“Detroit is a well-made film by a gifted director with a talented cast that recounts the 1967 race riots of the titular city, with a prolonged real-time recreation of an encounter between Detroit police and the residents of the Algiers Motel. The firing of a starter’s pistol into the street provoked a raid and a long night of intimidation and brutality between the cops and a group of young black men and two white women who were unfortunately in the wrong place at a bad time.”
By Rick Wolcott*
The goal of Black Clergy Women of The United Methodist Church (BCWUMC) is to “identify, develop, support, and enhance opportunities for the inclusion and empowerment of black clergy women at all levels of The United Methodist Church.”
This year’s 28th annual gathering of members was a celebration of the historic elections of four black clergy women to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church.
Honored in Cincinnati, Ohio during the August 7-10 The Journey Continues …Don’t Stop Now! meeting were:
- Bishop Sharma Lewis, elected by delegates to the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference,
- Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, elected by delegates to the 2016 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference,
- Bishop Tracy S. Malone, elected by delegates to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference, and
- Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, elected by delegates to theNortheastern Jurisdictional Conference.
“When it was announced at the national meeting in Florida (in 2014) that there were no black clergy women elected to the episcopacy, the administration of national Black Clergy Women were very intentional and said, ‘we are going to put forth two representatives from each jurisdiction.’ It took intentionality to get the respect that we deserve as black clergy. We thank and praise God, that God was faithful to us as we were trying to be faithful to him,” said the Rev. Waverly Earley, of Wesley UMC in the West Ohio Conference, during the opening night reception.
“The elections mean that the glass ceiling is constantly being shaken, and even shattered, over and over again, and I think that is so very important because it says to younger people, younger women in ministry, ‘we can do this,’” said BCWUMC President the Rev. Telley Lynette Gadson.
“Our time under God is now to pay it forward and, indeed, to continue the journey,” said the Rev. Jocelyn Roper, superintendent of the Miami Valley District in the West Ohio Conference. “We also encourage those new sisters, and new brothers, who are trying to find their way to the way, to get on the way, and stay on the way, the way that is love, peace, joy, grace and mercy.”
In presenting Bishop Sharma Lewis of the Virginia Conference, BCWUMC Vice President the Rev. Yvette D. Massey explained that each bishop would receive “a time piece inscribed with the words ‘in thanksgiving for your historic election to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church on (date), we celebrate you, your gifts, your graces, and your ministry. To God be the glory,’ and because you all are so valuable, a string of three-strand pearls.”
In accepting her gifts, Lewis said, “I am actually supposed to be on renewal leave but I knew, honestly, that I had to be here because if it wasn’t for the sisters, I wouldn’t have been elected. So the only thing I can say is ‘thank you,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘thank you.’”
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Western Pennsylvania Conference was unable to be present for the gathering but in a video greeting thanked the members of the Black Clergy Women of The United Methodist Church for their recognition and encouraged them in their ministry.
“I consider it a privilege, and an honor, and a gift, and a sacred trust to serve as an episcopal leader in The United Methodist Church,” Bishop Tracy S. Malone of the East Ohio Conference told those gathered. “The Black Church, the BMCR, the Black Clergy Women, you have formed me since I was a young woman, and I continue to be formed by your love, by your hospitality, and by your generosity toward me. So thank you for your prayers, thank you for your support, and I solicit your ongoing support and prayers as I seek to be faithful to what God has called me, and is calling me, to do on his behalf and on all of our behalf as we continue to journey together.”
“You have no idea what it means to me to stand before you in this way,”said Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. “Truly, truly, my only desire is to serve God, serve God’s people, and to further the kingdom of God, and I do it humbly, I do it humbly, only wanting for God to get the glory. Thank you for every prayer, thank you for every text, thank you for every phone call, and, as my sisters have said, continue to pray for us because this is a precarious, peculiar time to be a bishop in The United Methodist Church. It takes all of our courage to be able to lead at such a time as this. So please continue to pray for us as we serve you.”
*Rick Wolcott is director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Preparing for a New Church Year
Bishop Tracy S. Malone asks that each church in the East Ohio Conference do something bold in this next ministry year.
What will that look like in your church? How will your congregation reach beyond the walls of its building to offer Jesus Christ to the communities the church serves?
Back-to-school outreach ideas is just one of hundreds of resources from The United Methodist Church available for your use. Additional resources are available from the staffs of the East Ohio Conference office of Connectional Ministries, office of Communications, and office of Financial and Administrative Services.
“We are blessed beyond measure with resources to equip your capacity to reach more people, younger people, and a more culturally diverse people in your community,” Malone told church leaders at Annual Conference 2017.
Social Media Workshop is Just Weeks Away
Is your congregation utilizing social media to connect with members, visitors, and seekers?
