The Connector

New News!

Be sure to find look at the new news below:

  • Appointments in Canal District
  • Creative Cabinet Leadership Model

Canal District Spring Conference 2023: The Canal District will meet on Saturday, May 13 at 11:00 a.m. at Centenary UMC in Akron, OH.

It is important that each clergy and church leadership be in attendance, as important information will be shared. If a clergyperson is unable to attend, please notify the DS and prepare to send a leadership person in your place.

Creative Cabinet Leadership Model Continues the Focus on Our Shared Mission and Vision

APRIL 18, 2023


By Brett Hetherington*

“God is doing a new thing in the East Ohio Conference and in these unprecedented times, God is making a way and unfolding new ministry and leadership possibilities,” shared Bishop Tracy S. Malone in a message to East Ohio Conference clergy and laity on February 15, 2022, when announcing a new EOC superintendency plan for several districts. The bishop’s plan, which took effect July 1, 2022, was created after several months of consultation with the Cabinet and with the district superintendents and district superintendency committees affected by the new configuration.

“These missional, strategic leadership changes will better position the Conference as we continue to be faithful stewards of our mission and resources,” said Malone.

The new leadership structure includes two superintendents co-leading one district, one superintendent leading two districts with the assistance of an associate superintendent, and two superintendents and their districts sharing an administrator.

Superintendents and Districts Sharing an Administrator

In the central region of East Ohio, the superintendents, churches, and pastors of the Tuscarawas District and those of the Canal District share ministry partner Megan Myers, who serves as administrator for both districts. This creative arrangement allows for resources of each district to be employed for maximum effectiveness.

Myers said she needed to adjust to the different working styles of Rev. Angela Lewis, superintendent of the Canal District, and Rev. Cara Stultz Costello, superintendent of the Tuscarawas District, but she is honored to have the opportunity.

“I get to meet, interact, and witness God’s work across both districts, and each has churches that are doing amazing ministry!” she said. “This new arrangement has created new ministry cooperations across the districts, which in turn utilize their resources more effectively.” 

Lewis shared that while there are advantages and challenges to the new structure, the end result is what’s most important: resourcing and supporting the ministries of the local churches.

“You can’t just schedule things whenever you want because you need to coordinate calendar items with others. But that’s also a blessing because we get to share ideas and dream together how to create new ministries,” she said.

Stultz Costello said this new alignment reminds her of the early days of Methodism.

“Ministry in The United Methodist Church is revisiting a foundational way of engaging in ministry – circuit riding. Like so many of our Wesleyan ideals this style of ministry has practical and biblical/theological principles holding hands. A body – in particular the body of Christ – is built for coordination and flexibility in service to motion. Two districts being served by one administrator calls for the body of Christ in the Canal and Tuscarawas Districts to function more as the church is created and called to – moving ever forward toward a transformed world powered by the love and grace of Jesus Christ.”

To read the entire article, click here!

District News

Christmas in July Craft Fair

July 22, 2023

9:00 to 3:00

Akron: First UMC (263 E. Mill Street Akron, OH 44308)

Join us for our Christmas in July craft fair that will showcase a variety of vendors. We will also have a snack bar with an array of goodies for purchase.

Please call Terri Emmendorfer in the church office at 330-376-8143 for more information. We are still looking for vendors too!

Seville Community Food Pantry

Date: Third Saturday of each month

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

74 West Main Street, Seville, OH 44273

Wedgewood Community Food Pantry

Date: 2nd Monday of the month

Times: 11 am - 3:30 pm

2350 Wedgewood Dr., Akron

Feed My Sheep - Redeemer

North Hill UMC

The "Feed My Sheep" program at Redeemer North Hill UMC is still going strong every Friday after 25+ years. We have a FREE LUNCH, FREE Clothing Room, as well as household items, such as dishes and comforters. The Free Clothing Room is open every Friday beginning at 10:30 a.m. and the Free Lunch is served every Friday beginning at 11:30 a.m.

We work hard as a congregation to allow our faith, hope, and love to spread to our local community and beyond.

If you are interested in experiencing worship from other cultures, please join us at 1:00 p.m. every Sunday for our Burmese worship service in our Sanctuary, and our Congolese "The Way Gospel Church" in the Educational building.

If you are interested or know someone who would benefit from more information on a 12-step program, we have a different group meeting every weeknight at the Church. Please call the church at 330-923-1191 & leave a message or call Pastor Fast at

330-414-5519. Donations are always welcome and accepted!

