February 20, 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
Dawan BuieAldersgate UMCNC
Abby CasemanWestlake UMCNC
Cara Stultz CostelloDistrict SuperintendentTW/MV
Angela LewisDistrict SuperintendentCN/MV
Shannon TrentonChurch Hill & Youngstown Trinity UMCsMV
View the complete list, including retirees and those concluding their ministry. 2023 Appointments and Changes of Status


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 with Us through The United Methodist Church. #Be UMC.
“I’ve had the chance to serve at the local, district, and Conference levels, and even at the jurisdictional level, and I’ve found that folks are kind and welcoming and truly appreciate the unique gifts and skills that I bring to the table,” said Susan Achberger, North Coast District lay leader. “I pray that everyone who walks through the doors of a United Methodist Church feel the same sense of belonging and the same sense of home that I have felt there throughout my life.”

Achberger is one of the many East Ohio Conference laity and clergy 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
Each episode of our podcast Storyboard: Faith Witness Transformation explores what is means to #BeUMC.

In Episode Three “Influence, Connection & Impact: Nurtured by the Church, Invested in Reaching Others” Akron Centenary UMC lay person Cazzell Smith shares the many ways The UMC and the people of Centenary influenced his life as a youth and explores opportunities the church is taking to impact its community today.

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.

Bishop’s Office

Bishop Malone Shares District Superintendency Plan
It gives me joy to share that the creative regional superintendency models piloted in the Ohio Valley District and the Firelands District in July 2022 are structural, strategic, and missional successes in equipping and supporting pastors, congregations, and faith communities in our mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

In consideration of the new ministry appointment of Rev. Abby Auman, I will implement another regional superintendency plan in the Mahoning Valley District. Effective July 1 the 10 districts of our Conference will be served by seven district superintendents.

Rev. Angela Lewis, superintendent of the Canal District, and Rev. Cara Stultz Costello, superintendent of the Tuscarawas District, will expand their leadership to serve as co-superintendents of the Mahoning Valley District while continuing to superintendent in their current respective districts. I have consulted with the district superintendents and superintendency committees affected in the new configuration, and I am thankful for their support of this strategic leadership plan.

Last fall I also formed a District Realignment/Restructure Task Force to assist me and my Cabinet in assessing and exploring current and ongoing needs, realities, and missional opportunities across our Conference. A report on proposed structural changes will be printed in the Pre-Conference Workbook and will be presented to the Annual Conference in June. The report will include a recommendation from me and my Cabinet regarding a change to our current regional structure, a reduction in the number of districts, and a timeline for such changes.

Read Bishop Malone’s message in its entirety.

A Ministry and Mission Message from Bishop Tracy S. Malone
“Beloved, I am thankful that I get to witness a measure of all of the fullness of God across the East Ohio Conference. God’s Spirit is moving in and through our United Methodist churches in some amazing and transformative ways. I see a measure of the fullness of God as I attend your worship services and share in conversations with clergy and laity. I see a measure of the fullness of God as I witness how local churches are sharing the love, the grace, and the hospitality of Jesus Christ with their neighbors, how you’re feeding the hungry and caring for those who have suffered trauma and pain, and how you are connecting with those who are looking for hope and community” shares Bishop Tracy S. Malone in her February 16 video message to East Ohio Conference laity and clergy.

Bishop Malone reiterates it has always been her hope and prayer that no one feels that they have to choose to leave or separate from The United Methodist Church and she assures clergy and laity of congregations seeking to disaffiliate that “no one will be abandoned” should they wish to remain United Methodist.

The bishop’s video message also includes these three important dates related to matters of disaffiliation:

  • April 3 – deadline to notify your superintendent and the bishop’s office in writing,
  • May 3 – deadline for district superintendents to schedule church conferences, and
  • May 20 – deadline for full disaffiliation cost payments to be received.

View and download Bishop Malone’s video message.

Annual Conference

Proposed Resolutions Must Be Submitted by March 15
Full rules concerning resolutions can be found in The Conference Journal beginning on page 8-28 in ¶2.I.

Definition: Resolutions are matters for consideration by the Annual Conference which are not motions for action or proper amendments to reports by Conference agencies, but which call for expression of opinion by the Annual Conference on issues of concern to the membership of the church and the public. Resolutions may be submitted by any member of a United Methodist church or an organization of the East Ohio Conference.

Submitted Resolutions must include each of the following:

  1. Resolution Title. The resolution number will be provided by the Conference secretary.
  2. Funding source if not specifically included in the budget.
  3. The “Whereas” statements providing rationale for the resolution.
  4. The “Resolved” statements providing the specific stance or action called for.
  5. Submitter’s name.  If the resolution is submitted by a group than an individual contact person should be indicated, and that person’s cell phone and e-mail address should be included.

The deadline to submit resolutions so that they can printed in the Pre-Conference Workbook is March 15. Resolutions should be e-mailed to Rev. Cindy Patterson, Annual Conference secretary.  Resolutions that become timely after the March 15 deadline can be e-mailed to Rev. Cindy Patterson by 5:00 p.m. on the day before the start of Annual Conference. The Annual Conference will have the opportunity to vote to consider resolutions submitted after the deadline.

