Annual Convention
Archives
Clergy & Congregations Directories
Bishop's Staff Directory
Job opportunities

Latest news

Calendar

Connect the Dots

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the deadlines for annual reporting?

     

    Parochial reports

    Parochial reports are due at the Diocesan Office by close of business March 1. Forms are mailed to the treasurers of congregations at their home address in December. If your treasurer has changed, please notify the finance office at 800.582.1712 or 513.421.0311. Questions regarding Parochial Reports may be directed to Susan Byrnside at 800.582.1712 or 513.421.0311, ext. 112.

    Audits

    Audits are due at the Diocesan Office by the close of business September 1. Instructions are sent to the treasurers of congregations.

    Mission Share

    Mission Share is required to be paid monthly by the parishes to the Finance Department. The True-Up of a parish’s Mission Share must be paid by June 30. Questions should be directed to the Finance Department.

    Annual Reporting Form

    Congregations should fill out this form annually after their annual meeting, but no later than April 1. This list includes contact information, lay leadership, ministry leaders, facilities information, human resources and financial information and more.

  • Who needs Anti-Racism Training?

    All persons in leadership positions in the diocese are required to participate in Ant-Racism Training. This includes clergy, church and diocesan staff, members of diocesan commissions and committees, and members of vestries. Training should be completed within six months of assuming leadership responsibilities.

    What is the training?

    Training consists of viewing a short video and attending a full-day workshop. BEFORE REGISTERING for the workshop, watch one of the videos available on the DSO Learning site in the Racial Justice section.  You will be asked for feedback on the video you watch on your registration form.

    The cost of training is $10, including lunch

    Does the certification expire?

    No.  Once you have taken the training, you are certified.  However, we urge you to become engaged to continue learning through our Becoming Beloved Community offerings.

  • Where can I find the bishop’s visitation schedule?

    The bishop’s visitation schedule can be found on the Bishop’s page or by contacting his assistant, Ann Sabo at asabo@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311 ext 103.

    How can we schedule a visitation from the bishop?

    We have 72 congregations in our diocese and only one bishop.  The bishop is canonically required to visit each congregation every three years.  That rotation is followed first. If you would like to make a request for a special service or anniversary, please contact Ann Sabo at asabo@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311 ext 103 at least one year in advance.

    Can I make an appointment with the bishop?

    The bishop’s schedule is extremely busy.  Generally appointments with the bishop are reserved for clergy. If you are a lay member, it is recommended that you first contact our Canon to the Ordinary, John Johanssen at jjohanssen@diosohio.org or by calling 513.421.0311. For clergy or assistance with contacting the Canon to the Ordinary, please contact Ann Sabo at asabo@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311 ext 103.

    When/where are the Area Confirmations scheduled?

    Area confirmations are scheduled annually in the four area of our diocese during Eastertide, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Eastern. We try to move the locations yearly to give everyone an opportunity to host and participate. If you are interested in hosting an area confirmation, please contact Ann Sabo at asabo@diosohio.org, 513-421-0311 ext 103.

    How do we schedule a celebration of New Ministry?

    A Celebration of New Ministry can be scheduled after a rector or priest in charge has been in their position for six months. To schedule a celebration of New Ministry, please contact Ann Sabo at asabo@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311 ext 103.

  • How do I report the lay delegates we elected?

    Convention delegates are reported to the diocese on the Annual Reporting Form. Only reported delegates will be certified and issued voting credentials.

    How do I change a delegate?

    If a previously reported delegate change is made prior to convention, fill out a Change of Delegate form.

    How do I register for convention?

    Registration for convention generally opens in mid-September and closes approximately 2 weeks before convention. Everyone who will attend convention needs to register for convention.

    Registering delegates to attend convention should not be confused with certifying your delegates. Certification simply applies to issuing voting credentials, but registration lets us know exactly who will be attending. No one is automatically registered for convention just because they are a delegate. Even the bishop has to register!

  • What types of insurance plans are available?

    The list of available health and dental plans with price comparison is available here.

    Who do I contact with questions about enrolling or making changes to pensions, health insurance, life insurance or disability coverage?

    Questions about these benefits should be directed to Angela Byrd at 800.582.1712 or 513.421.0311.

    Who do I contact to initiate my retirement?

    Contact the Church Pension Fund directly. Their main number is 800.233.6602.

  • Who do I contact for questions on our facility maintenance or a project?

    Contact our Facilities Director Matt Hornsby at  mhornsby@cccath.org or 513.842.2060. (this is a shared position with the Cathedral)

    Are there any grants available for facility maintenance?

    The Church Foundation can provide grants for these purposes. Click here for information. The application form can be found in the Forms section under the Finance tab.

  • Does the diocese offer financial assistance?

    The diocese offers several forms of financial assistance to congregations and individuals, in the form of grants, loans or scholarships.

    What types of scholarships are available?

    The Diocese of Southern Ohio offers scholarship assistance to women and minority students who qualify under certain guidelines.

    Learn more

  • How does someone enter the ordination process?

    After talking with the member of clergy in charge of your congregation, the next step is to contact Bishop Breidenthal and the Commission on Ministry.

    Learn more

  • Where can I find the diocesan Cycle of Prayer?

    The diocesan Cycle of Prayer is updated quarterly, and can be found here.

    Can I request prayers?

    Yes. To request prayers of the bishop and the bishop’s staff, fill out the form on this page.

  • Who needs Safe Church Training?

    All clergy and staff in the diocese, leaders of church activities on a regular basis, and anyone with a key to church buildings is required to complete Safe Church Training.  A more specific listing is contained in our diocesan guidelines here.

    What is the training?

    Safe Church Training is an online course on our diocesan DSO Learning site. The course takes you through diocesan policies, videos exploring warning signs and actions to be taken in case abuse, exploitation or harassment are suspected, scenarios to which you respond, and a series of short answer and multiple choice quizzes to check for understanding. The online training is free of charge.

    In rare cases, in-person training can be arranged by contacting the diocesan office.

    Does the certification expire?

