Episcopalians in connection
Rhonda Barnes, move-in coordinator at Episcopal Retirement Homes’ Deupree House, was named a 2014 recipient of the Cincinnati Herald’s Nefertiti Award at a celebratory luncheon in June. Named after the ancient African queen, the Nefertiti Awards call attention to the meaningful works of accomplished African-American women in Cincinnati. Barnes was honored for her work as founder and president of the local chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. The organization works with at-risk females from junior high through the end of college, offering everything from mentorship and tutoring to career guidance and financial education.
Three members of Trinity, Newark, were recently honored by the Newark Rotary Club. Dave Shull was named the 17th recipient of the Bravo Award, which honors a new Rotarian for community service performed outside of Rotary Club. Shull was recognized for his service on the hospital board, YMCA board and Trinity Church’s capital campaign. Sylvia Friel was awarded the Service Above Self award for her outstanding work with the United Way and her continuing efforts to improve health and education in Licking County. And Jim Kennedy was recognized for 50 years of service to the Rotary Club.
St. Mark’s, Columbus, has called Tyler Robertson as their new organist. His first Sunday at St. Mark’s was Aug. 3.
The Most Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Liberia, has been elected and enthroned as the second Archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa, a province of the Anglican Communion covering 16 dioceses in eight countries. You may remember that Bishop Hart (pictured, left) visited our diocesan convention in 2009 as part of our dioceses’ discernment of a companion relationship with the church in Liberia.
Bishop Breidenthal sent this letter of congratulations to Bishop Hart on behalf of the diocese:
“Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your enthronement as Archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa. The church in West Africa will be enriched by your many experiences of collaboration and discernment. I pray the prelates with whom you take council will experience, as I have, your willingness to discuss difficult issues and a desire to learn from each other. You and the Diocese of Liberia have the prayers of all of us in the Diocese of Southern Ohio as you begin this new phase of ministry and leadership.”
Founding priest announces retirement
The Rev. Rick McCracken-Bennett will retire as rector of All Saints, New Albany Aug. 31. Father Rick, as he is known by his parishioners, founded the church in 1997.
“Initially we met in the living rooms of people’s homes.” McCracken-Bennett recalled. “Then Temple Beth Shalom invited us to hold services in their sanctuary where we worshiped for a year and a half. We held our first Christmas Eve service at Beth Shalom and continued to hold Christmas Eve services there until our current building was completed. We are now neighbors with Beth Shalom, sharing a campus.”
All Saints’ congregation grew quickly and began holding Sunday services in the high school and middle school cafeterias. A hardy band of volunteers would move in an altar, banners, sound system, Sunday School materials, and a keyboard to make the space feel as church-like as possible. Some challenges remained, however. “I remember having to crank up the volume during my sermons when the ice machine would kick on,” said McCracken-Bennett.
All Saints completed its current building in 2005, eight years after their first public worship service. When asked what he thinks about the 17-year journey as founding rector of the church, McCracken-Bennett replied, “First of all, I discovered that you don’t know what you don’t know. Planting a new church was for me, uncharted water.” According to McCracken-Bennett, he received plenty of advice through the years, but discovered that trial and error (lots of errors!) lots of prayer and listening to his own instincts and those of others worked quite well.
Looking back, McCracken-Bennett is amazed at how far All Saints has come and is very excited about where it is headed. “To think we started with 20 people in a living room and are now averaging nearly 200 every Sunday is remarkable. I am very proud of my wife, Nancy and our children, Gavin and Ashley who embarked on this journey with me. I am equally proud of our congregation. You don’t get from where we started to where we are without the dedication and hard work of so many.”
The church will host a farewell celebration and picnic honoring McCracken-Bennett and his family Aug. 31. What’s ahead for Father Rick? Rumor has it he has traded his tractor in Johnstown for a sailboat on Lake Erie.
~ submitted by Tony Thomas, All Saints, New Albany
Musicians attend Sewanee Church Music Conference
“Welcome. We’re glad you’re here.” begins the written greeting from Robbe Delcamp, president and 2014 director of Sewanee Church Music Conference. And he means it. From conference director, throughout all of the governing board, to clinicians hired in for the event, to the conference chaplain….they all mean to welcome attendees and succeed greatly at the task. If you’ve attended previously, surely more than one of them will remember you and call you by name when you first enter the door of venerable old Claiborne Hall to register and check in.
It’s family. Family begun sixty-four years ago. Family who mourns the passing of its members and celebrates their successes. As the old saying goes, “You’re a stranger here but once.” That “here” is referred to as the “Holy Mountain” and is located in the natural beauty that is called Tennessee.
Most events, classes and rehearsals are held at DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle. DuBose is a lovingly cared-for older institution which has served in various capacities over its long life. The University of the South, more commonly referred to simply as “Sewanee”, is located about six miles to the south, and is the location of all other events. The university’s cornerstone was laid in 1860 and was soon blown up by Union forces during the War Between the States, an event captured in one of the stained glass windows of All Saints’ Chapel. This chapel, on a campus of incredible beauty and interest, is where the Conference attendees sing Evensong and Sunday Eucharist. Held here also is the Gerre Hancock Concert, this year performed by Peter Richard Conte and Todd Wilson, organists, on the three manual Cassavant organ and featuring not only technically excellent performance of organ repertoire, but also two classic silent films (Laurel & Hardy’s Big Business and Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid) with improvisation by Wilson and Conte, respectively. The Chapel of the Apostles, also located on campus, with its two manual Cassavant, is also utilized for organ master classes during the week.
