2 of 3 detained missionaries leave Philippines

By Sam Hodges
July 5, 2018 | UMNS

Two of three United Methodist missionaries who had been detained in the Philippines have left the country, and one, Adam Shaw, has been reunited with his family in Ohio.

Tawanda Chandiwana is on the way to his home country of Zimbabwe, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries reported on July 5.

A third missionary, Miracle Osman of Malawi, is working with Filipino attorneys on paperwork, and Global Ministries officials are hopeful she’ll be allowed to leave, said Dan Curran, a spokesman for the church agency.

All three faced accusations of anti-government activities. Chandiwana had been held by authorities for weeks, while the other two had not been allowed to leave the country.

Thomas Kemper, top executive of Global Ministries, said his heart had been “full of sorrow” when he met with Chandiwana at a detention center on July 1.

“Now it is full of joy because I’ve just said goodbye to him,” Kemper said from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

Manila Area Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco posted on Facebook: “Another round of thanks to God and to all who supported the release of Tawanda.”

In a video released by Global Ministries, Francisco added a special thanks for the life of Chandiwana, who he said had “lived with the people.”

“That is the real essence of service. He lived with the Lumads and he served the people,” Francisco said, referring to an indigenous people of the Philippines.

Shaw reached Brunswick, Ohio, on July 4 and was reunited with his parents, the Rev. Thomas Shaw and Susan Shaw.

The father, pastor of Brunswick United Methodist Church, said the denomination’s support was “very, very important to know that Adam wasn’t alone and that we were not alone in supporting him.”

He added: “We’re happy for him but feel his sadness that he had to leave the country where God had called him.”

Adam Shaw urged people to continue to share the story of the missionaries in their churches and on social media.

“The Philippines is one of those countries where people of faith really have a voice and are listened to regardless of whether they are in the Philippines. . . .” he said. “Part of the effort in detaining us was to silence our voices and the voices of those we lift up in our work. Refusing to let the voices be silenced is a huge step that we as a church can do both through the petition and our churches.”

Global Ministries worked unsuccessfully behind the scenes then led a public campaign for the release of the three missionaries. The Council of Bishops issued a statement, and about 13,000 people signed an online petition.

Kemper described himself as “so, so thankful” for the denomination’s support.

The New York Times reported that Shaw was deported by the Philippines for having engaged in “political activities,” and another news source said the government’s Bureau of Immigration had placed all three missionaries on a blacklist because of “leftist” involvement.

But Global Ministries said the three were targeted for taking part in an international ecumenical fact-finding investigation of alleged human rights violations, including the deaths of nine indigenous people.

That mission was on the southern island of Mindanao, where President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law and the military has battled Islamic militants, the Times reported.

Chandiwana was arrested May 9 while attending a training seminar at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute. He was held on a charge related to his visa status, but also was found to be on a government watch list for suspected subversives.

Osman’s passport was confiscated as she was extending a tourist visa while waiting for her missionary visa to be approved, and Shaw had been informed that he would be deported, Global Ministries reported earlier.

Shaw was initially commissioned in 2011 as a mission intern. Lately he had been serving as an international linkages coordinator assigned to the Save Our Schools, Protect Indigenous Life Project, based in Davao City, Mindanao.

Chandiwana and Osman are Global Missions Fellows.

Kemper noted that missionaries are sent to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all parts of the world.

“That includes standing up for life where it has been threatened,” he said. “… So we will not stop sending missionaries to the Philippines, to all countries in the world, because we feel that is our calling as United Methodists.”

View video of Adam Shaw’s airport interview.

Hodges is a Dallas-based writer for United Methodist News Service. Rick Wolcott, director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference, and Gladys Mangiduyos, a communicator from the Philippines, contributed to this story. Contact them at 615-742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org

JULY 2, 2018

Annual Conference 2018

Bearing Fruit that Lasts: Called
Annual Conference 2018 explored what it means to be called and equipped as followers of Jesus Christ.  Worship services were guided by John 15:13-17 (CEB) while business sessions reinforced our EOC vision.

Visit the Annual Conference 2018 website to view and download the Annual Conference recap video, read the summary report, and much more.

Visit the EOC YouTube page to:

  • view the Episcopal Address
  • view each worship service
  • view the daily business sessions and the EOC vision segments
  • view Kimberlee Medicine Horn’s Native American Ministries presentation
  • view the presentation of Markus McKinney, Black College Fund Lina H. McCord Summer Intern

Financial and Administrative Services

It was announced at Annual Conference in June that the East Ohio Conference paid 100% apportionments to the General Church for the year 2017 – the 13th consecutive year the Conference has paid 100%.  Apportionments in 2017 totaled $2,718,481, broken down as follows:

  • World Service, $1,398,447
  • Ministerial Education, $472,330
  • Episcopal, $414,137
  • Black Colleges, $188,408
  • General Administration, $166,054
  • Africa University, $42,165
  • Interdenominational Cooperation, $36,940

NOTE: EOC apportionments are 1.7% higher in 2018 than they were in 2017, and they will be 3.2% less in 2019 than they are in 2018.


