connections masthead

In This Issue
March 17, 2015
What's new this week:

Call for Nominations to the Society of St. Simeon & St. Anna - Class of 2015


Simeon and AnnaThe Affirmative Aging Commission, which coordinates the annual meeting of the Simeon & Anna Society here in the diocese of Southern Ohio is seeking nominations for the Class of 2015. We are seeking 12 nominees from around the diocese. Any congregation in the diocese is encouraged to nominate one individual or couple, but congregations who have presented nominees in the past two years should not forward any nominees this year in order to assure that nominees cover a diverse geographic area. 


Nominees will be inducted into the Simeon & Anna Society on Wednesday, April 29 at the Procter Center. That day begins with the Holy Eucharist in Christ Chapel at 11 a.m. with Bishop Breidenthal presiding and preaching. The induction ceremony takes place immediately after the service in the Chapel and is followed by a gala lunch in the Procter dining room, with the bishop and diocesan staff serving the tables.


Nominations (and supporting documents) should be mailed or (preferably) emailed to the Rev. Bruce Smith, Chair of the Affirmative Aging Commission no later than March 31. Nominees will be notified in writing by the Commission of their admission into the society sometime during the second week of April. The newly inducted members of the Simeon & Anna society and their immediate family members will be the guests of the Affirmative Aging Commission at the luncheon. For all other folks attending such as friends and fellow parishioners, there will be a modest $10 fee for lunch.


Needless to say, we hope that all new members of the Class of 2015 will attend the event, but will understand if that is not possible. We do expect the clergy of the congregation and/or at least one person (hopefully more) to attend the event in support of the new member of the Society from their congregation.


The link below gives you more information about the Simeon & Anna Society and criteria for nomination, as well as links to the nomination forms and a list of current members of the Society.


Nominations should be sent to:


The Rev. Bruce Smith

Chair, Affirmative Aging Commission

627 Yaronia Dr. N

Columbus, OH 43214



Upcoming events
Mar 21: CoCL Best Practices Conference
Mar 21: Safe Church training (Granville)
Mar 31: Renewal of Vows and Blessing of Oils
Apr 10-12: Spring Procter Retreat (youth)
Apr 11: Anti-Racism training
Apr 17-18: PLAY! Finding God in Celebration
Apr 18: Last Things: Preparing for Death and Burial
Apr 18: Safe Church training (Bexley)
Apr 18: Dayton Area Confirmation (Christ Church)
Apr 25: East Area Confirmation (Athens)
Apr 29: Society of St. Simeon and St. Anna annual meeting and luncheon
Apr 30: Planning for Tomorrow Conference (Lay)
May 1: Planning for Tomorrow Conference (Clergy)
Quick Connections
Diocesan website
Diocesan calendars
Diocesan news
Bishop's visitation schedule
Stories from Episcopal News Service

Good Friday offering for Jerusalem and Middle East


"The Episcopal Church has been in partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem for a very long time," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori writes in the annual Good Friday letter to all congregations asking them to consider assistance for Jerusalem and the Middle East.


Funds collected from the Good Friday Offering are gathered and distributed to the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East which includes the Dioceses of Jerusalem and Cyprus and the Gulf, all members of the Anglican Communion. 


Information and resources for the Good Friday Offering


For more information contact the Rev. Canon Robert Edmunds, Episcopal Church Middle East Partnership Officer,


The following is the Presiding Bishop's full letter:


My brothers and sisters in Christ:


The Episcopal Church has been in partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem for a very long time.  Since 1922, we have taken an offering in our churches on Good Friday to support the work of the gospel in the Land of the Holy One.  That Land is still the place of deep division and conflict, more than 2000 years after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  He and his earthly family suffered under threat of oppressive regimes, fled as refugees to another land, labored to supply their bodily needs in the face of dire economic realities, and he himself was executed as an enemy of the state.  All of those realities are present today in the Anglican
/Episcopal Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.


The offering we collect on Good Friday carries on the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, through support for the many ministries of healing, feeding, and teaching among the dioceses of the Province.  Refugees are cared for, the sick and injured are healed, the dead are buried, children educated, women empowered by these ministries - and all are welcomed with open arms, like Abraham and Sarah's guests.  Jesus cared for all in need, without regard for nationality or creed, and these ministries do the same.  It is the work of shalom and salaam, building peace in the hearts of suffering individuals and communities.


I urge you to learn more, to pray for the people of the Land of the Holy One, and to give generously this year.  I would encourage us all to use the fast of Lent to focus on the hunger (both spiritual and physical) of these peoples, and contribute out of our abundance and our poverty.


May our offering this year strengthen the bonds among all God's people, and bless each one with concrete and eternal signs of more abundant life.


The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church


Courageous Men's Bible Study and Support Group


Sexual Addiction:  It's as likely to be found in the church as out of the church. Regular participation in your home church does not prevent you from using and abusing pornography. Research indicates that porn brings in $57B/year, more than pro football, basketball and baseball.  


