Connect the Dots

All Saints-Portsmouth and Christ Church-Ironton virtually connect for worship during COVID.

All Saints-Portsmouth and Christ Church-Ironton virtually connect for worship during COVID. 150 150 Connect the Dots!

All Saints, Portsmouth and Christ Church, Ironton virtually connect for worship during COVID

By the Rev. Sallie Schisler

In March, when it became apparent online worship was going to be a reality, All Saints didn’t have clergy in place. Since I was doing services for Christ Church, I approached the Senior Warden at All Saints and offered to co-host both parishes through the rest of Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

With the help of All Saints’ staff, we incorporated music and lectors from both congregations. We learned as we went, but our two groups gathered early or stayed after the service and got to know one another. Even after Diocesan resident Paul Bennett arrived, we agreed to continue worshiping together. Paul and I took turns officiating and preaching.

While most people would lump the Appalachian churches together, our two congregations have very different styles and personalities. Over the years, in spite of a small distance between the congregations, there has been no connection.

We knew this was a success when one Sunday a participant wanted to know WHEN we could all gather to celebrate our experiment. So far, that day hasn’t come, but when it does, there will be some warm hugs and a sincere sharing of the peace.

We’re prejudiced, but we believe we should get the big dot award for super connection in uncertain times.

Online with our sister churches

Online with our sister churches 3838 2415 Connect the Dots!

Online with our sister churches in Dayton

Katherine Wagner watches a couple of online worship offerings from Christ Church, Dayton, and St. Paul’s, Oakwood. Photo by Katherine Wagner.

By Katherine Wagner, St. Mark’s, Dayton

The Rev. John Paddock, in online worship with St. Christopher’s, Fairborn

We have thoroughly enjoyed “visiting” other churches every week since the lockdown, primarily St Christopher’s in Fairborn (for a quiet Morning Prayer with John Paddock and his wife), St Paul’s in Oakwood (for a musical service with Mike Kreutzer, Greg and Peg Sammons, and Jason Leo), and a very relaxed version at Christ Church Dayton with Joanna Leiserson. I’ve also connected with Emily Joyce’s weekday Morning Prayer at Christ Church Dayton, for a very personalized service that sometimes includes the laughter of her daughter (a sound that should be heard in all churches!)

The Rev. Mike Kreutzer, in online worship with St. Paul’s, Oakwood

Two River Cities Congregations Join Forces to Spread the Gospel

Two River Cities Congregations Join Forces to Spread the Gospel 150 150 Connect the Dots!

Two river cities congregations join forces to spread the Gospel

By the Rev. Sallie Schisler

All Saints, Portsmouth is without clergy, the people of Christ Church, Ironton approached them about joint services. Little did they know that COVID 19 would direct, challenge and create a new community of online worshipers. Since Palm Sunday, the two congregations/communities have worshiped together on Sunday’s through Zoom and have offered Facebook live stream services of daily Evening Prayer and Compline. To see the cross pollination of people in worship, the appreciation for the services, the dedicated attendance.

This isn’t what we had in mind for Connect the Dots, but “two congregational dots” have created a vigorous well attended connection…which was the primary intent of this marvelous effort. Both congregations have met and exceeded their pledge commitments, which seems to point to a sign of health.

Online Vespers Service – Palm Sunday at St. John’s in Lancaster, Ohio

Online Vespers Service – Palm Sunday at St. John’s in Lancaster, Ohio 3088 2316 Connect the Dots!

Online Vespers Service – Palm Sunday at St. John’s in Lancaster, Ohio

By Ron Dowling, Christ Church, Springfield

In the age of Covid-19 distancing, it was terrific to visit with and be comforted by the Vespers service conducted online by Fr. Seth at St. John’s in Lancaster, Ohio. What a blessing this service is, and it is so encouraging to see this congregation branching out with technology to continue connecting dots with Ohioans and other from all over.

