2021 Winter Convocation
The 2021 Winter Convocation will be held virtually on Sunday mornings and weekday evenings at 7:00 p.m. on February 8-14. There is no charge for any of the events, but pre-registration is required. Registration is now open. Registration will close on February 4. Feel free to sign up for as many workshops as you like. Each weekday event will have pre-work assigned, and will last no longer than one hour. For more information, visit dohio.org/convocation.
Greet the Goats
This winter, nine baby goats were born at Bellwether Farm. We are inviting you to join us in a session of “Greet the Goats”. The sessions will be held Saturday, January 30 from 9:00 a.m until 1:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 31 from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Each session begins on the hour and lasts for 45 minutes. We will teach you how to handle, hold, cuddle, snuggle, and generally have a great time watching the goats be goats. Sessions are open to families, individuals, or those residing in the same household. We have two socially distanced barn stalls which allows for two groups per hour. Each household will have their own stall and only needs to reserve one ticket for their group. Your 45 minute session will correspond with the time on the ticket you selected (e.g. 10:00 p.m. - 10:45 p.m.). Please reserve your tickets for Saturday or Sunday.
Absalom Jones Service
The Wilma Combs Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians and the Diocese of Ohio invite you to the Virtual Absalom Jones Service of Evening Prayer on Sunday, February 7 at 4:00 p.m., hosted by St. Luke's, Cleveland.  The service is based on the 1789 Book of Common Prayer, a constant in the life of Absalom Jones, our first African American Episcopal priest. An email with the links for the service and the bulletin will be sent on February 5. The Officiant for the service is the Rev. Debra Bennett, Church of Our Saviour, Akron; and the preacher is the Rev. Christopher M. Decatur, St. Luke's, Cleveland. The service will be livestreamed on the Diocesan Facebook page and the St. Luke's, Cleveland Youtube page. The offering for this service will be given to the Presiding Bishop's Absalom Jones Fund for the Historically Black Episcopal Colleges.
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.
Feeding Your Soul for the Journey
Feeding Your Soul for the Journey: Care for Community and Care for the World is a series of gatherings for laity. Participants may come to all or one of the gatherings. Care for Community will be offered on Sunday, February 21; and Care for the World will be offered on Sunday, March 14. Each gathering will be from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. via zoom. There is no cost, but please register by emailing Betty Kondrich at bkondrich@dohio.org. The registration deadline for the second gathering will be Thursday, February 18. The zoom link will be sent the Friday before each gathering. Feel free to contact Betty if you have questions or need more information.
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 dates:
  • February 26 and 27- Zoom video conference (Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. both days)
  • 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.
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
2021 Standard Milage Rates
The standard business mileage rate for 2021 is $.56 per mile.  This rate is a decrease of 1.5 cents per mile from 2020.  The rate for medical and moving mileage is $.16 per mile, and the charitable mileage rate is $.14 cents per mile.
2021 JIF Rates
JIF income is allocated to every participant in the Balanced Fund on a per-unit, per-month basis. The monthly factor for this year is $.31391691. The number was calculated based on 4.5% of the 12-quarter average unit value as of June 30, 2020.  Participants can apply this factor to units owned on December 31, 2020 to determine their income for January 2021. The same monthly rate applies for all of 2021, although the amount of income will change if units change (from additions, withdrawals, or transfers within an account).
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. 

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.
Imputed Income Letters
Almost all clergy have $150,000 of group-life insurance that is provided through the Church Pension Fund. The cost of coverage in excess of $50,000 is a taxable benefit. Letters detailing the tax reporting of these amounts were sent on Monday, December 7.
Form 1099-NEC
The IRS has developed a new form to be used to report payments to nonemployee contractors, such as lawn care providers, snow removal services, repairmen, supply clergy who do not receive a Form W-2, and other individuals or unincorporated business who receive payments of at least $600 in 2020. The form is due to the recipient and the IRS on February 1, 2021.  These payments were previously reported on Box 7 of Form 1099-MISC. The penalty for not filing a required form has been increased by $280 each.
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.
The Revs. Rachel Podcast
The Rev. Rachel Harrison (St. Paul’s, Mount Vernon) and the Rev. Rachel Kessler (Harcourt Parish, Gambier) have started a pop culture podcast titled The Revs. Rachel. The podcast creates a mix of reverence, topical discussion, and breaking down what's popular in popular culture. The first episodes will focus on a watch-through of the Emmy Award-winning television series Schitt's Creek. The podcast is available on Spotify
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's 1963 visit to St. Paul's, Cleveland Heights
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reflected on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 address to St. Paul's, Cleveland Heights. The video is available on Youtube.
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.
Job Openings
View all job openings.
Human Trafficking Initiative Special Training
Human Trafficking 101 will be offered via Zoom (Meeting ID: 859 0670 7306) on Thursday, February 4 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. The course will break down what human trafficking is and how it happens.  
Grace, Sandusky