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Faith and Practice

January 27, 2015
What's new this week:
Remember people of West Africa in your prayers

Resolution R14-01, passed at the 140th annual convention in November, calls for all congregations, offices and meetings in the Diocese of Southern Ohio to include a prayerful petition for the elimination of the epidemic of Ebola in West Africa, and protection for all those who are in danger, especially in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This prayerful petition should be offered at meetings, church services and in personal daily prayers for the duration of the epidemic.

Elizabeth Barker, author of the amendment and member of Diocesan Council, offers this prayer adopted by St. Patrick's, Dublin, as a suggested petition to be used within the context of the Prayers of the People:

We pray for the people of West Africa, especially in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, in the midst of the Ebola crisis.  We pray for those afflicted with the disease, their families, and the health workers fighting to stem the spread of the disease and care for those in need.

Native American Roundtable


Sunday, March 1, 2015

2 to 4:30 p.m.
Procter Center


The Diocese of Southern Ohio and the Native American Council of Christ Church Cathedral are sponsoring a Native American Roundtable at Procter Center. The Roundtable is open to all who are interested in Native American issues, concerns and opportunities. 


Many of the churches in the diocese have been involved in mission work and supporting Native Americans on reservations.  The Roundtable is being held to promote collaboration and engagement in working for and with our Native American sisters and brothers throughout the US.  Please join us in this important initiative.


Please register at by February 25, so appropriate hospitality can be offered. If you have questions, please email the Rev. Anne Reed, Canon for Mission at


Upcoming events
Feb 6-7: Explorers' Retreat
Feb 8: Safe Church training (New Albany)
Feb 14: Safe Church training (Cathedral)
Feb 14: 32nd Annual Absalom Jones Celebration
Feb 20-22: Fully Alive young adult retreat (Chicago, IL)
Feb 21: Toward Our Mutual Flourishing Conference
Mar 1: Native American Roundtable
Mar 7: Spring Clergy Day
Mar 21: CoCL Best Practices Conference
Mar 31: Renewal of Vows and Blessing of Oils
Quick Connections
Interchange archives
Stories from Episcopal News Service
Read news from around the diocese 


ELCA Southern Ohio Synod Lay School of Theology (LST) Spring 2015 offerings

Since 2006, the ELCA Southern Ohio Synod Lay School of Theology (LST) has offered education/formation opportunities designed both for lay ministers and for the average person in the pew. The series allow participants to engage in "theological studies with their peers and with encouragement and guidance from a faculty consisting of seminary professors and members of the clergy and lay staff of congregations."  The days are "filled with quality lectures, animated discussion groups, good food, and a little time for relaxing conversation."


This spring marks the beginning of an effort to provide LST offerings to serve the needs of Lutherans and Episcopalians alike.  The instructors, one Lutheran and one Episcopal member of the clergy, will lead sessions at the LST's two locations, in the Dayton and Chillicothe areas.


Stephen Kimpel
The Rev. Stephen Kimpel

The first series to be offered at the new Dayton location  (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, at the corner of Stroop Rd. and Ackerman Blvd. in Kettering) will be an "Introduction to the Old Testament," led by the Rev. Stephen Kimpel, Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Dayton.  Sessions will be held on the third Saturday of each month, February through May, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost for the series is $50. The host church will provide lunch for all participants, with free-will offerings welcome.  The book, which will serve as a starter for the instruction and discussions, is John J. Collins' A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: Second Edition (2014, Fortress Press).


Tom Ferguson
The Very Rev. Tom Ferguson

On the same dates and at the same time, the LST will be offering another opportunity at its existing location: Calvary Lutheran Church, 74 Main St. in Chillicothe.  The Rev. Thomas Ferguson, Academic Dean of Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation, will be leading a series examining "Early Christian Traditions: the Birth of Christianity."  The cost for the series is $50.  The host church will provide lunch for all participants, with free-will offerings welcome.  The books to be used are Justo Gonzalez' The Story of Christianity, Volume 1, Second Edition (2010, HarperOne); Rebecca Lyman's Early Christian Traditions (1999, Cowley Publications); and Henry Bettenson's (editor) Documents of the Christian Church, Fourth Edition (2011, Oxford University Press).


These spring 2015 offerings will begin a new series of shared education/formation opportunities, on a variety of topics, for the congregants of both of our denominations.  Members of the Diocese of Southern Ohio and the Southern Ohio Synod are working on plans for future series, to be led by teachers from both the ELCA and the Episcopal Church. For more information about the Dayton series, please contact Pastor Steve Kimpel at 937.253.2156 or  For the Chillicothe series, please contact the Rev. Tom Ferguson at 614.231.3095 or


Preventative Health Screenings at Church of the Good Samaritan


The Church of the Good Samaritan, Amelia, is pleased to offer a preventive health event. Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will host their affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings at Good Samaritan on Feb. 24.

Life Line Screening has partnered with over 150 hospitals across the country and has screened nearly 8 million people. Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which is a leading cause of stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta: hardening of the arteries in the legs which is a strong predictor of heart disease; atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beat which is closely tied to stroke risk; and a bone density screening for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis. 

