Tuscarawas Connexions

Check It Out

In this week's edition, you'll find new information on:

  • Appointment Season in the East Ohio Conference
  • Lay Servant Ministries Update
  • Lenten Engagement: Weekly Zoom with DS Cara Stultz Costello
District News

Spring District Conference is scheduled for Saturday, April 22 at 11:00 a.m., hosted by Mt. Tabor UMC in East Canton.

Cara will be on vacation

March 18 - 25

Cara's Weekly Calendar

March 6: Sabbath

March 7: District Strategizing

March 8: District Strategizing

March 9: dCOM Meeting - Navarre Otterbein UMC

March 10: District Strategizing

March 12: Worship on the District

Lay Servant Ministry

Lay Servant Ministry is a leadership development program in the United Methodist Church focused on equipping and empowering lay persons who have responded to the call of God to serve in mission and ministry.

These lay persons are called to live out their own discipleship as servants in leadership through the ministries of leading, caring and communication.

The UMC has established three categories for laypersons in the area of lay servant ministries to develop, prepare and engage principled Christian leaders for the mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world.

  • Certified Lay Servant
  • Certified Lay Speaker
  • Certified Lay Minister

Certified Lay Servants who wish to develop their skills further may chose a track to become Certified as Lay Speakers (those who are called specifically to pulpit supply) or as Certified Lay Ministers (those who are called to long-term, intentional ministry as part of a ministry team.

A Certified Lay Servant serves the local congregation or charge and:

  1. Provides program leadership, assistance, and support to the pastor.
  2. Leads meetings for prayer, training, study, and discussion.
  3. Plans, conducts or assists in leading services of worship, preaches the Word, or gives addresses.
  4. Provides congregational and community leadership and fosters caring ministries.
  5. Assists in the distribution of the elements of Holy Communion
  6. Teaches the Scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of the United Methodist Church.


A Certified Lay Speaker serves by preaching the Word when requested by the pastor, district superintendent or committee on Lay Servant Ministries in accordance and compliance with Para 341.1 of the Book of Discipline. The role of a Certified Lay Speaker is a specific calling for the ministry of pulpit supply in congregations other than their own.

Being called to ministry is a serious endeavor. It takes a disciple to make a disciple. Thus, we must do all we can to prepare ourselves and others to serve. For additional information on the Lay Servant Ministry program in our District please email the District’s Lay Servant Director, Eddie Courtney at msged@earhtlink.net. Please include the words Lay Servant Ministries in your subject line. 

Basic and Advanced Classes for this Spring (late April, early May) will be announced soon

Weekly Lenten Engagement Zoom with DS Cara Stultz Costello

Please join DS Costello each Friday during Lent to pray for one another across the district. The below link will work each week on Fridays beginning at 10:00 a.m. through 11:00 a.m.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 884 7343 7039

Passcode: 304495

Look what God is doing through the UMC!

Around East Ohio & the Tuscarawas District

EOC Appointments


New Appointment


Matt Anderson

Bucyrus UMC, co-Associate Pastor


Abby Auman

Strongsville UMC

North Coast

Dawan Buie

Aldersgate UMC

North Coast

Abby Caseman

Westlake UMC

North Coast

Cara Stultz Costello

District Superintendent

Tusc/Mahoning Valley

Steve Stultz Costello

Mentor UMC

Western Reserve

Nathan Howe

Kent UMC


Thom Kalb

North Canton Faith UMC


Angela Lewis

District Superintendent

Canal/Mahoning Valley

Allison LeBrun

Boardman UMC

Mahoning Valley

David Rittgers

Wooster UMC


Shannon Sampson

The Vine UMC


Sondra Snode

Fields UMC

North Coast

James Spatholt

Ohltown UMC

Mahoning Valley

Rebecca Stephens

Bucyrus UMC, co-Lead Pastor


Shannon Trenton

Church Hill & Youngstown Trinity UMCs

Mahoning Valley

Christine Ulman

East Rochester and New Franklin UMCs


Scott Walsh

Willoughby Hills UMC

Western Reserve

East Ohio Ministry Micro Grants Application

East Ohio Ministry Micro Grants are sponsored by the Board of Congregational Development and Connectional Ministries Office: Strategic Ministries. The grants are for Fresh Expressions, small groups, and/or new ministry that seek to reach those not within the current church community. The deadline to apply is April 3rd by the end of the day and awardees will be announced by April 21. These micro grants, which may be awarded to $2000 as determined by Board of Congregational Development, must be spent in totality by Dec 31st, 2023.  

Contact Rev Beth Ortiz, Connectional Ministries Office Director of Strategic Ministries, at bortiz@eocumc.com, to submit your application or with questions. 

Requirements: Must be a ministry of a local United Methodist Church in East Ohio.