Websites, texting, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, videos, live streaming, and Flickr are just some of the tools available to churches to help them reach people for Jesus Christ. These platforms offer new opportunities for people to serve, while enabling individuals to see, hear, and feel how churches are changing lives and impacting communities locally, nationally, and around the world.
To learn more, plan to attend the Social Media Workshop on Thursday, September 21 from 9 a.m. – noon at Faith UMC in North Canton. EOC Director of Communications Rick Wolcott will provide tips for creating and implementing a social media strategy that is copyright- and Safe Sanctuaries-compliant.
Cost for the workshop is $5.00. Register to attend.
In Case You Missed It – News on the Conference Website
- Life as a Boy Scout Chaplain: Why I Spent Two Weeks in a Tent
- Candidates for Ministry Say, “Yes,” to God
- Bishop Malone’s Message to Those Answering Their Call
- Church Remembers Lives Lost to Addiction
- Samantha Hasselbusch’s Witness of Faith at Annual Conference
- Shani McMichael’s Testimony at Annual Conference
Finance & Benefits
Calling Active Clergy
What do you know of the benefits provided by the church? What changes pension eligibility? How does your pension accumulate? Who owns it? How is it invested? What if you…?
The East Ohio Conference Board of Benefits is sponsoring a one-day seminar to answer these questions and a multitude of other benefit-related concerns. There is no cost to the participant! Spouses are welcome. The seminar will be offered from 9 am-3:30 pm at Westbrook Park UMC.
PLEASE NOTE: SEATING IS LIMITED! Reservations are a must for every person attending (this includes spouses – they must register as well.) No walk-ins will be allowed as personalized information is prepared and provided.
Disaster Response Volunteers Needed
Severe weather this year has caused extensive damage and impacted many lives.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Disaster Response Liaison for the North Central Jurisdiction Jason Frazer says, “The volunteer pool has been spread very thin throughout the country. Please volunteer if you can!”
The Indiana Conference is ready to receive teams as it works through flood recovery in the South Bend area. Please e-mail Allison Curts for more details and to schedule your team.
The Wisconsin Conference is in need of adult teams to muck out basements following flooding in the southern part of the state. Please e-mail Bud Buzinski for more details and to schedule your team. You may also choose from one of these additional UMVIM mission opportunities
Pastoral Care and Counseling
August 7, 2017 Resources
In this edition we feature:
- 4th Annual Mid-Summer Spiritual Formation Retreat
- Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting after a Hurtful Church
- Interview: I Needed a Community to Heal My Spiritual Wounds
- Holding the Tension
- Devotions for the Beach: God is in the Details
- 10 Benefits of Rising Early
- Listings of our Spiritual Directors
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.
The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:
- Renovate; Building a Life with God explores Nehemiah’s goal to rebuild the wall and gates of Jerusalem, a physically daunting undertaking. But he also knew that as the Jewish people returned to their homeland, they would need spiritual renovation through the Holy Spirit.
- Disciple II; Fast Track Into the Word is an immersion into the books of Genesis, Exodus, Luke, and Acts for busy people who want to fit an in-depth Bible study into their schedule.
- In Numbers; Learning Contentment in a Culture of More you’ll learn how God can fill the ache inside of you and help you focus on faith in the midst of life’s joys and pains by relating to those who wandered in the desert for forty years, unable to enter the Promised Land.
Message in the Movies
Okja “As dark as Okja can get at times, it keeps the love between a little girl and her superpig front-and-center. The movie is exciting and often hilarious, with beautifully filmed chase sequences and some fine moments of slapstick. The film includes English and Korean dialogue and is beautifully shot by Darius Khondji, with incredible CGI effects. Sometimes the film stumbles along the way, but it always manages to find its footing again.”
- Director for Children’s Ministry, Mayfield UMC
- Worship and Music Director, General Conference 2020
- Pianist/Keyboardist/Accompanist, Carrollton First UMC
- Worship Leader, Crosspoint UMC
- Youth Worker, Lakemore UMC
To submit job postings and items available please email email@example.com
Events – August 7-August 21
- August 12
Summer Fest 2017, Brookfield UMC
- August 13
Vocal Music Presentation, Roscoe UMC
- August 13
Drive Your Tractor to Church, Bristolville UMC
- August 17
Charity Golf Outing
- August 18
Gospel Bluegrass Jam, Manchester UMC
- August 20-23
Fellowship of Associate and Local Pastors Retreat, Lakeside
- August 20
Music Quartet, Roscoe UMC
Dates to remember
- January 20-Feb. 5
Ganta, Liberia UMVIM Trip
Please pray for the family of Joseph E. Sopher, retired associate, who died August 1, 2017
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 August 21, 2017. Deadline for submission is August 16.