The Connector

God Sees You

Psalm 139

1O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

2You know my sitting down and my rising up;

You understand my thought afar off.

3You [a]comprehend my path and my lying down,

And are acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word on my tongue,

But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

5You have [b]hedged me behind and before,

And laid Your hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is high, I cannot attain it.


7Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8If I ascend into heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in [c]hell, behold, You are there.

9If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.

11If I say, “Surely the darkness shall [d]fall on me,”

Even the night shall be light about me;

12Indeed, the darkness [e]shall not hide from You,

But the night shines as the day;

The darkness and the light are both alike to You.


13For You formed my inward parts;

You [f]covered me in my mother’s womb.

14I will praise You, for [g]I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

15My [h]frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.

 17How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

18If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;

When I awake, I am still with You.

 19Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!

Depart from me, therefore, you [i]bloodthirsty men.

20For they speak against You wickedly;

[j]Your enemies take Your name in vain.

21Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?

And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

22I hate them with [k]perfect hatred;

I count them my enemies.

 23Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties;

24And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.


One of my favorite lines from a movie comes from the first Avatar film. The line simply says, “I see you.” They say it a few times in the film. Truthfully, I wanted to see the movie a second time because I wanted to hear those words again…I see you. Yes, I have seen that movie a few more times.


What made me love the statement was how I understood “I see you.” “I see you” looks beyond the surface and the walls we put up. “I see you” pays attention and listens to you even when you don’t say a word. “I see you” is present. It opens up to be vulnerable because it is a place of intimacy, love. It is a place of truth and acceptance just as you are, but also expects change as you grow and the person grows. It will not allow you to stay the same. “I see you” deals in the place of truth and grace! “I see you” is not about hiding. It draws out the REAL YOU! That’s just a few things.


To see someone, communication, vulnerability, and patience are important. The problem is that somewhere along the way, we have struggled to communicate with each other. I am reading a book by Heather Holleman called The Six Conversations: Pathways to connecting in an age of Isolation and incivility.  She tells a story of her sharing, with her advanced writing students, the results of “the Study of Adult Development” … “The research aims to answer a question we all care about deeply: What is the single most contributing factor to a happy life?” The answer is “warm, intimate relationships are the most important prologue to a good life.” (pg. 10) For today’s purpose, “I see you.” 


So many people are angry with others because, well, they don’t know them. We accuse and think the worst of people because we are not having conversations to know people. What would happen, if we the church, would “see” one another in church and the community. What if we somehow or another, put effort into having warm, intimate relationships with each other. 


As we enter into a new year, let’s see one another. Let’s pray for our bishop, district superintendents, conference staff, pastors, and leaders. Let us see one another as God’s children. Let’s see one another with conversations of hope, overcoming, grace, truth, and love. Let’s see one another being in God’s hand.


Let’s see one another as being on a journey together doing our best to do what God has called us to do. Let us ask God to help us to see one another through His LOVE!


Canal, I see you. I hear your concerns of what will happen. God is the only One I know who sees the ending at the beginning. Let us keep looking upon Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Pastors, leaders, and members, let us blanket one another in prayer, deep prayer. Let us pray that God will give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts yielded to God’s will.


God SEES US and KNOWS US! Be of good courage. Stay true and yield to God’s word. Remain prayer. In fact, be steadfast immovable always abounding in the work (word) of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain. 



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

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.

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 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. 

Seeking Peace & Justice... In Our Time

East Ohio MFSA is hosting the event at Cory United Methodist Church on Jan 21, 2023

Keynote speaker, the Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Executive Director of the Ohio Council of Churches followed by interactive breakout sessions addressing injustice issues. 

Please click on the image for more info.

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.

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 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.

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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