The Connector
District News
The District Office is working primarily remotely. If you have something to drop off, there is a mailbox outside of Megan's door in the Conference Office and is checked on a regular basis.
District Appointments effective July 1, 2022
Rev. Pamela Buzalka (FE) - Mogadore UMC
Rev. Bruce Hartley (FE) - Hudson UMC
Michael Law (FL) - North Lawrence Chapel of the Cross UMC
Donna Mills (FL) - Rootstown UMC
Rev. J. Harlen Rife (FE) - Greensburg UMC
Rev. David Whitt (FE) - Lakemore UMC

To view the entire list of 2022 Appointments please visit the EOC website here
Spring District Conference
Spring District Conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 at Uniontown UMC.

More information will be available soon.
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March:
March 21: Tom Fish (NL Chapel of the Cross)
March 23: Craig D'Anniballe (Manchester)
March 28: Samuel Martin (Firestone Park)
Lay Servant News
Lay Servant Classes will be in person at the Lockwood United Methodist Church:
 Advanced Course: Living our United Methodist Beliefs
Friday, April 22, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, April 23, 
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please Contact Debbie Sloan for more information about the classes and to register—330-283-6893 or by email.
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
United Methodist Women
Great news— COMMUNITY is God’s desire for us! Please join us at Mission U 2022 as we reflect on the community that Jesus is calling us to be!
 
This year, as we study Luke 13, we find ourselves in a period of disruption and uncertainty. In the midst of a devastating pandemic, divisive political climate, unaddressed systemic racism, ecological crises and economic turmoil, we turn to the stories of Jesus that have anchored Christian communities for two millennia. 
 
Our hope is that we will leave Mission U with a bigger and broader vision of the community Christ is calling us to be in times of loss, grief and massive disruption. What would be possible if we tend to the needs of our communities in small yet radical ways, as Jesus did in Luke 13? 
 
Our newly designed Mission u 2022 is more flexible and intergenerational than ever— with curricula for youth, children and adults focused on the 13th chapter of the Gospel of Luke.
 
Here is the curricula we will be using that are available on our e-store:
  • Who Can We Be Together? (Adult)
  • Community in the Midst of Challenging Times (Youth)
  • Our Growing Tree
  • From Self-Love to the Beloved Community and All of God’s Creation (Children)
Looking Ahead - UMW Events
Spring Gathering is April 24 - Speakers will talk about UMW growth and reaching younger women. Margaret Harvey and Sandy Hodge; both serve on the Conference UMW team. Margaret is the current Conference UMW Membership Nurture and Outreach chairperson. Sandy is past treasurer and now part of the UMW National Board of Directors as a Conference member to serve on the Program Advisory Group. This topic is what we all talk about. Please have several from your Unit attend. We may be virtual, maybe not! Stay tuned.

Still time to register for Assembly May 20-22, 2022
Why attend Assembly?  Now more than ever, women need to come together to reflect on today’s challenges and find comfort and strength to move forward finding ways for faith-filled women to make a difference in the world. In 2022 we will reflect on today's challenges and together find comfort and strength to move forward, building new ways for faith-filled women to make a difference in our communities and the world. We will recommit to our purpose, but also more. For such a time as this we will TURN IT UP!
 
We encourage you to register now so that we can plan the best experience for Assembly 2022. If you register for in-person attendance now, but decide to switch to the virtual option later, you will issued a refund for the additional cost of the in-person registration minus a $5 processing fee.
 
Registration fee: The registration fee for in-person is $365; virtual is $235.
Registration closes April 11. (Proof of vaccination required at time of registration.)
Hotel expenses: $158–$203 per night for up to four people (double/double room)
Meals not included: Friday and Saturday—breakfast and dinner, Sunday—breakfast
 
Assembly is a women's gathering like no other! The finest technology will even bring a virtual event to life. Please consider joining this super event. Assembly meets every four years.

EOC Annual Conference is June 9-11 in Akron.

Mission U is in July
Who Can We Be Together? Building Communities of Hope and Joy. Our newly designed Mission u 2022 is more flexible and intergenerational than ever— with curricula for youth, children, and adults, all focused on the 13th chapter of the Gospel of Luke. This structure is different than in the past. Only one adult study is offered, but it will encompass familiar components of Spiritual Growth, Geographic, and Social Issues.
Adult Study will be virtual, followed by an in-person retreat featuring some outside events such as worship around a bonfire.

An article with more details will appear in the Conference UMW Newsletter, hopefully out in February. But mark your calendars.

Adult curriculum is an 8-hour study. So, we will meet two weekends for study and the following weekend for an in-person retreat.
           Saturday July 9/Sunday July 10 AND
Saturday July 16/Sunday July 17
           10am-Noon on Saturdays and 7-9pm on Sundays.
Children and Youth programs will take place in-person at Mt Union during our retreat.
 