First United Methodist Church of Akron is a Community Partner with

One Warm Coat

We are accepting donations of new and gently used coats of all sizes for children and adults in need. All coats collected will be donated locally to our neighbors in need who attend our Free Lunch program or anyone who identifies they have a need for a coat. Coats should be clean, wearable, and free of holes or stains. We hope you will support our coat drive and help us warm our neighbors in need. One Warm Coat believes in each person’s right to shelter from the elements and is committed to sharing warmth, without discrimination, one coat at a time.


Donations may be dropped off at First United Methodist Church of Akron at 263 East Mill Street Akron, Ohio 44308 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 10-3 pm. Please contact the Church at 330-376-8143 before dropping off coats or if you host a One Warm Coat Drive collection and need us to pick up coats, we will arrange to pick up your donation.

Churches are welcome to share our information in their newsletters and bulletins.

For more information, please Contact Gena at 330-376-8143 or by email. You can learn more about One Warm Coat by visiting their website

As leaders in our local congregations I know we are always looking for ways to lead our faith communities into connectional missions both locally and globally. We may also be discouraged because lack of resources (money, people, or time) can make us feel like we can’t make the impact we would like to for the kingdom of God. Friends this simply is not true, we are reminded in 1 Corinthians 12:12 that we are one body in many parts. Leaning into our connectional heritage we can do great things when we come together under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

We have several great local ministry opportunities right here in the Canal district, one specific one that the Holy Spirit has been putting on the hearts of those here in the Canal District is the work that is being done at South Street Ministries and their reentry ministry. They focus on reentry, redirection and restoration with those coming out of incarceration. Every Tuesday they host support meetings where the goal is to, “provide a community where short-term needs can be addressed quickly, while long-term aspirations are developed.” One of the biggest needs is for the dinner that is provided at these meetings. This is a great way to have a big impact on this

ministry and those they serve. If your church or community group would like to help meet this need by providing for or sponsoring a Tuesday night meal, please contact Rose Nall from South Street Ministries by email and she will coordinate with your group.

To learn more about South Street Ministries and how your church can partner with them please visit their website at

Trinity Action Project (TAP) Grants
Application Process for TAP - Any program/project from a Canal District local church that very clearly relates to the mission and vision of the Conference may submit an application. Funds for mission purposes are intended as “Seed Money” to be used as start-up funds to help initiate ministry and mission outreach. Programs/projects will be funded for a maximum of 3 years. Applications will have a specific plan and/or strategy for a program/project, a clearly defined method(s) in which the funds will be used, and a method for decreasing the “seed money” funding over the 3 year period. TAP Grant funding may not be used for capital expenditures or clergy salaries. Churches applying for a multi-year grant will submit a new application each year.

For an application go to:

East Ohio Conference News & Happenings

Annual Conference 2023

Registration is Now Open for Annual Conference 2023

The 54th session of Annual Conference is June 8-10 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron and registration for this year’s conference is now open.

Registration closes end of day Friday, May 12.

New this year:

  • AC 2023 t-shirt for purchase with proceeds benefitting Youth Service Fund (YSF).
  • Purchase the t-shirt and register for all EOC special event luncheons on the same link at which you register for Annual Conference and Clergy Session.
  • A Modify Registration button to purchase a shirt and/or meals at a later time after you’ve registered for Annual Conference and Clergy Session.
  • A courtesy shuttle to and from the John S. Knight Center and Akron First UMC.
  • Childcare provided at Kozmic Korner Pre-School and Child Care Center.
  • Housing and day camp opportunities during AC at Camp Wanake.

Learn more and register on the Annual Conference 2023 website.

EOC Appointments - Canal District - Effective July 1, 2023

Click here to view all EOC Appointments


New Appointment

Kristen Buchs

Rittman & Orrville Trinity UMCs

John Finn

New Pittsburg & Oak Chapel UMCs

Nathan Howe

Kent UMC

Hyun-Suk Kim

Wadsworth UMC

Angela Lewis

District Superintendent

Karol Lewis

Cuyahoga Falls First & Twin Falls

Howard Pippin

Cuyahoga Falls: First Associate

David Rittgers

Wooster UMC

Every Summer Has a Story

Make Camp a part of your story in 2023!

Want a chance to tour the sites, talk to the staff, and see what is being offered for Summer Camps 2023? Join us on the following dates.

·       Camp Wanake: Saturday, April 29th from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. (includes Resurrection Egg Hunt)

·       Camp Aldersgate: Saturday, May 7th from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.


