OCTOBER 16, 2017

Annual Conference 2018

A reminder that the dates announced at the conclusions this year of both the East Ohio Conference session and the West Ohio Conference session were changed in July.

Annual Conference 2018 for East Ohio will be held at Lakeside Chautauqua June 11-14.  Youth Annual Conference 2018 will be June 8-10.

Financial & Administrative Services

Benefits Enrollment Begins Nov. 1
The East Ohio Conference is switching to the HealthFlex benefits program in 2018.  Our conference joins 28 others across the denomination in using the health benefits plan offered by Wespath Benefits and Investments, a general agency of The United Methodist Church.

Participants select medical/pharmacy, dental, and vision plans; choose eligible dependents to cover; and can contribute to reimbursement accounts for pre-tax savings in 2018 and to save for future health needs.

The HealthFlex Benefits Election booklet and the online Alex Benefits Counselor may be used to determine whether the base plan or the optional buy-up plans best suit participants’ needs.

Click here to view the HealthFlex Benefits workshop video and learn more about the plan and available options.

PARTICIPANTS MUST ELECT A PLAN during the enrollment period of Wednesday, November 1 to Thursday, November 16.

New Employees Welcomed
Amy Lowdermilk
and Teri Capron joined the East Ohio Conference Financial and Administrative Services office on October 2.

Lowdermilk is our new senior accountant. She has a wealth of experience, having previously worked as a cash manager, a treasury analyst, and a corporate accountant.  She can be reached via e-mail at alowdermilk@eocumc.com or via phone at (800) 831-3972 x-156.

Capron is our new accounts receivable clerk. She has more than 20 years of experience as an administrative assistant for a law firm specializing in workers compensation cases.  She can be reached via e-mail at tcapron@eocumc.com or via phone at (800) 831-3972 x-135.

Ohio Minimum Wage Increasing in 2018
Minimum wage in the State of Ohio will increase beginning January 1, 2018. The new minimum wage will be $8.30/hour, an increase of $0.15.  Pay for tipped employees will increase from $4.08 to $4.15/hour.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr.  Employers are required to pay whichever minimum wage is HIGHER.

Connectional Ministries

Positions Available
The Conference Council on Ministries of the East Ohio Conference is receiving applications for two full-time positions:

Applicants must e-mail a letter of interest and a current resume to scourt@eocumc.com by November 1.

Missions

Advance Special 9143- Project Hope for the Homeless
As the only emergency homeless shelter in Lake County, Project Hope for the Homeless operates three programs to respond to the human hurts and hopes of persons who are homeless in Lake County by providing emergency shelter, care, and guidance, in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ. The shelter operates a 50-bed program for individual adults including a 12-bed enclosed wing for families with children (Families Moving Forward), and an aftercare program that serves all guests.

In 2016, 88 percent of the record-breaking 430 individuals who stayed at 25 Freedom Road made a successful transition to secure a positive housing transition and/or secure behavioral health care or chemical dependency treatment. Former guests are now board members, employees, volunteers, and active in their communities. Thank you to the East Ohio United Methodist Conference for being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ! Others can join our efforts by visiting www.projecthopeonline.org.

Advocacy

A Word from OCUIR
The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR) reports that last month’s Christian Churches Together 2017 Special Convocation focused on how the church can set an example for civil discourse in today’s society.

During the convocation:

  • Christian Churches Together Founding Director Michael Kinnamon recommended that churches, as an ecumenical witness, should make sure they know some of the joys and concerns of other churches in the community, and pray for them by name.
  • Biola University’s Dr. Tim Muelhoff, author of Winsome Persuasion: Christian Influence in a Post-Christian World affirmed his analysis of today’s culture of argument.
  • Roman Catholic Bishop Michael Rozanski noted that services on October 31 remembering the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will be opportunities for common Catholic Protestant witness.

Christian Churches Together is a fellowship of Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Orthodox, African-American and Protestant Christian Communions & organizations in the U.S.A. witnessing together to the reconciling power of the Gospel of Jesus.

Clergy Seminar

November 13-15
revitup! for a Lifetime in Ministry
Wespath is hosting an educational event for clergy ages 39 and under. This event serves to strengthen personal, financial and leadership skills in order to sustain a lifetime in ministry.

The UMC Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders is offering a limited number of scholarships through a Lilly Endowment grant which seeks to strengthen personal and congregational financial stewardship leadership. The opportunity includes complimentary registration and two nights at the host hotel if the recipient agrees to the following requirements:  participate in an online survey, and complete the EY financial assessment survey. To apply for this scholarship, registrants should utilize the code provided during the registration process.  For more information.

