Live Well – Be Well

By Will Jones*

36 years ago, in 1982, Bishop James S. Thomas hosted the first Black Clergy Retreat at Mohican State Park.  This year, the 2018 Black Clergy Retreat returns (September 23-25) to Mohican State Park.  Bishop Thomas instituted the event to nurture and develop Clergy who’s diversity and perspective is invaluable to the Conference.  This year, the theme “Live Well – Be Well” fulfills the purpose of nurturing and caring for the Black Clergy of The East and West Ohio Annual Conferences.

Last year the retreat had a similar focus.  Bishop Malone preached, “We cannot be as effective and as fruitful in our well doing in ministry, if we are not intentional in caring for our personal well-being.  We’re talking about emotional, we’re talking about physical, and we’re talking about spiritual,” in her sermon titled “How is it with your soul?”(video)

Clergy well-being is certainly an important aspect for ALL Clergy who serve in United Methodist Appointments.  Research, data, and experience tells us that Clergy of Color face additional challenges serving in a denomination that is predominantly white.  The Church is a leader in promoting understanding of why we need to highlight and learn other perspectives than the majority perspective.  Thus, the Bishops’ Retreat with Black Clergy is really about bringing special attention to the needs of the Black Church in East Ohio and West Ohio.

In addition to the Black Clergy Retreat, in its effort to promote Clergy of Color and our Racial-Ethnic Churches, the office of Multicultural Vitality and the Bishop held a gathering titled “STRONG – Strength, Training, and Resourcing on an ON Going basis” to support our racial-ethnic clergy.  The East Ohio 2018 Annual Conference also approved the creation for the Committee on Ethnic Local Church Concerns, a discipline required committee that focuses on the health and vitality of racial-ethnic churches.

If you are Interested in supporting or learning more about the East Ohio Conference effort of promoting our Racial-Ethnic churches and ministries, please contact the office of Multicultural Vitality at Vitality@eocumc.com 

Register for the 2018 Black Clergy Retreat.

* Will Jones is the director of Multicultural Vitality for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Listening Posts Offered Prior to Special Session of the General Conference

By The East Ohio Conference Delegation*

The Special Session of the General Conference, that has been called to address a way forward for The United Methodist Church on the matter of human sexuality, will be held February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri.

As East Ohio delegates to this Special Session of the General Conference, we recognize the importance of the decisions that will be before us and the impact these decisions will have on each United Methodist church and member.  Recognizing this, we invite you to attend and share your thoughts and concerns at one of the five scheduled listening posts that will be held throughout the East Ohio Conference.

The listening posts will consist of a devotion, a brief overview of the process of General Conference, and a review of the report – but the main purpose is for the delegates to listen to you.  Below are some questions that may help direct you in how to share your thoughts and concerns.

  • What are signs of hope, or causes of anxiety, for you surrounding this Special Session of the General Conference?
  • What are signs of hope, or causes of anxiety, for you in a particular plan in the proposed report?
  • What would your picture of The United Methodist Church look like for the next generation?
  • What is that you want us as delegates to be aware of or take into consideration?

We ask that participants limit their sharing to a couple of minutes so that all who wish to contribute have time to do so. The length of each listening post will depend on the participation of those in attendance but we have reserved 2½ hours.  During the time of light refreshments following, you will have an opportunity to speak personally with the delegates who are present.

The listening posts will be:

We would appreciate participants registering in advance to help with our planning but registration is not required to attend the posts.  You may register here.

Visit www.eocumc.com/gc for the most up-to-date information on the Special Session of the General Conference.  The site is where materials to be considered by the Special Session of the General Conference will be posted when they are made available to the public: these include the report from the Commission on A Way Forward, the recommendation of the Council of Bishops, and other materials.

If you are unable to attend any of the listening posts, you can e-mail the delegation at eoc2019gcdelegation@eocumc.com.

Please continue to be in pray for The United Methodist Church and this Special Session of the General Conference.

*The East Ohio delegation is comprised of six clergy members and six lay members elected by Annual Conference.

Kimberly Green Named EOC Lay Leader

Kimberly Green headshotBishop Tracy S. Malone has named Kimberly Green lay leader of the East Ohio Conference.  Effective July 1 she will succeed Greg Rentsch, who is stepping down after serving six years in the position.

“Kimberly brings a strong passion and personal faith commitment to Christian discipleship and mission,” Malone said.  “Her various leadership roles in the local church, and at the district- and Conference-levels demonstrate her ability to work and serve with lay and clergy to advance the Church’s mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Green is the lay leader at Celebration United Methodist Church (North Coast District) and a lay member to Annual Conference.  She also is co-chair of the North Coast District Strategy Committee, a member of both the North Coast District Leadership Development Committee and the North Coast District Strategic Funding Committee, and serves on the Conference Committee on Episcopacy.

“I am very excited and honored to serve in a greater capacity in The United Methodist Church,” Green said.  “It is prayer that gives me the ability to be a bold and courageous leader.  I am committed to do all that God has blessed me to do in making disciples for Jesus Christ.”

The director of Nursing Services at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Green is involved in several ministry initiatives that link her life’s work in healthcare with helping families and communities thrive.  She is passionate about serving and helping others outside the church walls.

Green earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Ohio State University and a Master of Science in Nursing, with a concentration in Leadership and Management, from University of Phoenix.

She and her husband Anthony are the parents of two adult daughters.