    Yes.  A Refresher Course is required every 5 years.  Congregations are responsible for keeping track of dates for renewal and reminding parishioner and staff of the need to register for training.  If the refresher course is not taken within two months of expiration of previous training, the entire course must be repeated.

  • Submit items for publication to Connections or e-Connections to the communications office at communication@diosohio.org.
    e-Connections

    e-Connections is a weekly diocesan e-newsletter. It features important diocesan news and deadlines as well as promotions for events throughout the diocese. It is sent out every Tuesday evening.

    Deadlines

    The deadline for e-Connections is every Monday at noon. Submissions for e-Connections should be limited to short announcements. Items can be sent as text in an email, or an attached Word document. Photos should be sent as .jpeg files as separate attachments, not in the body of the document or email. Flyers should be sent as .jpeg or .pdf files. A short press release or announcement of the event should accompany all flyers. Make sure to include the address of the venue and contact information.

    Connections

    Connections is a news magazine published by the diocese two times per year. Submissions for Connections must include a name, phone number and contact email for verification.

    We reserve the right to edit material submitted for publication. A full two-page spread article with art is approximately 1000 words, a single page is approximately 600 words. Pictures must be high-resolution .jpeg files (minimum 300 dpi) sent as separate attachments, not embedded in a document file.

    Features for Connections will be culled from submissions received before the scheduled deadline.

  • How can I find a supply priest?

    Several clergy throughout the Diocese of Southern Ohio have indicated their willingness to fill in for worship services on an occasional basis. Download the current supply clergy list at the link below.

    How much should we pay a supply priest?
    Schedule of minimum fees

    Effective 05/03/17, according to the diocesan Advisory Committee on Compensation & Resources (ACCR)

    • Weekday: $75
    • One (1) Service: $125
    • Two (2) Services Same Day: $175
    • Three (3) Services Same Day: $225

    Plus round-trip mileage at the current IRS rate ($0.57.5/mile for 2020) and overnight lodging and meals when required.

    • Pastoral care: $35/hour plus mileage and agreed-upon reimbursable expenses
    • Pension payment of 18% is due for all transition or supply clergy (not already receiving their pension) that are expected to be regularly employed for five or more consecutive months by the same employer and compensated by that employer, exclusive of travel.
    • Anyone employed by the church for greater than 1500 hours annually must be provided basic health and dental benefits
    • Health benefits in congregations must reflect equanimity for all employees. The options for coverage are employee only, employee + 1 or full family. Insurance plans can be found here

    It is recommended that a check be prepared for the supply priest to be presented on the day that the service is rendered. If this is not possible, a check should be sent within one week from that day. In cases of extended supply or special circumstances, please confer with the supply priest regarding other arrangements for compensation. If you have questions, please contact Sherri Martin, Executive Assistant to the Canons, at smartin@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311.

    Supply Clergy list

Forms

Download forms, listed alphabetically within categories. Click on the + to see the full list under each category.

  • Annual Reporting Form
    2019 Committee/Commission Report
    Audit Opinion

    Parochial Report

  • Confidential Notice of Concern
    Deacon Renewal of License after Retirement
    Declaration of Intention
    Letter of Transfer
    License to Officiate application

    List of Candidates to be confirmed

    Reporting Solemnization of Second Marriage

  • Check Request

    Expense Reimbursement

    Campus Ministry Grant

    Church Foundation Grant

    Faith in Life Grant application

    Episcopal Community Ministries Grant (ECM)

    MEIT scholarship application
    MEIT scholarship application

    Mission Share Remittance

    Sustainable Development Goals grant application

    William Cooper Procter Fund grant application

  • School for Diaconal Formation application

    School for Diaconal Formation tuition payment form

    Lay Ministry License application

    Lay Preacher Formation application

    Lay Preacher Nomination form

    Lay Preacher Formation payment form

    Lay Worship Leader license application

  • Change of Address

    Conflict of Interest Statement

    Nomination to Society of St. Simeon and St. Anna

  • Evaluation
    Multi-year application
    One-time event application
    Senior warden/supervisor endorsement
  • Anti-racism training registration

    Procter Summer Camp Registration

    Safe Church training registration (In-person training)

Policies

Policies in alphabetical order. Click on the + to see the full text of the policy.

  • It would be helpful if you reviewed the procedures first, to be familiar with what is required.  These procedures provide your audit committee a plan to follow and to accomplish. They also provide uniformity to the audits performed by all audit committees throughout the diocese. The procedures are for use only by the church’s internal audit committee, they are not to be given to an outside CPA to use or to follow.

    All funds of the church need to be audited, not just the operating funds. This includes any endowment funds, auxiliary organizations, as well as the clergy’s discretionary fund. The Episcopal Church’s accounting manual, Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs states, all clergy discretionary funds are classified as restricted funds of the church.  As a fund of the church, clergy discretionary funds are subject to audit. However, the member of the clergy may be permitted to maintain confidentiality over the expenditures of the fund while maintaining a strict confidence.

    When the audit is completed, the audit committee issues a report consisting of:

    (1) an audit opinion

    (2) any recommendations or improvements

    Remember to include year-end financial statements with your audit. The audit committee must submit and sign the standard audit opinion. The original should be given to the Rector/Vicar and Vestry/Mission Council and kept in a permanent file. A copy of the audit opinion, recommendations, and financial statements must be sent to the finance office by September 1 of each year to be in accordance with the National and Diocesan Canons. Failure to file jeopardizes seat and voice at the annual Diocesan convention, and potential other consequences for non-submittal of the audit report by September 1.

    Auditors should use the December 31 year end treasurer prepared financial statements and agree all numbers back to the filed parochial report for the year. Any revisions to the parochial report must be sent to the finance office, by September 1, as revisions could affect the Mission Share calculation.  No Mission Share calculations will be changed after September 1 due to parochial report revisions.

    Questions about audits should be directed to the Rev. David Getreu, Associate for Financial Management & Oversight at dgetreu@diosohio.org or 740.334.9775

    Print policy

    Audit Procedures for a congregation in transition

    Parishes in transition have an audit requirement beyond that of the annual audit that is required by diocesan canon. The audit of a parish in transition requires a certified public accountant to review the financial reporting and operations of the parish. Many types of audits can be performed by the CPA. These audits have various scopes, outcomes, and costs.