Missionaries Can’t Leave Philippines
United Methodist officials are making a public appeal to the Philippines government to release detained missionary Tawanda Chandiwana of Zimbabwe and allow him and missionaries Adam Shaw of the East Ohio Conference and Miracle of Malawi to leave the country.

The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has worked for weeks with Filipino United Methodist bishops and others to secure Chandiwana’s release with no success.

The mission agency and the United Methodist Council of Bishops have begun a public campaign on behalf of the church workers.  We are encouraged to pray and to sign an online petition to #Let Them Leave.

Multicultural Ministries

How United Methodists Can Support Immigrant Families
UMNS Photo: Mike DuBose – The United Methodist Church continues to respond to reports of immigrant parents and children being separated after detention at the southern borders of the United States. Despite an order to stop the family separations, many concerns remain.

The Board of Church and Society has been outspoken in its opposition to these separations, while reminding all what the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church say about welcoming the migrant.

If you are interested in ways that you can help offer compassion, here are a few ideas:

Bishop’s Office

Position Available
The Ohio East Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church is seeking a full-time Executive Secretary to the BishopA detailed description of the position may be found here.

Interested, qualified candidates are invited to submit a resume, including at least three references, to Assistant to the Bishop the Rev. Dr. Gary George.  Resumes will be received through August 31.  They can be sent via e-mail or U.S. mail (8800 Cleveland Ave., N.W., North Canton, OH 44720).

Council of Connectional Ministries

Position Available
The East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church is seeking applications for the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Connectional Ministries.

The administrative assistant reports to and is responsible for supporting the director of Connectional Ministries in fulfilling the mission and vision of the East Ohio Conference. This includes communicating, budgeting, reporting, and coordinating for a variety of ministries and committees.

Experience with and understanding of The United Methodist Church is desired but not required for this position, which is full-time, hourly, and non-exempt with health care and retirement benefits provided.

A detailed description of the position may be found here.

Christian Unity

Moravian Church in America ratifies full communion agreement with The United Methodist Church
The Northern Province of the Moravian Church in North America voted on Friday, June 22 at its synod meeting in Bethlehem, PA to enter into a full communion relationship with The United Methodist Church.

A formal “full communion” relationship is one in which two or more churches publicly and visibly recognize one another as members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.  In such agreements the parties recognize each other’s sacraments, offices of ministry, and Christian mission as fully valid and authentic, while also maintaining the autonomy and distinctive gifts of each church.

The Southern Province previously approved the agreement at its synod meeting in April and the General Conference of The United Methodist Church approved it at its meeting in 2016. The full text of the agreement can be found here.  The next step in the implementation of the agreement will be for the two churches to establish a joint commission for the coordination of the full communion relationship.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Bi-weekly Resources
In the July 2 issue we address:  Justice: the immigration crisis in America; our need to slow down, ways to address anxiety and allergies; and some good summer reading.

  • A Way Forward: “We Are One” 2018 YAC Theme
  • Justice Close to Home
  • El Centro of Lorain
  • Families Belong Together: Here’s How You Can Help
  • Slow Down to Get Ahead
  • Audio: A Meditation on Working with Anxiety
  • 7 Mindful Books Worth Reading this Summer
  • 5 Ways to Deal with Allergies Naturally
  • Listings of our Spiritual Directors

Contact Us
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address or if you would like to receive e-mail alerts when new resources have been posted, please contact Howard Humphress at hkhumphress@gmail.com or use our quick contact form.

Leadership Development

Lead Like Jesus Encounter Workshop
August 24-25 at United Theological Seminary
This workshop imagines a world in which leaders serve rather than rule, give rather than take, and imagines leaders who produce results through service and sacrifice rather than through power and position.

The Lead Like Jesus Encounter is 10 hours of action-oriented learning followed by weekly online E-lessons. The encounter is a highly interactive, participant-driven leadership development workshop that exposes common leadership misconceptions and offers a practical model based on the greatest leader role model of all time, Jesus.

Participants can earn  1 CEU credit.  Learn more and register.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

To reserve these or other 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

Message in the Movies banner (colorful film strip

He’s Back! Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader, our movie reviewer, returns with a review of Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and the best thing you could do would be to seek out this film at your earliest convenience and give thanks for the singular genius who was Fred Rogers, who lived out the gospel so well that his adult children compare him to Jesus. Welcome back Bruce!

Credit Union

Independence Day Closing
On Wednesday July 4, 2018, all offices of The United Methodist Financial Credit Union will be closed in observance of Independence Day. Members may check share account balances, pay bills, and transfer funds anytime on our website or through our mobile app.