 

UM Financial Credit Union

International Credit Union Day
October 19, 2017 is International Credit Union Day. Stop in at our North Canton or Cincinnati branch to celebrate the credit union movement with us! Learn more information on how your credit union works for YOU and the different products and services we offer.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Christmas Club Accounts
If you currently have a Christmas Club savings account with UMFCU, checks from those accounts will be sent out on October 25.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact one of our offices for more information: North Canton (800) 831-3972 or Cincinnati (800) 373-1059.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

October 16, 2017  Resources

In this edition we feature:
“Kindness is a language the deaf hear and the blind see.” –Mark Twain

  • A Careful Grace: Sex Offender in the Church
  • How to Deal with Ex-Sex-Offenders
  • Trying to Get Sober: Alcohol Treatment Navigator
  • Audio: 5 Minute Mindful Practice to Restore Attention
  • Thomas Merton On Being a Mystic
  • 5 Surprising Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
  • Listings of our Spiritual Directors

Contact Us
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address, or would like to get email alerts when new resources have been posted, please contact Howard Humphress or use our quick contact form.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

Call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 x 139 or send an e-mail to sarnold@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at  www.rqmweb.com/eocumc

Message in the Movies

Photo: ©A Quiet Passion/Hurricane Films/Courtesy of Music Box Films

Stronger “The film is a master class in art direction, using the exterior of Dickinson’s Amherst home to set the stage for an authentic recreation of mid-19th century America. Emily’s family lived through the Civil War and was intellectually engaged with the world beyond their neighborhood. In several scenes involving doctors we are reminded that the best medical knowledge of the time was often inadequate to treat many serious conditions; the possibility of death was ever-present.”

For full review by Rev. Bruce Batchlor-Glader

Classified

Positions available:

  • Youth Director, Lexington Church of the Cross UM
  • Director of Church Development, Indiana Conference
  • Office Manager, Johnson UMC
  • Administrative Assistant to the Director of Connectional Ministries, East Ohio Conference
  • Administrative Assistant to the Directors of Congregational and Multicultural Vitality, East Ohio Conference
  • Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry, Shreve UMC

Items available/needed:

  • Hymns of Faith hymnals (available)  and The United Methodist Hymnal Pew (in search of). Lansing UMC

Details of the above classifieds/items wanted can be found here. 
To submit job postings and items available please email lois@eocumc.com

Events – October 16-30

Follow this link to the events calendar. 
To submit a calendar event.

Dates to remember

Obituaries

Please pray for the families of:

  • Augusta A. Lange, retired local pastor, who died Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 and
  • Carolyn Clemence, surviving spouse, who died Friday, October 6, 2017.

For full obituary notices.

To Subscribe

To subscribe please send your request to Lois Speelman.  Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church.

The next scheduled edition of the E-News will be October 30, 2017.  Deadline for submission is October 25.

OCTOBER 2, 2017

October 1-7 is Nonviolence Week in Ohio

“Take a moment and think about what does it mean to be nonviolent, and are you living your life that way?” Savannah Sockwell asked the hundreds gathered in Youngstown on Oct. 1 for the 7th Annual Nonviolence Parade and Rally.

Sockwell is a participant in the Sojourn to the Past, which takes students on a journey along the path of the Civil Rights Movement through the American South.
Program participants from Youngstown were instrumental in the Ohio General Assembly passing a law in 2013 to create Nonviolence Week.  Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law on July 11, 2013 making the first week in October Nonviolence Week in Ohio.

Sockwell reminds us all that, “We have to be the change we wish to see in this world.”

New Ministry Resources Cultivate Congregational Health

“A key foundational strategy for discipleship is congregational health.  Healthy churches make healthy disciples.  Healthy disciples make healthy disciples.  Healthy disciples transform the world.”

These recent words spoken by Bishop Tracy S. Malone echo her Annual Conference Episcopal Address message that congregational health is a priority of the East Ohio Conference this quadrennium.

“The overall health of the church, and the overall vitality and effectiveness of ministry, largely depends on how pastors and churches handle conflict, disagreements and relationships,” Malone told 50 clergy and laity during their August training session on the principles of the Rule of Christ.

“Rule of Christ was designed by the late Rev. Terry N. Gladstone, a Deacon in the Michigan Area, as a way of applying Jesus’ teachings from Matthew 18 to the life and relationships in the local church,” said the Rev. Arlene Christopherson, who led the session.

