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February 10, 2015
What's new this week:

32nd Annual Absalom Jones Celebration: Registration deadline for symposium today


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

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.

Theodicy Jazz Collective
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 today!

Upcoming events
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 21: Safe Church training (Granville)
Mar 31: Renewal of Vows and Blessing of Oils
Quick Connections
Interchange archives
Stories from Episcopal News Service
Read news from around the diocese 
Remember people of West Africa in your prayers

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.

Procter Center welcomes Garden Coordinator


Conor Gilliland
Conor Gilliland

Procter Center is pleased to welcome Conor Gilliland as our new Coordinator for the Procter Garden.  Gilliland has two years experience working on and managing produce farms.  In his last position, the garden at the Montana Academy, a therapeutic boarding school, provided produce for 1,000 plates a week.  This was done while working with the students to help them learn how to accomplish their work while instilling an interest in organic farming. He has additional experience working with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, Famer's Markets and raising livestock.


Gilliland's educational background includes a BA in Political Science and an MA in the Philosophy of Religion at Denver Seminary. He has been an affiliate professor of philosophy, a freelance journalist and a live-in assistant at L'Arche -Portland. 


About his new position, Gilliland says, "I am thrilled to join Procter as the new Garden Coordinator.  It is my goal to imbibe as much wisdom from the previous years of farming at Procter, contribute my own knowledge, and with the support of a great team, offer some of the most productive growing seasons yet.  I am excited to share my practical experience and enthusiasm for farm work as a spiritual exercise with young campers, eager volunteers, aspiring apprentices and experienced gardeners alike.  Here's to a fruitful farming season!"


Gilliland started his work Feb. 9. The staff at Procter is excited to get to know him and work with him to make the Produce Garden a continued success.  Please welcome Conor on your next visit to Procter Center.

Trespasses: An EASE Gallery show and book
TrespassFebruary 13, 7 p.m.  

Trespass is a very old idea, and although it's often seen negatively it can lead to beauty and revolutions in understanding. Sometimes we need other people to trespass into our private preserves of thought and belief, and into our carefully curated ways of doing things. 

This Lent, thirteen artists and writers came together to trespass on each other's work and create pieces that speak to the theme of trespass. This show and book are the result of their work.  

Please join us for the opening and reading on Friday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at EASE Gallery, located at 30 W. Woodruff Avenue in Columbus.

Were You There

EPF flyer

Public Policy Spotlight
public policy logo




Encounter the Holy Spirit in your Daily Life (13-14 March, Procter Conference Center) 
Dental Advocacy Day (25 February, Riffe Building)

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Southeast and Southwest Regions Faith-Based Summit 2015 (9 April, Cedarville College) 


When Giving Up Chocolate Isn't Enough


Book offers insight, guidance for the Lenten season


A Grown Up Lent What are you giving up for Lent? Chocolate? Wine? Red meat? Episcopal priest Joanna Leiserson encourages us to dig deeper this Lenten season. We can begin, she says, by asking the right questions: "Who will you be in Lent?" and even "Whose will you be in Lent?"


Published by Forward Movement, A Grown-Up Lent: When Giving Up Chocolate Isn't Enough presents daily devotions that explore in meaningful ways what it means to connect with God in a secular, post-modern culture. Leiserson, who serves at St. Anne's, West Chester, is an engaging storyteller and teacher and offers fresh insight into Jesus' parables and spiritual practices such as fasting, self-examination, and prayer.


"Joanna is a masterful teacher, able to translate the parables into modern culture in a way that both inspires and challenges," says Richelle Thompson, deputy director and managing editor of Forward Movement. "These daily devotions are a wonderful companion for the journey through Lent, a way to move beyond simply giving up something and into a deeper relationship with the Divine."


Leiserson is the author of the nationally known program, Weaving God's Promises: A Curriculum for Children in The Episcopal Church. She has a deep passion for Christian formation and social and economic justice.


To order copies of A Grown-Up Lent, visit or call 1.800.543.1813. Ebook is available on Kindle, Nook, and iBook platforms. See an excerpt from the book here.


Special Promo
Use the discount code LENT2015L and receive 50% off of both A Grown-Up Lent and Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent and Easter by the Rev. Tim Schenck.



150th Freedom anniversary and community discussion 


Juneteen facilitator flyer 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of several landmark events in our nation's history. These events are the end of the Civil War, the first Juneteenth celebration and the ratification of the 13th amendment to the US Constitution. 


