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Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
November 24, 2015
What's new this week
United Thank Offering Board presents December challenge to benefit Episcopal Migration Ministries

The Board of the United Thank Offering has presented a challenge to The Episcopal Church to benefit a special grant of $30,000 for Episcopal Migration Ministries.

Deemed Advent: Journey from Gratitude to Hope, the United Thank Offering board is challenging Episcopalians to support refugee welcome in the United States through its 2015 Ingathering Challenge.

"Jesus was part of a refugee family," commented Sandra Squires, President of the United Thank Offering board. "We should be able to relate to the upheaval of today's refugees through our love of him. For Advent and Christmas 2015, Episcopalians are asked to express gratitude with increased prayers of thanksgiving and daily giving to their Blue Boxes in remembrance of Jesus and today's refugees."

United Thank Offering will match the first $30,000 given by Dec. 31, 2015 that is marked "EMM-UTO."  The challenge, which kicks off immediately, will continue throughout December.

Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally in The Episcopal Church.

Each year the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, through its Episcopal Migration Ministries refugee resettlement service and a network of local organizations, faith communities and volunteers, welcomes 5,000 refugees to more than 30 communities across the United States. Refugees arrive in the United States having fled from the most violent and war-torn places on earth. With just a few months of support to get started, refugees become productive, resilient members of our society and economy.UTO 125
Upcoming events
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141st Convention Feedback
A request for all convention attendees: Please take a moment to fill out a convention feedback form. Your feedback really helps the Dispatch of Business in the planing of the next convention.  Thank you! 

ERD Challenge

EMM logo
"We encourage you to give thanks for your safety, for your home, for your family this holiday season and connect, through the Blue Box, to the refugees who do not have the luxury of such safety," commented Caitlyn Darnell, United Thank Offering Board Member. "Every penny collected for the Ingathering, through Blue Boxes or online donations, is granted the following year."

"This Challenge will help ensure that every refugee welcomed by The Episcopal Church has the resources they need to feel welcome and securely on their way to a new life," explained Samuel McDonald, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission. He continued that refugees, especially Syrian refugees, have received increasing attention in the media. Programs funding refugees are in jeopardy of being cut or severely limited, which would result in this most vulnerable population of new Americans having limited access to food, housing, health care and the other basic needs they need to get on their feet during their first few months in the United States.

The Rev. Heather Melton, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society's Missioner for United Thank Offering, noted, "Episcopalians are encouraged to begin using their United Thank Offering Blue Box as an expression of gratitude this Thanksgiving and to continue the journey with United Thank Offering and Episcopal Migration Ministries through Advent toward the hope Episcopalians embrace through the birth of the Christ child."

"Episcopal Migration Ministries is thankful for the generosity of the United Thank Offering," noted Deborah Stein, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. "This is the same hope that every refugee embraces as they undertake the treacherous journey away from war, away from violence, away from certain death. It is hope that drives every refugee to journey to new life away from everything they know in a faraway place like the United States."

To Donate
Checks or online donations should have UTO-EMM in the memo line/comments section.

Donations are also accepted online here - select UTO for EMM Challenge from the drop down menu and then put Episcopal Migration Ministries in the comments.

Episcopal Migration Ministries
Episcopal Migration Ministries is the refugee resettlement service of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Each year this ministry works in partnership with its affiliate network, along with dioceses, faith communities and volunteers, to welcome refugees from conflict zones across the globe. For more than 75 years, The Episcopal Church has welcomed refugees to the United States, helping them find safety, security and new lives as American citizens. Now, with at least 60 million people displaced from their homes and lives, the global community is facing the largest refugee crisis since the end of World War II.

More information
For more information contact Melton at
Resources to support the challenge - a December 6 bulletin insert, fact sheet about refugees - will be available here.  
Connecting with ... Events around the diocese
Advent Flash Compline in Uptown Westerville

Join St Matthew's, Westerville, for Flash Compline on the Wednesdays of Advent (December 2, 9, 16, and 23). We will meet at 7 p.m. at the Episcopal House at 23 E. College Avenue and walk together in candlelit procession to various spots in Uptown Westerville (no more than 2 blocks away). All are welcome!
Coming Home