The six-step Rule of Christ is a new resource in the East Ohio Conference:

  • Step 1 – Look at Yourself (Matthew 18:8-9) Jesus tells us to take time to examine our role in a conflict.
  • Step 2 – One-on-One (Matthew 18:15) Resolve the conflict.
  • Step 3 – Get Some Objective Help (Matthew 18:16) Others can help the parties see possibilities.
  • Step 4 – Take it to the Church (Matthew 18:17a) Use the resources of the church.
  • Step 5 – Shake the Dust (Matthew 18:17b) Some issues cannot be resolved.
  • Step 6 – God is There (Matthew 18:20) God has promised to be with us in the midst of our problems.

“The Rule of Christ is a proven Biblical process, and a tool, for helping pastors and churches build healthy ministry together and healthy relationships,” Malone said.  “The ultimate goal is to have every one of our 718 churches trained and receive this tool, but we’re going to start in our launching of the Rule of Christ this fall in East Ohio with churches that have received pastoral changes this year.”

The pastor and the staff parish chair of each church that had a pastoral change in July will receive a letter from the episcopal office that introduces the Rule of Christ process, identifies the church’s trainer, and sets expectations for arranging the training session.  Throughout the training process, trainers are under the supervision of the district superintendent of the church to which they have been assigned.

“The goal of this work, of this ministry, of this tool, of this resource is to increase and to cultivate congregational health,” Malone said.

A week after the Rule of Christ training, an additional group of clergy and laity received Critical Response training, another tool for improving congregational health mentioned by Malone during her Episcopal Address.

“Critical response is having an intentional process, a deliberate process, for how we come alongside clergy and their families, and congregations when a critical incident has taken place,” she stated to those in the training session.

“We hope that you will never be deployed but it makes perfectly good sense that your conference would have a plan in place for what you will do upon response to a traumatic event,” said trainer Becky Posey Williams, who is senior director of Sexual Ethics and Advocacy for the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW).

Bishop Malone participates in the training of clergy and laity

The bishop explained that the first step for any critical incident is that she pulls together members of her deliberate process team to assess the situation and determine the next steps.  The deliberate process team consists of the bishop, the superintendent of the district where the critical incident took place, and other conference directors and local church leaders, depending upon the situation.  If a decision is made to deploy a critical response team, that team would be under the supervision of the bishop and the district superintendent.

Training East Ohio Conference clergy and laity in Critical Response and Rule of Christ provides two new resources for improving congregational health, which can lead to more effective discipleship.

“Too often the ministry is stymied, and the mission of the church is thwarted, because of differences, because of conflict, and because of misunderstanding.  I just really believe that what is key, what is foundational, and what is strategic to the growth and vitality of our churches, if we are going to truly live into and fulfill the mission of the Church, is if we lead our congregations to be healthy,” Malone said.

Hurricane Relief Efforts

Donation Collection Sites
Please check this list for updated information regarding East Ohio Conference collection sites.  You may deliver flood buckets and kits to any of these sites.

The collected items will be transported to the distribution centers in the UMCOR network. If your church would like to host a collection site or have a truck/trailer available to transport supplies please contact d1k2u3@outlook.com.

Here are more ways that you can help those whose lives have been impacted by recent hurricanes.

Clergy

October 17
Center for Health to Host Webinar
The Center for Health is hosting an upcoming webinar about reducing the risk of sharing germs on pastoral care visits. The one-hour webinar Pastoral Care Visits: Are you carrying more than comfort? will be held Tuesday, October 17 at 2 p.m. CST.  Registration link.

Multicultural Ministries

October 24
Water Protectors, Prayer, and the Pipeline
The East Ohio Native American Ministries Committee is joining with Berea United Methodist Church to host a panel featuring four of the 10,000 people who traveled to Standing Rock, South Dakota to stand with the water protectors opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Panelists Kimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson, a member of the Yankton Sioux tribe of southeastern South Dakota, Dj Manito Alahun Vanpelt and Denise Witkemi Wehupotkis Vanpelt of the United Eastern Lenape Nation, and Steve Plummer, a non-Native environmental activist will each share what they experienced at the Sacred Stone Camp and talk about what prompted this powerful movement to protect safe, clean drinking water for our, and future, generations. They will highlight the spiritual dimension of the movement and the prominent role that prayer played in what took place at Standing Rock.

Their reflections and the discussion that will follow provide a timely and not-to-be missed opportunity to learn about the Native American experience in America, what Native people can teach the rest of us about caring for the land and each other, and about the spiritual and social movement that is growing out of the camps.

Flyer.

