Announcements for the week of January 24, 2016

Upcoming Congregational Activities

Sunday, January 24: 10:30am -Illuminati (CGMC) will provide music

Saturday, January 30: noon-2:30pm“Manna for Exodus: Reflections on Baptism and Eucharist” with the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio.

Saturday, February 6 Absalom Jones Celebration at St. Philip’s Columbus

Saturday, February 13: 9am-4pm Anti-Racism Training


bredienthal flier


Transition News

Well, here’s hoping your eyes don’t glaze over with this topic!  The exciting Bylaws revision!  Yes, we did a thorough (we thought) revision of the St. Stephen’s Bylaws last year.  Then we submitted them to the diocese as part of the search process.  They came back to us with a request from the Chancellor of the Diocese for a few more minor changes.  So, we have bylaws revision on the agenda again this year as part of the upcoming February 28 Annual Meeting.  Wayne Sheppard (with his lawyer hat on) kindly reviewed the changes that the diocese requested and agrees they are very minor.  They are: changing reference to the “National Canons” to “The Episcopal Church canons”; changing “Law of the Diocese“ to “the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Southern Ohio”; and deleting a section referring to state law.  The Vestry has reviewed and consented to these changes.  I will post copies of our existing bylaws (as voted on last year), the revised bylaws with these changes, and a list of the exact wording changes on the bulletin board at the entrance to the church prior to this Sunday.  If you would like a copy sent to you by email, please let the church office know.  Please let this serve as the required notice that a bylaws vote will take place at the Annual Meeting.

So, now, with that stimulating topic covered, what other topics would you like on the agenda for the Annual Meeting?  Please let me or Mike Harbin know, and we’ll do our best to address everything you want covered.


Cynthia Whitacre, Senior Warden


Ponderings of the Interim Rector

This week I attended a Board meeting for an independent church consulting group called Companion Way.  CW specializes in coaching and providing support for bishops, dioceses, clergy, and lay people who are engaged in a variety of forms of collaborative ministry, committed to breaking down a hierarchical understanding of church leadership, and living into the baptismal vows we repeat several times a year.  These include committing, with God’s help, to the following:

  • Continue in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers
  • Persevere in resisting evil and, whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord
  • Proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ
  • To Seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves
  • To strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being


During our meeting, one of the members asked that we take a moment and ponder a “thought for the day” that appeared on the tag to his tea bag that morning.  It read: “May you fall asleep with a dream and awake with a purpose.”  It seems to me that the dream of St. Stephen’s to be open to all people, to work for justice, to engage in meaningful liturgy, has been the dream of your community for decades. The St. Stephen’s community has fallen asleep to this dream over and over again over the past 50+ years.  And with each new transition the vestry, search committee, and congregation have awakened from their self-study and transition phase with a renewed purpose that works to fulfill that dream.  At this point in the Search Process, you are just waking up once again from the dream, articulating your purpose and now looking for new leadership in both clergy and laity to help you move into the future.  In addition to a new rector, this year will see changes in Sr. and Jr. Warden, a few vestry members, and several other church positions (e.g.- I’m in the process of looking for a new Altar Guild Director to follow in David Soland’s generous footsteps.).  Although it is a time of great concern and anxiety (we can’t see the future…), it is also a time of great hope and excitement.  Please keep the Vestry and the Search Committee in your prayers as they engage in the process of decision-making about new clergy leadership and sound program and financial planning.  Remember the encouragement of the Stewardship Committee to approach this year in an “attitude of gratitude” as the Gratitude project continues.  (You’ll soon be hearing more about next steps in this Project! )

Many Blessings,


NSI in January

The Neighborhood Services Inc. collection for January is SOUP



  1. MAKE returns to AWAKE this Sunday, January 24!!!!! Jen Schmeid will be leading the children in an art lesson. Make/ AWAKE is the children’s program at St. Stephen’s, for children ages 4-12 (well, we do have three year-olds come from time to time, and we even let the older kids come as well).


  1. AWARE, our teen/ youth group gathering, will meet this Sunday. We will be continuing our talks on ‘why the Bible is not a hammer’. And this week we will meet upstairs.


