The Connector

Canal District Lay Servant Message

Lydia Stahl, District Director of Lay Servant Ministries

As the New Year begins, I hope you find God’s love, peace, and mercy. As servants of Jesus Christ we are called to share the good news. During this time many of us are struggling to see where God is leading us. Lay Servant Ministries is a great place to find your mission and gifts. Pastors please look to your congregation for folks that would love to take our Basic Course which teaches leadership, caring, and, communication skills. Every church lay leader should take the Basic Course and anyone in a leadership role would benefit from the class.

For those who have taken the Basic Course and would love to learn more we have advanced courses twice a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. As a lay servant you can learn more about the United Methodist church, John Wesley’s teachings, and how to help your congregation and church communities. Being a lay servant does not mean you have to preach. Many servants choose not to, but it does equip you if you would choose that path or are asked to help with a service.

We have a great team of teachers and we have a great time learning together. I can’t wait to see you soon in one of our upcoming classes.

~Lydia Stahl

Lay Servant Ministries District Director

God call each one of differently. If God is calling you this year to serve Him consider contacting the Lay Servant Ministries.

2023 Schedule for classes:

  • Basic Course: February 24, 6-9 pm and February 25, 8 am to 4 pm
  • (Deadline Feb. 3)
  • Location: Lockwood United Methodist Church, 3680 Manchester Rd, Akron

  • Spring Advanced Course: Transforming Evangelism, March 10, 6-9 pm, March 11, 8 am to 4 pm, and March 25m 8 am to 4 pm.
  • Location Copley United Methodist Church, 1518 S. Cleveland Massillon Rd, Copley

  • Fall Advanced Course: Leading Worship, TBA

Contact Debbie Sloan to register for classes at or at 330-283-6893

District News

We will be closed Thursday, December 22 through Friday, January 6 for Christmas & New Year. We will reopen on Monday, January 9.

Reminder - 2023 Budgets were due to the District Office no later than December 1st. 

Christmas Eve from the Jenks

*Sponsored by Grandview UMC*

Grandview UMC is hosting Christmas at the Jenks

Dec. 24th at 4:00 pm.

1884 Front Street Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

Learn more about the Jenks Building here.

Click on the picture to lead you to the Facebook Event Page

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

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

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.

Click the image below to see all the amazing work South St Ministries is doing!

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

Strategic Ministries

Simplified Structure Training: Many in church life realize the practical benefits of moving into a more simplified committee structure. Join together via Zoom in Jan with other congregations around the conference to learn about this model and to have opportunities to continue learning throughout the year. These classes would also be good for churches already in a simplified structure who would like a tune up or want to continue learning. For more information and to register go to: East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church (  This training is on Zoom but we do recommend you gather together and stream it as a group to help with conversations.  

New Online Learning Platform

We are excited to share with you about another tool that your Connectional Ministries Office now has to help resource you and your church as we invite all to join our online learning platform! Designed for both lay and clergy this is a way to have learning happen on your own schedule. There are already many courses available from other conferences that we are in partnership with and in coming months we will be adding more and more of our own content. 

Registration is at:

We just launched our Charge Conference course. This course would be particularly helpful to new clergy or lay who have not dealt with the paperwork before. The chapters can be done in any order so they can just engage with the parts that they want.

Among the courses, make sure to check out Rule of Christ. This resource helps learners to explore how to manage conflict in their church. While churches with new pastoral appointments should make sure to review this class, it can bring value to every faith community.

Rule of Christ Trainer Training - If you are interested in becoming a trainer for Rule of Christ please register here.

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.

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

Stow UMC is taking applications for Treasurer/Financial Supervisor. This person will work with our team of dedicated educators in our faith based child care center. Minimum of a high school diploma and be at least eighteen years of age. Qualifications include experience and ability to maintain financial records, time sheets, prepare payroll and assist with budgeting. Oversee financial aspects of tuition and enrollment as well as able to collaborate with the childcare director and board. We are looking for a capable, focused team member to help ensure the growth and quality of our childcare center. This position is part-time, with flexible hours and transition training is available. Employment will begin in January. If interested, please email the church at

Items Available
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