UM Financial Credit Union

Columbus Day
All offices of The United Methodist Financial Credit Union will be closed on Monday, October 9, 2017 in observance of Columbus Day. Check your share account balances, pay bills, and transfer funds anytime through the website or by using our Mobile App.

Fee Schedule
A new fee schedule for The United Methodist Financial Credit Union will be available for viewing this month. A copy will be sent along with your monthly statement. Please review changes to stay up to date with the credit union.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Two Spiritual Practice Opportunities to our Pastors and Church Leaders

Online Spiritual Practice Groups We have tested ZOOM, an online conferencing program, in a pilot program and found it to be very easily used and the participants found the experience meaningful. These groups will be limited to 8-10 participates and will be scheduled as the groups are populated.

Face to Face Spiritual Practice Group Plans are being made for a face to face group at First UMC Akron. The start date will be determined by the group of interested pastors.

These groups will meet once each month for one and one-half hour. The purpose of this program is to create soul space, to explore a variety of spiritual experiences, to spend time in some spiritual practice and to provide fellowship and encouragement for our own spiritual practice.

Please contact Howard Humphress at hkhumphress@gmail.com or call 330-456-0486 for questions or to indicate interest in one of these group experiences.

October 2, 2017  Resources
In this edition we feature:

  • What is Your Mission?
  • Making Marriage Great Again: More Effective Couples Therapy
  • Guided Meditation: Yoga Nidra
  • Full Participation: Union with God, by Richard Rohr
  • Stressed Out? Self-Talk in the 3rd Person
  • Problem with Stinking Thinking and What to Do About It
  • Listings of our Spiritual Directors

Contact Us
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address, or would like to get email alerts when new resources have been posted, please contact Howard Humphress or use our quick contact form.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

Call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 x 139 or send an e-mail to sarnold@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at  www.rqmweb.com/eocumc

Message in the Movies

Photo by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions

Stronger “This movie is a striking reminder that many people find exceptional courage when forced to face the challenges of life: cancer patients dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments; women choosing to escape abusive marriages; people speaking up against racism and intolerance; military veterans living with the aftershocks of war; folks in recovery from drugs and other addictions; and the list goes on. It is good to remember that God’s desire is for no one to be alone at times of greatest need. Kingdom Strong!”

For full review by Rev. Bruce Batchlor-Glader

Classified/Items Available

  • Director of Communications, Louisville, KY
  • Director of Adult Programs, Flat Rock Homes
  • Choir Director, Lakeside UMC

Details of the above classifieds/items wanted can be found here. 
To submit job postings and items available please email lois@eocumc.com

Events – October 2-16

Follow this link to the events calendar. 
To submit a calendar event.

Dates to remember

Obituaries

Please pray for the family of Sophie Albrecht, surviving spouse of Joseph Albrecht, who died September 14, 2017.

For full obituary notices.

To Subscribe

To subscribe please send your request to Lois Speelman.  Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church.

The next scheduled edition of the E-News will be October 16, 2017.  Deadline for submission is October 11.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017

Conversations on a Way Forward

The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination, and possible revision, of every paragraph of The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality, and explore options to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.

Our East Ohio Conference Conversations on a Way Forward will be:

Mon., Oct. 23, 2017, 6-9 pm
Mentor UMC

Tues., Nov. 14, 2017, 6-9 pm
Western Reserve UMC

Sat., Feb. 3, 2018, 10 am-1 pm
Thoburn UMC

Sun., Feb. 4, 2018, 2-5 pm
Willard First UMC

Mon., Feb. 5, 2018, 6-9 pm
Lakewood UMC

Sat., Mar. 3, 2018, 9 am-12 pm
Church of the Lakes UMC

It is important that you register in advance for the conversation you wish to attend, as each location has a seating capacity for small group sessions. Register here.

Hurricane Relief Efforts

Donation Collection Sites
The following locations have been established as donation collection sites within the East Ohio Conference.  You may deliver flood buckets and kits to any of these sites.

Canal District

Field Local School Central Building
1473 Saxe Rd Mogadore, 44260
M/F 9am-4pm W 1-7pm
This location is accepting individual items for cleaning buckets and hygiene kits. Volunteer groups and school youth are assembling the kits.   Contact Don & Karen Upson 330-990-2251 or d1k2u3@outlook.com

North Coast District

Hope UMC
79 Center Rd., Bedford 44146
Contact Bill Buckeye 440-232-3131

Mahoning Valley District

Boardman UMC
609 Market St., Youngstown 44512
M-TH 9am-4pm
Contact 330-758-4527 or boardmanmethodist@sbcglobal.net

