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Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017
The West Ohio Conference met June 4-7, at Lakeside on the shore of Lake Erie. Bishop Gregory V. Palmer presided over the conference under the theme “Be Not Afraid, Facing the Future!” The conference celebrated the return of Bishop Palmer for his second quadrennium as episcopal leader. Bishop Palmer leads 162,842 members 1,568 clergy in the 1,020 churches within the West Ohio Conference. Palmer, who through his Episcopal Address and preaching, reminded the congr... (read more)
Wednesday, Jun 7, 2017
On the final afternoon of the 2017 West Ohio Annual Conference, leaders from across the Conference were recognized for their work in evangelism, outreach, and social justice - the work of Connectional Ministries. These are men and women, youth and young adults, who were faithful to answer God's call to come and labor in God's harvest fields. Some help to sow the seeds; others water them; and still others reap the bounty come harvest-time. The Harry Denman Evang... (read more)
Wednesday, Jun 7, 2017
"Did you know God's allowed to do stuff beyond the walls of our church?" In her second day of teaching, Dr. Elaine Heath, Dean of Duke Divinity School, spoke about joining the work God is already doing in our communities. "We're used to thinking we own God. God is already at work out there - and in us. How can the God in us join the God out there in what God is doing?" To join God in the new things God is doing is risky business, however. Elaine remarked, "When... (read more)
Tuesday, Jun 6, 2017
"God is doing a new thing. But the vast majority of people can't imagine this new thing until they see it." So stated Dr. Elaine Heath, Dean of Duke Divinity School, in her first teaching session at the West Ohio Annual Conference. An elder in The United Methodist Church, Elaine's recent work has been with emergent expressions of church, including establishing new communities with people who have been marginalized.  Leaders in the church - pastors, bishops, dis... (read more)
Tuesday, Jun 6, 2017
A new Safe Sanctuaries policy was presented at this year's Annual Conference session. Safe Sanctuaries is the name commonly given by United Methodist Annual Conferences and local churches to their individual efforts to make conference, district and local church programs welcoming and safe for children, youth and vulnerable adults. During the 2014 West Ohio Annual Conference, members passed a rule requiring each local congregation to establish a Safe Sanctuaries... (read more)
Tuesday, Jun 6, 2017
Each year, the West Ohio Conference Missional Report provides a snapshot of the work of the Conference in Connectional Giving, Developing Clergy Leaders, Equipping Congregation, Seeking Mission & Justice, and Growing Disciples & Lay Leaders. "At times...I am reminded of the magnitude of what is required of us, both locally and globally, in order to be faithful, focused, and fruitful," Bishop Gregory V. Palmer states. "Within the pages of this Missional... (read more)
Tuesday, Jun 6, 2017
During the first business session of the 2017 West Ohio Annual Conference, Conference Lay Leader Mary Shumard addressed lay members in the Laity Address. The focus of her remarks was the relationship between clergy and laity and how they can work together to build the Kingdom of God. "God has called both lay and clergy into His service," Mary stated. "Our faith tradition recognizes both as key ingredients to the success of its mission, which is to make disciple... (read more)
Monday, Jun 5, 2017
A documentary showcasing the history of coal in Appalachia was screened at the movie theater (Orchestra Hall) during Annual Conference on Monday. "Boom and Bust: The Appalachian Spirit" was filmed and produced by Rev. Ryan Grace, a United Methodist pastor in the West Ohio Conference, and directed by his wife, Mariellyn Grace, a Church & Community Worker (missionary) with The United Methodist Church. The screening attracted an audience of about 60 people who... (read more)
Monday, Jun 5, 2017
United Methodist bishops and other Christian leaders objected to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord on climate change. The bishops urged Trump and other U.S. leaders to reconsider the decision, while also calling on Christians to prioritize climate justice. “We believe that this decision, if not reconsidered, will contribute to worsening the state of this planet already exacerbated by overconsumption and our mi... (read more)
Monday, Jun 5, 2017
On the first morning of the 2017 West Ohio Annual Conference, lay members made their way to four different laity learning sessions. Designed to provide an opportunity for lay members to learn about mission, worship, lay leadership, and re-entry ministries, these two-hour workshops were both interactive and hands-on.   "Liturgy is the work of the people," Chuck Bell stated. "When we're planning worship, we should be involved with the people. Any type of ministry... (read more)