The Courageous Men's Bible Study and Support Group is a new collaboration between the congregations of Reynoldsburg (OH) United Methodist Church and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Pickerington (OH).  In this men's Bible study and support group we seek to share and understand what is expected of us as men of faith as fathers, husbands, partners or single. We seek to provide support, accountability and a safe place to discuss our challenges of sexual addictions as we share and learn about the power of God in our lives and our families' lives. The reach of addiction is beyond ourselves, impacting those we love and care for. 


"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend" ~ Proverbs 27:17


Courageous Men's Bible Study & Support Group begins Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. The group will meet every second & fourth Tuesday of the month at the Reynoldsburg Branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library, 1402 Brice Rd., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068. Facilitators are Justin Wright and Dave Pagura. Any questions please contact Justin Wright at

Fellowship Program Introductory Webinar


GreenFaith logo Are you passionate about protecting the environment as a person of faith?  If yes - the GreenFaith Fellowship Program is for you.


June 15 is the annual application deadline for the program - our 18-month, interfaith education and training program for religious-environmental leaders.


Over 150 leaders - from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Unitarian traditions - make up the Fellowship community.  They're from 35 states, 3 Canadian Provinces, Europe and Africa.


GreenFaith is offering a webinar to introduce the Fellowship Program to potential applicants on Thursday, March 26 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET.


Register for the webinar.  Register even if you can't attend - we'll send you a link to the webinar recording.


Learn about the Fellowship Program.


Application materials are available by clicking here.


GreenFaith Fellows:

  • Deepen their knowledge and skills as religious-environmental leaders
  • Attend three retreats of four days length on themes of spirituality, stewardship and justice in relation to the Earth
  • Write an eco-theological statement that connects personal experience, spiritual traditions, and the natural world
  • Participate in monthly webinars where they engage with cutting-edge leaders
  • Carry out a leadership project tailored for their own setting
  • Connect with the emerging and established leaders of the religious-environmental movement

Letters from Liberia
PIMIL (Partners-In-Ministry-In-Liberia), a ministry through St. Matthew's, Westerville and St. John's, Worthington, supplies educational scholarships to students who would otherwise be unable to attend school in Liberia. The Ebola epidemic has greatly affected our children and their families. Several months ago we asked our children in Liberia to write us letters describing the epidemic and how it has affected them and their schools. Here is just one of the flood of heart wrenching letters that filled our mailboxes:

Liberian letter 1

Remember the 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.

Public Policy Spotlight
public policy logo


the peoples panel
As the Human Services Finance committee finishes reviewing the Ohio 2016 Biennial Budget, there will be a hearing on March 18 at 2:30 p.m. to hear final testimony. Diocesan representatives, along with other religious and social services agencies, have composed a panel to provide testimony as to the need to increase the amount of funding for social services (there is currently a significant decrease planned in the budget). We are asking those who can, to come to the hearing to put a face to those who most need the social services the state is planning to cut.  For any questions, please contact The Rev Deniray Mueller at 614.668.6036 or

Repeats, reminders, etc.
Bach Birthday

Spring youth retreat

PLAY Conference: Finding God in Celebration

April 17-18
St. Stephen's, Columbus

Play opens us up to joy, new possibilities, and creativity. What might happen if the church took up PLAY as a spiritual practice? What if we played together and imagined a new church into being? 

PLAY is a gathering of people interested in in celebrating creative ways to engage God's mission in our communities. PLAY will offer ideas for fostering imagination and creativity, planning non-traditional worship, missional church planting, and how to gather community in new ways through radical hospitality, storytelling and inspiring music. The Rev. Ben Norton, a pioneer minister in the Church of England, will share his experiences creating three different fresh expressions of church in the last 10 years in the UK. Ben invites us on a journey to meet people and connect the Christian story to the story of people outside of the church and to gently grow spiritual communities in the process. Ana Hernandez, musician, conversation host and mischief maker, will lead us in music that makes community. PLAY explores how we give each other permission to imagine a new way forward together and an opportunity to reinvigorate your soul and your church.

If you are interested in learning more about fresh expressions, being part of some inspiring worship, or just want to have fun, you won't want to miss this gathering. PLAY is for everyone, young and old, musicians and artists, lay and ordained, people who love the church and those who don't. We invite you and members of your community to join us for this experience! Don't miss this opportunity to PLAY! 

More info:

Last Things: Program explores death and burial planning


Procter Conference Center

Saturday, April 18

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Woody Allen once quipped, "It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens."


Many of us feel the same way. Even so, the Church encourages us to grapple with the reality of our "last things." There's good reason for this: the time of death is always a crisis. For each one of us who lives on, the death of those we care for is (to one degree or another) a painful and traumatic experience. It's an event that changes the landscape of our lives, for the rest of our lives.


And yet, despite its inevitability, we tend to come to death not only suffering from natural grief, but unprepared. The crisis, then, deepens and becomes even more painful as we are forced to do what we don't want to do, and to make decisions for which we have not planned. The spiritual, emotional and financial repercussions can be immense.


The time to think and talk with one another about death is now - instead of waiting for the moment of crisis. Such preplanning is a prudent and loving act that yields a multitude of blessings - now, and

The Rev. Charlie Brumbaugh

in the hour of our death.


