December 8, 2020
Discerning a call to ordained ministry? Explorers info session this weekend!
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Are you discerning a call to ordained ministry? In the past, the first engagement with the Commission on Ministry (CoM) for someone exploring a call to ordained ministry has been the Explorers’ Retreat, held at the end of January. This year, because of the pandemic, the CoM has restructured the Explorers’ Retreat, dividing it into two parts, both conducted via Zoom.   

The first part is a two-hour informational session scheduled for Saturday, December 12, from 10 a.m. to noon. The session will cover the practical information you need to know about the process we use in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. It will also tell Explorers what they need to prepare and submit for the Explorers’ Retreat in January. Because of the informational nature of this session, there are no prerequisites to participate, but please register in advance so we can send you the Zoom link and associated information. This meeting is appropriate for the Explorers’ priests and the Explorers’ spouses to attend, in addition to the Explorers.   

There is no charge for this event. Registrations for the event can be found here. (Registration for the Explorers' Retreat can be found here.) If you have questions or need more information, contact Sherri Martin, Assistant to the Canons, at or Spencer Pugh, Chair of the Commission on Ministry, at
New COVID-19 Resources
Quarantine recommendations
Strategic HR, the diocesan HR consultants, offers this new COVID-19 quarantine information:

As of December 2, 2020, the CDC has updated its quarantine recommendations in regards to individuals who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19. 

The CDC will now allow those who have come in contact with someone infected with the virus to resume normal activity after 10 days from the last exposure, or 7 days from the last exposure, if they receive a negative test result, as long as the exposed individual is asymptomatic. The exposed individual should still monitor for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.  Note, the CDC has made the recommendation to reduce the economic hardship and lessen stress on the public health system, however, ideally, 14 days is still preferred.  

Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for the quarantine period to minimize contact with others, and monitor for possible symptoms. Remember, the CDC defines exposure as within 6 feet, for a cumulative 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.  

However, anyone who has had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and meets ALL of the following criteria does NOT need to stay home.
·  Had COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months
·  Has recovered
·  Remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath)

A handy Response Chart for COVID-19 potential exposure/symptoms from Strategic HR has been posted on our COVID-19 Resources page.

Find COVID data by zip code
The COVID-19 Cases by ZIP Code Dashboard displays the most recent preliminary data reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) about cases and case rates per 100,000 population by ZIP Code of residence. This dashboard is updated daily. We've added a link to the dashboard on our COVID-19 Resources page.
Payroll services
A reminder to our congregations that if you are considering switching payroll processors, this is the time to get it done before the new year.

The diocese has secured a highly-recommended provider based out of Columbus called Strategic Payroll Solutions to provide payroll services to congregations and diocesan entities at a reduced rate. The cost factor is affordable for most every parish – up to five employees is $49.95 a month.

Learn more here, or contact the Rev. David Getreu, Associate for Financial Management and Oversight, at
Advent Quiet Morning

Begging Bowls: Opening Ourselves to the Present of Jesus' Presence
December 12, 2020
10:00am - 12:00pm

If in the midst of Advent, you would like a "time out" - a time of refreshment and renewal, or if you would like to be more aware of Jesus' presence in your life, Trinity Church on Capitol Square invites you to Advent Quiet Morning. 
The Rev. Margaret A. (Peg) Thomas, Ph.D. will be the guide for the Advent Quiet Day. A retired priest from the Diocese of Maine and former counseling psychologist, Peg first experienced quiet days while on retreat at the Society of Saint Margaret's, in Massachusetts. The retreats were 2-3 days set aside to be in quiet, to be present and open to God, to God's renewing and nourishing one's soul. Peg has led quiet days and retreats for congregations in Maine, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, and for deacons in formation in the Diocese of Maine.  

Be Still and Know: Young Adult Virtual Retreat Dec 17-18
Join us for 2020's Young Adult Virtual Retreat, Be Still and Know. Take a deep breath and escape the chaos of 2020 as we provide an array of opportunities to reconnect with yourself and God.

