August 25, 2020
Benefits news for church employees/retirees
The open enrollment period for the employer option for disability insurance for plan year 2021 will be August 26 to October 7, 2020.
 
There was a new disability offering in 2020 and a switch to Zurich, CPG’s third party administrator. If your church made a selection in 2020 and is happy with that selection, you do not need to do anything - your selection will roll over automatically for plan year 2021.

If your church made no choice or declined to offer employer provided disability, the church can during open enrollment select to provide employer provided disability, or the employer can elect to allow disability to be paid self-pay by the employee. The enrollment period once the selection is made by the employer to enroll any employees for disability will be October 12 to November 18, 2020 with disability coverage to be effective January 1, 2021.

Open enrollment for health and dental benefits for active employees for plan year 2021 will be held October 12 to October 30, 2020. Retirees open enrollment (supplemental) will be held Oct. 15 until December 7, 2020.
hearing aide benefits graphic
New for active employees in 2021: Enhanced Hearing Aide Benefits

Hearing Aid benefits will be included in all health insurance plans offered in 2021.

Any questions regarding benefits should be directed to our benefits coordinator, Angela Byrd at 800.582.1712 ext. 127, 513.632.6022 or abyrd@diosohio.org.
Safe, successful voting
voting place
People from several Cincinnati congregations met Aug. 22 on Zoom to draft a strategy to help people overcome three big hurdles to safe voting and making sure their votes are counted: the danger of coronavirus, lapsed registrations, and postal delays. Ariel Miller shares suggestions to post these safe, successful voting tips below via social media, yard signs, and flyers distributed through food pantries and other social service programs.

www.dsoconnections.org
Plan your vote!
vote faithfully graphic

Election season is upon us in the U.S., and now is the time to make sure you – and those in your community – are ready. This year, many states have updated how voters can cast their ballot with no-excuse absentee ballots, early voting, and other measures to allow Americans to vote safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prepare to cast your vote by creating a #MyVoterPlan laying out the steps you need to take and when in order to successfully vote in the 2020 election.

www.dsoconnections.org
Volunteer tutors needed
Scholar House
The Cincinnati Scholar House Child Development Center will operate a CO-Schooling Program for children in grades K-3 during the 20/21 school year.
This program will allow for nine school-aged children to have a program to go to that will offer guidance and support while they complete their online school work.

The Scholar House is one of the three top initiatives of Christ Church Cathedral’s Third Century Vision. The Scholar House is now open, and as families move into their residences, there is a need for volunteers in many areas.

www.dsoconnections.org
There's No Right Way to Grieve
retreat graphic
Free virtual retreat from Transfiguration Spirituality Center
Monday, September 14 & 21
1 to 2:30 p.m. on Zoom

With poetry at its heart, this program led by Kim Langley is meant to help participants find symbolic language to express their complex, confusing emotions and the full shape and size of their grief experience. While the material can be applied to the grief of any loss, including parting relationships or job terminations, the emphasis is on caregiving, accompanying others at end of life, and bereavement. Join us for one or both days.

www.dsoconnections.org
Clergy Respite days
Clergy are reminded to take advantage of the Clergy Respite Days at the Procter Center in September offered to you and your spouse by the bishop. More information and registration can be found here.
Church Administrators virtual cafe
Wednesday, September 9
1:00 p.m. ET

Join other parish administrators from across the country for a round table discussion about how Caffeinated Church can grow and expand to be a resource hub that is useful to you in your work and ministry.
The Edge House is cool and so are you

Check out this cool new promotional video for The Edge House, the campus ministry serving the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State College, and other area colleges and universities.
Today in Stories, the Rev. Abby Flemister tells of Partners-in-Ministry-in-Liberia's call for a rice campaign for Liberia, as many have lost their jobs and are hungry due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What's your pandemic story? Share it in our Stories section at EpiscopaliansInConnection.org.
PIMIL renews rice campaign for Liberia
Rice is a staple in the Liberian diet. You may recall that during the years of the Ebola virus epidemic in Liberia (2014-2016), Partners-in-Ministry-in-Liberia, or PIMIL, launched a rice campaign because they had received word that people were dying not only from the virus, but from hunger. The campaign was very successful and PIMIL received many letters of gratitude for the relief.
Now with COVID-19 ravaging the country, PIMIL is renewing its call for a rice campaign for Liberia, as many have lost their jobs and are hungry due to the pandemic. Read more
2020 Festival of Faiths virtual event
Connections deadline Sept. 1

The deadline for submissions for the fall issue of Connections is Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Send submissions to jmurray@diosohio.org.
Audit deadline and grace period
By canon, all audit materials are due to the diocese by September 1. However, due to the complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, Diocesan Council has granted a grace period to all congregations until October 1, 2020, before imposing the loss of lay representation at our Annual Convention for missing the canonical deadline.  