    Parishes in transition and needing to fulfill this requirement have options

    • Submit the financial audit currently completed by a CPA
    • Engage a CPA to complete a financial audit using the guidelines set by the AICPA
    • Engage a CPA to complete the agreed upon procedures developed by the diocese with specific additions suggested by the parish or CPA.

    Below are a set of documents outlining the diocesan agreed upon procedures (AUP) to be used by parishes and CPA’s. This AUP may have additions but no deletions. The cost of the audit are the responsibility of the parish. Results of this AUP should be sent to the transition minister of the diocese and the Finance Office.

    More audit resources can be found in the Toolkit section, below.

    Print policy

  • Diocesan compensation guidelines were established by the Advisory Committee on Compensation and Resources (ACCR) and approved by Diocesan Council on September 12, 2015 to provide congregations and clergy with information to make thoughtful and intentional decisions concerning clergy compensation, benefits and expenses according to diocesan standards.

    1. A congregation’s standards are based on a combination of factors that are determined by the information reported on your most recent Parochial Report; that is to say, we have no single starting point for all congregations.
    2. The range in each salary grade is intended to be the starting point for discussions between the vestry or mission council and the clergyperson. In some instances, when a person is called to a congregation, it is appropriate to begin at the lowest point in the range, while in other instances, because of the experience an individual brings, the starting point should be higher.
    For clergy who serve full-time

    These guidelines include no adjustment for the previous skills and experience a priest may bring to a new cure or position in the diocese. When such backgrounds are present, it is assumed that the beginning salary will be adjusted upwards from the starting point figures.

    • When setting the beginning salary, one way to acknowledge a priest’s years of experience is to add $500 per year of service/experience to the starting range, per year of service/experience up to 20 years.
    • A helpful guide is to increase the priest’s cash stipend and accompanying SECA reimbursement a little more than 3% annually to bring the salary to the midpoint after five years. If the priest begins at a higher salary level than the starting range (noted below), a 3% increase will move the salary upward appropriately during her or his time of service with the congregation.

    Salary includes cash stipend and housing allowance (or value of providing housing and utilities)

    For clergy who serve part-time
    • The half-time scheduled work week consists of 20-25 hours/week including Sunday, usually measured in five to six units of mornings, afternoons or evenings in various combinations reflecting the demands of the ministry.
    • Anyone employed by the church for greater than 1500 hours/year must be provided health benefits. Presently in the Diocese of Southern Ohio the congregation is responsible for funding employee health and dental insurance.
    • Health benefits in congregations must reflect equanimity for all employees. The options for coverage are employee only, employee + 1 or full family. Insurance plans can be found here.

    Please submit your completed Compensation/Benefits/Expenses package to the Rev. Canon Jason Leo at jleo@diosohio.org for inclusion in the Letter of Agreement.

    Supply clergy

    Supply clergy compensation guidelines can be found here

    Contact info and answers to further questions
    Medical and dental insurance

    Find information about medical and dental benefits here

    If you have questions regarding benefits, contact Angela Byrd in the Finance Office at abyrd@diosohio.org or 800.582.1712 ext. 127.

    Compensation requirements

    Questions about compensation requirements should be directed to the Rev. Canon Jason Leo at jleo@diosohio.org or 800.582.1712.

  • Two weeks per year of service in the congregation for Sabbatical Leave are to be available after the third year, and cumulative through the sixth year. The clergyperson will be paid full salary and benefits while on sabbatical. Sabbatical arrangements shall be made in full consultation with the Vestry or Mission Council to insure benefits for the parish as well as for the clergyperson. Congregations and/or communities of faith are encouraged to contribute an amount equal to two week compensation to a designated sabbatical fund each year. The purpose of this fund is to allow the community of faith to obtain adequate clergy coverage during the sabbatical. Another fund to assist the clergy person’s sabbatical expenses may be established or combined with a budgeted professional development item in the annual budget.

  • Criminal Check for Volunteers

    Ohio Senate Bill 187 Volunteers who may have unsupervised access to children (Legal Notice)

    The following notification was prepared for congregations in the Diocese of Southern Ohio by the Chancellor of the Diocese:

    On April 22, 2001, a new Ohio law became effective. Its purpose is to upgrade the safety of children who are in the custody of a volunteer. This law applies to all volunteers who have “unsupervised access to a child.” “Unsupervised access” means:

    • If indoors, there is only one adult present in the same room as the child;
    • If outdoors, there is only one adult within 30 yards of the child or has visual contact with the child.

    For volunteers (including Sunday school teachers, unpaid choir teachers, camp leaders, day care helpers, trip leaders/drivers), the congregation must decide whether to do a fingerprint/criminal records check. Whether or not this is done, the congregation must inform each volunteer that the volunteer might be required to provide fingerprints and undergo a criminal records check. This requirement of notice applies to both existing and new volunteers. Existing volunteers must be so informed by April 22. The law does not require that the fingerprinting and background checks be done. The belief is that if a volunteer is informed of the possibility, this lets persons withdraw from consideration for a position that would place them in custody of children.

    If a congregation does a background check on a volunteer and follows the other procedures of the law, it and its agents will be immune from civil liability if a volunteer later harms a child. The rules apply to volunteers who are with children “on a regular basis.” A one-time volunteer need not receive the notice.

    If a volunteer is fingerprinted and checked, and if the report reveals that the person was convicted of certain serious offenses, then the congregation must inform each parent/guardian of all children to whom the volunteer has “unsupervised access” about the person’s conviction(s) – if that volunteer is left in the position. If the volunteer is not put into or left in that position, no such written notice is needed. The effect of this is obviously to encourage congregations not to keep convicted persons in a position of unsupervised access to children.

