DIOCESAN
Parochial Assessment Forms
The 2021 Parochial Assessment forms are available on the diocesan website. The 2021 Estimate of Monthly Support, the 2021 Monthly Assessment form, and the 2021 January Assessment form are available under the parish resources tab.
Maple Sugaring at Bellwether Farm
Are you interested in being a part of Bellwether Farm’s 2021 Sugar Squad? You may be asking, “What is a Sugar Squad”? It’s a group of volunteers interested in helping with the maple sugaring process which includes collecting maple sap in buckets, splitting firewood, and monitoring the evaporator in the sugar shack. You will experience the entire tradition of making maple syrup while enjoying the beauty of the forest and the sounds of the Vermillion River rushing to life after the cold winter. The challenging part is planning the volunteer dates which may begin any time now and run until the buds on the trees pop (old-timers say end of February to the beginning of April). Maple sap flows best when daytime temperatures rise above freezing and nighttime temperatures dip back below freezing. With this in mind, we will be able to roughly predict sap flow a week out according to the extended forecast. 
If you are interested in volunteering, please email Kyle Mitchell at kmitchell@bellwetherfarm.com. You will be added to the list and receive updates on the sugaring season as well as volunteer opportunities.
ChurchNext
www.ChurchNext.tv is a high-quality online spiritual formation resource for parishes and individuals. Subscriber parishes can take courses together on a variety of topics including scripture, liturgy, and many other areas of personal and spiritual growth. Courses are taught by experts, many from The Episcopal Church, and allow members to learn what they want, when they want, and at their own pace. Participants can learn anywhere there is an Internet connection on a PC, laptop, or tablet. Your parish will develop its own “school” which will allow members to take courses by themselves, in small groups, or even as a congregation. 

The Diocese of Ohio will pay for a one-year subscription for any parish willing to give ChurchNext a meaningful try-out. If you are interested, please email Brad Purdom
Rethinking Our Online Ministries
The Rev. Cathie Caimano will be leading an encore Online Ministry Workshop on Tuesday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m. The material is the same as the previous workshop so no need to attend if you attended the first one.

All parishes that attend either of the workshops (or register in advance and commit to watch the recording later) will be eligible for a diocesan grant of up to $500 for the purchase of streaming/online equipment or software. You will receive information about that after the workshop.

Registration is now open. Please limit registration to two participants per parish.
Diocesan Audit Team Request Available
Informational Parochial Report Webinar
The Parochial Report is the oldest, continuous gathering of data by The Episcopal Church, providing an insight to the state of the church. 

The 2020 report (due to the Finance Office on March 1, 2021) includes a new narrative section, which invites congregations to reflect on the opportunities and challenges encountered in the midst of the pandemic. Also new are questions about online worship and questions on the impact the pandemic has had on congregational life and finances. The report also asks about the congregation’s involvement in racial justice and reconciliation work.

To assist all parishes in completion of the 2020 Parochial Report form, CFO Sue Leishman hosted a Zoom webinar. The recording and the presentation from the webinar are available. 
Self-Guided Nature Hikes at Bellwether Farm
Self-guided nature hike guides (centered on The Way of Love) are available at Bellwether Farm for individuals or families to explore the wonder of God’s creation through Bellwether’s forests and along the river. Call 440.839.0088 to reserve a time to hike. 
Winter Youth Events
It’s not as good as sleepovers on a church floor, but we still have a great schedule of Diocesan youth opportunities this winter. Click here to see all the upcoming events for youth in grades 6-12. Contact the Rev. Anna Sutterisch with any questions, ideas, support, etc, and follow the Instagram page at @dohioyouth to stay up to date on all of the upcoming events.
2021 United Thank Offering Grants
The 2021 United Thank Offering Annual Grant application and supporting materials are now available. The focus for this year’s grant applications is Recovering with Love and Gratitude: An Episcopal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Local Contexts. The United Thank Offering will accept applications in two categories – sustaining ministries and innovative ministries – at two different funding levels: seed (up to $10,000) and impact ($10,000-$25,000). Each diocese may submit one seed grant and one impact grant. UTO will grant the amount requested, so please only request what you need. Please review the 2021 grant focus and criteria very carefully. Any grant application submitted that is not within the criteria guidelines will not be considered.