Do those dates not work for you?  Contact the site directly and set up your own visit.

Aldersgate, Asbury and Wanake are looking for Summer Staff

Our summer program requires a great number of qualified staff to be successful. We are looking for outstanding Christian women and men for summer staff positions. We are looking for counselors, lifeguards, program staff, food service, administration and maintenance. Go to and click on the “Staff & Volunteer” tab for more information.  Or contact the camps directly:

·       Aldersgate – 330-627-4369

·       Asbury – 330-569-3171

·       Wanake – 330-756-2333

East Ohio Conference E-News
Find the information about what is happening throughout the East Ohio Conference through the biweekly newsletter. From appointments to mission opportunities to events....

See the latest E-News from HERE.

Global Ministries

How does your congregation care for God’s creation? Do you regularly conduct an energy audit to minimize wasted electricity and water in your church building, reuse resources that would otherwise be tossed in a landfill, encourage biking to church by installing a bike rack in the parking lot or teach sustainable gardening practices through community gardening? Have you found a creative new way to be good stewards of our natural resources? We want to hear your story and celebrate the impact your ministry has on God’s world. Contact Kate Colbow, Conference Secretary to Global Ministries via email to share how your congregation cares for creation. 

Safe Sanctuaries

Join in on this online course that covers the basics of Safe Sanctuaries. Rev Gary Jones walks participants through the what is it, the why we do it, and common elements. This is a great course for churches reviewing or creating their policies, for ministry team leads, and for anyone working with vulnerable persons in your faith community.    

Enroll anytime at

Positions Available
Grandview UMC in Cuyahoga Falls is looking for Volunteers (Missions Teams, Youth Groups, Sunday School Teachers, Confirmation Classes, etc.) to lead children's Sunday school in our Nepali language worship service Sunday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. This could include a Bible lesson, games, snacks, music, etc. and your lessons will be lead in English. Interested? Contact David Hull-Frye by email.

Johnson UMC in Norton is looking for a Part-Time Youth Leader. The position would be 15 hours per week, $17.00/hr. They are looking for a savvy and energetic person to lead our youth in the ministry and belief of the Christian faith with a Wesleyan emphasis. If you are looking for a great part time job and enjoy working with youth, please send your resume to Sandy Guy via email.

Macedonia UMC is looking for a Maintenance Manager. Click this link to access the job description. If interested, please email the church.

NORTHAMPTON UMC in Cuyahoga Falls is seeking a part-time ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT to handle communications, general office duties, and daily interfacing with the congregation and our guests. This is an onsite, 15 hour, position, weekdays between 9 am and 12 pm. Candidate must be proficient in Microsoft Office, Facebook, and graphic design. Excellent organization, proofreading, and written and verbal communication skills are required. Contact the church office at 330-929-0015 or the SPRC Chair at with questions or to submit a resume.

Peninsula UMC in Peninsula is seeking an Accompanist (Beginning May 7, 2023). Both a Piano and organ are available in the Church sanctuary. Position entails providing music for Sunday morning worship service at 10AM, and accompanying the Choir for their anthem during the service. The Choir currently meets at 9:30 AM on Sunday to practice prior to the worship service. Occasional special services will also require music (Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday). Funeral/Wedding service music may also occasionally be needed depending upon the requests of each family concerned. Average weekly time is anticipated to be 5-10 hours. Please respond by contacting Staff Relations Chair Rick Bohan at 216-409-9046, or by contacting the Church Office at 330-657-2567 (leave a message) or via email. 

Items Available

First UMC in Cuyahoga Falls has over 100 chairs they would like to give to any church(s) that can use them. First come, first serve - pickup only. If interested please email Carolyn Stroud,

Hudson UMC has 18 Gojo soap dispensers that they can’t use. They are new and they would like to give them to any churches who might need them. Can you send an email out, or put something in the newsletter? First come first serve. If interested, please contact Gary by email.

Uniontown UMC has choir robes available to whomever needs some. If interested, please email the church.

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Please submit your request for publication of an event, job ad, or announcement to Megan at by Thursday at 12:00 noon to run in the following Monday's newsletter. Please be aware that the less words the better and please note that flyers are not always easily readable in this format.

Please share this newsletter widely and encourage those that would like to receive it directly to share their contact email with the District Office.
The Connector
Official Publication of the Canal District East Ohio Conference —
The United Methodist Church

Canal District Office
8800 Cleveland Avenue NW, North Canton, OH 44720
Phone: (330) 499-3972 ext. 106