Mid-Ohio District

Mansfield First UMC
12 N. Diamond St., Mansfield 44902
Contact Tammy Kuntz 914-325-8741 or umvimncj.coor@gmail.com

Southern Hills District

Hannibal UMC
52732 OH 536, Clarington 43915
M-F 9am-12 noon
Contact Steve Rice 419-677-9402 or stevetheminister@gmail.com

Southern Hills & Ohio Valley Districts

Epworth Center
301 N. Main St., Bethesda 43719
M-W-F 9am-12 noon
Contact Ted Buehl 440-454-9642 or tedbueh@gmail.com

Three Rivers District

Fredericktown UMC
123 Columbus Rd., Fredericktown 43019
M-F 9am-12noon
Contact Mike Brake 740-694-5806

Western Reserve District

Hope Ridge UMC
9870 Johnnycake Ridge Rd., Concord 44060
Contact Beth Wilterdink 440-352-141 or hoperidgeoffice@hoperidge.com

The collected items will be transported to the distribution centers in the UMCOR network;  East Brook Mission Barn in New Castle, PA., Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham, IL or Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana to help those in the disaster areas. If your church would like to host a collection site or have a truck/trailer available to transport supplies please contact d1k2u3@outlook.com.

If your church would like to host a collection site or have a truck/trailer available to transport supplies please contact d1k2u3@outlook.com.

Here are more ways that you can help those whose lives have been impacted by recent hurricanes.

 UM Financial Credit Union

Unclaimed Funds
As a reminder to our members, there needs to be some sort of activity on your account within the course of a year (12 month period) to keep the account from going into a dormant status.

Failure to make any transactions over a 5 year period will result in your account being marked as unclaimed funds and being sent to the state of Ohio. Please be sure to double check your accounts on a regular basis.

Financial Check Up
As we are approaching the final months of the year, have you looked over your finances? Reviewed your debt and set goals for 2018? UMFCU is here to help with a Financial Check Up. Please contact one of our offices!

North Canton (800) 831-3972 or Cincinnati (800) 373-1059

Pastoral Care and Counseling

September 18 , 2017 Resources
In this edition we feature:

  • Need a Happiness Boost?
  • Happiness Checklist
  • Video: Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion
  • Happiness from Positive Yoga
  • Joy
  • The How to Happiness
  • Listings of our Spiritual Directors

Contact Us
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address, or would like to get email alerts when new resources have been posted, please contact Howard Humphress or use our quick contact form.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

  • Hand Me Downs helps you replace self-destructive, addictive behaviors with new, healthy habits so that your legacy is one of spiritual and mental integrity.
  • She’s Still Here helps women aim for godly womanhood, focusing not so much on a program, plan, or prize but instead shining the light on the journey.
  • Everyday Questions will prepare your ministry’s small groups to faithfully love their neighbors and share the gospel in today’s complex and ever-changing world.
  • Fear of the Other; No Fear in Love invites readers to consider the Gospel command to love (and not merely tolerate) those considered to be “Other” or outside mainstream Christian culture.

Call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 x 139 or send an e-mail to sarnold@eocumc.com. Browse the resource catalog at  www.rqmweb.com/eocumc

Message in the Movies

Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures

IT “So, yes, there are some good scares and a lot of silly swearing. But I have already encouraged a couple of friends to take their inquisitive middle-school children to see It and to then spend time talking about the movie. At the core of the film is a message of encouragement to master your fears by joining forces with trustworthy (and also vulnerable) friends. In this age of social media shaming and gun violence, it’s good to remember that no one should have to surrender to victimization; together we can build a better world.”

For full review by Rev. Bruce Batchlor-Glader

Classified/Items Available

  • Children’s Education Director, Greensburg

Details of the above classifieds/items wanted can be found here. 
To submit job postings and items available please email lois@eocumc.com

Events – September 18-October 2

Follow this link to the events calendar. 
To submit a calendar event.

Dates to remember

Obituaries

Please pray for the families of:

  • Marilyn Goetz French, spouse of W. Maynard French,  who died September 10, 2017,
  •  Vernice M. Densmore, surviving spouse of Gordon Densmore, who died September 7, 2017,
  • Julian B. Huffman, retired local pastor, who died September 5, 2017,
  • Leslie M. Hamilton, spouse of  Glenn Hamilton who died September 6, 2017  and
  •  Winifred Hickson, surviving spouse of George Hickson, who died August 31, 2017.

For full obituary notices.

To Subscribe

To subscribe please send your request to Lois Speelman.  Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church.

The next scheduled edition of the E-News will be October 2, 2017.  Deadline for submission is September 27.