The Connector
District News

Dean Wagner’s 35th Anniversary Organ Concert


On Saturday, February 10, at 7:00 p.m. Dean Wagner will give a wonderful concert to celebrate his 35 years of service to Christ through music at First UMC Cuyahoga Falls.


He will be joined by NEO5 Brass and guitarist Ian Ross. He will play: Te Deum by Charles Callahan, Cantabile by César Franck, Poéme Héroïque by Marcel Dupré, Four Celtic Preludes by Charles Callahan, Fantaisie by Camille Saint-Saëns, and Sonata on the 94th Psalm by Julius Reubke. Please join us for this evening of beautiful music. 

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: www.eocumc.com/canal/grants-scholarships

In October 2022, Grandview UMC expanded our ministry to reach new people in new places. As of October 1st, 2022 we established a second campus at the Cuyahoga Falls Gateway to Connection building (the Gateway) in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls.


Since 2017 the City of Cuyahoga Falls has revitalized its Downtown area, especially Front St. along the Cuyahoga River. In the course of this time many new businesses have opened drawing local residents to the area, and at the end of 2022 every available space has been claimed by a local business owner.


Since my arrival at Grandview in July 2017 it’s been weighing on my heart the potential of a second campus along Front Street. However, the cost of opening a storefront second campus on Front Street was not feasible.


Grandview has been a member of the Falls Chamber since 2021 and I’ve been developing relationships with several Chamber members and Chamber director Kamelia Fisher. In August 2022, under the guidance of Fisher, the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce relocated its office to the Gateway building in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls, located at 111 Stow Ave. This building also serves as a Co-Working space for Chamber member businesses. In September I took a tour of the facility and I was overcome with excitement. The opportunity for a second campus in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls had presented itself. Furthermore, to be a church coming into the beginning stages of something new in our community was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. With the blessing of the Grandview church council I drafted a proposal to request TAP grant funds to rent a cubicle at the Gateway.


As the request for TAP funds were approved I began thinking of the possibilities. Establishing a campus at a Co-Working will bring people to Christ as it will provide a church space in one of the rapidly growing workspaces in the U.S. in addition to providing a church presence in the Gateway building and Downtown area. 


Co-working spaces are rapidly growing in the United States. CNBC reported the following regarding co-working spaces pre and post pandemic. “Prior to the pandemic, co-working spaces were the fastest-growing type of office space in commercial real estate. While they currently comprise less than 5% of the market, they’re expected to make up 30% by 2030, according to real-estate company JLL.”


Zippia.com reports incredible statistics regarding coworking spaces:

  • There are more than 6,200 coworking spaces in the U.S. as of 2022
  • There are approximately 933,000 people in the U.S. who use coworking spaces.
  • The U.S. only had about 4,000 coworking spaces available in 2017, meaning the number of coworking spaces has grown by roughly 55% in 5 years.
  • The average age of coworking space members around the world is 36 years old.


The definition of coworking is when people assemble in a neutral space to work independently on different projects or in groups on the same projects. It’s different from a typical office workspace because the people in a coworking environment generally aren’t working for the same company. https://drop-desk.com/what-is-coworking 


A church campus at a coworking space is an opportunity to share the Gospel with working professionals, remote workers and others as co-worker spaces are community and human spaces, as this this excerpt from smallbizlabs.com indicates: “They (co-working spaces) are places where members work, network, learn and socialize together." In other words, coworking spaces are human spaces.”


It is in the human and community spaces that Jesus ministered and to which the church is called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We all need a return to human spaces since the Covid-19 pandemic.


Since our second campus opened at the Gateway, Grandview UMC has been able to share God’s love with working professionals. The Gateway building hosted our Senior Adult Ministries Christmas party in December. We also were asked to decorate for Christmas and were able to provide a tree and decorations. In addition, we handed out gift cards to a local coffee shop to all current Gateway tenants as Christmas gifts. Our Acts of Adoration Advent challenge also had a tree at our Gateway Campus which drew in people from the community to pick up an ornament.


How can your congregation reach new people in new places? The best way is to be like Jesus and get out into the community and see what opportunities the Spirit opens up.

 

A special thank you to Rev. Angela Lewis and the Canal District TAP Grant Committee.

East Ohio Conference News & Happenings

Rural Church Revival- Reimagining the Church


Sat, February 11, 2023, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM EST - First United Methodist Church 510 West Maple Street Clyde, OH 43410


Join us for this workshop designed especially for rural churches! In this workshop, we will try to cover a lot of different ground and then do some adaptive conversation/coaching alongside of it. Here's a brief list of what we will get into:

• The situation of rural communities as well as rural decline and how rural places are perceived.

• The sociological and theological value of rural communities.

• The two primary roles of rural churches in rural communities.

• Contextual ideation and execution of church.

• Church services and non-downloadable content.

• Place economy ministries and enterprises.


We encourage to come in teams from your local church or charge to deepen the conversation and take aways.


This workshop will be led by Tyler Kleeberger, co author of "Fresh Expressions of the Rural Church"


For more information and to register go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rural-church-revival-reimagining-the-church-tickets-515015153187

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.

Scholarships Available for Methodist Students


Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education! Applications are open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. For complete details, eligibility requirements, and to apply, visit https://umhef.org. The deadline is March 1.

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. 

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 https://eocumc.myabsorb.com/#/online-courses/409157e8-86de-49c2-b36a-306010758353

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 (eocumc.com).  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: https://eocumc.myabsorb.com/?KeyName=EO%20Sign%20UP


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. https://eocumc.myabsorb.com/#/online-courses/62d66c8a-512d-4b47-8587-349480a00f86



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. https://eocumc.myabsorb.com/#/online-courses/8ba13648-889e-411c-857d-099495709b69


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.

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 15-20 hour position, weekdays between 9am and 3pm. 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 sprc@numchurch.org with questions or to submit a resume.

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.

Items Missing
Items Needed
Please submit your request for publication of an event, job ad, or announcement to Megan at canaltuscdistoffice@eocumc.com 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