The News and Information Resource of




(This is the statement I shared at the March for Fair Maps)


I am pleased to represent the 18 Christian denominations and multiple thousands of Ohio Christians who together form the Ohio Council of Churches, a 104-year-old statewide Jesus Christ movement for unity, justice, and peace.


Central to our shared convictions is our belief that Jesus Christ came to give abundant life, a flourishing life, to all of humanity. We must note he did not confer life only to conservatives, nor did he provision life just for progressives. Jesus lovingly gives abundant life to people of all parties, communities, backgrounds, and ZIP codes. All means all.


Yet, we are here today, in fact we must be here today, because in Ohio there exists a clear and present danger to abundant life for certain segments of our great state. This is an affront to the flourishing of particular communities in our state. It is an orchestrated attempt to cancel the God-given human dignity of selected people in our state, all for the sake of reserving power for some and restricting power for others. This danger, this affront, and this attempted cancelation of human dignity is called gerrymandering.


Gerrymandering occurs when politicians and parties in possession of leftover and moldy, museum-worthy ideas seek to elevate these unpopular positions and the people behind them by using ill-gotten political power to surgically design and carve voting districts that enable them to choose their voters and thus ensure their electoral success. 


All of this while muting the voices, diluting the votes, and thus trampling the aspirations of people who are not in their preferred districts, most often Black people.


To anyone with a functioning moral compass and a grade-school sense of right and wrong, gerrymandering is an immoral and unethical use of power that threatens democracy. It is a danger to abundant living, and it is an affront to human flourishing as offered through Jesus Christ.


As people of Christian faith, the Ohio Council of Churches calls for the rejection of Frankenstein-like, court-canceled, gerrymandered legislative maps in Ohio and for the crafting of fair legislative maps that place decision-making power exactly where it belongs: with people of all ZIP codes and communities across this magnificent land. 


We call for fair maps from Cleveland to Cincinnati and from Findlay to Frankfort. Fair maps from Youngstown to Yellow Springs and Columbus to Coshocton. Fair maps from Ashtabula to Athens and East Palestine to East Cleveland. Let there be fair maps for all of Ohio!

With hope,


Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr.

Executive Director

The Ohio Council of Churches

It’s not too late to register – and much gratitude to those who are joining us on Thursday, Sept. 28 for this sensitive but necessary collaborative exchange between the powerful minds of faith leaders and behavioral health professionals.


Collaboratively, both provide support to individuals, families, and communities. In the spirit of Help, Health, Healing and Hope, it is critical for all faith communities in Columbus and Franklin County to learn more about how to save a life and how to properly respond to their communities when a life has been lost to suicide. Ensuring that our faith communities are equipped with suicide prevention and postvention practices is a priority. Engaging in this manner provides an evidence-based learning opportunity for immediate and ongoing support to prepare those responding to a person at risk and communities searching for healing after a loss by suicide. The question is not what happens “if”; we are here to address the reality of what happens “when” suicide occurs.


Our morning session will begin with Question. Persuade. Refer. (QPR), a suicide prevention training. QPR will be co-facilitated by Dr. Howard T. Washington, Senior Pastor of the historical Second Baptist Church and Dr. Ameena (“Dr. K.”) Kemavor, ADAMH Vice President of Advocacy and Engagement. Following the lunch hour, our cups will be filled with the expertise of suicide postvention in faith-based communities by Denise Meine-Graham, C.T. TRCC, Founder and Director Emerita, LOSS Community Services.


This full-day engagement is open to faith leaders and professionals who are committed to this important work, or perhaps even curious soldiers. In addition to your attendance, please share this opportunity with others you believe will also benefit from this time of interactive learning and sharing. You do not want to miss this life-saving experience!

Heart of Ohio Family Health - James B. Feibel Center

5000 E. Main Street

Columbus, Ohio 43213


Please RSVP by Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.


Registration and menu selection link can be found here.


Additional information is on the ADAMH website.



Ohio’s redistricting saga continues with a stalled Ohio Redistricting Commission hearing, a canceled hearing on another day, and a second petition rejection from Attorney General Dave Yost.