    The Governor’s Community Service Council will issue in the future “Recommended Best Practices” for organizations to follow, and these will be provided when issued. The Best Practices will include a recommendation that organizations conduct a criminal records check of regular volunteers who will be with children. The background check should be done through the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII). You may order 100 cards for $10 from BCII, PO Box 365, London, OH 43140. Orders must be placed by letter using your congregation’s official letterhead stationary. You may also obtain cards from your local police station. To use the cards, complete the required information, fingerprint as indicated, sign the waiver on the back, and send with $15, checks made payable to Treasurer State of Ohio.

    If your congregation operates a child-care program other than during hours when parents are at worship in the same building, you should consider whether criminal background checks are required. Under prior Ohio law, criminal records checks are required for certain child-care employees. The law covers a regular day-care center or nursery (outside of worship time), and probably covers Vacation Bible Study and similar extended-hour programs. The law does not specifically define whether an unpaid regular worker is an “employee” for this purpose.

    If you have questions about

    (1) how the new Ohio law affects your congregation or
    (2) whether a particular child-care activity requires background checks for paid and unpaid child-care workers,

    contact the diocesan office at 513.421.0311 or 800.582.1712, fax 513.421.0315. If you have a legal issue, you may address it to the Diocesan Chancellor – Joseph J. Dehner, Frost Brown Todd LLC, jdehner@fbtlaw.com (fax 513.651.6981).

    Added 4/23/2001:

    LISTING OF OFFENSES TO BE SEARCHED DURING A CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK UNDER 109.572, OHIO REVISED CODE 

    Section 109.572, Ohio Revised Code lists offenses to be searched during a criminal background check involving child safety. The list is not exhaustive, because it mentions “substantially equivalent” offenses to the following list of Ohio criminal offenses. If a search is conducted through normal channels, the reporting entity will know what specific sections to check and report. Ohio statutory offenses to be checked include the following:

    Murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, aggravated assault, assault, failing to provide for functionally impaired person, aggravated menacing, patient abuse or neglect, kidnapping, abduction, criminal child enticement, rape, sexual battery, corruption of minor, gross sexual imposition, sexual imposition, importuning, voyeurism, public indecency, compelling prostitution, promoting prostitution, procuring, prostitution, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, pandering obscenity, pandering sexually oriented matter about minors, illegal use of minors in nudity-oriented material or performance, aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary, abortion without informed consent, endangering children, contributing to unruliness or delinquency, domestic violence, carrying concealed weapons, having weapons under a disability, improperly discharging firearms into a home or school, corrupting another with drugs, trafficking offenses, illegal manufacture of drugs or cultivating marihuana, funding of drugs or marihuana trafficking, illegal administration of anabolic steroids, improper labeling of hazardous substances, felonious sexual penetration.

    View a sample notice form that you may want to use for new and existing volunteers. (revised 4/23/2001)

    Print policy

  • Guidelines: Encumbrances and Alienation

    Guidance about the canonical requirements concerning the alienation or encumbrance of real property owned by the congregation (church buildings, rectories, other buildings, and land). These requirements apply to actions of vestries, mission councils, trustees, clergy, or other bodies within the Church.

    Canon I.7.3 of the Episcopal Church requires that the consent of the Standing Committee and Bishop be obtained before a congregation may take action that encumbers or alienates any real property owned or held by the congregation.

    There are some obvious ways in which the real property of a congregation could be encumbered. An example is if a congregation purchases real estate and takes out a mortgage. This is an obvious and immediate encumbrance of the real property. An obvious form of alienation is the sale of real estate.

    There are other ways in which church property can become encumbered or alienated. For example, if:

    A congregation leases space to a third party.
    A congregation signs an agreement to allow a third party to purchase its real estate in the future.
    A congregation grants a third party a right of first refusal.
    An easement is provided to a third party in relation to real estate.

    These are all encumbrances or forms of alienation.

    There are other, less obvious ways in which a congregation could encumber or alienate church real estate. One example is if a congregation commits to significant financial obligations that cannot be covered by the congregation annual budget or financial reserves. In such a case, the failure to meet the committed financial obligations could result in a court judgment against the congregation if it fails to pay, and that would create a lien on church assets, including its real estate.

    All of these cases, and others that could reasonably result in an encumbrance or alienation of church real estate, must receive prior consent from the Standing Committee and the Bishop before a congregation can commit to such actions.

    For more information and additional examples, please refer to Episcopal Church Canon I.7.3 and Canon II.6.3.

    In case a congregation is uncertain about whether prior consent is required, it should seek the advice of either the President of the Standing Committee or the Canon to the Ordinary, prior to taking any action.

    Suggestions:

    Before signing any legal document, contract or lease, the wardens and senior clergy should review the document to determine whether the outcome might reasonably result in an encumbrance or alienation of church real estate.
    Before contracting for or making significant property changes to Church real estate, including changes to the land, structures on the land, or disposing of architectural elements, the wardens and senior clergy should ask the Standing Committee to review the proposed changes. Please contact the President of the Standing Committee or the Canon to the Ordinary if you have any questions (email, phone, US Postal Service) to see if they advise that the Standing Committee review property changes.
    Provide a brief summary of the plans and/or a copy of any unsigned legal documents.
    Include contact information for the person from your parish taking the lead on the project.
    Also share any timetable or deadlines.

    The Standing Committee meets once per month (except for a longer break in the summer). Please take this timing into consideration as you develop your plans.

    After the Standing Committee and Bishop have given their consent to Vestry decisions or plans that will or could potentially encumber or alienate church property, congregations can confidently proceed with their plans.

    The Standing Committee is eager to advise and support congregations in their mission and ministry, and looks forward to helping Vestries and Clergy in making sound decisions about their stewardship of the Church’s assets and real estate.

