February 6, 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
Matt AndersonBucyrus UMC, co-associate pastorMO
Steve CostelloMentor UMCWR
David RittgersWooster UMCCN
James SpatholtOhltown UMCMV
Sondra SnodeFields UMCNC
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
“I like the connection church of The United Methodist Church. I like the Wesleyan tradition of The United Methodist Church. And I like the camaraderie I get not only from our district, but from the Conference.” shared Cazzell Smith.

Smith 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 Two “Belonging & Inclusion: Welcome ‘Different’, Don’t Define It” featuring a conversation with Pastor Christy Suffecool and three teens from Mt. Tabor UMC that shines a light on the daily efforts of church members to welcome all of God’s children, not just those who look, sound, or think like they do.

Episode Three will post Monday, February 13 and Episode Four will post Monday, February 27.

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 Streaming Service at $15/Month
Have you checked out the new Amplify Media resource yet being offered through the East Ohio Connectional Ministries Office? If not, please explore this resource at www.Amplifymedia.com. Now more than ever before, many East Ohio Conference churches are livestreaming worship services and conducting small group studies online, embracing the possibilities offered by digital downloads and services like Zoom. 

A division of The United Methodist Publishing House, Amplify Media offers videos, podcasts, audio books, webinars, and other digital media that are searchable and can be accessed anytime, anywhere, from any device, by up to 100 church members! Our partnership with Amplify Media replaces the former Media Center as a curriculum resource for EOC churches. Right now, due to this partnership, your church can get a basic membership at a 50% discount for one year. But you must join before March 30.When signing up for a new membership use the online coupon code EOCUMC. The first month is free! For this low rate, member churches can review and test a great curriculum resource for an entire year.

Soon an Amplify Training seminar will be available on Portico, the EOC online learning platform.

Missions & Community Engagement

Missions Grants Available
The Board of Missions Grant and Scholarship application has been updated and the deadline to apply for the next round of funding is April 10. View application for full details. These grants are made possible by the generous churches who continue to support Undesignated Missions Fund 9001. If you would like to donate to Fund 9001, visit the Donate page.

The Methodist Foundation of Ohio also offers a mission and outreach focused grant. Details can be found on their Grants & Scholarships page. The deadline to apply is March 1.

Neighboring Movement Cohort Starts April 16
In a Good Neighbor Experiment cohort, you will be given practical resources to connect with your community using asset-based community development. Connect with your actual, literal neighbors! Help your congregation move from: inauthenticity to joy, draining program management to relationships, and scarcity to abundance. The cost of this training is $1,000 per church, but the East Ohio Conference Missions & Community Engagement office can cover this cost for up to five churches. Contact Rev. Kathy Dickriede by e-mail if you are interested and plan to join the informational Zoom on Feb 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Learn more about the Good Neighbor Experiment.
Watch the Good Neighbor Experiment intro video.
Join informational Zoom on February 21 at 2:00 p.m.

UMVIM Mondays in Lent Starts on February 27
Come and learn how others are engaging in their communities and discover ideas for how you can engage in yours! We will be visiting six different mission sites. This event is free, but please register in advance.

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

Early Response Team (ERT) Online Recertification March 11
The West Ohio Conference UMC invites all East Ohio UMCOR ERT trained people who are due for recertification (required every 3 years) to this online recertification. This is for recertification only. If you have not taken ERT training before, please do not register.

ERT Recertification Details and Registration

Global Ministries – Establish a Covenant Relationship
Want to help your congregation connect with God’s mission all around the world? Establish a covenant relationship with one of our 200+ General Board of Global Ministries missionaries serving in more than 60 countries. Individuals, congregations, and groups of any size, including youth groups and Sunday School classes, can: covenant to provide an annual, monthly, or one-time gift of financial support; pray for a missionary; receive regular updates; interact on Zoom; and sometimes receive a visit in person. To establish a covenant relationship, please fill out this form. To learn more, e-mail Kate Colbow, conference secretary to Global Ministries.

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 Resources and Training
Seeing one another as beloved children of God is part of our call as disciples and what it means to be UMC. Black History Month has begun and All in God’s Image: A Celebration of Black History is the perfect resource to celebrate, remember, and learn about Black History.

All In God’s Image: Hosting Angels in our Midst: An Introduction to Refugees and Global Migrants for All Ages is the newest resource of the All In God’s Image series. We are enriched when we recognize the contributions of Black Americans in our lives and throughout history, and we are enriched again when we recognize the contributions of migrants and refugees. The East Ohio Conference is ever on a journey to grow deeper and wider in our relationships with our communities.