Completed applications must be submitted electronically to Lorie Scheer, Diocese of Ohio UTO Coordinator, at loriescheer@yahoo.com no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 12 so the screening committee can review and select the applications that are to be forwarded to the Bishop for his endorsement. If you have questions, please contact Lorie Scheer by e-mail or at 216.973.9893.
POSTPONED: Feeding Your Soul for the Journey
Feeding Your Soul for the Journey: Care for Community scheduled to meet on Sunday, February 21 has been postponed. We will be rescheduling either this month or next month. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Please feel free to email Betty Kondrich if you have questions or need more information. You can still register to attend with Betty at bkondrich@dohio.org. The gathering will be on a Sunday from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. There is no cost for this event. The zoom link will be sent the Friday before.
Virtual Field Trips
The Office of Congregations and Christian Formation and the Young Adult Outreach Task Force invites you to join us on virtual field trips. Worship with Anglicans around the world who have developed innovative, inspiring, and creative ways to gather virtually during the coronavirus pandemic. The field will continue until February 28, see the poster for all the details of how to join. Please contact the Rev. Anna Sutterisch with any questions. 
Carlotta East Scholarship
Applications are now being accepted for the Carlotta East Scholarship. This scholarship fund was established in 1945 to assist Episcopal women who need aid to complete their education, upgrade skills before returning to the workforce, or complete religious training. Interest and dividends, in addition to other donations, are used for the scholarships each year. The usual grant for scholarship aid is approximately $1,000 per applicant. Exceptions in amounts granted may be made by the Carlotta East Scholarship Committee. Applications may be obtained from Susan Quill, the Carlotta East Scholarship Committee Chair, via email or online at the Diocese of Ohio ECW webpage. Written references will be required from your rector and from two other persons who are familiar with your need and qualifications. If your parish has no rector currently, the reference should come from the senior warden. The deadline for receipt of applications and references is March 31
Anti-Racism Trainings
Anti-Racism training is required for all individuals in elected and appointed Diocesan positions, and it is also open to all members of the Diocese. 

The Commission for Racial Justice will offer this two-day training on the following date:
  • April 24 and 25 - Zoom video conference (Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. both days)

The cost of the training materials is covered by the Diocese of Ohio. You must commit to attending the full sessions and to doing the off-line work. Registration is required. For additional information please email the Rev. Margaret D’Anieri at mdanieri@dohio.org.
Updated Parochial Report Form
Several pages of the parochial report workbook contained typos.  The corrected pages can be found here.

New materials for preparing the 2020 parochial report are now available. The first item is a video that walks through all of the submenus of the online site for filing the parochial report. If you have not used the website before, or would like a refresher of the website, you will want to look at this 25-minute video. It highlights what areas of the site are new, updated, or unchanged.  It reviews resetting your password and when to call your Diocesan office for assistance. The instructions for the 2020 parochial report have been released by The General Convention office of The Episcopal Church. To file your parochial report please visit: https://reports.dfms.org.
PPP Loan Forgiveness - First Draw Loans
PPP loans which were applied for in 2020 under the CARES Act are now termed, “First Draw PPP Loans.” The Consolidated Appropriations Act, enacted on December 27, 2020, provides for a simplified forgiveness application for loans of $150,000 or less. If your parish deferred applying for forgiveness waiting for guidance, this expedited process may be beneficial to you. The application and instructions are available. (Note: The application has been updated).

The maturity dates of First Draw PPP Loans are two years for loans approved before June 5, and five years for loans approved on or after that date.  Forgiveness must be applied for before the maturity date.  

However, payments due on the loan are only deferred for 10 months beyond the end of the covered period. The covered period began the date the loan amount was received, and ends no later than 24 weeks later. Example: The diocese received its PPP loan on April 21, 2020. The initial 8-week covered period ended June 16, 2020, but was extended to October 5, the end of the 24-week covered period. Because the diocese did not use the entire loan amount during the first 8 weeks, we chose the 24-week covered period to receive full forgiveness. For loans approved on or after June 5, 2020, the covered period is 24-months. Our first payment would have been due on August 5, 2021, eight months after the end of our 24-week covered period. No payments are due, since we applied for and received full forgiveness in November 2020.  