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 of 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.


Labyrinth and Prayer Stations at Faith UMC February 22 – March 1
This Lent laity and clergy of all ages are invited to walk the labyrinth, pray, and reflect at Faith UMC in North Canton during church and event hours.

  • Sunday – 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

If you have questions about the labyrinth and prayer stations, e-mail Kathy Schmucker, Faith UMC Spiritual Formation director. The church is located at 300 9th Street NW in North Canton, 44720.

Strategic Ministries

The Board of Congregational Development and the Connectional Ministries office of Strategic Ministries invite churches and charges to apply for spring micro grants. These grants are for new ministries that seek to reach those not already in the church. Whether they’re called small groups, Fresh Expressions, or ministries, sometimes they just need the seed money these grants can provide. Maximum grant amount is $2,000 – and applications for the grants must be submitted by April 3. 

Learn more and apply by April 3 on the Scholarships/Grants/Aid 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

Support an East Ohio Conference Missionary
Our Conference Secretary to Global Ministries Kate Colbow is available to answer your questions about supporting our East Ohio Conference missionaries. E-mail Kate Colbow to learn more.

#STILLINMISSION Zoom Gathering – March 2
You are invited to the next #STILLINMISSION gathering to learn more about our United Methodist Church Global Ministries missionaries and the communities they serve. Join us via Zoom at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 to hear first-hand about the ministries of Edwin Campomanes in Guatemala, Grace Rogers in the United States, Joy Prim in China, and Satomi McCurley in Japan.

Learn more about and register for the March 2 #STILLINMISSION.

UM Appalachian Ministry Network Grants Available
United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network (UMAMN) offers small-amount grants for ministries connected to The UMC that serve people in the Appalachian region. The next deadline to apply is April 15.

Learn more and apply on the Scholarships/Grants/Aid page of the Conference website.

Midwest Mission Collection at Annual Conference – June 8-10
Midwest Mission (EOC Advance Fund 9944) will again have a collection truck at the John S. Knight Center during Annual Conference in June. Full details will be released when the Annual Conference 2023 website goes live on April 3. Please e-mail Melanie Thomas in the Connectional Ministries office if you have any questions about this collection.

The Midwest Mission is currently well-stocked with United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) kits. For the collection during Annual Conference, the Mission is asking for donations of:

Learn more about creating kits to donate to Midwest Mission.

New UMVIM Journeys to Guatemala and Puerto Rico
Two new United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) journeys have been added to the schedule. One team will travel to Guatemala in July and another team will travel to Puerto Rico in January 2024.

If your church is planning a mission trip and would like it listed on our website, e-mail Melanie Thomas with details.

Learn more about Mission opportunities beyond East Ohio.

2023-2025 Discover … Mission Journeys
Discover … Mission journeys is an opportunity for young adults to engage in an intentional cultural immersion mission journey. Join other young adults from around the country and in the host country to serve with and learn from one another. Opportunities are available in Liberia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Honduras, Cambodia, China, and more!

Learn more about Discover … Mission journeys.

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.

Disaster Response

Church, Leadership Assisting Community Impacted by Train Derailment
Two weeks ago, the eyes of the world focused on East Palestine as flames and smoke filled the sky of the 4,800-person town near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border following the derailment of nearly three dozen cars of a Norfolk Southern Railway train. The fire burned for days, and many businesses were forced to close because of chemicals that filled the air from the 11 derailed cars that were carrying hazardous materials. Local, state, and national safety agencies converged on the town and set up a command center inside East Palestine Centenary UMC (Mahoning Valley District).

“Thankfully no lives were lost, and no buildings were damaged. At this point, air, water, and soil quality are the major concerns,” said Auman of the work being done by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “The coordination and degree of response is not like anything I’ve ever seen.”

There is much work still to be done, and many people who want to help.

Remember the simple rules of disaster response found on the Conference website:

  • Do No Harm right now:
    • Do Not “self-deploy” into a region until invited.
    • Do Not send supplies and clothes because unwanted items sent into disaster zones become burdens on an already-overwhelmed area.
  • Do Good right now:
    • Pray for the communities impacted by the disaster, the lives forever changed, and those responding.

Read the article in its entirety.

UMCOR Response to Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has issued a solidarity grant to partners working in Turkey and Syria after the deadly earthquakes that have claimed tens of thousands of lives. International Blue Crescent and Forum for Development Culture and Dialogue will use the funds to provide tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, ready-to-eat meals, and first-aid kits to those who have been displaced.

East Ohio clergy and laity can assist in two ways:

Learn more about how The UMC is aiding in Turkey.

Higher Education

Scholarship Information Zoom Meeting – March 1
As the March 30 application deadline approaches for East Ohio Board of Higher Education and Collegiate Campus Ministries (BHECCM) scholarships, the Board will host an online information session for students and parents at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1. The meeting will feature a representative from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), which oversees the scholarship process, and a representative from the East Ohio BHECCM. They will be able to answer questions about the process, criteria for scholarship awards, and navigating the online application site. RSVP using the form below by February 28 at noon.