The Affirmative Aging Commission invites you - whether you are nineteen or ninety-nine - to join the Rev. Charlie Brumbaugh at the Procter Center for Last Things, an exploration of these issues on Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of $15 per person covers the whole program and lunch. Please register by April 4 at


There will be much to learn and many stories to tell as we consider Christian perspectives on death, grief, burial practices, rites of burial and stewardship in death. It's our hope that by the time you drive home, you'll be well on your way to making wise and loving decisions about what is to happen upon your death. We are confident that you'll find this seminar not only informative and useful, but also thought-provoking and, yes, even fun!


Planning for Tomorrow Conference


Lay Employees: Thursday, April 30, 2015

Clergy: Friday, May 1, 2015


The Planning for Tomorrow conference sponsored by the Church Pension Group (CPG) is a great opportunity for both clergy and lay to learn and plan for their financial future. Spouses and partners are also encouraged to attend. CPG subsidizes the cost of the conference - and also subsidizes child care and elder care costs.


We strongly encourage lay employees to attend this conference and we strongly encourage that they be granted paid time off to attend.


No matter your stage of life, it's a unique chance for you and your spouse or partner to understand your current and future benefits, manage your finances, plan for your future, and improve your overall financial wellness.


To register:


Lay employees register here


Clergy register here 


Academic grants for minority women


The Lawrence Home Association, founded in 1896 under the will of philanthropist Eleanor Earnshaw, was started to "provide a Christian home for self-supporting, young women on limited means, the most important aim being to help them elevate their standard of life." To this day, the Lawrence Home Association provides opportunities for young women.

There is a eight-member board of women who are appointed by the the bishop. The board meets once a year to vote on recommendations for academic grants for minority women, scholarships for clergy daughters and funding for social service agencies who mission is to serve women of limited means and help them move out of conditions relating to poverty, abuse etc.


The purpose of the Academic Grant for Minority Women program is to help finance the postsecondary education of minority women regardless of age who are affiliated with an Episcopal church within the Diocese of Southern Ohio.


We have moved the application process online this year to make it easier to apply and to provide an opportunity for all minority women within the diocese to seek grant for the upcoming academic year. 


See more information


The deadline for applications is April 15, 2015. All applicants will be notified by May 30, 2015 of the status of their application.


Job opportunities
Communications Coordinator
St. Thomas, Terrace Park seeks a part-time communications coordinator. The Communications Coordinator has two main responsibilities: 1.) communication within the parish, and 2.) public relations to the larger community; both being formed by our core purpose: To make God's love known by who we are, what we practice and how we serve others in Christ's Name. As a member of the program staff team, the incumbent collaborates with the clergy, staff and volunteers in developing, administering and evaluating the different means of communications and designs the various publications as specified and planned. The incumbent must have experience / background in various verbal, written and graphic communication skills, such as creative writing, public speaking, editing, desktop publishing, production coordination, and digital design, including photography and video. See more

Choral Scholar

St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Terrace Park, Ohio is seeking a professional singer to supplement the Parish Choir and act as alto soloist when called upon. Typical time commitment involves being present at Wednesday Evening rehearsals (7-9pm) and Sunday morning services (10:45am with preceding rehearsal). Position commences immediately and lasts for the duration of this program year (May 2015). See more



Digital Communications Specialist

The Diocese of Southern Ohio is seeking an individual who is creative, computer savvy, fluent in social media and enjoys challenges to serve as a Digital Communications Specialist. This full-time position requires skills in working with databases, websites and a multitude of other digital environments. The ability to write computer code is desirable but not necessary. If you're looking for a position that will help the diocese and the Church move confidently into the ever-changing future of digital communications, then we'd love to talk to you. Click here to fill out an online application and to submit your resume. Deadline March 31. See full job description



Procter Farm (Two positions) 

Procter Farm is hiring for two exciting positions for the 2015 growing season! We are hiring one Farm Assistant and one Farm Apprentice. 


The Farm Assistant should have two full seasons of experience on organic farms. This position will report to the Farm Coordinator and be responsible for helping to maintain our seeding, planting and harvesting schedules. Qualified individuals should be able to work independently and make informed decisions about farm operations in collaboration with the farm manager (e.g. greenhouse/hoophouse management, watering, weed/pest management and general plant care).  The Farm Assistant will have the opportunity to run some CSA pickups, farmer's markets, and be involved in some planning decisions. The Farm Assistant position is geared for people looking to make a career out of sustainable agriculture.

The Farm Apprentice position doesn't require any previous experience, though it is helpful.  A commitment to sustainable agricultural and an enthusiasm for hard outdoor work irequired.  Qualified applicants will be able to lift 50 lbs., have a valid driver's license, and be flexible and teachable.  They will have the opportunity to participate in every job an organic farm requires from soil prep and seeding to harvesting and marketing.

Both positions come with room, board and a monthly stipend commensurate with experience. Both jobs are seasonal and run from April through October. To apply contact Farm Manager Conor Gilliland at



Director of Christian Education

Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield, seeks a person to serve in a half-time position as Director of Christian Education and Coordinator of Outreach Ministries. See more


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


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 |
412 Sycamore St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202