Interfaith Prayer

A Community Advent 2015

Festive activities during December at St. Paul's, Dayton
St. Paul's, Oakwood, invites the greater Dayton community to A Community Advent 2015, featuring seasonal events in the month of December. Admission to all events is free.
In the Christian tradition, the season that begins November 29 and runs through Christmas Eve is called Advent. Advent is the beginning of the church year and a time of anticipation for the arrival of the Christ Child. During this season, St. Paul's will host programs for community participation.
December 5-6: ST. GOODY2SHOES
The tradition of St. Nicholas Day invites children to place their shoes outside the door or by the hearth before bedtime on Dec. 5. St. Nick comes during the night and fills the shoes with goodies. On Dec. 6, children wake up to a wonderful surprise. St. Paul's will offer a community version of this tradition. On Saturday, Dec. 5, between 9 a.m. and noon, families are invited to bring shoes to the front steps of St. Paul's! These shoes should be identified as yours. Overnight the shoes will be moved inside where St. Nick will fill them with sweets and gifts. On Sunday, Dec. 6, families may return to St. Paul's during the same time window (9 a.m. to noon), to pick up their goodies!  At 9:30 a.m. that morning, St. Nick will be at St. Paul's, in person, to be interviewed about his life! We invite you to join the fun!
Now, here's the twist on this St. Nick Day: we ask that those shoes you brought, and socks as well, be donated to folks in need. St. Paul's will donate all collected items to Good Will/Easter Seals and The Dayton Episcopal Clothing Room. Donation of multiple pairs of shoes and socks are heartily welcomed. Take part in the wonders of St. Goody2Shoes (he gives super cool gift bags), and then give generously in return.
December 20, 6 to 8 p.m.: LIVE NATIVITY and CHRISTMAS SHOP 
child and sheep The Second Annual Live Nativity will be presented on the green space at Far Hills and Dixon, next to the church. Parish members will recreate the roles of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, town folk and the Three Kings, as Bethlehem comes alive - a witness to the birth of our Savior. The crèche scene will include live animals and beautiful lights! Warm beverages and treats will be served. Winter campfires will keep you warm!
The Christmas Shop will be held inside the church, in a room accessible from the outdoor site. The Shop will offer many choices for stocking stuffers, holiday confections, cold weather wear - the last bits you'll need for your Christmas festivities!
ALL children are welcome! Rehearsal: Saturday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m. to noon;
December 24: 3 p.m. costume call; 4 p.m. Pageant service.
Visit our website for more details.
St. Paul's is located at 33 W. Dixon Ave, at Far Hills Avenue and Dixon Avenue in Oakwood. Free on-the-street parking is available for all events, as well as parking in the Oakwood Municipal lot off of Park Avenue. For more information, contact Jean Berry at 937.293.1154 or

Three Kings poster
Lessons and Carols

Connecting with ... Volunteer opportunities
How to help refugees in Southwest Ohio

Catholic Social Services of Southwest Ohio is teaming up with the State Department to resettle 325 refugees in the coming months.  Most of the initial group will come from Africa. All undergo an extensive vetting process and arrive with financial support from the US Government to help with their expenses in the first 90 days, after which they are expected to be self-suffiient.  

Catholic Social Services staff provide intensive case management and referral to housing and jobs. Among the many ways churches can help include assembling welcome baskets of household supplies, volunteering to drive families to appointments, and tutoring in English. For more information on the resettlement process and how you can help, go to
Help the Sisters, help the homeless!

The Community of the Transfiguration has teamed up with StreetChurch from Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador, for the past year, providing healthy brown-bag lunches every week which are distributed among homeless and indigent people in Cincinnati early Sunday afternoon.

We need help getting the lunch bags from the Convent in Glendale to the Church in Mt. Auburn, on Sunday mornings any time between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The Sisters are not able to do this, and most able bodied parishioners with cars are already involved in church carpools, with routes far from Glendale.

Ideally, we would like to count on a rota of volunteers who might keep the same Sunday once per month, or two people who can alternate, and a backup. You don't have to attend services at the Convent or at COS/LINS to help with this ministry.  But all of us will offer prayers of thanks for the blessing of your part in this vital ministry!

Contact the rector Paula M. Jackson at  or 513.207.1248 if you can be a link for this ministry once a month or more.
Rides, tutors needed in Cincinnati

The learners are many, drivers and tutors few!

Can you spare two hours a week to help kids with their homework?  Very rewarding, because the kids are eager to learn and love the interaction.

The Price Hill Learning Club, which receives money from ECSF and the Latino Ministry Commission, has many new students. These are "English Language Learners", children born in the US but who only hear Spanish at home.

Right now we are transporting students with a van given to the ministry by the Sisters of the Transfiguration. Many more students would participate if we could only transport them!

Can you take a Monday or Wednesday late afternoon to help a) transport students a short distance from their Price Hill homes to the Learning Club, (3636 Warsaw Avenue), then tutor from 4:30 to 6:15 p.m. and ferry them home? Guaranteed to be the highlight of your week!  No Spanish needed...