  1. The ninth annual AWAKE Trade-In Bake Sale starts on Sunday, February 14, which is the first Sunday of Lent. The Bake Sale will go for five Sundays, through Sunday, March 13. Non-food items such as shampoo, toiletries, paper products, soap, etc. are requested during this traditional event of donating these items to Neighborhood Services, Inc., which is the organization that our church donates much to. Neighborhood Services, Inc. helps many local families in need, and has said that they rely upon our annual Bake Sale for such goods.


  1. ALIVE, our after church meeting for anyone who wants to come, meets in the chapel fifteen minutes following the 10:30 am service. Bring you questions, and bring yourself to a time to get to talk and know others in our congregation here at St. Stephen’s. If you feel a need for some support, come and join us. We talk about current issues, and just about anything.


Vestry and Convention Delegate Nominations

Vestry and Convention Delegate nominations are open throughout the month of January.  There are a four 3 year terms to fill on Vestry as well as 4 diocesan convention delegate spots to fill.   Nomination forms will be in the pews on all January Sundays.  Or, you may nominate a fellow parish member or yourself by sending the name to the parish office or to someone on the nominating committee.  Ballots will be finalized in early February.  Voting will take place on Sundays of February 14, 21, and 28, with the annual meeting taking place on February 28.  Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the meeting.  If you have questions, ask your nominating committee:  Thomas Clark, Michael Harbin, Cynthia Whitacre, and Mignonne Whitlow.


Symposium on Social Justice and Reconciliation: Absalom Jones Celebration

On Saturday February 6, the Diocese of Southern Ohio, the Herbert Thompson Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians of the Diocese of Southern Ohio and Christ Church Cathedral will present a second annual Symposium on Social Justice and Reconciliation.  The daylong event will be held at St. Philip’s, Columbus, located at 166 Woodland Ave.


The keynote address will be given by Dr. Michael Joseph Brown, Ph.D., Interim President and Academic Dean of Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio. Brown is an internationally recognized biblical scholar, minister and public intellectual.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Divinity degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree from University of Chicago.  Prior to joining Payne, Brown served as Associate Dean of Wabash College, and was the Director of the Malcolm X Institute on Black Studies (2011-2013).


Brown’s address will be followed by a panel of bishops for the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the Episcopal denominations.  Panelists will include Bishop McKinley Young, Presiding Prelate of the Third Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church for the State of Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania, and the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. The Rt. Rev. Nathan Baxter, Honorary National Chair of the Union of Black Episcopalians, will also participate. The panel discussion will be moderated by the Rev. Canon Manoj M. Zacharia, Sub-Dean/Canon Vicar of Christ Church Cathedral.


Workshops on Health Care issues and by the BREAD Ministry (Building Responsibility, Equality And Dignity) community engagement will round out the day’s activities, then a Festive Eucharist commemorating the life and ministry of Absalom Jones, first African American ordained in the Episcopal Church, begins at 3:30 p.m. Bishop Baxter will be the guest preacher, Bishop Breidenthal will celebrate.


Youth are welcome! Youth attendees will take a bus to Columbus King Arts Center for a tour and other related activities.  Youth will return to St. Philip for the Festive Eucharist Service.


Bus transportation is available from Cincinnati and Dayton. The bus from Cincinnati will depart St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights (810 Matthews Drive) at 7 a.m. The bus from Dayton will depart St. Margaret’s, Trotwood (1501 Free Pike) at 8 a.m. See the diocesan website for details.


There is no cost for the event, but pre-registration is encouraged. Register here or visit


Diversity Training

In support of St. Stephen’s commitment to diversity, the Diocese has agreed to sponsor an Anti-Racism workshop at St. Stephen’s on Sat., Feb. 13th, from 9am-4 pm.  The workshop will be facilitated by Debby Stokes (St. Philip’s) and Faith Perrizo.  Registration for the event can be found at :


BREAD Organization Research Continues

The BREAD Organization held its Research Kick-off meeting in December, following the selection of Jobs and Economic Opportunity as the problem area for 2016. At that first meeting, BREAD members brainstormed on office holders, policy makers and organizations that serve the unemployed in Franklin county. Since then, the Jobs committee has interviewed the deputy director at the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, John Weber, and the executive director at the Godman Guild, Marci Ryan. Meetings are scheduled with Policy Matters, Goodwill, and the Chamber of Commerce.


