In this Issue:
A Letter from Calvary's Rector and Associate + What we can do next

New Facilities Manager

Photos: Honoring the memory of George Floyd & Calvary celebrates Pentecost




Beautify our Grounds - sign up

Survey Results & Tentative Phased Return Date

Virtual Coffee Hour Link

Prayer List
A Letter from Calvary's Rector and Associate 

Dear Calvary Parish,

Tell me what to do.

What do I do next?

These are the two overwhelming responses I ( Allison ) have received as protests and riots have erupted and tensions flared around our nation since the killing of George Floyd. The people of Calvary want to know, “what do we do next?”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is calling on the Episcopal Church to do this: Think , Pray . Act .

I ( Allison ) have found myself over these past 11 days fixed to the news, filled with outrage and, at times, on the verge of weeping. These are responses I have been taught are “not proper” and “don’t serve me well” as a white woman in leadership. 

But this is what I am feeling. And it’s what I’m hearing many of you are feeling, too.

“If there’s a place for tolerance in racial healing, perhaps it has to do with tolerating my own feelings of discomfort that arise when a person, of any color, expresses emotion not welcome in the culture of niceness. It also has to do with tolerating my own feelings of shame, humiliation, regret, anger, and fear so I can engage, not run. For me, tolerance is not about others, it’s about accepting my own uncomfortable emotions as I adjust to a changing view of myself as imperfect and vulnerable. As human.”  – Debby Irving, “Waking Up White”

Engage, don’t run. These are powerful words that have accompanied me ( Olivia ) on my journey to unpack and dismantle the racism within me and around me since I first read them about five years ago. Irving reminds us that to be perfect is not the goal, but instead it is our obligation to “show up” to the conversation, messy and real and raw as we may feel. Our faith in Jesus Christ, I think, can help us in this regard. Yes, Jesus models what it looks like to stand in solidarity with the poor, oppressed, and persecuted. But what’s more, Jesus sees us in our vulnerability – in our humanness – and loves us unconditionally just as we are.

This unconditional love is not simply an invitation to the pure comfort of knowing God’s grace. It is rather an invitation to step into the discomfort of the unknown with the assurance that we are held in God’s love and strengthened by grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

As a predominately white parish, we believe we have the moral obligation to renounce the forces of evil – namely racism and white supremacy – that terrorize our black siblings and impinge on their spiritual, physical, and mental wellbeing. However, we must do so, as the Prayer Book instructs “not only with our lips but with our lives.”

After all, the prophet Micah calls us to “do justice” and “love kindness,” not just to sit back and hope that someone else will make justice a reality. In a world where there is temptation to tune out and turn away,  we believe we ought to be compelled to call each other  in  rather than calling each other  out . No individual among us, your priests included, has all of the answers.

Instead, we can explore our discomfort, our sadness, our confusion and hopes together, as one body knitted together in Christ. And as we engage in this work, we are not starting from scratch. We bring to it the spiritual gifts that make us who we are as a community– gifts of prayer and passion, gifts of faith and formation. 

So many at Calvary are committed to the practice of lifelong learning.  You are invited to Bishop Curry's challenge to Think. Pray. Act. Join us in an upcoming book study of Debby Irving’s book,  Waking Up White . Hopefully this will be an opportunity to hear one woman's story of deeper understanding and to uncover our own story around race. Through that process, we will discern toward what “next steps” God is calling us.

The author of Waking Up White , Debby Irving, is "coming to Calvary" virtually in July. Calvary will host a special workshop via Zoom where she will give us tools for transformation that will make a difference in the world.
Save the Date for Saturday morning, July 18 for the workshop.

As Christians, we have made a Covenant with God in our baptism to continue to learn, resist evil, spread Good News, love our neighbor, and seek justice and peace for every human being. We do not have all of the answers, but we do have the ability to work to fulfill what we have promised we will do. And we do this knowing that none of it is possible without God's help.

Faithfully,

The Reverend Allison English , Rector
The Reverend Olivia Hamilton , Rector Associate
A Response from
Miriam McKenney

Calvary's Youth Minister
Thank you, Rev. Allison and Rev. Olivia, for initiating in the essential work toward racial reconciliation and healing. For us to realize the beloved community that God dreams of for all of us, white people must do the brave work the Presiding Bishop set out for us: Learn, Pray, Act. I'll be here to walk alongside you, talk with you, and pray for you as you endeavor in this work. 