We encourage all parishes to apply for forgiveness before any payments would be due on the loan. The process has taken far less time than allowed under the loan provisions. The diocese received its approval of forgiveness 1 month after applying, and some parishes have received it in 2 weeks. Please keep these time frames in mind when planning and applying for loan forgiveness.
PPP Second Draw Loans
Parishes that received a PPP Loan in 2020 may be eligible to apply for a second PPP loan which is referred to as a “Second Draw PPP Loan.” The relevant eligibility criteria are:
  1. received a First Draw PPP loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses; 
  2. and can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2020 vs. 2019.  

The filing window opened on January 11, but not all lenders may be accepting applications yet. The deadline to apply is March 31.

The terms of the loan are generally the same, but allowable costs have been expanded to include worker protection expenditures, covered supplier costs, and covered operations expenditures.  

The notice, instructions, and application are available.
PPP Loan Forgiveness
The AICPA has developed two tools to help with the application for PPP Loan forgiveness. The first is an Excel spreadsheet that walks through all the calculations required to prepare the application request. The second tool will actually determine which of the forgiveness forms is needed and prepare a signature ready application form based on the data entered.  
Young Adult Grants
The Young Adult Ministry Grant, funded by the United Thank Offering (UTO) and distributed by the Diocesan Young Adult Task Force, is a new grant to encourage parishes, mission areas, etc. to experiment and take bold action to attract and engage young adults (19-30). Applications will be reviewed monthly, and funds must be used by May 2021. Members of the task force are available to brainstorm with you, and have included some ideas in the grant application.
Learn, Pray, Act
Resources from the Episcopal Church for addressing racist violence are available. This is a growing list of litanies, learning opportunities, and suggested actions and connections from across The Episcopal Church and beyond. There are links to some specialized resources on the Diocesan website. As you are thinking about how to respond in your parish and community, please be in touch with the Rev. Margaret D'Anieri, Canon for Mission, at mdanieiri@dohio.org.
PARISH
Episcopal Peace Fellowship 2021 Focus on Reparations
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship is committed to taking a “deep focus” for six months on this call for reparations so that we can best listen and discern how we, as a majority and culturally white organization, are being called to respond in this moment with our energy, time, imagination, and financial resources. At the heart of this call to make reparations, we hear the call to imagine and create the world as it should be, not as it is. This six-month deep focus does not mean that work around the call to make reparations ends after six months, but that that we are committing to suspending “business as usual” for these six months. We have planned to begin our effort during Lent. Our plans and curriculum are still in progress, and if you wish to be a part of our leadership on this project, we welcome your interest, energy and vision. Email Melanie Atha, EPF Executive Director, at epfactnow@gmail.com to volunteer or receive updates.
Donations for Your Neighbors Cloak at St. Luke's
St. Luke’s, Cleveland is seeking various items of clothing to help with Your Neighbors Cloak. Please label all donations by gender, size, and it would be helpful to know if the item(s) is for an adult, teen or child. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they can currently only accept certain items: winter hats, gloves, jackets in all sizes and genders, sweatshirts or hoodies, thermal underwear, gently used shoes, boots, and sneakers, and blankets and throws or wraps. They are also in need of underwear and socks for all ages and in all sizes. Used underwear and socks will not be accepted. To coordinate a time to drop off donations, or to chat with a Your Neighbor's Cloak representative, please email clothing.stluke.cleveland@gmail.com.
OTHER
Faithful Investing
The Church Pension Group is presenting a webinar on faithful investing on February 18 from 12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Faith-based investment specialists will explore the themes presented in Faithful Investing: The Power of Decisive Action and Incremental Change. Edited by James W. Murphy, Managing Program Director at The Episcopal Church Foundation, the book offers wisdom on socially responsible investing from leading experts across the denominational spectrum.
Province V Opportunities
The Province V Economic Justice hosts a recurring meeting the first Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m. More information, including a description of the network and the zoom link, can be found on the Province V webpage.

More opportunities to get involved within Province V can be found in the Province V newsletter. To receive updates and information from Province V, please sign up for the Province V newsletter.
IN THE NEWS
Grace, Sandusky