Do you have interest or experience in jobs and economic opportunity? Are you concerned about job prospects for ex-offenders, young people, those who have lost jobs through business closings or re-organization? If so, please join us! Contact parishioners Rae Fellows ( or Norm Wernet ( or call Jennifer Ruglio  at the BREAD office, 614.220.9363.


With your help, BREAD rises!


St. John’s Worthington invites you to hear Echoing Air

Sunday, January 31, 3:00 p.m.

Echoing Air is a dynamic ensemble specializing in the repertoire of the English Baroque, with an emphasis on chamber works featuring countertenor voices with baroque ensemble. Their program is titled “England Then and Now”. The ensemble is comprised of talented performers who have worked with leading proponents of early music, including the Bach Ensemble, Ensemble Galilei, Musica Antiqua Köln, Ensemble Voltaire, and Chanticleer, and have performed in venues such as the Boston Early Music Festival and the Proms in London. We invite you to enjoy excellent music in a beautiful and historic space. There is no charge for admission to the concert; a freewill offering will be taken to support the Music Series. St. John’s is located at 700 High Street in Worthington, on the southeast corner of the Olde Worthington Village Green (High Street at SR 161). Visit for more information.


Columbus Lenten School

In Lent, the Episcopal Churches in Columbus come together to share in worship and education as a way to “observe a holy Lent.”  (BCP, p. 265).  Courses on various topics are taught by clergy and laity from around the Columbus area.  Dates for School are: Feb. 16 & 23; Mar. 1 & 8 from 6:30-8:30, and include Worship, Refreshments and Classes.  Information on each course can be found in the attached document.  Saint John’s Church of Worthington, Ohio is hosting the Columbus Lenten School 2016.  The address for St. John’s is 700 High Street, Worthington, OH 43085 at the Southeast corner of Rt. 161 (Dublin-Granville Road) in Old Worthington.

The Columbus Lenten School is open to all interested persons and every effort will be made to accommodate every registrant. Reserving a seat in a class is as simple as sending an email indicating your name, your parish or other organizational affiliation, and the title of the session you wish to attend.  The email address for registering is: .  A $10 course fee is due the first session and can be paid in cash or by check made out to St John’s Episcopal Church.

If you have questions about Lenten School, please contact George at

LentenSchool 2016 Course flier


Mount Carmel Hospice Invites You to Hospice Volunteering 101

If you are interested in becoming a hospice volunteer whether at the bedside or behind the scenes, join us for a special panel discussion.  A group of Mount Carmel Hospice volunteers will discuss their roles and contributions then answer your questions. The session can help you find the best way to serve your community at end-of-life.  Please join us on February 10 from 1 pm to 2 pm or on February 17 from 6 pm to 7pm at the Mount Carmel Hospice and Palliative Care Center.  Register by calling 234-LIFE (5433).


Organ Refurbishment Project

Muller Pipe Organ has removed the organ from St. Stephen’s for work. If you’re interested, you can watch the progress being made on the instrument at the Muller Facebook page:


Book Club News

Our February book discussion will take place on Wednesday, February 10 starting at 6:30 PM.  We will be discussing the humorous Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher.  We’ll share a potluck dinner prior to the book discussion; please plan to bring something (food or beverage) to contribute to the meal.  Our hosts this month are Jen Schmied and Rob Wood (along with Emma, Muriel and Carlin).  Kindly let Jen or Rob know if you plan on attending.  Everyone (new, old, young, long-time, male, female, etc.)  is welcome.  Voting on the list of books compiled in January for selection for the rest of the year will commence around February 1.   An announcement will be made when the list is ready.


Reminder:  If you’re mailing something to the church, especially time-sensitive materials, we recommend using the PO Box!  St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 82263

Columbus, OH 43202