In-Person Retreat – Friday July 22 – Saturday July 23 (Our typical Mission u weekend)
           Place: Mt. Union University
           Arrive for supper on Friday
           Have worship outside around bonfire
           Sleep over in Bica Ross as we have in the past.
      Saturday – breakfast, a community project, lunch and closing.

Fall Gathering is September 24.

Annual Celebration is probably October 23. - The conference team mtg is later in January.
Annual Conference 2022 ~ June 9-11 ~ Akron OH
Annual Conference 2022 is June 9-11 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron. This year’s theme is Let Us Live Love and the theme scripture is 1 John 4:7-13 (NIV). In preparing for this year’s sessions and services, the Annual Conference Program Committee is planning ways it will serve attendees in love while also creating opportunities for East Ohio clergy and laity to serve others in love.
An Apportionment Message from Bishop Tracy S. Malone
A Budget Message from Conference Council on Finance & Administration:
Faithfulness Amidst the Changing Season: God’s love remains steadfast!
To: East Ohio Pastors, Congregations, and Faith Communities,
Someone once said, “change is inevitable, but transformation is optional!” Change is everywhere around us and, as a church, we understand that challenges are opportunities for renewal, rebirth and even transformation. Given the pandemic challenges, we continue to be awakened to God’s steadfast love. Being United Methodist offers an opportunity to touch lives both within our local communities and across the world. Friends, we are not alone in the struggle and looking back at 2021, we see so much for which to be thankful. God’s love remains steadfast!

We give thanks for the gift of 679 churches serving the mission field in East Ohio in 2021. We celebrate the faithful commitment of our local churches that paid 100% of their apportionments. We saw a 6% increase in local churches paying full apportionments. The changing seasons present many challenges for us as a Conference and, as many local churches step up in their giving, we acknowledge the reality that nearly 50 churches did not pay any apportionments – an amount equaling 5% of our budget. In 2021, 300 of our churches contributed toward the shared ministry challenge (Fund 7) which represented slightly more than 10% from the previous year. Many of our churches are bearing fruit even amid the changing landscape of hybrid worship and the continued challenge of reaching newer and younger people with the transforming message of God’s love. God’s love remains steadfast!

The pay-in rate from local churches to our East Ohio Conference budget was 79% in 2021 compared to 77% in 2020. Over $8.6 million was contributed to the mission and ministry of East Ohio. The increase in pay-in rate stops the decline we have seen over the past seven years. Every dollar contributed is a gift enabling the good news of Jesus Christ to be shared. God’s love remains steadfast!

The 2021 Conference budget was reduced by 5% so that local churches would have more available funds for their respective mission fields. CCF&A continues to monitor trends and examine budgetary needs as we head into this quadrennium. The postponement of General Conference until 2024 continues the challenges of navigating the financial implications of denominational changes that may come our way. We realize the coming years will bring both challenges and opportunities for the Conference to maintain the mission of making disciples amidst uncertainties of what the future holds. Yes, change is inevitable, but transformation is optional. We will continue to strive for transformation as we review financial trends, monitor our giving patterns, and adjust our Conference budget as necessary in the coming years. But we rest assured that God’s love remains steadfast!

The faithfulness of our local churches continues to be the focal point of transformative ministry and as we journey together in 2022, we pray that you will be encouraged by the continued movement of God’s Spirit guiding us in the uncertainties, decisions, and mission opportunities enabling all of us to share God’s love and witness to a world hungering for justice, peace, and compassion. God’s love remains steadfast!

Be encouraged always,
Rev. Dan Bryant
Chairperson, CCF&A
Vera Rebrovich, CPA
Director, Financial & Administrative Services
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Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who sets the apportioned Shared Ministry amounts?
  • Local church lay and clergy members of the East Ohio Conference must approve all budget items at Annual Conference. The amount we vote to support at Annual Conference is then “apportioned,” with each church in East Ohio asked to pay its fair share of what the conference voted to fund.
  • How is a church’s apportioned Shared Ministry fund amount calculated?
  • Apportionments are figured only on the amount of money a church spends on itself for programming, operations, and salaries. Church membership is no longer part of the formula.
  • What happens if we do not pay our Shared Ministry funds?
  • Some mission or ministry of our church that is being done in Christ’s name is either cut back or eliminated.
Clergy Day Apart 2022
Bishop Tracy S. Malone invites all East Ohio Conference clergy actively serving in ministry to come together for a day of rest and renewal on Saturday, April 2 from 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Faith UMC in North Canton.

Clergy are serving and leading in stressful, exhausting, and difficult times. This Clergy Day Apart, designed by a team of active clergy, is an opportunity to feed your soul through reinvigorating worship, fellowship, self-care, and conversation. Clergy will hear a validating and empowering message from featured speaker the Rev. Twanda Prioleau and will participate in engaging breakout sessions designed to help you reflect, reconnect, re-center, and revel in your ministry. Rev. Prioleau is pastor of Christ UMC in East Baltimore, MD and author of the book Breathe: A Pastor’s Journey to Wholeness.

