inclusion will post Monday, January 30. The episode features the pastor and youth from Mt. Tabor UMC sharing about their creative outreach to and inclusion of young people in the life and ministry of the church.

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.

Annual Conference

Annual Conference 2023
The 54th session of Annual Conference is June 8-10 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron. The theme for this year’s conference is Faith Hope Love and the words from 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (CEB) will guide worship services and business sessions.

Registration for Annual Conference 2023 will again be online only, beginning Monday, April 3 and ending Friday, May 12.

Financial & Administrative Services

Year-End Reports Are Due January 31
Still haven’t started – or not sure how to start? The first step is clicking this link to the Conference website. There, in one place, you will find everything you need to submit your report: instructions on how to use the new system, a blank form to get you started, and a document with church GCFA numbers. The deadline to submit your completed year-end report has been extended to January 31.

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.

Connectional Ministries

Media Center Going-Out-of-Business Sale
The Media Center is excited to get resources into the hands of people who use them. DVD studies acquired in the last two years are $5 each and those studies acquired before 2021 are $3 each. The price of the DVD study includes its supplemental materials. Everything must go!

Sale days at the East Ohio Area Center (8800 Cleveland Ave. NW, North Canton, 44720) are:

  • Wednesday, February 1 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. 
  • Thursday, February 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 3 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 4 from 9:00 a.m. until noon

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

Rural Church Revival: Reimagining the Church – February 11
The Connectional Ministries office Strategic Ministries team is offering a Rural Church Revival from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 11 at Clyde First UMC. This workshop is an opportunity for clergy and laity who are members of, or who serve with a rural congregation, to reflect on their rural setting, consider possibilities of an exciting future, and join in fellowship with other similarly situated churches.

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

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

NCJ UMVIM Coordinators Facebook Live Q&A – January 25
North Central Jurisdiction United Methodist Volunteers in Mission coordinators are hosting a Facebook Live Q&A at 10:00 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, January 25.

Participate in the January 25 NCJ UMVIM Facebook Live.

NCJ UMVIM Mission Interest From
Learn more about upcoming North Central Jurisdiction United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (NCJ UMVIM) mission journeys to Liberia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, China, and more by completing the Discovering … Mission Journeys interest form.

Complete the Discover … Mission Journeys interest form.

UMVIM Team Leader Training – February 25
If you are interested in organizing and leading a mission trip, sign-up today for a free training opportunity at Celebration UMC in Euclid from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. Rev. Kathy Dickriede will present United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) best practices for mission trips. Participate in-person or online via Zoom.

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

UMVIM Mondays During Lent starts February 27
All are invited to participate in United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Mondays during Lent. Each Monday will be at a different UMVIM site in East Ohio. Registration in advance is required.

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

Neighboring Movement Cohort Begins April 16
So many congregations feel challenged to live out their desire to thrive as instruments of God’s love because of interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, declining church membership, and shifting cultural and societal contexts. The Neighboring Movement can help churches live out their desire. It’s a transformative learning process that prepares congregations with the practical tools they need to forge more meaningful relationships and to create sustainable impact in their communities. In completing the Good Neighbor experiment congregations can:

  • experience a shift in emphasis from programs to relationship,
  • experience a shift in focus from scarcity to abundance,
  • experience a shift from inauthenticity to joy and discernment,
  • learn a dynamic set of tools founded in asset-based community development,
  • gain access to resources such as 24 weeks of small group curriculum, a worship series planning guide, four weeks of youth and adult Sunday School curriculum, marketing tools, and more, and
  • receive continued connection to alumni churches of the Neighboring Movement.

Learn more about the Neighboring Movement.

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

Latest All In God’s Image Resource Available for Download
Hosting Angels in our Midst: An Introduction to Refugees and Global Migrants for All Ages is the newest All In God’s Image educational guide for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church. 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 interested in:

  • learning more about refugees and global migrants;
  • understanding that we live together as neighbors in our communities; and
  • discovering the many ways our East Ohio Conference is building relationships and supporting families as they’ve migrated.

The Multicultural Ministries team has scheduled a training opportunity for using this new resource on Monday, February 20 at Church of the Saviour UMC in Cleveland Heights. In-person and online Zoom participants in this one-hour 7:00 p.m. training will receive an in-depth look at the resource and tips on how best to use it from the guide’s author Certified Diversity Professional Corinne R. Dunn, M.Ed., M.A.

