A message from the bishop to clergy and wardens
My dear clergy and wardens,

In my recent request that public services be avoided for the time being, I neglected to consider the matter of funerals. So let me clarify: the dead must be commended to God with dignity and with consideration for those who grieve, especially family members. I ask that funeral services be conducted with attention to all necessary precautions, including the observance of social distance, no eating or drinking together, and no administration of Holy Communion, until further notice. Officiating clergy should take special care to wash hands frequently and make generous use of hand sanitizers. All surfaces in the place of worship should be thoroughly cleaned before and after the service, whether it is a church or a funeral home. 

God willing, this pandemic will eventually pass, at which time there will be ample opportunity for follow-up memorial services attended by many more people.

It saddens me to call for these restrictions, but, as has become abundantly clear to me, we must do everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. Please know how grateful I am for your courageous, faithful and conscientious ministry. 

Blessings,

(The Rt. Rev.) Thomas E.Breidenthal, D.Phil.
Connecting with staff
We are doing all we can to make it easy to continue to connect with the bishop's staff as we work remotely for the next two weeks. The easiest way to reach all staff members is via email or by calling their direct dial numbers  listed on our  website or at this link .

Please note: In our haste to get it posted, the directory linked in yesterday's e-Connections had a few typographical errors. These have been corrected on the document linked above.
COVID-19 Resources
Communications teams from around the Episcopal Church have been diligently curating lists of resources to support and inform the church during this time of crisis. Here are just a few new ones we have found:

VIRTUAL weekly Lenten Bible Study via Zoom
In the current climate of uncertainty when it can feel like things are being taken away from our everyday lives, the diocese would like to give something back - a thoughtful study of the Psalms, a way of receiving and understanding the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

This will be a three- week virtual (via Zoom video conferencing) study, led by diocesan clergy. You will meet on the same day each week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays) from 7-8 p.m. Register at https://dsoepiscopal.org/lenten-bible-study/. An email with video conferencing instructions will be sent upon registration. Space is limited, so register today!
Tech + Space Holding: Zoom training
At this time when people are rapidly and in many cases involuntarily virtualizing their meetings and interactions, we feel called to share our deep knowledge of building true human connection through Zoom.

Join  Becoming Beloved Community  Coordinator Amy Howton , along with group facilitator and consultant  Andy Swindler  to learn the technology of Zoom (it’s easy, we promise!) + practice the Art of Hosting space and dialogue virtually.

We’ll practice social connection in a time of social distancing. More info and link to RSPV is here:  https://feelreal.net/calendar/zoom-training-tech-space-holding/
Tell us your stories!
One bright spot in this gloomy time of fear and uncertainty is hearing the many stories of how faith communities are coming up with creative and innovative ways to stay connected. What has your church been doing that's fun or unique? Tell us about it - we would love to share all your creative ideas! Send your stories (along with pictures or screen shots) to communication@diosohio.org and we will share them in future newsletters.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Social distancing and quarantine are life-saving measures that reduce the impacts of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, however; they also can be challenging for many people.

Join with the US Disaster Program, the Rev. Dr. Pamela Cooper-White and Bishop Chilton Knudsen in a conversation around family/partner violence, substance use and mental health as they relate to the current pandemic.
March 20, 2020
3 PM EDT/ 2 CDT/1 MDT/12 PDT

Bishop's Lenten Series begins tonight
Although the "live audience" has been cancelled, the bishop's Lenten series at Christ Church Cathedral will still be live streamed as scheduled.

Whose Property is it Anyway? will be presented at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, March 18, 25, and April 1 at 7 p.m.

You can find the link to the presentation on the home page of the diocesan website or here.
Coronavirus webinar
Join Ohio Council of Churches and Faith in Public Life for their monthly policy webinar on Thursday, March 19 at 12 noon. This month's topic has been changed to the coronavirus updates and tools.

The webinar will include strategies to support your local faith communities, obtain accurate information about how the coronavirus is affecting marginalized communities, and discuss valuable messaging for faith communities in this time. Everyone is invited. 

Doing church during COVID-19
If your congregation doesn’t currently stream its services, the absolutely easiest way to do it is through Facebook live. Here is a great link to get you started:  https://blog.techsoup.org/posts/how-to-broadcast-a-facebook-live-event-in-5-easy-steps

If the prospect of streaming seems overwhelming, feel free to watch other churches' streams - we are, after all, one church! A list of the live streams that we are aware of is available on our Doing Church during COVID-19 resource page of our website. ( If you are doing a live stream and are not on our list please send the info to us ASAP. Be sure to include the days and times you will be streaming. )

Make sure to check our coronavirus resource page often for updates as we receive them.