RSVP for the March 1 session on the Events Registration page of the EOC website.

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

Register Now for Camp to Take Advantage of Early-Bird Savings
Register by March 15 and your camper will receive a limited-edition 2023 Summer Camp t-shirt that is not available in the stores at Camp Aldersgate, Camp Asbury, or Camp Wanake AND a $20 discount will be applied to their Summer Camp fee. Register by April 15 and your camper will receive a limited-edition 2023 Summer Camp t-shirt that is not available in the stores at Camp Aldersgate, Camp Asbury, or Camp Wanake. Camperships are available to ensure that all people have an opportunity to attend camp. 

If you have questions and/or would like a Summer Camps brochure, call the Camps & Retreat Ministries office at (800) 831-3972 ext. 108 or send an e-mail.

Register for Summer Camp 2023.

Become Part of our Summer Camp Staff
Summer Camp staff is a cornerstone of the ministry of East Ohio Camps. Our summer program requires a great number of staff to be successful and we are currently looking for outstanding Christian women and men for these summer staff positions: counselors, lifeguards, program staff, food service, maintenance, and administration. We offer great Christian community, excellent training, free room and board, opportunity for ministry, and growth in leadership skills.

Learn more and apply to be on Summer Camp staff.

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 21
Join your friends and colleagues in ministry online for devotions, support, question-asking and -answering and sharing ideas. The next Zoom gathering of our spiritual formation network is at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, February 21. Invite any of your friends and colleagues involved in spiritual formation and Christian education. We gather every three weeks – alternating between Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays. Our next two meetings after tomorrow are:

  • Thursday, March 16 @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 4 @ 9:00 a.m.

E-mail the Rev. Gary Jones, Connectional Ministries office Spiritual Formation director, to request the Zoom link to join the spiritual formation network gathering. 

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.

Health Care Benefits

EOC Retirees … Let’s Move!
For our EOC retirees presently on the UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Advantage Plan, there is a new wellness experience available to you. It’s called Let’s Move and includes wellness programming focused on nutrition, physical activity, mental health, social well-being, caregiver well-being, and financial wellness.

UHC is happy to include the Let’s Move program in their 2023 benefits. Full promotion of this program to members will begin in March 2023. Keep a lookout for it. If you have questions about this program, please call Benefits Manager Robin Whitacre at (800) 831-3972 ext. 151.

Learn more about the new Let’s Move program from UnitedHealthcare.

For questions about Health Care Benefits, please e-mail Robin Whitacre, Benefits manager, or visit the Health Care Benefits pages of the Conference website.

Methodist Foundation of Ohio

Deadline to Apply for Free Money is March 1
The Methodist Foundation of Ohio has opened applications for church Missions grants and student scholarships for the year. Church grants are available for mission projects, including feeding programs, that your church offers. Grants are typically in the $1,000 range.

The Foundation also offers undergraduate scholarships for students who are active in their local United Methodist churches. Students need not be attending a United Methodist university. Some, but not all, scholarships are designated for children of United Methodist clergy.

Learn more and apply by March 1.


COSROW Listening Post About Credentialing Process – March 18
The East Ohio Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) is committed to advocating for an equitable credentialing process for all candidates in the Conference. COSROW invites all interviewees to a listening post on March 18 at Faith UMC in North Canton to share your experiences of the credentialing process, including your recent District Committee on Ministry (dCom) interviews and Board of Ministry interviews. This opportunity is outside of your credentialing process, does not involve Cabinet representation, and the feedback received is confidential. E-mail Rev. Jake Heskett, if you have any questions about this listening post.

Learn more and register to attend on the Events Registration page of the EOC website.

Christian Family Credit Union

Enhancements to Come with Credit Union System Upgrade
As previously mentioned, Christian Family Credit Union will undergo a computer system upgrade March 1-2 that will provide members with several new enhancements and features, including the abilities to: make same day P2P (person-to-person) payments, “rounding up” debit card transactions to the next dollar to go into their savings accounts, and choosing to have their payroll deposited early when it’s available. Additional great changes are yet to come. We are grateful for our members and the opportunity to serve you! 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

All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front is based on a 1929 novel by the German writer Erich Maria Remarque. It became an international best-seller and the source material for an Academy Award winning 1930 film (and decades later, a 1979 television movie). It is one of the classic anti-war novels, based on the author’s own experiences of fighting for Germany in the Great War. It is a short book but unrelenting in its bleak narrative. Millions have read this book (many of them while in high school) and know the story.

All Quiet on the Western Front is impressive and powerful, a foreign language film deserving of its Oscar nomination as one of the best movies of 2022.

Read entire review.

Events: February 20 – March 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.)

Celebrations of Life

Please pray for the families of:

  • W. Kent JoyElder, died February 11.
  • Paul Geryczretired Associate Member, died February 1.

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 – North Canton Faith UMC
  • Treasurer – Shoregate UMC
  • Technical Media Director – Brecksville UMC
  • 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

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, March 6, 2023.

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