For more information click here!
EOC Office of Finance and Administration
Audit Reports Due March 31st
All local church audits are due to the District Office no later than March 31.

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.
Spiritual Formation Trainings
Trainings Available for Your Local Congregation
The purpose of the East Ohio Conference Spiritual Formation and Christian Education Committee is to support the discipleship ministries of East Ohio congregations in the areas of Christian Education and Spiritual formation for all age groups. We currently have the following topics available for training in your local congregation:
1. Safe Sanctuaries for the Local Church
2. Getting Messy Church Started in Your Setting
3. Offering Worship Engagement Manipulatives in Your Congregation
4. How Can Your Congregation Offer Sensory Sensitive Inclusiveness?
5. Creating a Race and Religion Forum in Your Congregation
6. Offering Outdoor Discipleship as a Way to Reach More People in Your Community
7. Hitting the Milestones with Children and Youth in Your Congregation
8. What Every Child and What Every Youth Should Experience
9. Training Effective Teachers
10. Developing a Discipleship Pathway for Your Congregation
A few other topics are in the works and will be available in the future:
1. Spiritual Formation and Christian Education in the Small Membership Church
2. Digital Discipleship
If you are interested in any of the above topics/training opportunities, please reach out to Rev. Gary Jones, Director of Spiritual Formation in the Connectional Ministries Office - gary@eocumc.com or 330-499-3972 ext. 120.
Around the Canal District & East Ohio
The story of summer 2021 did indeed include some challenges and changes, but it was also a summer of great fun, faith formation, and renewal! Thank you for participating in and supporting Summer Camp 2021! At East Ohio Camps, we want every kid to have summer story full of fun, faith formation, adventure, and growth! Our hope is when your child tells the story of what they did this past summer they include a week of camp where, “I connected with great friends and great counselors, had fun adventures, learned new things, experienced God in nature, and now my faith is soaring!” And that is what we are planning for summer 2022! My hope is that you and your family will include East Ohio Camps as a chapter of the story of Summer 2022.

Blessings!
Rev. Gary W. Jones
Director of Spiritual Formation/Camps & Retreat Ministries
East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church

Registration is now open and camperships are being accepted! Please follow the links below to register for camp and download a Tuscarawas District Campership application.
Positions Available
Bennett’s Corners Community UMC in Hinckley is seeking a Director for a new Christian Preschool/Daycare. We are looking for a faithful follower of Jesus Christ who has experience as a Director and/or Preschool teacher. Please leave a message at  (330) 225-5623 or send an email to Amy.
Brimfield Faith UMC is seeking a part-time Church Musician; pianist and/or organist and/or instrumentalist who provides instrumental music for scheduled worship services and other activities in support of the music ministry of the church. Weekly worship service are Sundays at 9:30 am at 1235 Tallmadge Rd. Brimfield, 44240. Contact pastors Don & Karen Upson at 330-990-2250 or 330-990-2251 or by email.
Brunswick UMC is searching for a Christian Ministry Coordinator. The Coordinator oversees and directs all aspects of Christian Education for adults, youth ministries, and children’s ministries, and manages the development and growth of the Christian Education Program at BUMC. This position is part-time, 20-24 hours per week. Click here for a full job description. To apply, please send resume and cover letter via e-mail or by mail to Brunswick United Methodist Church, PO Box 85, Brunswick, Ohio 44212.
Macedonia UMC is searching for a Choir and Music Director. The Director will lead musical selections that are performed during Sunday Worship, conduct weekly choir rehearsal, and prepare for Sunday’s performance. Musical and choral selections will align with the Senior Pastor’s sermon. Will also work collaboratively with the Organist, Handbell Director, and Director of Christian Education to provide an engaging worship experience for our congregation and youth. This position is part-time, about 15-20 hours per week. Click here for a full job description. To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and valid e-mail address to Carolyn Murrock via e-mail.
Items Available
Dear Friends of the Canal District,
For years our Lockwood UMC has had a sewing program where several of our members have made sleeping bags and many other items to benefit people in our community. Lately, however, a number of our volunteer seamstresses have passed on or otherwise been unable to continue the program. In dissolving the program we want to donate the remaining sewing machines, material, tables, and other equipment to another church that can put it to good use.

If interested, please call Jim Ellison at 330-591-7627 or email.
Items Missing
Items Needed
Clinton UMC is looking for a Book of Worship for their Lay Leader. If you have a copy you're no longer needing please reach out via email.
Choir Robes to be send to churches in Africa. Contact pastors Don & Karen Upson at 330-990-2250 or 330-990-2251 or by email, if you have any questions.
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