Serving as clinicians for the week were Todd Wilson of Cleveland and Peter Richard Conte of Philadelphia. Wilson is head of the organ department at Cleveland Institute of Music and Director of Music and Worship at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. He is also curator of the E. M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall (home of the Cleveland Orchestra) and house organist for the newly-restored Aeolian organ at the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron. Todd Wilson will begin his tenure as SCMC Director with next year’s conference. Peter Conte is celebrating his 25th year as Wanamaker Grand Court Organist at Macy’s department store in Philadelphia, only the fourth person to hold that title since the organ first played in 1911. He performs concerts twice daily, six days a week, on the largest fully-functioning musical instrument in the world. He is also principal organist of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA and choirmaster and organist of Saint Clement’s Church, Philadelphia, where he directs a choir he refers to as “The Clementones”.
Chaplain for the week was the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Th.D., D. D., dean of the School of Theology at University of the South. Alexander served previously as bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta and has served on faculty in many well-known colleges, universities and seminaries in the United States. He is also an author of numerous publications in the fields of liturgics, homiletics, sacramental theology and pastoral practice. Neil is a warm and loving individual, a trait which came out in his interesting lectures, his warm sermons and his attitude when just “hanging out” with conference attendees.
Rather than recounting all events and activities during the week, as those can be found at the conference website, I chose to give you a sense of the feelings one experiences during this unique week of worship and learning. Experiences such as getting to know church musicians serving throughout the United States as well as in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, being struck by the overwhelming friendliness and hospitality of the communities of Monteagle and Sewanee and enjoying the scenic wonder of this area of Tennessee. I encourage not only Episcopal Church musicians to attend, but to invite their musician friends from other denominations to join you—there is something for everyone at this conference.
~submitted by John M. Glaze, St. Mary’s, Hillsboro
Rest in peace
Sister Mary Elizabeth Roll, C.T., died quietly at the Convent of the Transfiguration on August 17, 2014 at the age of 67. She is survived by her brother David Roll of Port St. Lucie, Florida, her nephew Michael Roll, nieces Marjorie Frye and Barbara Keen, great nieces and nephews, her Sisters in the Community of the Transfiguration and many friends and former students.
Sister Mary Elizabeth knew from the age of 12, as a student at Bethany School, that she wanted to become a Sister of the Transfiguration, but wisely followed advice to lead a normal teenage life. She was received as a Postulant on September 29, 1968, Life Professed on December 26, 1976 and never looked back. Throughout her years of faithful service, she cared for children, worked in the Community’s hospitality ministry, worked in the kitchen, worked in a branch ministry in Lincolnton, North Carolina, and worked for several summers on the Rosebud Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. She enjoyed several summers at Procter Camp with the High School campers. She taught Christian Education at Bethany School for 27 years until her retirement last year, serving part of that time as Director of Christian Education. She served as Novice Guardian for many, many years.
She loved animals of all sorts, particularly cats, birds and the deer who visit the grounds. Above all she loved Jesus Christ, to whom she committed and for whom she lived her life.
Visitation will be at the Convent of the Transfiguration, 495 Albion Avenue in Glendale on Saturday, August 23 from 9 to 9:45 a.m., with a Requiem Eucharist to follow in the Chapel of the Transfiguration at 10 a.m.
Marion D. Funk, former youth ministries coordinator for the Diocese of Southern Ohio, died July 25 at the age of 90.
Funk also served as Christian Education Director at St. Thomas, Terrace Park; was a performer and board member for Friends of the Groom; and was a long-time member of Church of the Good Samaritan, Amelia. She is survived by her husband of 36 years, Robert C. Funk, three nephews, two nieces and one grandnephew along with many friends.
A visitation was held August 5 at Nurre Funeral Home in Amelia. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati (644 Linn St., Suite 1026, Cincinnati, OH 45203) or the Church of the Good Samaritan (P.O. Box 889, Amelia, Ohio 45102).
Worley Rodehaver, former Interchange editor and communications coordinator for the Diocese of Southern Ohio from 1971-1980, died July 23. He was 73. Rodehaver was born in Chillicothe and lived there until the early 1970s when he moved to the Greater Cincinnati area. He was a life long journalist, photographer and editor. He was also the publisher of several publications, most notably Greater Cincinnati GLBT News. Memorial services are pending.
Clergy in Transition
All Saints, New Albany has called the Rev. Jason Prati as their transition priest-in-charge.
The Rev. Dr. George Glazier will retire from St Stephen’s, Columbus (OSU Campus) at the end of October.
The Rev. Deborah Woolsey has resigned as rector of St Paul’s, Oakwood.
The Rev. Mary Slenski begins her ministry as transition priest for the Church of the Nativity, Indianapolis, IN on Aug. 25.