Register for a screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount). All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. In order to register for this event and to receive a $10 discount off any package priced above $129. Please call 888.653.6441 or visit  



Cosmology flyer

Thrive! A Conference on Abundant Living


Thrive! April 24-25
Days Hotel, Flatwoods, WV 


The Diocese of West Virginia's Commission on Stewardship invites you to a weekend conference where you will receive the inspiration and tools you need to move your congregation from survival mode to a thriving spiritual community confident in the abundance of God's gifts.


Our speakers and workshop leaders are eager to share their knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas that are essential to a full understanding of good stewardship goals and practices. You will also have a chance to interact with others from around our Diocese who may have just the idea you need to create something new and exciting in your parish.


This conference is an opportunity for your entire Vestry and/or stewardship team to learn together so that you have the critical mass you need to put your knowledge into action back home.


To further encourage you to register as a group, we will give you a free registration for every five paid registrations from your church! Questions? Contact Linda Crocker, Chair, Commission on Stewardship

at 304.210.5591 or


See the conference brochure

Public Policy Spotlight
public policy logo
Repeats, reminders, etc.
32nd Annual Absalom Jones Celebration

Renewing Our Commitment to the Ministry of Social Justice and Reconciliation

Absalom JonesThe 32nd annual Absalom Jones Celebration will feature a symposium on race, gender and economic equality followed by a Festal Choral Eucharist. Sponsored by the Bishop Herbert Thompson, Jr. Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians, Christ Church Cathedral, Church of the Redeemer and the Diocese of Southern Ohio, the celebration will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, Feb. 14. 


The day will begin at 9 a.m. with registration and continental breakfast. Opening prayer begins at 9:30 a.m. The keynote address for the symposium will be delivered by Clarence G. Newsome, Ph. D., President of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, followed by a panel discussion facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, the Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD.


Two workshops will follow lunch at 1 p.m.: 

  • How can your organization/congregation engage and participate in the work of social justice? 
    Presenter: Charles A. Wynder, Jr., Office of Social Justice & Advocacy Engagement,
    The Episcopal Church 
  • Second Chance Act
    Presenter: Aaron Pullins, Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence Team Leader
Theodicy Jazz Collective
Theodicy Jazz Collective

At  2:15 p.m. both workshops will be repeated. The day will conclude at 3:30 p.m. with a Festive worship service to commemorate the life and ministry of the Rev. Absalom Jones, featuring music by Theodicy Jazz Collective.

A choir rehearsal for those wishing to participate in a combined choir at the worship service will be held at 1:30 p.m.


Bus transportation from Dayton and Columbus may be available. Please contact St. Margaret's Church (937.837.7741) in Dayton or St. Philip's Church (614.253.2771) in Columbus for details.


The event is free, but registration is required. Register at: The deadline for registration is Feb. 10.


Download a bulletin insert for the celebration at 



Toward Our Mutual Flourishing Conference Feb. 21

The Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Commission of the Diocese of Southern Ohio cordially invites you to participate in a one-day consultation on The Episcopal Church's Theological Statement on Inter-Religious engagement, Towards Our Mutual Flourishing. The consultation, which will feature eminent inter-religious scholar Dr. Lucinda Mosher and The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, D. Phil, will also focus on the  question: What does it means to engage religious many-ness at  a pastoral level in the Diocese of Southern Ohio? 

What: Towards Our Mutual Flourishing Conference

Where: Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square (25 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.)

When: Saturday, February 21, 2015 (10:00 am - 3:00 pm)

Why: In light of increasing religious-spiritual diversity, we as Christians who are formed by the Anglican tradition need to equip ourselves to be good neighbors to our diverse neighbors.

Who: Open to all members of The Episcopal Church in the state of Ohio as well as those in Full Communion with The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion.

What does it cost? Monetarily, nothing. But the benefits are priceless! Registration deadline is Feb. 14.

More Questions? Please contact the Rev. Canon Manoj M. Zacharia, EIRC Convener, at or 513.842.2054.

Refresh Your Soul Conference

Fully Alive: A weekend of engagement with improv artist John Poole

A young adult retreat in Chicago Feb. 20-22 
Fully Alive flyerIn his book, Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics, Samuel Wells defines improvisation in the theater as "a practice through which actors seek to develop trust in themselves and one another in order that they may conduct unscripted dramas without fear." Sounds a lot like life, doesn't it? Building trust, overcoming fear, conducting relationships, and making choices-all without a script.

Wells establishes theatrical improvisation as a model for Christian ethics, a matter of "faithfully improvising on the Christian tradition." He views the Bible not as a "script" but as a "training school" that shapes the habits and practices of the Christian community. Drawing on scriptural narratives and church history, Wells explains tenets that characterize both improvisation and Christian ethics. His model of improvisation reinforces the goal of Christian ethics-to teach Christians to "embody their faith in the practices of discipleship all the time."