    Print policy

    To encumber church property

    The following information is required in order to prepare a formal request to the Standing Committee:

    1. The requested amount of the encumbrance. (The total loan amount from either commercial lender and/or 412 Sycamore, Inc.)
    2. The reason for the encumbrance. The more detailed an explanation is preferred. Pictures are extremely helpful.
    3. A Vestry or Mission Council resolution authorizing the total amount of the encumbrance on the church property.
    4. A plan on how the church will meet the monthly mortgage payments. A cashflow analysis is required.
    5. Financial data: a) The church’s budgeted financial statements from the past year. This should also include the church’s Statement of Financial Position (a balance sheet). b) A current year budget financial statements. Any comments regarding surpluses and deficits, along with any significant changes between years should be noted.
    6. Any other pertinent data such as: a) Construction or work bids are required. b) Damage reports. c) Capital Campaign pledge projected collections.
    For any sale of church property

    The following information is required in order to prepare a formal request to the Standing Committee:

    1. Description of property to be sold.
    2. Amount of money involved in the transaction.
    3. A Vestry or Mission Council resolution authorizing the sale.
    4. Property appraisal.
    5. How the church plans to use the proceeds from the sale.
    Estimated timeline for process

    At least four (4) months before anticipated review of Standing Committee, ask for instructions from the diocesan finance officer for encumbrance.

    Three (3) months before meeting ask finance officer for any help in preparation of required documentation. Ask for meeting dates and let finance officer know which date chosen.

    At least two (2) weeks before the meeting turn in required documents to finance officer. During this time update any information that might have changed.

    Finance officer reviews financial aspects of the encumbrance request. Church answers any questions and/or provides new information or documents if requested. Finance officer needs at least 10 working days to review and prepare report to Standing Committee. Standing Committee requires the finance officer to provide an opinion on the request.

  • Individuals acting on behalf of the diocese may be reimbursed for mileage and other necessary expenditures provided the expenses have been pre-approved by the bishop or his designee. Reimbursements will only be approved if received by the Finance office within 60 days of the date of the expenditures (Accounting Policy and Procedures Section 1000).

    The Expense Reimbursement form can be found in the Forms section to the left.

    IRS mileage rate: The standard mileage rate is 57.5 cents per mile for all business miles for 2020.  Additional details

  • Mission Share is the annual financial contribution required from a congregation for the support of the mission and ministry of the diocese.

    The mission share is calculated based on a formula approved at the diocesan convention. The formula is reviewed every five years.

    Calculating a congregation’s Share Ratio

    The calculation is an average of three ratios determined from Parochial Report data

    • Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) = Average ASA of congregation / Total ASA of all congregations in diocese
    • Normal Operating Income = Income of congregation / Total income of all congregations in diocese
    • Operating Expenses = Expenses of congregation / Total expenses of all congregations in diocese

    A congregation’s Share Ratio is the average of the three above ratios. All congregations are then ordered from low to high by Share Ratio.

    Determining Mission Share Rate

    a) Congregation with smallest Share Ratio will be assessed at rate of 6% of current normal operating income

    b) Congregation with Share Ratio closest to average Share Ratio will be assessed at rate of 12.5% of current normal operating income

    c) All other congregations will be assessed at a rate defined by Share Ratio order on a straight line connecting the congregations found in a) and b) above.

    Learn more

  • The Canons of the Diocese of Southern Ohio require that a congregation pay its Diocesan Assessment, otherwise known as Mission Share payment on a monthly basis (Canon XIII, Section 6). Failure to pay the full amount by June 30 of the following year (Canon XVI, Section 18 (a. 2) can result in a parish being listed as a congregation at risk (Canon XVI, Section 19, (b. 5)) or to lose church status and be designated a mission (Canon XVI, Section 17, (c)).

    The policy of the Diocese of Southern Ohio allows for a congregation to request a Mission Share Review of the upcoming year’s designated percentage. The policy does not allow for a review of prior year amounts that are due to the Diocese. Prior amounts due need a payment plan set up to have those amounts paid off within a specific timeframe subject to approval by Diocesan Council. Forgiveness or reductions of prior amounts due will not be given unless Diocesan Council makes an exception.

    Further, it is the policy of the Diocese that a congregation which is one year behind in its Mission Share payments/Assessment will be contacted by the Mission Share Review Committee to see how the Diocese can assist them in resolving this past-due debt so that the parish is not placed as a congregation at risk.

    Additionally, it is the policy of the Diocese that congregations who are in good standing by keeping their mission share payments current are granted:

    • preference for appointments to diocesan committees and councils at the discretion of the bishop(s)
    • eligibility to seek grants and loans from the diocesan-wide resources
    • permission to move forward in a search for a rector or appointment of an assistant/associate

    Conversely, those congregations which are not current with their mission share payments are enjoined from participating in the above privileges. In addition, Canon XVI, Section 18 (b) states that congregations that are not current with their mission payments shall be denied Lay representation at the year’s Diocesan Convention.

    Mission Share Review Policy

    Learn more

  • Parochial reports are a critical tool in spotting trends in church growth and giving. The reports also play an important role in developing the diocesan budget and helping staff and commissions to be good stewards of diocesan funds.

    Parochial Reports are due each year by March 1. By canon, failure to file the reports by the deadline results in that congregation’s lay delegation losing its vote at convention. Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal intends to direct Diocesan Council to adhere to the canons regarding the deadlines.

    File your Parochial Report using the link in the Forms section (Under Annual Reporting) Workbooks and instructions for filing Parochial Reports can be found in the Toolbox section below.

    Questions: Susan Byrnside at 800.582.1712 ext. 112 or sbyrnside@diosohio.org.

  • The purpose and intent of this policy is to safeguard employees, children, and others where possible from sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse.  The policy is not meant to define an all-inclusive theology of sexual behavior. The Episcopal Church’s teaching on sexuality is based on Biblical principles and the resolutions of General Convention.  The Policy and Procedures that follows focus on the behavior of employed and volunteer personnel in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.  This Policy defines basic terms in order prohibit sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse; as well as retaliation for bringing complaints or participating in the complaint process within the setting of the church and its ministries and sets forth a process for receiving such complaints and resolving them.

    The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Southern Ohio has approved this updated and revised policy at their meeting on April 26, 2018. It is the expectation that this policy be followed by all Vestries and other Governing Boards; and be studied on an ongoing basis.

    Safe Church Policy and Procedures

    See complete information about Safe Church training and policy here.

  • Policy on Use of Alcohol at Church Functions

    1. Any beverage which contains alcohol must be clearly labeled as such. This applies to any food where alcohol has not been volatilized.