Contact Nancy Sullivan at if you can help with this critical outreach ministry.

Connecting with ... Formation opportunities
Apply now for Confluence Year

The 2016-17 Confluence Year application is now open!

Confluence logo Confluence is excited to be hosting our fourth class of Episcopal Service Corps members. Confluence welcomes recent college graduates or young adults who commit to a year of spiritual formation, vocational discernment, social justice and intentional community.

Starting in August, corps members work 35 hours per week in direct-care or administrative positions at some of Columbus' most innovative and caring social service agencies and churches. The members live in intentional community, sharing the Hospitality House in the Franklinton neighborhood, while serving the homeless and volunteering in the community. They receive support and educational enrichment through Confluence staff, neighborhood partners, the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, and the congregational community of St. John's Episcopal Church.

Please pass along the application link to any young adults you know that may be interested, and keep up with Confluence by following us in the following places.

Facebook: Facebook.Com/ConfluenceYear
Website: ConfluenceYear.Org
Twitter: @ConfluenceYear
Instagram: ConfluenceYear

Explorers' Retreat for those discerning a call to ordained ministry

The annual Explorer's Retreat will be held the evening of Feb. 6 through the early afternoon of Feb. 7 at the Procter Center. The registration deadline is Jan. 23.

The Explorer's Retreat provides an overview of the discernment and ordination processes as well as plenty of time for conversation about the diaconate and the priesthood. Anyone who desires to begin a formal exploration of a possible call to ordained ministry is required to attend this informational and fun weekend.

Considerations prior to attending the Explorer's Retreat:
  • Explorers should have been in serious and regular conversation with their clergy person about their call for an extended period of time (in the neighborhood of a year). Both the clergy person and the explorer should have done some deep thinking about the explorer's vocation prior to Explorers' Day as this day assumes that intentional vocational discernment has already begun.
  • Only those who have been confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church and have been active members of the Episcopal Church for at least two years should attend the Explorers' Retreat.


Connecting with ... Mission opportunities
Are you ready to step out and engage in mission?

about GEMN The Global episcopal Mission Network (GEMN) is blessed to have many partner organizations who are sent as Christ's "hands and feet" throughout the world. If you feel a call to join them in short- or long-term mission, here are some opportunities that we encourage you to explore:

Shorter-term mission opportunities:
Colforpaz ( Working in Colombia, COLFORPAZ and GEMN will jointly run a 7-day global mission education program called "The Colombian Encounter: A Global Mission Leadership Program", to be held Jul 30-Aug 6, 2016 (Cost: $975)

Cristosal ( works in El Salvador and offers a variety of courses through its Global School, as well as pilgrimages and custom trips. Its programs center around human rights, community development and local empowerment. (Cost: $800)

Dominican Development Group ( is working in the Dominican Republic. DDG can help with facilitation, planning and deployment for mission teams of all sizes throughout the year, including construction and medical mission.

Elewana ( works in Kenya to promote education and local leadership. Elewana offers summer and teaching internships, volunteer opportunities and a residential training program in service learning, sustainable development and global partnerships.

El Hogar ( operates four schools for abandoned and hopelessly poor students, and welcomes service teams of up to 15 from Feb through Oct. ($2500/team + $200/pp)

Grey Dove ( Grey Dove coordinates medical mission teams to Haiti for both medical and non-medical personnel, as well as conducting conferences on best medical mission practices.

Haiti Connection ( provides important conferences for connecting Episcopalians and others who are working in Haiti. Their next conference will take place in Port-au-Prince April 6-8, 2016.

Longer-term mission opportunities:
Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) is for 21-30 year-olds who are interesting in serving for a one-year placement. The application deadline for 2016 is Jan 8th, 2016. Visit for more information and to apply.

Episcopal Mission Personnel ( is for adults of all ages who are interested in exploring a mission placement in all areas of the world, typically for three years. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Contact the Mission Personnel office for more information and for assistance with discernment.
Connecting with ... Our cathedral
An Advent Procession with Lessons and Carols  