Peace, 
miriam 
Gary Garmon
Welcome Calvary's new Facility Manager Gary Garmon. Gary comes to Calvary with a wealth of experience and knowledge about buildings . Gary was the building manager for Tender Mercies for over 20 years. If you see a building issue email Gary at Gary@calvaryclifton.org.
Calvary honoring the memory of George Floyd and all those who have been persecuted.
Calvary celebrates the Feast of Pentecost See the photos below
To watch the service click here.
Click to read the Sermon and see the Slides
Clean Up Calvary Grounds

Every spring, we usually have a shared workday to clean up Calvary's Grounds, and keep it looking nice and healthy.

This year, volunteer to take an area of the grounds and come and take care of it on your own time. If you see others, take care to physically distance yourselves. Enjoy the sun and fresh air and beautify our church grounds!

 Select Areas (area of Calvary property) to adopt and Sign-up to water, de-weed and prune that area for the summer. ONLY 7 AREAS left to claim.
All Areas are marked with a sign & instructions.
Please review the available Areas below and click on the button below to sign up. Thank you!

(and a special thanks to Helene Ault and Tom Bible for coordinating the areas)
Tentative Phased Return to
On-site Worship
The Calvary Church Vestry Re-Open Team has determined Ju ly 12 as our tentative re-open date - for Sunday worship only. Our PRIMARY worship will continue ONLINE at 10:30 AM. In-person worship with significant restrictions and a carefully-disinfected worship space will be offered at alternative times (to be announced).

Dramatic preparations, restrictions, and changes to worship are required of us by the Diocese of Southern Ohio.

Coffee Hour, Sunday school, weekday offerings, and all outside groups will continue either online or to be on hiatus until further notice.

Here are the survey results from two weeks ago:

We received 64 surveys. Of those responses:

94% of respondents have attended online worship in the last 12 weeks.

19 of you have participated in Bible Study or a small group on Zoom for church in the last 12 weeks.

14% of respondents indicated it was likely you would return to worship as soon as we re-open. Over half of respondents would return if strict safety precautions were in place.

61% of respondents are in a high-risk group for serious health issues from COVID-19

90% of you said you would not be comfortable bringing someone to church in the high-risk category (50% of those respondents said there would have to be strict safety precautions in place).

We asked if you would be comfortable doing certain things that are similar to being in pews inside the church:
One of the 64 respondents said they would be comfortable going to the movie theatre.
Two of the 64 respondents said they would be comfortable eating in a restaurant.
None of the 64 respondents are willing to ride in an airplane yet.

The biggest deterrents from respondents deciding to return to worship include:
  • The prohibition of singing/choir (25%)
  • The requirement to wear a mask over your mouth and nose (20%)
  • Just not comfortable returning at this time period (54%)

This week, a Vestry-led team is convening to continue working through the extensive checklist of items we must complete before re-opening the church to a modified way to provide safe on-site, in-person worship.

We will keep you updated on what to expect as we prepare to return to worship in carefully-discerned phases.
Sunday Virtual
Coffee Hour

Virtual Coffee Hour will take place via Zoom this Sunday, following the 10:30 service. To join the coffee hour follow this link . For instructions on how to access the meeting, click here ,

You can also access a Facebook group to talk with other Calvary members and get updates from the parish. To join that group, click here
The Benevolence Fund

The Rector and Vestry of Calvary Parish have established The Benevolence Fund.

For some of us, our day-to-day ability to live and work has not changed beyond adjusting to the stay-at-home order.

For others, COVID-19 has devastated our livelihood.

For those with abundance, you're invited to give.

For those in time of trial, you're invited to receive.

Please notify the rector of any need for housing, medications, or utilities expenses you will struggle to meet Rev. Allison . The Benevolence Team will blindly review requests and one-time payments will be made.

UPDATE : We have been able to assist with two requests to date. The Benevolence Fund team blindly reviewed and approved the requests.

To donate, please send checks to:

Calvary Episcopal Church
3766 Clifton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45220
(in memo: Benevolence Fund)

or CLICK HERE to donate.
This week we pray:

For those on our Parish Prayer List 
Zora, Ebony, Amanda, Jack, Mary, Ruth, John, Susan, Roger Percer, Renee Kenegy, Gloria Marshall, Troy, Mary Springer, Julie & Josh, Florence, Mae, Rachel, Leo and Sally

For Homebound Parishioners
Mary Ann Bragg, Richard Sininger, Joan Sievers, Paul McCauley, Hazel Ison, Hedda von Goeben

Send your prayer requests to Rev. Allison
Prayer requests are spoken aloud in worship for two weeks / kept on prayer list for two months. Keep us updated for long-term requests.

If you have a pastoral need, please contact the
Rector, The Rev. Allison English at 513-401-5781
or Rector Associate, The Rev. Olivia Hamilton at 513-236-0526.
Calvary Episcopal Church | 513-861-4437 | calvaryclifton@fuse.net