    2. Whenever alcohol is served in any form, non-alcoholic beverages, including sugarfree beverages, must always be offered and served with the same attractiveness and accessibility as those containing alcohol.

    3. The offering of alcoholic beverages at an event should not be advertised and should never be a primary purpose of the event.

    4. All applicable Federal, State and local laws and ordinances, including those governing the serving of alcoholic beverages to minors, must be observed.

    5. Although these guidelines recognize the positive social value of the use of alcoholic beverages, they also recognize that drunkenness is always unacceptable Christian behavior; care must be taken to ensure that responsible persons are in control of the serving of alcoholic beverages.

    6. The group or organization sponsoring the event at which alcoholic beverages are served must assume moral and legal responsibility for those who might become intoxicated, including the provision of transportation for anyone whose driving might be impaired.

    7. It is the duty of the Priest in charge of the congregation, or in his or her absence, the Senior Warden and the vestry, to assume responsibility for the dissemination of and the observance of these guidelines.

    8. Non-church organizations using church facilities are expected to observe the above guidelines.

    UNLESS YOUR PARISH ADOPTS A PARISH POLICY PROHIBITING THE USE OF ALCOHOL ON CHURCH PREMISES (an alternative approach which also has the support of Diocesan Council and the Diocesan Committee on Alcoholism/Chemical Dependency).

    Print policy

For clergy

Information, forms or policies specific to members of the clergy

  • All active clergy are expected to attend clergy days in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Please register to attend in order for the proper amount of food to be available.

    If you are unable to attend, direct communication with the bishop at tbreidenthal@diosohio.org is required.

    Find scheduled clergy days here

  • Opportunities include

    • Residency
    • Bi-annual Clergy days
    • Continuing education/Professional development
    • Sabbaticals
    Learn more
  • All clergy are expected to attend Convention, the annual Renewal of Vows held in Holy Week, Ordinations, the semi-annual Clergy Days and funerals of clergy. Clergy should attend Celebrations of New Ministry within their area.

    Clergy are expected to vest for convention Eucharists, all ordinations, area celebrations of new ministry, clergy funerals and various other events. Normally the instructions regarding vestments are included on invitations. Most clergy in the Diocese of Southern Ohio vest in alb and stole for diocesan events.

  • If you are a priest from another diocese who lives in the Diocese of Southern Ohio and wishes to occasionally serve as supply clergy for one of our congregations, you must first take the following steps to become Licensed to Officiate in the Diocese of Southern Ohio:

    • Fill out the License to Officiate (LTO) application
    • Send your completed LTO application and biographical materials (CV, etc) to Ann Sabo (Executive Assistant to the Bishop) at: asabo@diosohio.org
    • Email Bishop Breidenthal’s office to request a meeting

    Meeting with Bishop Breidenthal

    The day of your meeting, please bring a copy of your:

    • Certification of ordination
    • Letter of good standing from the bishop in your Diocese of Canonical Residence

    Next Steps

    Following your meeting with Bishop Breidenthal, a background check will be initiated by our office. When that report is received, you will receive notification that you have been Licensed to Officiate in the Diocese of Southern Ohio until the next Diocesan Convention (each year in November). Your license is renewable from convention to convention, e.g. November to November. If you wish to serve as supply clergy on Sundays, you may then be added to our Clergy Supply List.

    Questions? Contact Ann Sabo (Executive Assistant to the Bishop) at: asabo@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311

    Print

  • Transferring into the Diocese of Southern Ohio

    For priests who seek to become canonically resident in the Diocese of Southern Ohio:

    • Request that the Ecclesiastical Authority of your diocese of canonical residence send your Letters Dimissory to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Southern Ohio (Bishop Breidenthal) at the following address: The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal Diocese of Southern Ohio 412 Sycamore Street Cincinnati, OH 45202
    • When the Letters Dimissory is received by Bishop Breidenthal, a signed Acceptance of Letters Dimissory is sent back to the diocese of origin and a copy of that document is placed into the priest’s file here at the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
    • Church Pension Group is then notified of the Change in Canonical Residence by the diocesan Ordination Officer (Ann Sabo).
    Transferring out of the Diocese of Southern Ohio

    For priests who seek to transfer out of the Diocese of Southern Ohio:

    • Send a written request for your Letters Dimissory to Bishop Breidenthal; please include the name and address of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese where you wish to transfer.
    • Upon receipt of your written request to transfer, the bishop’s office will send a signed copy of the Letters Dimissory to the Ecclesiastical Authority of your new diocese.
    • When the Letters Dimissory is received, the Ecclesiastical Authority of that diocese will send a signed Acceptance of Letters Dimissory to the Diocese of Southern Ohio. The Ordination Officer of that diocese will then notify Church Pension Group of the Change in Canonical Residence.

    Questions? Contact Ann Sabo (Executive Assistant to the Bishop) at: asabo@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311

    Print

  • Guidelines for Solemnizing a Second Marriage

    Under our Canons, no Member of the Clergy may solemnize the marriage “of any person who has been the husband or wife of any other person then living” except with “the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese wherein the Member of the Clergy is canonically resident.”

    Diocesan Policies

    In fulfillment of these canonical requirements, the following provisions and procedures apply to all re-marriages within the Diocese of Southern Ohio:

    • A period of one year shall have elapsed following the final decree of divorce or dissolution.
    • The written request should be received at least sixty days prior to the wedding. It is not necessary to specify a scheduled date in the request.
    • Once the wedding (if permitted) has taken place, it will be the officiant’s responsibility to inform the bishop when and where it took place using this form.
    Submitting a Second Marriage Request

    All requests must include a copy of the signed Declaration of Intention, a copy of the final decree(s), and a Letter of Endorsement from the officiating priest. The Letter of Endorsement should offer a thorough response to the following: 

    • State the relationship of the parties to the Church (at least one of the parties should be a baptized member of the Episcopal Church) and the community of faith.
    • Describe the circumstances and reasons for the breakdown of the previous marriage for each individual as well as the priest’s pastoral assessment of the proposed marriage.
    • Provide information regarding the “continuing concern” called for in Canon 1.19 for “the well-being of the former spouse, and of any children of the prior marriage.
    Please note that the Bishop does not grant consent for third marriages except in highly unusual circumstances. In the case of a third marriage request, additional information may be required.
    Notes on the Canons
    Canon 1.18

    All provisions shall apply, including the required signing of the Declaration of Intention. 