Sunday, November 29, 6 p.m.
This beautiful service-very different in character from our Christmas Lessons and Carols-isCathedral logo a wonderful way to begin the season of waiting for Christ's birth. It is built around the seven Great "O" Antiphons that were traditionally sung at Vespers on the seven days prior to Christmas and eventually became the seven stanzas of the familiar Advent hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." During the service, music, Scripture readings, and prayers invite us to reflect on each of the antiphons. A new feature this year will be seven gorgeous banners bearing the "O" Antiphon symbols, each carried in procession while its corresponding antiphon is sung.
In addition to carols sung by the congregation, the choir will sing:
Let My Prayer Come Up as the Incense - Peter Hallock
The Great "O Antiphons" - Mode 2 plainchant & Peter Hallock
O Sapientia - Robert Ramsey
O Lord, How Shall I Meet You - Stephan Casurella
A Spotless Rose - Herbert Howells
Sive vigilem - William Mundy
Infinite Light - arr. Paul Halley
Thou Shalt Know Him - Mark Sirett
There Is No Rose - John Joubert

Music Live at Lunch performances in December
Music Live at Lunch, Christ Church Cathedral's weekly concert series, will feature the performers listed below in December. These free concerts are presented on Tuesdays at 12:10 p.m. Patrons may bring their own lunch or purchase lunch at the cathedral for $5.
December 1: The SunBurners, Cincinnati premier party band performing holiday favorites
December 8: Kyle Meadows (hammered dulcimer) and Tisa McGraw (Celtic harp)
December 15: Christ Church Cathedral Choir performing Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols

For more information, visit or call 513.621.1817.

The Ripple Effect
Susan Emerson, singer-actress and Billy Larkin, composer-accompanist will perform at Christ Church Cathedral on Friday, December 4, at 7 p.m.

Two award-winning artists present an evening of music that is everything a caberet should be and more. With song selections that will delight, amuse and move you, The Ripple Effect explores a journey of the heart that demonstrates how simple acts of kindness and generosity can have far-reaching and unforseen outcomes.

No tickets required; suggested $20 donation. All proceeds to support the children and women served by Cincinnati Union Bethel

Position available
A docent position is currently available at Christ Church Cathedral for someone who is interested in working a few hours a week during Open Door hours. Interested candidates would have compassion, patience and understanding, and be available to answer questions or direct individuals as needed as they come through the cathedral.

This paid position requires light walking and some administrative work, as well as other duties in limited capacity. This role is perfect for college students with a break during their day, or retirees looking to fill in their late mornings/ early afternoons. The Open Door hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. M-F. Those interested in more details, or to apply, should email Mark Priest at

Christ Church Cathedral is located at 318 E. 4th Street (4th and Sycamore) in downtown Cincinnati.
Lift your spirits at the 76th annual Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival: Free group tickets available
Boar's head Christ Church Cathedral invites congregations to join our greater community to end the Christmas season with reflection and inspiration for Epiphany and the New Year. We offer FREE tickets for the Dress Rehearsal for up to 15 members.
Immerse yourselves for ~1 ½ hours in the glorious orchestral music, colorful pageantry and moving carols to inspire hope for the year to come. At this full Dress Rehearsal, you may experience the drama of the two crowd scenes twice.

The Dress Rehearsal will be held on Saturday, January 2, 2016 at 2 p.m. Click here to order group tickets. Requests for group tickets must be received no later than Dec. 10.

For more information and to see a schedule for all Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival performances, visit (search for Boar's Head Festival) or check out the Boar's Head blog at

Connecting with ... Public Policy
public policy logo
Current headlines/ topics for conversation:
Public News Service  A bottom-up movement for universal Pre-K in Ohio     
Bloomberg News   AMA wants no drug ads that aim at consumers      

If you have any questions/comments about the subjects presented, please contact the Rev. Deniray Mueller, Social Justice & Public Policy Convener, at or 614.668.6036.
Connecting with ... Procter Center
Procter First Night

Repeat announcements 

The Rev. Thomas Fehr
will be installed as
Chaplain of the
Convent of the Transfiguration
at Evensong
5 p.m. Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chapel of the Transfiguration
495 Albion Ave, Cincinnati 45246

The Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, presiding
Your prayers and presence are welcome
Reception following
Re-imagining Incarnation
Soul Collage

A SoulCollage Quiet Day

Saturday, Dec. 5
St. Barnabas, Montgomery

One way to avoid feeling deflated on Dec, 25 is to spend time in early Advent reflecting on what you would like to see happen during this liturgical season. Setting intentions to accomplish your desires is the first step toward a more meaningful Advent.

Christians have traditionally used the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare for Christmas. We will honor this tradition by reflecting on traditional incarnational theology as well as exploring more contemporary insights into the Incarnation.

We will then utilize images from magazines and other publications to collage new understandings of the Incarnation for ourselves. No artistic talent or training is needed!

This Quiet Day is for participants 18 and older.