The preferred method of submitting audits is to email all material in pdf format to either Angela Byrd (abyrd@diosohio.org) or the Rev. David Getreu (dgetreu@diosohio.org) at the diocesan finance office. You may also mail by regular post to the diocesan finance office at 412 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.  

In light of this extension, audits must be received by the October 1 deadline or your congregation will be denied lay representation at the Diocesan Convention (see Canon XVI, Section 18(a. 6), (b)

Information about church audits can be found in the Policies section on our Resource page. Questions about audits can be directed to the Rev. David Getreu at dgetreu@diosohio.org.
The Census Bureau has published a short booklet on outreach ideas for the faith community, including a link to the Washington National Cathedral's 2020 Census event on Facebook Live. Click here to download a copy.
Census outreach tools
As of this writing, undercounts put many Ohio communities at risk of receiving far less than their due of crucial federal dollars over the coming decade. The Census determines not only the apportionment of Congressional seats, but also funding for Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, the National School Lunch Program, affordable housing, transportation, and Pell grants. All people living in the United States count and should be counted, under the Constitution. The Census count is due to end September 30.  

Please reach out through your congregation’s social media and the safety net programs you partner with, such as food pantries. Ideas include putting up a banner or putting flyers in food orders. Please publicize the toll-free number 844-330-2020 and the QR code people can scan to enter their census information via smart phone. 
Here’s the Census Bureau’s link for community outreach materials:
Countdown to Convention – it's time to propose resolutions!
Becoming Beloved Community
Follow the latest news and events related to The Episcopal Church's work on Becoming Beloved Community here in our diocese at http://dsobeloved.org.

Click here to subscribe to the Becoming Beloved Community newsletter
Connecting with our cathedral
Music Live@Lunch

Music Live@Lunch, Christ Church Cathedral's weekly concert series, will feature the performers listed below in September*. These free concerts are presented on Tuesdays at 12:10 p.m. Patrons may bring their own lunch.

September 8: Krista Cornish Scott (soprano) with guest musicians:
Hildegard von Bingen―Ancient and Modern
September 15: Alan Rafferty (cello), Sarah Kim (cello)
September 22: Jenny Hu (Chinese zither)
September 29: James Meade (guitar)
Fisk Opus 148 organ
Organ Recital

Ugo Sforza will perform at Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday, September 20, at 4 p.m.*

Organist Ugo Sforza performs a program of music by Italian and Italian-inspired composers on C.B. Fisk Opus 148 in Centennial Chapel. 

No admission charge.
*In Response to COVID-19
All programming is subject to change due to pandemic-related restrictions. Whenever possible, we will offer services and concerts via live stream if in-person gatherings are not permitted. Please check the cathedral website (cincinnaticathedral.com) for updates throughout the season.
GPS header
Want to stay up to date with everything that is happening at Christ Church Cathedral? Check out the Weekly GPS, an e-newsletter sent out every Friday that includes all the upcoming (virtual) offerings at the cathedral.
Connecting with The Episcopal Church
Presiding Bishop Curry Joins Denominational Leaders in Amicus Brief before Supreme Court 
in support of rights of same-sex couples and the appropriate place of religious liberty
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry has joined the leaders of other major religious groups in signing as a friend of the court brief in support of the City of Philadelphia in Fulton v. Philadelphia, a case now before the United States Supreme Court. He has done so to affirm the commitment of The Episcopal Church to both equal protection of the law for LGBTQ persons and appropriate protections for religious liberty.

www.episcopalnewsservice.org
UTO November Gratitude Challenge Materials Now Available
UTO
Each November, the United Thank Offering (UTO) invites all Episcopalians to join us in focusing in on gratitude for 30 days, and this year is no different. The November Gratitude Challenge booklet, available now in English and Spanish for download here, can easily be used by individuals, small groups, or congregations. 

www.episcopalchurch.org
ENS logo
Follow the latest news of The Episcopal Church at Episcopal News Service: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org
Connecting with job opportunities
Bethany School
Grace Church, College Hill
Bethany School
See all job opportunities at https://episcopaliansinconnection.org/job-opportunities/. Need a job posted? Send your information to communication@diosohio.org.
Like what you read?
Forward this email to a friend, and encourage them to sign up to receive e-Connections!