Must be a new ministry (either under 2 months old or not yet begun) that seeks to reach those not yet in the church. Church/charge cannot be currently receiving any other conference level grant funding (this does not refer to coaching, trainings or other such support). Church/charge cannot receive more than one microgrant per 12 months and cannot receive a microgrant for the same ministry more than once.

Must have at least one lay involved in the planning/implementation. Funds must be spent for this ministry within 6 months or returned. A report must be submitted within 6 months (details about reporting will be supplied to awardees with the payment dispersal in early Dec 2022). 

Please note: Application for funds does not guarantee funds.  

Wespath FAQ

Wespath, the benefits and pension partner of the UMC, continues to focus on continuity of benefits for those who serve and the impact of disaffiliations on pensions, benefits and liabilities funding. FAQs are updated periodically.

Link to Wespath FAQ

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.


The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) bankruptcy agreement with The United Methodist Church was approved by the court and is now under further review along with the BSA reorganization plan. Currently, BSA is ahead of projections this year for recruiting new troops and has decided not to extend all previous charters beyond December 31, 2022, for two reasons:

  1. in most areas, the affiliation agreements and facility use agreements are being implemented and the implementation is going well.
  2. BSA wants to assure the court that it is emerging from bankruptcy and its business plan is working as evidenced by new scouts and organizational agreements.

If you have questions about the BSA Affiliation Agreement or about the Facilities Use Agreement, please e-mail Steven Scheid, the scouting executive for United Methodist Men. If your local BSA Council is not complying with the new BSA organizational agreement, please e-mail Jeffrey Hunt, who oversees the BSA Councils across the United States.

View the BSA & The UMC resource on the Conference website.

Summer Camp 2023

Take advantage of the Early Bird Savings for Summer Camp 2023!

If you register by March 15th, campers will receive a limited-edition 2023 Summer Camp t-shirt that is not available in the camp store (Aldersgate, Asbury or Wanake). Plus, a $20 discount will be taken off their summer camp fee. If you register by April 15th, campers will receive a limited-edition 2023 Summer Camp t-shirt that is not available in the camp store (Aldersgate, Asbury or Wanake). Find all you need to register online at www.EOCSummercamps.org or contact us for a brochure or questions at camp@eocumc.com or (330) 499-3972 ext. 108. 

Cost of Camp Stretching Your Budget? Camperships are available to ensure that all people have an opportunity to attend camp. The Conference and the District have campership applications, email the district office!

Want to Become Part of our Summer Camp Staff?

The staff is a cornerstone of the ministry of East Ohio Camps. Our summer program requires a great number of staff to be successful. We are looking for outstanding Christian women and men for summer staff positions. We offer great Christian Community, excellent training, free room and board, opportunity for ministry, and growth in leadership skills. We are looking for counselors, lifeguards, program staff, food service, administration and maintenance. Go to www.EOCSummercamps.org and click on the “Staff & Volunteer” tab.

DISAFFILIATION PATHWAY: Following consultation between Bishop Malone and EOC leadership, churches and clergy wishing to separate from the denomination must follow the disaffiliation pathway found in ¶ 2553 of The Book of Discipline of The UMC. View the EOC Disaffiliation Pathway resource.

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

The Seran Foundation is part of the Stark Community Foundation. Students can apply through the foundation’s General Scholarship Application. This can be done by going to the Stark Community Foundation’s website (https://www.starkcf.org/for-grantees/for-students/scholarship-opportunities) and clicking on the Menu tab at the top right. Scroll down to Grants and under For Students click on Scholarship Opportunities. Finally click on Begin Your Application. Your application allows you to apply for the Seran Foundation grant as well as others for which you may be eligible. 

The deadline for applications is April 1.  

The Chester A. and Ethel J. Seran Scholarship Foundation was established many years ago to help college students toward their bachelor or associate degrees. The assistance is in the form of grants and not loans. The grants are renewable each year as long as students are in good academic standing with their college or university. The Scholarship Selection Committee restricts the grants to no more than 4 years.  

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, you can call the Stark Community Foundation at 234-458-2905. You can also contact Steve Moore, Chairperson of the Seran Foundation with any specific questions about this particular foundation.  

Positions Available

Dover First United Methodist Church is seeking qualified applicants for the part-time position of church financial secretary. Click here for the job description. Resumes or questions can be sent to Pastor Wesley George via email.

Otterbein (Navarre) UMC is seeking applicants for Youth Director Position (grades 9 - 12) and Assistant Youth Leader Position (grades 6 – 8). If you are interested in either of these or have questions, please contact the church at 330-484-2776.

Simpson UMC in Canton is actively seeking an Organist. Please contact Simpson via email.
Items Available

Otterbein (Navarre) UMC has a variety of Sunday School & Bible Study books available. Click here to access the entire list. If interested, please contact Doris Brown by email.

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
Tuscarawas Connexions. 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.
Tuscarawas Connexions
Official Publication of the Tuscarawas District East Ohio Conference —
The United Methodist Church

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