The Multicultural Ministries team has scheduled a training opportunity for using this new resource on Monday, February 20. In person and online Zoom participants in this one-hour training at 7:00 p.m. 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. Alison Klocker, executive director of the Nehemiah Mission of Cleveland, will be our featured speaker. Alison will describe ways that the Nehemiah Mission reaches out to refugees in our area and how church families and Sunday school classes can be of assistance.

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.

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.

Camps & Retreat Ministries

Registration is Open for Summer Camp 2023
Camping can satisfy what children need during their summer vacation. At camp they will experience faith, responsibility, and cooperation as part of a caring community. They’ll experience self-esteem as children of God. In a world where it is hard to be a kid – and it is hard to be a parent – let East Ohio Camps be your partner in faith and the development of your child. Great places and great experiences, all with trained, caring staff. Camperships are available to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to attend camp. If you have questions about Summer Camp 2023, please call the Camps & Retreat Ministries office at (800) 831-3972 ext. 108 or ext. 120.

Learn more and register for Summer Camp 2023.

Camps Aldersgate, Asbury, and Wanake Looking for Summer Staff
Our summer program requires a great number of qualified staff to be successful. We are looking for outstanding Christian women and men for summer staff positions. We are looking for counselors, lifeguards, program staff, food service members, administrators, and maintenance workers. Go to www.eocsummercamps.org and click on the “Staff & Volunteers” tab for more information, or contact the camps directly:

  • Camp Aldersgate – (330) 627-4369
  • Camp Asbury – (330) 569-3171
  • Camp Wanake – (330) 756-2333

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.

United Women in Faith

United Women in Faith Office of Deaconess & Home Missioner
Deaconesses and Home Missioners are laypeople who are called by God to be in a lifetime relationship in The United Methodist Church for engagement with a full-time vocation in ministries of love, justice, and service. Together they form a covenant community that is rooted in scripture, informed by history, driven by mission, ecumenical in scope, and global in outreach. Upcoming online discernment sessions are scheduled February 2, April 1, and June 1.

Learn more about the United Women in Faith office of Deaconess & Home Missioner and join the online discernment sessions.

Credit Union

Annual Meeting & Board of Directors Election
On April 13, 2023, Christian Family Credit Union will hold the Annual Business Meeting for members via Zoom & in person in the East Ohio Conference Office. We welcome members to join us for lunch in the conference office at 11:15 a.m. or via zoom at 12:00 p.m. At that time the annual Board of Directors Election will be held. There are currently three positions available on the board for 3-year terms, and we have three candidates. If you would also like to be considered for nomination, please call 1 (800) 373-1059 or e-mail Karen Riel

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! Join us today!

Learn more about Christian Family Credit Union.

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

A Man Called Otto
This film is a remake of 2015’s Swedish film A Man Called Ove, based on the international best-selling book by Frederik Backman. While there are a lot of nice touches in this rendition, there are more than a few missteps. Otto’s impassioned automotive debate with a friend concerning Ford vs. Chevy lacks the intrinsic humor of the Saab vs. Volvo conflict in the Swedish film. More significant is the tepid backstory of Otto’s life in this version. Younger Otto is given little to do except look needy and forlorn, which is all Sonya seems to want in a life partner. In the book and the earlier film, Otto suffered an additional loss in his life that added to his pain. Dialing down the grief hurts this story and leads to many maudlin moments.

A Man Called Otto is an old-fashioned feel-good film with a positive message of love and understanding. Just remember that this movie uses suicide as a source of humor and may not be particularly appropriate for younger viewers or others who are coping with mental health concerns. Sometimes, even though a film ends up at a good place, you may not care to walk down the road to that destination.

Read entire review.

Events: February 6 – February 19

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:

  • Beth Ann ManspergerElder, died January 29.
  • Anthony J. Tolbert IIIretired Elder, died November 9, 2022.
  • Judith T. McCartney, clergy spouse, died January 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

  • Director of Youth Ministry – Gay Street UMC
  • Administrative Assistant – Green Valley UMC in Green
  • Contemporary Worship Coordinator – Hope Ridge UMC in Mentor
  • Children’s Ministry Area Coordinator – Hope Ridge UMC in Mentor
  • Administrative Assistant – Northampton  UMC in Cuyahoga Falls

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, February 20, 2023.

Deadline for submission is Thursday, February 16, 2023. Send articles to swilliams@eocumc.com.