In honor of this anniversary, Juneteenth Cincinnati and other Greater Cincinnati organizations have created an event to help our community understand the history of how we got to where we are. The outcome will be a citizen-driven report, made available to police departments and other entities that have critical interactions with men of color. This report will address the issue of Institutionalized fear and how it affects the encounters by police with men of color. 


Overview of the Project 

We are encouraging a community dialogue that will run from February to the end of April. This dialogue will occur through small group facilitated discussions throughout the greater Cincinnati area. The discussions will center around the book and documentary Slavery by Another Name which participants will be asked to read or view.  

1. Recruit and train facilitators and recorders 

2. Each group (10 - 15) people will meet with their facilitator to 

  • Set dates and times of future meetings 
  • Read the book or watch the documentary Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon 
  • Discuss what they have read or watched and decide what relevance they feel it has to our present day situation
  • Discuss and record ways of making thing better 

3. Facilitators and Recorders will meet and put together a typed copy of their groups report in May. (date to be finalized at training). 

4. In June or July we will have a celebration dinner at which the final report will be presented to the overall community. Invitees will include partners, citizens who participated in the groups, police departments, city officials, advocacy groups, religious groups etc. 


We know there is no quick fix or silver bullet. We do, however, feel that more knowledge of our history will stimulate thoughtful dialogue and give us the power that comes from awareness. 


For more information, contact Lydia Morgan at 513.631.7289 or 

Repeats, reminders, etc.
Ohio State Men's and Women's Glee Clubs to perform at St. Mark's, Columbus

On Sunday, February 15, at 4 p.m. the Ohio State University Men's and Women's Glee Clubs will perform a special benefit concert at St. Mark's, Columbus. In lieu of ticketed admission, donations will be accepted in support of the St. Mark's Organ Completion Fund, which endeavors to complete the parish's beautiful Casavant organ to its originally conceived specifications. A reception will follow. 

Saint Mark's is located at 2151 Dorset Rd, Columbus. Please call 614-486-9452 for more information, or visit

Wendano: God's love among us!

Wendano Wendano
, or 'God's love among us' is a village in Kenya where the residents live in extreme poverty.  It's also the name of a ministry of the Rev. Tom Fehr to orphans in that village. 

Come hear our story, enjoy authentic Kenyan food and share in joyful fellowship on Sunday, February 15 at 4 p.m. The fundraising event will be held at St. Mary's Retreat Center on the campus of the Community of the Transfiguration, located at 495 Albion Ave. in Glendale. Seating is limited, so please RSVP to Fehr

at or 513.312.2614. All are welcome. There is no cost for the meal, a love offering will be gladly received.


Divinity & Diversity: Building Our Beloved Community Together

February 19-21


This February, Shoulder to Shoulder is partnering with the Noor Islamic Cultural Center and the Safe Alliance for Interfaith Leadership in Columbus, Ohio, to host an exciting conference on religious leadership and collaboration in an increasingly diverse United States. The conference will include interactive workshops, keynote talks, and facilitated networking conversations about building and strengthening interreligious relationships and resilient communities in America for years to come.  


For more information or to register, visit


Toward Our Mutual Flourishing Conference Feb. 21

interfaithThe 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.

ELCA Southern Ohio Synod Lay School of Theology (LST) Spring 2015 offerings: Classes begin Feb. 21

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., beginning Feb. 21. 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 1Second 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


Taizé Service at Trinity, Hamilton

Trinity, Hamilton, will offer a Taizé worship service on the evening of Sunday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m. The service will include both choral and congregational singing as well as instrumental music. There will be a wine and cheese reception following the service. 


Taizé (pronounced "teh-ZAY") worship is a participatory prayer service designed to achieve a contemplative state through music, song, readings, and silence. Short chants and responses in repetition give the service a meditative character. Silence along with candle light and chant offer a deepening perception of the presence of the Holy Spirit and have attracted people of all ages and especially young people world wide.


The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy in eastern France.  It is composed of more than 100 brothers from Protestant and Catholic traditions from some thirty countries across the globe.  


We invite all to invite attend and to experience the calming and renewing spirituality of Taizé. Trinity is located at 115 N 6th Street in Hamilton. Call 513.896.6755 for more information.


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


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



Organist/Musician (part-time)
Trinity Newark, seeks a part-time organist/musician. Our organist of 15 years retired 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).

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.
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