If you register at the link below by December 4, a care package to enhance the retreat will be shipped to you. Registrations received after Dec 4 will receive their care package after the retreat has ended.

Episcopal Relief & Development year-end match challenge
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Episcopal Relief & Development launched the organization’s annual Year-End Match Challenge on November 5. Thanks to a generous group of donors, all donations to the agency between now and December 31 will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $765,000.

“As Episcopal Relief & Development has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, we have remained fully committed to our ongoing development efforts,” said Robert W. Radtke, President & CEO, Episcopal Relief & Development. “This matching opportunity comes at a moment when it is deeply needed and I am immensely grateful to the generous donors who have offered it.”

The Year-End Match Challenge will benefit the organization’s Global Needs Fund, strengthening key programs in three priority areas: women, children and climate. Donations will enable work around the world with local partners, helping communities overcome poverty, hunger, disaster and disease. Matched gifts will also help as Episcopal Relief & Development continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with financial and technical support in the United States and around the world.
Contributions made to Episcopal Relief & Development before the end of the year are eligible for matching, including contributions online, over the phone, by mail or through Gifts for Life, the organization’s alternative giving catalog. Gifts of stock or from an IRA are also included in the Year-End Match Challenge.

“By giving a gift this holiday season, together we are honoring the hopes and dreams of children, women and families and strengthening the communities where they live, ” said Betsy Deisroth, Vice-President, Advancement, Episcopal Relief & Development. “I urge you to take advantage of this Year-End Match Challenge by making a generous gift to Episcopal Relief & Development.”

Between November 5 and December 31, eligible contributions up to $765,000 will be matched. Donate online at, or call 855.312.4325. Gifts can also be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.
Becoming Beloved Community
Legislative advocacy briefing
Ohio Statehouse
Becoming Beloved Community leadership team member Ariel Miller provides a list of legislative actions for which advocacy is critically important. This week:

  • Call on Governor DeWine to issue a new moratorium on evictions
  • Senate Hearing Dec. 9 on Stand Your Ground Bill. How to submit testimony
  • Arming untrained teachers (SB 317)
  • Zoom Letter-writing session on HB 784
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Follow the latest news and events related to The Episcopal Church's work on Becoming Beloved Community here in our diocese at

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Connecting with our cathedral
Music Live at Lunch

Music Live at Lunch, Christ Church Cathedral's weekly concert series, will feature these upcoming performances listed below. Currently these free concerts are being live streamed via Facebook on Tuesdays at 12:10 p.m.

Dec 15: Buffalo Ridge Jazz Band
Dec 22: Cathedral Choir with Elizabeth Motter (harp): Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols
Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols
Rescheduled date:
Sunday, December 13, 5 p.m.

An Advent Procession with Lessons and Carols, originally scheduled for November 29, was rescheduled to Dec. 13. The program will be live-streamed at 5 p.m at
Lessons and Carols compilation available Dec 12
Cincinnati-based recording artists will release a collection of well-loved Advent and Christmas hymns along with nine scripture readings from the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Contributors include Turtledoves, Michael Andrew, Brianna Kelly, Stephen Patota, Kim Taylor, Ellery, Adam Peterson, Brooklynn Hansley, and Bailey Miller. 

The compilation will be available for download via
on Saturday, December 12.
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols 

The Christ Church Cathedral choir will perform on Sunday, December 20, at 5 p.m. 

4:30 pm | Pre-service Recital (Stephan Casurella, organist)
5:00 pm | Lessons and Carols

Based on a beloved service offered at King's College in Cambridge, England, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols takes an imaginative approach to liturgy, weaving together scripture and song, moving from prophecy to fulfillment, to tell the story of the birth of Jesus.
*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 ( for updates throughout the season.
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Christ Church Cathedral is located at 318 E 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati. For more information, news and events, visit
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