More than a year after being ordered to draw new legislative maps, the Ohio Redistricting Commission finally reconvened, only to gavel out immediately after swearing in. Gov. DeWine and the Commission couldn’t accomplish anything because the leaders of the Ohio House and Senate were jostling over who the co-chairs of the Commission should be. A scheduled morning meeting was canceled because majority members of the Ohio House and Senate still couldn’t agree on a co-chair.

What’s Next? Join in the Fight for Redistricting Reform!

A Policy Deep Dive with former Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor  on Sept. 28 at noon.

A Petition Circulation Training on Oct. 17 at 6 pm.

A Petition Circulation Training on Oct. 26 at noon.

Click the links to register.

We are just beginning the citizen initiative process. We will be out collecting the third round of 1,000 signatures to launch Citizens Not Politicians early next week. It’s a long road, but with your help, and the help of every Ohioan who cares about fair elections and a functional democracy, we will achieve fair maps and fair elections for Ohio!

Thank you for all you do,

Catherine Turcer and the Common Cause Ohio Team

Common Cause Ohio

P.O. Box 20799

Columbus, OH 43220



Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023 6:30-7:30 P.M. ET

Join us on World Day Against the Death Penalty (Oct. 10) for a gathering of Christians from across the country to spend time praying about the state and federal death penalty in our country. Together we will lament, find hope, and equip ourselves to prayerfully move toward being a nation where we break cycles of violence. This will be a space of power, peace, and prayer, one where we'll also partner with many companion in-person prayer events across our nation. JOIN US HERE.

The OHIO VOTER RIGHTS COALITION offers several resources to help ensure our elections are modern, secure. and accessible to all Ohioans. These resources include:

Election Protection Recruitment Toolkit


Petition Booklet Circulator Training


Voters Rights Weekly Check-In


For the third time since 2020, the Ohio Council of Churches is asking Ohio congregations to join together in publicly declaring racism to be a sin. With Oct. 15, 2023 identified as “Anti-Racism Sunday,” members of Ohio congregations will use prayers, sermons, litanies, and lessons to make it clear that racism is a sin and is not compatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ. They will also use this particular Sunday to share at least one congregational ministry or service through which racism is being disrupted or dismantled.


“We believe Jesus came to offer abundant life, a flourishing life to all of humanity," said the Council’s Executive Director Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr. “Racism is a public health threat that is in clear and active opposition to the values and vision of Jesus Christ. We Christians are compelled by the love of God to detect, disrupt, and dismantle racism in all of its forms.”


With reports of racism-motivated domestic terrorism on the increase, the Council feels that now is the time for Christians of all races and ZIP codes to speak up and act out against racism, as motivated by the love of God.  

"The command of Christ to notice and respond to the ache of our neighbors compels us to undo the effects of our country's long history of racism. This requires acknowledging its enduring reality and also working concretely to transform systems that perpetuate its effects in the lives of so many," said Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins, the Council’s Governing Board President and Conference Minister of the Heartland Conference of the United Church of Christ. “Anti-Racism Sunday gifts us with a sacred pause to remember, reflect, and recommit to this vital work."


The Council’s Anti-Racism Team has produced a list of anti-racism worship resources for use on Oct. 15 and beyond. It can be found here.  In addition, the Team will offer a pre-recorded anti-racism-themed worship service featuring a sermon by noted Baptist pastor and justice advocate Rev. Dr. Renee Wormack-Keels. “We are pleased to announce that our recorded Anti-Racism worship service will be available on Oct. 9 via the Council’s Facebook page and website,” said Cheryl Cattledge, co-convener of the Anti-Racism Team. 


To register your congregation for the October 15 observance of Anti-Racism Sunday, please use this link.


How has your congregation confronted racism? What anti-racism stories can you share? If your congregation has anti-racism experiences to share, please send them to the Council at


"The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail declared himself an extremist for love, truth, goodness, and justice,” said Rev. Dr. Amariah McIntosh, the Council’s Associate Director. "On Anti-Racism Sunday, let all Ohioans declare that they are joining Dr. King in being a non-violent extremist to eliminate every vestige of racism in our society."


For more information, you can send a message to Deanna Fouchè-Baldwin at or call (614) 372-8010.​