September 15, 2020
Countdown to convention
Voting on SB 317 may be this week

SB 317, a pending bill to arm untrained teachers and staff, may be voted on Thursday, September 17. If you think untrained teachers and staff should not be armed in schools, please contact Senator Larry Obhof, President of the Ohio Senate, right away at http://ohiosenate.gov/senators/obhof/contact to ask him to NOT schedule a vote on this bill, which passed out of committee two weeks ago.
Phone calls are very effective. Senator Obhof’s office phone is (614) 466-7505. 

More background on the bill is given here
New resources on safe voting

Common Cause of Ohio has put out county-specific flyers on how to follow up on your absentee ballot request and how to submit your ballot successfully in the 24/7 drop box at your County Board of Elections or by mailing it. Each flyer gives the address of the county’s Board of Elections office. 

The Nonpartisan Ohio Voter Outreach Committee (NOVOC) created a great flyer on College Student Voting Rights, including a link to NOVOV events and training.

Links to these flyers can be found here.
#StandWithOhio: Tell Gov. DeWine to reject Stand Your Ground

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later. License to Kill. Kill at Will.
say no to stand your ground
Stand Your Ground laws are known by all of these names. Across the U.S. at least 25 states already have Stand Your Ground laws on the books. Unless we act now, Ohio might be next.

The name “Stand Your Ground” begs the question — whose ground? When we look at the murders of Ahmaud Arbery or Trayvon Martin, the answer is clear: These laws embolden reckless gun owners to shoot first, ask questions later, then claim self-defense to avoid being held responsible for killing another individual. They can be used to protect white vigilantism and justify violence against people of color.

Join the Community Justice Action Fund in signing your name to #StandWithOhio and show Gov. DeWine that the entire nation is watching! Learn more
Equitable Voter Access: The Long Road to Access – Are We There Yet?

Join an incredible panel of Ohio’s leading advocacy organizations for an intersectional discussion exploring the long hard road for voter access within traditionally marginalized communities. What unique pathways have been cleared… what specific barriers remain… and how do we use the hard won victories of the past to propel us into the future.

Monday, September 21, 7 p.m.
Equitable Voter Access flyer
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Food for the Soul

Please join the Transfiguration Spirituality Center for a complimentary carry-out style grill-out in the parking lot on Wednesday, September 16. We will be serving grilled chicken with house BBQ sauce from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or until all the food is gone. Voter registration and absentee ballot applications will also be available. Please stay healthy in mind, body and soul by wearing a mask and following social distancing guidelines. The meal is free for anyone - so bring your friends!

The Center is located at 495 Albion Ave. in Glendale.
Becoming Beloved Community
Anti-Racism Sunday Sept. 20
Anti-Racism Sunday
In an effort to help Christians demonstrate Christ’s love and vision of unity and justice in Ohio and beyond, the Ohio Council of Churches is asking churches across Ohio to declare this Sunday, September 20, 2020, as Anti-Racism Sunday.

Anti-Racism Sunday will be an opportunity for Christians to declare in the clearest and most decisive ways, that racism is a sin, an affront to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and is a clear and present danger to African Americans, all People of Color, and to all who desire a future of peace and progress for all. Through worship, learning, and fellowship on Anti-Racism Sunday, participating Christians will draw upon the teachings of Jesus Christ to commit themselves to working with other Christians and people of other faiths to detect, disrupt, and dismantle racism in all its forms.

“Anti-Racism Sunday is open to all churches whether members of the Ohio Council of Churches or not,” says the Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., the Council’s executive director. “It will be a defining moment when we Christians acknowledge that while not everyone who fights racism must be Christian, everyone who is Christian must fight racism. It is the simple yet complex truth behind this effort.”

Indicate your support of Anti-Racism Sunday and find worship resources at https://www.ohcouncilchs.org/anti_racism_sunday
Formation opportunities for Becoming Beloved Community
Becoming Beloved Community Teach-Ins: History; Stories; Invitations
Oct 1, 8, 15 (7-8:30 pm)
Are you interested in learning more about Becoming Beloved Community – the history and its purpose? Are you curious about how people are engaging in the work of racial healing and justice, rooted in the Way of Love? Are you longing to be in community with other people of faith and followers of Jesus to explore where God is calling you in this work right now? Join this series of Teach-Ins – for any or all of it – to learn, share, and connect.
More information including how to register is forthcoming and can be found at dsobeloved.org. Questions? Contact ahowton@diosohio.org
Conversations on Race and Faith: The Sacred Ground Curriculum
Beginning Sunday, October 18 (meets bi-weekly on Sundays for ten sessions)
Are you interested in learning about the history of race and racism in America and the impact it has on our lives, our church, our world today with other people of faith from across our diocese? Join an online cohort to explore a rich curriculum – using film and readings – focused on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian Pacific Americans as their histories intersect with European American history. This series, developed by The Episcopal Church and Katrina Browne, director of the documentary Traces of the Trade, has been especially designed to help white people engage in conversation about the history of race in America. While it’s been designed for white people, all are welcome. 
Advent Way of Love series: Journeying the Way of Love
Dec 2, 9, 16, 23 (7-8:30 pm)

Join this sacred circle to explore the Way of Love, spiritual practices that comprise one of the Four-Fold paths of Becoming Beloved Community. These practices root justice-making, healing, and reconciliation in the Way of Love. 
        
    For more information, visit http://dsobeloved.org.
    Subscribe to biweekly newsletters, always full of resources and upcoming events/opportunities, at http://dsobeloved.org/subscribe/
    Join us on Facebook: DSO Becoming Beloved Community
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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@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 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.
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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.
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.
Repeat announcements
Benefits for active church employees and retirees
Hearing Aid benefits will be included in all health insurance plans offered in 2021.

Active Health Plan Members 
Effective January 1, 2021, active members enrolled in Episcopal Medical Trust Health Insurance plans will have access to a hearing aid benefit allowance. Members can access a network of healthcare professionals who are able to prescribe and supply hearing aid devices. The benefit allowance will be a maximum benefit of $1,500 per ear every three years. (This will be a replacement to the Amplifon hearing aid device discount that CPG has provided).

Retiree Medicare Supplement Plan Members 
Retirees enrolled in the Medical Trust Medicare Supplement Health Plans currently have a hearing aid benefit. Beginning in 2021, Comprehensive and Plus plan members will receive a higher benefit maximum more frequently—$1,500 per ear every three years (currently $1,000 per ear every five years). Our Premium plan members will have the same benefit maximum of $2,000 per ear at an increased frequency of every three years (currently every five years). Retirees enrolled in the Medical Trust Medicare Supplement Health Plan will continue to submit claims for eligible hearing aid device reimbursements to United Healthcare.
Open enrollment periods

Open enrollment period for the employer option for disability insurance for plan year 2021 continues to October 7, 2020. 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.

No other changes in plan coverages are anticipated for 2021 from Episcopal Medical Trust and please look for plan rate information for 2021 in the next several weeks.

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.
Connecting with The Episcopal Church
Office of Government Affairs resources on election messaging
vote faithfully sticker
The Episcopal Church Office of Government Affairs is now a partner with National Voter Registration Day, September 22. Encourage people in your ministry to register to vote! If you’re having a formal online/in-person event, consider registering it on their website. More information and resources: https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/

The Government Affairs Office is also now a partner with National Vote Early Day, October 24! They have some great, easy to use resources to advertise this day and encourage voting early. You may want to consider joining them as an official partner as well.

Other resources
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Follow the latest news of The Episcopal Church at Episcopal News Service: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org
Job opportunities
Diocese of Southern Ohio
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.
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