January 5, 2021
Amending bylaws for virtual annual meetings
Diocesan Chancellor Joe Dehner offers the following language that can be used by congregations that need to amend their bylaws to allow for a virtual annual meeting:

Meetings of members of the congregation, of the vestry and of other committees within the congregation may occur in person, by digital or virtual means, or by a combination thereof, subject to implementing reasonable measures to allow each participating person to hear (or otherwise be informed about) comments and information available to those attending in person and to participate by voice or other means of oral or written communication available to those attending in person.

The chancellor is available to review parish bylaws if leadership is unsure if an amendment is needed. You can contact Chancellor Dehner at jdehner@fbtlaw.com.
Epiphany Zine new resource for congregations, individuals; small group study begins January 6
Epiphany Zine cover
The diocesan formation team, in partnership with some amazing artists, writers, and the Noon Service community at Christ Church Cathedral, is offering an Epiphany Zine (pronounced zeen) as a resource to congregations and individuals.

What is a zine? It’s basically a self-published booklet on a topic not mainstream. And this zine is all about celebrating Epiphany, with a nod toward helping individuals, families, small groups, and congregations recognizing the presence of Christ within us and among us.

Tactile, aesthetic, pious, and a little bit alternative, this zine will help make Epiphany (and the 41 days after) a truly illuminating season.

For information on how to receive your own copy of the zine (coming soon) and to learn more about how to use this resource in your family, small group, or parish, please visit https://episcopaliansinconnection.org/epiphanyzine2021/ or watch the video below.
PLUS: Join us in this Epiphany season in a small group connecting people across the diocese as we seek to recognize the presence of Christ within us and among us. This group will use the Epiphany zine resource mentioned above. We will engage in spiritual practices, bible study and brief liturgies that will make this Epiphany a truly illuminating season. 

We will meet Wednesday evenings, January 6 through February 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Co-led by the Rev. Canon Jane Gerdsen and the Rev. Jason Oden. Click here to sign up.
Lawrence Home Association’s Academic Grant for Minority Women program
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.

An eight-member board of women, appointed by the bishop, meets once a year to vote on recommendations for academic grants for minority women, scholarships for clergy daughters and funding for social-service agencies whose mission is to serve women of limited means and help them move out of conditions related 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.

The association expects to make eight grants in 2021. The application deadline is March 15, 2021. All applicants for the 2021-22 grant period will be selected by April 15, 2021, and notified by May 15 about the status of their applications. To obtain an application, go online to https://episcopaliansinconnection.org/financial-assistance-2/
Grace through the works of Jane Austen
Join the Community of the Transfiguration's Spirituality Center via Zoom for a journey that uses the life and writing of Jane Austen as inspiration for us today. Those who register by January 13 will receive a retreat 'goodie bag' to assist with setting the space for your Zoom retreat experience.

Retreat will be Friday January 22 from 1.30 to 4 p.m. and Saturday, January 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (including time for tea and scones). Cost is $45, with scholarships available. Register at www.ctretreats.org/events.
United Thank Offering grant webinars
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The United Thank Offering (UTO) will offer two webinars next week regarding the 2021 grant process:

  • Tuesday, January 12, at noon Eastern
  • Tuesday, January 12, at 7 p.m. Eastern

The due date for submission of grant applications to the diocesan UTO coordinator, the Rev. Mary Carson, is February 15, 2021 for screening prior to the bishop or standing committee signing the required authorization form.

Advocacy: Where do we stand?
Episcopal Shield
The Episcopal Church Office of Governmental Relations (OGR) helps Episcopalians understand the positions on issues derived from resolutions passed by General Convention and the Executive Council. These summaries, as well as the original resolutions, prepared by the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) guide our diocesan advocacy agenda. 

If you are interested in becoming more involved in advocacy work, sign up to receive email updates from EPPN at eppn@episcopalchurch.org and stay in touch with diocesan actions through the Rev. Canon Lee Anne Reat lareat@diosohio.org or Ariel Miller arielmillerwriter@gmail.com. Ariel also provides weekly advocacy briefings in the Becoming Beloved Community section below.

Creation Care: The Episcopal Church supports policies that protect the natural resources that sustain all life on Earth. In recognition that loving God and our neighbor includes caring for God’s creation and the environment where our neighbor lives, OGR advocates for policies that protect the natural world and that promote a healthy, clean, and safe environment for all. Our advocacy includes greenhouse gas emission reduction, a just transition away from fossil fuel energy, and safeguards to protect clean water and clean air. 

Racial Reconciliation: OGR challenges long-established policies that perpetuate systemic racism and injustice and strives to change legislation that continues to harm Black and Indigenous communities and other communities of color. The Episcopal Church aims to bring a perspective of transformation to public policy to heal communities that have been the most marginalized and discriminated against.

Ending Poverty: OGR advocates for policies that will eliminate poverty and help people live with dignity, both in the U.S. and internationally. OGR advocates for federal programs that provide development assistance and humanitarian relief, including education and healthcare initiatives, as well as support for social safety net programs, care for veterans, and other U.S.-focused anti-poverty initiatives. 

Immigration and Refugees: We advocate for comprehensive immigration reform through policies that respect the dignity and worth of every human being. OGR works to protect the human rights and safety of refugees by supporting the refugee resettlement work of Episcopal Migration Ministries and advocating for robust refugee resettlement policies.

Human Rights and Peacebuilding: The Church supports legislation and policies that protect human rights and prevent atrocities, promote gender justice, and build peace. OGR partners with non-U.S. Episcopal dioceses and provinces throughout the Anglican Communion to work towards justice.
Becoming Beloved Community
Legislative advocacy briefing
Ohio Statehouse
Today's briefing, compiled by Becoming Beloved Community leadership team member Ariel Miller, features

Legislature passes SB 33, Governor must now decide
  • SB 33 escalates criminal charges on fossil fuel protesters and threatens religious organizations or nonprofits that support such demonstrations with crushing fines
Gun bill updates
  • SB 175 allows people to use lethal force anywhere they are legally present if they feel they are in danger, even if they have a safe option to retreat. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law yesterday.
  • The Ohio Legislature passed three criminal justice reform bills, which have now gone to the Governor for his decision
2019-20 Legislature fails to act on HB 6
  • The Ohio House could not reach a consensus on what to do about the 2019 nuclear bailout bill at the heart of the $61 million-dollar federal bribery and racketeering case against former Ohio Speaker Larry Householder, so they took no action on any of the pending bills to repeal or delay the bill.

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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 http://dsobeloved.org.

Click here to subscribe to the Becoming Beloved Community newsletter
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 in January. Currently these free concerts are being live streamed via Facebook on Tuesdays at 12:10 p.m.

Jan 5: Christina Hazen, mezzo soprano
Jan 12: Noyse Merchants
Jan 19: UC College-Conservatory of Music Organ Students
Jan 26: Rebecca Culnan, violin; Daniel Culnan, piano
Epiphany image
An Epiphany Procession

Sunday, Jan 10
5 p.m.

Pre-service organ recital, 4:30 p.m.
Join us for a service of Scripture, prayer and music that reflects on the three Epiphany mysteries: the revelation of the Christ child to the Magi, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, and the turning of water into wine at the wedding in Cana. The pre-service organ recital is given by cathedral organ scholar Stella O'Neill.

Link to livestream here
*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.
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Christ Church Cathedral is located at 318 E 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati. For more information, news and events, visit cincinnaticathedral.com.
Job opportunities
Bethany School
Christ Church Cathedral
See all job opportunities at https://episcopaliansinconnection.org/job-opportunities/. Need a job posted? Send your information to communication@diosohio.org.
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