Click here for a full-sized flyer

Preventative health event at Church of the Good Samaritan

The Church of the Good Samaritan 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 on Wednesday, December 9. 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
  • bone density screening for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis.
Register for a WellnessPackage which includes four vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount). All five screenings take 60 to 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

Church of the Good Samaritan is located at 25 Amelia-Olive Branch Road in Amelia.

The wardens, vestry and people request your prayers and presence as we celebrate the new ministry that God has called us into with
The Rev. Phyllis A. Spiegel
as we install her as fourth rector of
St. Anne Episcopal Church

Saturday, December 12, 2015
11 a.m.

The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal
Bishop of Southern Ohio, presiding

Clergy: purple stoles
Propers: Feast of St. Lucy

St. Anne Episcopal Church
6461 Tylersville Rd
West Chester, Ohio 45069

Reception following; Childcare available
Advent resources
CCC Advent prayers Advent Prayers 2015 from Christ Church Cathedral
Every year, Christ Church Cathedral's Christian Formation Committee publishes an Advent prayer booklet to help diocesan members and friends prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. Compiled by cathedral members David Thomson and Noel Julnes-Dehner, the booklet offers a prayer for each day in Advent. Members and friends of the cathedral congregation write the prayers, including our bishop! 

Copies of the booklet may also be downloaded here. To have a print copy mailed to you, contact Crystal Jones at 513.621.1817 or

Soul Proclamations: Singing the Magnificat with Mary

What will your soul proclaim this Advent?

Soul Proclamations Join Mary's proclamation as you let your soul sing the Magnificat with her. Walk with Mary this Advent as your prepare your heart and mind and ready yourself to respond to Jesus with the same humble, gracious yes, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."

These daily meditations carry you from the first day of Advent through Epiphany and feature the writings of well-known faith and thought leaders in The Episcopal Church.

Authors include Ray Suarez, a nationally known broadcast journalist; Christopher Wells, editor of The Living Church; Kate Moorehead, dean of St. John's Episcopal Cathedral; Thomas E. Breidenthal, bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio; and Christine McSpadden, a member of the clergy team of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Click here to read a sample selection from each author. FM logo

Buy It Now:
#2382 | $5 | Read With Your Church! $4 each for 10+
Job opportunities
Interim Camp Director
The Diocese of Louisiana seeks an interim director for the Hardtner Camp and Conference Center in the Diocese of Western Louisiana.  There are things that need to be organized administratively, as well as organizing program and hospitality. A director is needed as soon as possible who can see the big picture and get on board with helping move the Camp and Conference Center forward. The board is in transition and coming along well.  Some small fund-raising campaigns are in place to upgrade facilities. The current part-time interim is working on administrative changes and organization. The Summer Camping Committee is now in place and will be getting organized for summer 2016.  The camping program is the largest part of the ministry; the conference center will need some attention as well.  This is a bishop's appointment.  Compensation: $50,000, plus a furnished house and utilities. For more information, interested persons, lay or ordained, should contact the Very Rev. Ronald H. Clingenpeel, transitions consultant at

Missioner for Transition Ministry
Applications are now being accepted for the position of Missioner for the Office of Transition Ministry for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).

The Missioner for the Office of Transition Ministry is a regular full-time position and will be located remotely. The Missioner is a member of the Mission Department of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

Information on this position as well as application instructions are available here.
Information on all available positions as well as application instructions are available here.
For more information contact a member of the Episcopal Church Human Resources Team at 
 Youth Director
The Indian Hill Episcopal Presbyterian Church is seeking a Youth Director to continue and grow our existing youth program. We are seeking someone who is passionate about youth and the issues that they face, being able to relate to them whether in the classroom, on a mission trip, in times of struggle as well as celebration.  We are seeking someone who can engage them, who can encourage them to participate in the life of the church, and who can walk with them in their journey of faith. This is a part-time job which pays competitively.
A full job description can be found on the Indian Hill Church web site at
Interested candidates can submit any questions or their resume to
Or via standard mail at:
Youth Director Search Committee
Indian Hill Church
6000 Drake Rd.
Cincinnati, OH. 45243

Youth Minister
Part-time Youth Minister opening at St Mary's Episcopal Church in Hillsboro OH. Prefer someone who is familiar with the Episcopal Church and loves kids! Training for Youth activities available. Apartment available as part of the package. Contact the Rev. Judi Wiley at or 937.205.4292.

Connections Deadlines
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 first day of the month:   
Dec 1 (January issue)
Feb 11 (March)
April 1 (May)
June 1 (July)
Aug 1 (Sept) 
Oct 1* (Nov) 
Please send items to

*convention issue. Deadline subject to change
Diocese of Southern Ohio | 800.582.1712 |
412 Sycamore St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202