Questions about the February 20 training and the resource should be e-mailed to Will Fenton-Jones, Connectional Ministries office Multicultural Ministries director. He can resource your church with materials necessary to ensure successful use of the resource.

Register for the February 20 resource training on the Events Registration page of the EOC website.
Download Hosting Angels in our Midst: An Introduction to Refugees and Global Migrants for All Ages.

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.

Higher Education

Scholarships, Grants and Financial Aid   
The Conference website is your home for the latest information about scholarships, grants, and financial aid available across The United Methodist Church. Begin your search today because many of the applications must be received sometime during the month of March. 

View information about available scholarships, grants and financial aid.

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 for Summer Camp 2023.

Camperships Available for Summer Camp
Is the cost of camp stretching your family’s budget? Camperships are available to ensure that all people have an opportunity to attend camp. To get details about camperships, call the Camps & Retreat Ministries office at (800) 831-3972 ext. 108 or call your district office.

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 Day Camp Retreat at Camp Asbury – February 4
    Cost is $40/youth or 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 (800) 831-3972 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 – February 2
Join your friends and colleagues for devotions, support, question-asking and -answering and sharing ideas. The next Zoom gathering of our network is 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 2. 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 February 2 we will next meet on Tuesday, February 21 at 9:00 a.m. Please e-mail Rev. Gary Jones to request the Zoom link.

Re:New – Imagining New Ministries in New Ways with New People – April 29
Join people from around East Ohio as they share the new ways that they are reaching new people in their ministries. The day will include workshops on Messy Church, Dinner Church, Creative Family Ministry, Drama Ministry, Connecting with Online Communities, and much more! We will gather at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. Cost is $10 and includes lunch. Registration information will be released soon. This event is sponsored by the East Ohio Conference Spiritual Formation & Christian Education Committee.

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.


New In-Person Lay Servant Training Opportunities
Lay servant ministries in The United Methodist Church has its origins in early Methodism. John Wesley used lay persons to preach, conduct worship, lead studies, and visit the sick and imprisoned. Today, those involved in lay ministry are charged to witness, lead, and have their service inspire others to a deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship.

Multiple lay servant ministry opportunities are scheduled in the next few months, beginning on February 18 with both Basic and Advanced trainings offered at Mt. Gilead Trinity UMC. E-mail Melanie Thomas if you have any questions about registering for the trainings and e-mail your lay servant ministry district director to ask about potential future sessions. 

View the list of lay servant ministry training opportunities.
View the list of lay servant ministry district directors.

For questions about Lay Servant Ministries opportunities, please e-mail Amanda Armstrong, director of Lay Servant Ministries, or visit the Lay Servant Ministries pages on the Conference website.

Credit Union

Offices Closed for Computer Upgrades – March 1-2
To better serve our customers and our members’ experience, the Christian Family Credit Union will upgrade our computer systems on March 1 and March 2. While all electronic payments (social security, pension, etc.) will post to accounts normally during that time, members will not be able to log-in to online banking or the mobile app on those days. In addition, each of our Credit Union offices will be closed those two days. We will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 3.

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

Learn more about Christian Family Credit Union.

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

M3GAN is an acronym for a cyborg doll identified as the “Model 3 Generative Android.” She is a work-in-progress for young robotics developer Gemma (Williams) whose toy company (Funki) is mostly interested in selling a cheap Furby-esque doll who enjoys farting and making wisecracks.

When her 9-year-old niece Cady (McGraw) is orphaned following a tragic car crash, Gemma decides to be a good aunt and let her live with her. As kind-hearted as Gemma is, she knows little about parenting. Her home is filled with toys, but they are treated as collectibles and kept in their boxes. Since Gemma has to go off to work and Cady needs companionship, why not test out this 4-foot cyborg doll on her niece? M3GAN is able to do fast machine learning and could be a good babysitter. What could possibly go wrong?

Read entire review.

Events: January 23 – February 5

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.)


Details of listings may be found here.

Positions Available

  • Administrative Assistant – Northampton  UMC in Cuyahoga Falls
  • Musician – Organist, Pianist, or Keyboardist – Shoregate UMC

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.

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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, February 6, 2023.

Deadline for submission is Thursday, February 2, 2023. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.