    Canon 1.19

    Pertains to the Bishop of the canonical residence of the priest, not the couple. As of January 1, 2001, consents under this canon may also be given by the Bishop where a priest is licensed to officiate if the marriage is to be in that Diocese. 

    Marriages which are to take place in a Diocese in which the priest is neither licensed nor canonically resident must be affirmed by the Bishop of that Diocese following the consent given by the Bishop of the Diocese where the priest is canonically resident.

    All marriages solemnized under Title I, Canon 19, Section 3 must be reported to the Bishop following the marriage liturgy. Use this form.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    1. I am canonicaly resident in the Diocese of Iowa, but am licensed and function in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. One of my parishioners asked me to solemnize her second marriage in Columbus next year. Whose permission do I need? Consent for a marriage to be performed in Southern Ohio should be sought from the Bishop of Southern Ohio.
    2. Do I need to be licensed by the State of Ohio too? Yes. An application for the license required to perform marriages in the State of Ohio is available on the Secretary of State website.
    3. I am canonicaly resident in Southern Ohio but am licensed and functioning in the Diocese of Nevada. I was just asked to officiate for a second marriage in Arizona. Whose permission do I ask? Consent should be sought from the Bishop of Southern Ohio and affirmed by the Bishop of Arizona.
    4. I’m a deacon. Am I alowed to solemnize a second marriage in the Diocese of Southern Ohio? No. Because the Blessing of the Marriage is at the heart of this liturgy, deacons are not authorized to solemnize marriages in this diocese.

    Please email the required Diocesan Checklist documents to asabo@diosohio.org or mail printed copies to her attention at: Diocese of Southern Ohio c/o Ann Sabo 412 Sycamore Street Cincinnati, OH 4520

    Print document

  • Transition office in the Diocese of Southern Ohio
    • The Rev. Canon Jason Leo, Canon for Transitions and Congregational Vitality
    • Sherri Martin, Assistant Transitions Officer

    Opportunities in the Diocese of Southern Ohio are posted on our Job Opportunities page.

    How can I have a deacon assigned to my congregation?

    Newly ordained deacons are placed by the bishop in consultation with the Canon for Formation. Deacons are given the opportunity every year to request a change and, of course, the bishop may make changes as he sees fit. If you are interested in having a deacon serve in your congregation, contact Bishop Breidenthal at 800.582.1712 or 513.421.0311

    How can I get a resident?

    Newly ordained people in the diocese are assigned to a two-year residendency that begins July 1 following their graduation and ordination.
    Resident placements are made by the bishop, taking into consideration the Mission Strategy and needs of the diocese, the skills, gifts and needs of the intern, the needs of congregations and the ability of the congregations to provide financial and supervisory commitments to the resident.

Toolkit

Find information, links and resources on lots of topics.

Annually a church audit must be completed and submitted to the diocese. Audits are due September 1. A properly competed audit will include the report for the auditor or audit committee completing the audit and will include a balance sheet and income statement for that fiscal year.

Resources

We invite you to read a letter from the chair of our Budget Committee regarding the 2021 budget process:  2021 Budget letter

Please prepare and submit your budget as soon as you can so the Budget Committee can provide the best vetting of your budget as possible. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2020.  A part of this application process includes a conversation with a Budget Committee member.

The consolidated budget is funded primarily with mission share dollars. Other sources of funding come from the William Cooper Procter Fund and other restricted funds. All budget requests whether mission share funded, Procter funded or other funding will need to follow this process and submit a budget request form.

The Budget Application can be downloaded from the link below to assist you in the budgeting process. Please send your diocesan budget request to: The Diocese of Southern Ohio, ATTN: Budget Committee, 412 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, or email to the diocesan operations executive, Carine de Lange, at cdelange@diosohio.org.

Resources

2020 Annual Budget Letter

2021 Budget Application

William Cooper Procter Fund criteria

Business Practices

The Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs is a comprehensive, user-friendly manual which supports the increasingly complex work of all treasurers and parish administrators. Includes forms, such as the Parochial Report Form, with instructions. Links to English and Spanish versions below.

Vendor Payments

In order to properly process payments made to vendors and individuals, the diocese needs each individual to complete a W-9 form and submit it along with the payment/voucher request. The finance office will need the form completed and signed prior to any future payments being made. You can download a W-9 form from the IRS website or at the link below.

Resources

Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs

Manual de Métodos de Negocios en los Asuntos de la Iglesia

W-9 form

Conflict of Interest Statement

2019 Federal Reporting Requirements

Clergy Housing Allowance resolution

Sample Monthly Treasurer's Report

Human Resources

New Hire Checklist (pdf)

New Hire Checklist (Word doc)

Template for Employee Handbook/Resource Guide (pdf)

Template for Employee Handbook/Resource Guide (Word doc)

pastedGraphic.png

Licensed Lay Preachers

Licensed Lay Preachers are licensed to preach in any congregation in the diocese and provide a rich opportunity for you to hear additional voices from the pulpit. Lay Preachers have completed comprehensive training in sermon preparation, delivery, and biblical interpretation.

If you would like to invite a Licensed Lay Preacher to your congregation, contact them directly from the list below.

Congregations are expected to reimburse mileage expenses according to IRS guidelines. As you are able, an honorarium of $50 is welcomed by Lay Preachers.

Licensed Lay Worship Leaders

A Worship Leader is someone who leads Sunday Morning Prayer in the absence of a priest.  Requirements for a Lay Worship Leader license include successful completion of Worship Leader training, Safe Church training, and Anti-Racism training, as well as a recommendation from the clergy in charge of the parish or (if the parish has no resident clergy) the senior warden.  Application for the license should be made by the resident clergy or senior warden after other requirements have been completed.