Not everyone wants to do improv, not if it means being on a stage in front of other people.  But some of the basic ideas that improv teaches are tremendously helpful to the spiritual life, and we think that everyone can benefit from them.  Take a look at the materials below, use it to prepare, play, and experiment with improv tenets in your community, and join us for the Fully Alive retreat!

To learn more and register, go to 

The Fully Alive retreat is a creation of Episcopal Campus Ministries in Prov V, which includes the University of Wisconsin, The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, Butler University, Purdue University, the University of Indiana, the University of Michigan, Kenyon College, The Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, Ohio University, Miami University, and many other luminous academic institutions.  The retreat is open to young adults (up to age 30) whether or not they're enrolled in school.

The Seven The Seven: A mentored experience in diaconal ministry for young adults

"Choose seven from among you who are known to be full of the spirit and wisdom?"  - Acts 6:3

Do you want to learn how to integrate your everyday experiences in the world around you with your daily commitment to a life of faith? Do you long to make a difference in the place you live?  

The Seven is a part-time, 10-month hands-on spiritual and educational experience for young adults (18-30 years old) who want to engage in meaningful work and reflection while discerning their own vocational calls, in mentored relationships with Episcopal deacons. The format provides monthly mentorship meetings, formation through readings and reflection online, and two group retreats.  

Interested to learn more? Contact:
The Rev. Jane Gerdsen at 513.543.0440,
The Rev. Douglas Argue at 614.312.1176,

Bethany Open House

Online parochial report filing underway


Online filing of the 2014 parochial reports began January 2.  Packets, including hard copies of the report and log-in information with UEID and PIN numbers, were mailed the second week of December.  Please note that the workbooks for help in filling out the report are available online.

To download the workbooks and a PDF of the 2014 Parochial Report, please use the following link:

Job opportunities

Administrative Assistant

St. Alban's, Bexley, is currently seeking a full-time administrative assistant at 40 hours per week to work with us in our ministry. Helpful traits are a gracious ability to interact with visitors and guests, a love of service, and a friendly, warm demeanor. Candidates must have a working knowledge of basic Office computer software including Outlook, Word, and Excel. We also use Publisher, Constant Contact, Google Drive, and a Web site application. See more


Executive Director of Development 

Episcopal Retirement Homes (ERH), a mission-centered organization which enriches the lives of older adults in a person-centered, innovative and spiritually based way, is seeking a talented professional to lead a staff of five.

The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships with residents and donors; possess exemplary listening, interpersonal, oral and writing skills. S/he will be a creative and innovative thinker open to new ideas and fundraising techniques and demonstrated ability to inspire trust across multiple constituencies. See more


Organist/Musician (part-time)
Trinity Newark, seeks a part-time organist/musician. Our organist of 15 years retires at the end of December. Our pipe organ is a 1957 Schantz Restored 2 manual 10 rank with 730 pipes. We have an Allen electronic that we currently use while our Nave is undergoing repairs to the roof superstructure. We anticipate expanding our music program. Required is one weekly choir practice with a Sunday rehearsal and a 10:30 a.m. sung Mass. This position is an interim for 2-3 months. The person filling this position will be considered for the permanent position. Contact the Rev. Dr. Ronny W. Dower, PIC 740.562.5356 (Cell).

Youth Minister (part-time)

St. George's is a family-oriented church situated on Far Hills Ave in the southern suburbs of Dayton.  We have about a dozen or more youth who are actively involved in our youth programs (grades 6-12 with a center of gravity in 8th and 9th grades).  We have very engaged parents who provide a lot of leadership.  We desire someone with a vibrant Christian faith and a commitment to sharing that faith with young people. The youth leader does not need to be an Episcopalian, although familiarity with our traditions would be valued. Further, we believe that parents have the lead role in forming their children as disciples and our role as clergy and lay leaders is to equip, support, and encourage.  At St. George's we have an average Sunday worship attendance of around 215 across three services (8, 10:30, and 5pm).  The youth leader would be expected to be present on Sunday mornings from roughly 9am to Noon in addition to leading the youth group's activities at other times (regularly at 3-5pm on Sunday afternoons).  The youth leader will work closely with the associate rector as part of our comprehensive family ministries here at St. George's.  This is a part-time position but the work will be rich with resources.  Prospective candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references to the Rev. Dr. Calvin Lane via email  Please feel free also to email with questions or call 937.434.1781 (ext 104).

Connections Deadlines
Didn't see any news about your congregation here? Submit your news! The deadline for each weekly e-Connections is every Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.

The deadline for Connections, the bi-monthy publication of the diocese, is every other month on the last day of the month:   
Jan 31 (Feb/Mar issue)
Mar 31 (Apr/May)
May 31 (Jun/Jul)
July 31 (Aug/Sep)
Sept 30* (Oct/Nov)
Nov 30 (Dec/Jan) 
Please send items to

*convention issue. Deadline may be changed in order to have all convention materials available for pre-convention meetings.
Diocese of Southern Ohio | 800.582.1712 |
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Cincinnati, OH 45202