Member Information Update
If life is taking you in a new direction, don’t forget to let your credit union know! If there are any changes to your personal information like a new home address, phone number, or email address, contact one of our offices. This way, you never miss out on important news and updates from The United Methodist Financial Credit Union!

News from Our Districts

Gospel Artist Guy Penrod Performing in Cambridge September 16
Cambridge Faith UMC (Southern Hills) is sponsoring a concert by Guy Penrod, Gospel singing artist and former lead vocalist of the Gaither Family Band.  Penrod will bring his “Pray About Everything” tour to the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center on Glenn Highway for a 3:00 p.m. concert that day.

Tickets are $25 each, and may be purchased through etix.com or by calling the Pritchard Laughlin box office at (740) 439-7009.  Box office hours are 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Events: July 2 – July 15

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.)


Details of listings may be found here. 

Positions Available

  • Executive Secretary to the Bishop, East Ohio Conference Area Center
  • Administrative Assistant to the Director of Connectional Ministries, East Ohio Conference Area Center
  • Organist/Pianist/Accompanist, Wooster UMC
  • Choir Director, Christ UMC, Cleveland westside
  • Organist, UMC of Kent
  • Children/Teen Program Director, Canton Calvary Mission
  • Director of Connectional Ministries, Illinois Great River Annual Conference

Items Available/Wanted

  • Wanted – Used Allen or Rodgers Organ
  • Available – Malmark Handchimes – 25 note Choirchime Set

To submit a classified ad please email sue@eocumc.com


Please pray for the families of:

  • Gayle E. Maly, spouse of Rev. David E. Maly, died June 9,
  • and Donna M. McCoy, surviving spouse of Norman E. McCoy, died June 8.

Obituary notices may be found here.

To Subscribe

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, July 16, 2018.  Deadline for submission is Wednesday, July 11.

Mission Teams are Ready to Go!

Molly and Logan at their lemonade stand.
Molly and Logan

Imagine No Malaria and a Lemonade Stand

For the past 10 years, during the week of East Ohio Annual Conference Molly McNamara and Logan Martens spent their days selling lemonade to the benefit of the Imagine No Malaria (INM) campaign. The INM campaign seeks to minimize and eventually end deaths caused by malaria in Sub Sahara Africa. Molly and Logan began at the age of 6 and by age 16 in 2017 had raised $100,000.

Bed Nets

A week after the 2018 East Ohio Annual Conference, Molly and Logan along with their moms, one of their pastors, Rev. Jared Priset, and folks from the INM campaign are traveling to Sierra Leone to see the fruits of their labor.  East Ohio’s own Rev. Gary Henderson and wife Gwen will be among the folks visiting clinics, hospitals, churches and leaders to see the results of education campaigns and the bed net distributions that the INM campaign supported. East Ohio is partnering in mighty ways through the efforts of Molly and Logan, who now 17 and about to enter their senior years in high school and to your financial donations to a glass of lemonade.

Mercy Hospital
Mercy Hospital

Priset, from Church of the Lakes in Canton, seeks to build relationships with the folks in the Bo Region where the Mercy Hospital is located. A UMC hospital and ministry of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference, Mercy Hospital will be a partner for future East Ohio UMVIM teams. Contact Priset at jared@churchofthelakes.org or Kathy Dickriede at  kdickriede@gmail.com to hear more about the transforming work of this ministry.

Please be praying for this group as they travel throughout Sierra Leone until June 29th.

Puerto Rico

What do two Bishops, a bishop’s assistant from Western PA Conference, two Communication directors, two UMVIM coordinators, nurses, spanish speakers, young adults, clergy and laity from two conferences have in common?  They are all traveling to Puerto Rico as a UMVIM United Methodist Volunteer in Mission team June 23-30. Bishop Tracy Smith Malone, East Ohio Area Conference and Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, Western Pennsylvania Area Conference will be leading a team of forty to the south east region of Puerto Rico for a week long mission of physical work of rebuilding and repairing homes. This diverse team of young and young at heart are eager to see what God has in store for them as they seek to offer hope, restoration and healing.  Please be praying for this group as they travel to and minister with the people in Puerto Rico.

Volunteers on roof
UMVIM volunteers in Puerto Rico, May 2018

In May other East Ohio UMVIM teams returned from their mission to Puerto Rico.  If you would like to know more about these trips or have a speaker share their stories at your church contact Rick Shoemaker r.shoemaker@carestaffathome.com , Abigail Gerdes asg20@zips.uakron.edu or Kathy Dickriede kdickriede@gmail.com.

Shoemaker is planning to lead a team scheduled for September 22-29. Make plans now to help rebuild and repair the homes and lives of the people of Puerto Rico.