Learn more

Sermons That Work

For more than 20 years, Sermons That Work, a ministry of the Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication, has provided free sermons, Bible studies, bulletin inserts, and other resources that speak to congregations across the Church. Our writers and readers come from numerous and varied backgrounds, and the resources we provide are used in small house churches, sprawling cathedrals, and everything between.

Resources

List of Licensed Lay Preachers

Supply Clergy List

Learn more about Emergency Preparedness here

Resources

Template for Emergency Preparedness

Template for Emergency Preparedness (Word)

Emergency Response Guide poster

Active Shooter handout

Increasing the visibility of the Episcopal Church in our communities

Four vendor tents are available for use by any of our congregations to increase the visibility of the Episcopal Church in our communities.

pastedGraphic_1.pngThe 10 x 10 tents reside in the four areas of the diocese, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and the East. They are branded with The Episcopal Church in Southern Ohio and the message, God loves you [no exceptions]. The back walls of the tents were intentionally left blank so that congregations can hang their own banners, signs, etc. We hope that congregations will think of new and creative ways to raise their visibility in their community at local festivals, concerts, farmers markets, etc.

Hosts/coordinators for the four area tents

  • Cincinnati: St. Barnabas, Montgomery (contact the Rev. Jason Oden) 513.984.8401
  • Columbus: All Saints, New Albany (contact the Rev. Jason Prati) 614.855.8267
  • Dayton: Christ Church Dayton (contact Emily Joyce or the Rev. Joanna Leiserson) 937.223.2239
  • East: Church of the Epiphany, Nelsonville (contact the Rev. Bill Bales) 740.753.3434

Please contact the host congregations directly to coordinate usage of the tent. Usage will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Any further questions can be directed to Julie Murray in the Communications office at 800.852.1712.

Resources

Resources

2019 Federal Reporting Requirements

from Church Pension Group

Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs

Manual de Métodos de Negocios en los Asuntos de la Iglesia

Audited Financial Statements

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

Bishop

As the diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal is the ecclesial authority of the diocese. He also is the spiritual leader and oversees the staff and finances.

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee is the bishop’s council of advice and the ecclesiastical authority in the absence of the bishops. It also shares responsibility for the ordination process, and is consulted for consent for the election and consecration of new bishops in the church.

Convention

The annual Diocesan Convention has the authority to pass resolutions, adopt a budget, approve canonical or constitutional changes and elect new leaders.

Diocesan Council

Diocesan Council is the convention-between-convention, meaning they make decisions about the budget, oversee implementation of resolutions and help govern the diocese between the annual meetings.

Constitution and Canons

The Canons and Constitution of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Southern Ohio serve as guidelines for ministry, conduct and work. On the national level, only General Convention, comprised of lay and clergy deputies and bishops, may change the canons or Constitution. At the local level, the Diocesan convention with its lay and clergy delegates must approve any changes. The Rules of Order guide the structure of convention.

The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Southern Ohio

The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church

Rules of Order

Caffeinated Church

curated resources for church communications

Church IT Network

peer-learning community

12 Things Every Church Website Must Have

article from Pushpay.com

How are you telling YOUR digital story?

a presentation by Tammie Vanoss, Director of IT

Mutual Ministry Review Resources
  • MMR facilitators: Marty Lentz and the Rev. John Johanssen
  • Contact Sherri Martin or the Rev. Canon Jason Leo for more resources
Appreciative inquiry

https://www.centerforappreciativeinquiry.net/more-on-ai/what-is-appreciative-inquiry-ai/

Appreciative Inquiry is a process for facilitating positive change in human systems, e.g., organizations, groups, and communities. Every human system has something that works right–things that give it life when it is vital, effective, and successful. AI begins by identifying this positive core and connecting to it in ways that heighten energy, sharpen vision, and inspire action for change.

Living Compass Tools

https://www.livingcompass.org/

Outfitting individuals, families, congregations, and organizations with tools and training for the journey toward wellness and wholeness.

Renewal Works

http://renewalworks.org/

The RenewalWorks process helps churches (and the individuals in them) refocus on spiritual growth and identify ways that God is calling them to grow.

CAT: Congregational Assessment Tool

https://holycowconsulting.com/congregations/congregation-assessment-tool-cat/

Conversation Tools
  • Respectful Conversation Kaleidoscope Institute:https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c3631609772ae2563852818/t/5d2780613d10f200016344d8/1562869859015/KI+Toolbox+-+English+PDF.pdf
    • Guidelines for Respectful Conversation from Eric Law
      • R = take RESPONSIBILITY for what you say and feel without blaming others.
        E = use EMPATHETIC listening.
        S = be SENSITIVE to differences in communication styles.
        P = PONDER what you hear and feel before you speak.
        E = EXAMINE your own assumptions and perceptions.
        C = keep CONFIDENTIALITY.
        T = TRUST ambiguity because we are not here to debate who is right or wrong.
  • Art of Hosting Conversations that Matterhttps://www.artofhosting.org/
    • A collection of methodologies for facilitating conversation in groups of all sizes, supported by principles that maximize collective intelligence, integrate and utilize diversity and transform conflict.
  • Fierce Conversations: https://fierceinc.com/
Local community assessment
Holy Currencies Healthy Congregations

https://www.kscopeinstitute.org/holy-currencies-1

  • Holy Currencies is a holistic model for stewardship and congregational vitality, moving beyond “time, talent, and treasure†to create missional and sustainable ministries. This model with its processes, enables church leaders to understand, develop, and utilize five other kinds of currencies besides money that are essential for creating sustainable and missional ministries.
Rule of life

https://www.episcopalchurch.org/way-of-love/about-rules-of-life

Hallmarks of healthy congregation

http://diosohio.org/congregations/hallmarks-of-healthy-congregations/

2019 General Instructions

Special instructions for completing your Parochial Report

2019 Parochial Report Form

2019 Workbook for Page 2

2019 Workbook for Page 3

File your Parochial Report

Prayer requests

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

Anglican Cycle of Prayer

Forward Day by Day

Online Book of Common Prayer

The Lectionary Page