An update on the Bishop’s Listening Project

Dear brothers and sisters,

I want to update you on our progress on the listening project launched at our diocesan convention last November. As you will recall, I invited each parish and intentional community to identify the partnerships it was already engaged in – other churches and faith communities, schools, social service agencies, etc. – and to share stories about these partnerships with the rest of the diocese. My goal was twofold: (1) to honor the many ways in which our congregations are already connected to the neighborhoods that surround them; and (2) to discern the signature of the Holy Spirit in these connections, as a basis for further ministry. I asked you to send stories in to David Dreisbach, our Director of Communications. Some of you have already done this, and I thank you for that. Please keep the information coming.

Here’s one example of a partnership. I had my visitation with St. Mark’s, Dayton, on June 7, and learned about their work with CARE House, a center that provides a team response to child abuse through prevention, intervention and advocacy. St. Mark’s has supported the work of CARE House since its inception, providing volunteers, stuffed toys, food and drinks and financial support, and participating in the annual 5-for-the-Kids Run/Walk. Like many of our congregations, St. Mark’s has many such shared ministries, but this one was news to me.

I’ve appointed a Listening Group to approach congregations to hear about such partnerships. That group is headed by the Rev. Karl Stevens, our Missioner for Campus Ministries. Here are the current members: Christine Andrew (Church of the Redeemer, Cincinnati); Bill Ubbes (St. Patrick’s, Lebanon); The Rev. Jim Strader (St. James, Cincinnati); The Rev. Joseph Kovitch (St. Matthew’s, Westerville), and Joe Rutter (St. Stephen’s, Columbus). Someone from this group will be approaching your congregation over the next year. If you would like to initiate a conversation, that would be wonderful. Just let me or anyone on my staff know. Karl Stevens is reachable at kstevens@praxiscommunities.org.

Faithfully,

+Tom Breidenthal