Lunchtime Noonday Service @ the Cathedral . . . cannot wait until we can visit together again :-)

Lunchtime Noonday Service @ the Cathedral . . . cannot wait until we can visit together again :-) 3024 4032 Connect the Dots!

Lunchtime Noonday Service @ the Cathedral . . . cannot wait until we can visit together again

By Ron Dowling from Christ Church in Springfield

I visited the Christ Church Cathedral Noon lunchtime service on Friday, February 7, 2020. I had been to a few previous, and if memory serves me correctly, this was the last visit that I was able to make before the Covid19 distancing procedures went into effect. I am really looking forward to the day when we can assemble together again. This service was extremely special and soul-inspiring.

Ron Dowling from Christ Church in Springfield connecting the Dots with Christ Cathedral in Cincinnati, Ohio. #dsoconnectthedots

Capriccio Jubilee Christ Church Springfield visits St. John’s Worthington

Capriccio Jubilee Christ Church Springfield visits St. John’s Worthington 2448 3264 Connect the Dots!

Christ Church Springfield visits St. John’s Worthington for Capriccio Jubilee

By The Rev. Maggie Leidheiser-Stoddard

This was the wonderful view from the balcony where two of us from Christ Church Springfield experienced the glorious music of Capriccio Jubilee (directed by Larry Griffin, accompanied by Dr. Collin Richardson, with the talents and wisdom of Dr. Crystal Sellers Battle) on Sunday, February 23rd. This concert, part of the St. John’s Music Series, showcased old and new interpretations of classic African-American spirituals. It was a holy and uplifting experience, with a lovely opportunity for fellowship during the reception afterwards.

The divine and the humorous come together at St. Mark’s Columbus!

The divine and the humorous come together at St. Mark’s Columbus! 3120 4160 Connect the Dots!

The divine and the humorous come together at St. Mark’s Columbus!

By Mark Conrad, St. John’s, Lancaster

My wife and I visited St. Mark’s Columbus on February 9, which happened to be the day of their annual parish meeting. So the food at the coffee hour was more elaborate than normal. My initial impression was of the divine; I felt that the sanctuary really invited you into the presence of God. The walls had Stations of the Cross displayed in simple but beautiful artwork. The station was noted with a tile, engraved with the name, and holding a single candle; the accompanying picture was a line drawing that I found very effective.

But this congregation also has a great sense of humor; I found some artwork in the bathroom titled “The Great Commission Revisited,” which had Jesus saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, developing task forces and strategic plans, and surveying the congregation in order to craft a succinct and memorable mission statement easily communicated on bumper stickers, website home pages, t-shirts and coffee mugs.”

St. Mark’s reminded me that the divine and the humorous are both from God and can both have a home in our hearts and our churches.

All are welcome at St. Andrews Pickerington!

All are welcome at St. Andrews Pickerington! 4160 3120 Connect the Dots!

All are welcome at St. Andrews Pickerington!

By Mark Conrad, St. John’s, Lancaster

I visited St. Andrews in Pickerington just after Christmas, on January 5, and the nativity display was one of the first things that caught my eye. Then I read the last page of the bulletin, titled “Welcome to St. Andrew’s,” and I smiled. It was more than a simple “All are welcome here.” It humorously listed, for a full page, all the different kinds of people that make up our communities, and specifically said that each and every one was welcome. As I surveyed the congregation, I saw that this welcome was truly a welcome to all. And this challenged me to be that welcoming every where I go, to everyone I meet.

A Sweet Parish in a Sweet Church Building

A Sweet Parish in a Sweet Church Building 979 1741 Connect the Dots!

A Sweet Parish in a Sweet Church Building

By Br. Thanasi (Thomas G.) Stama, St. John’s, Lancaster

I have heard of the Episcopal church in McArthur, OH for some 7 years now. First from Fr. Bruce Smith who would supply their once or twice a month when we both attended St. James in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus. Most recently from Mark Conrad at my new parish (St. John’s) who leads a morning prayer in McArthur. So this Sunday I accompanied Mark down to McArthur. Road trip! Connect The Dots!

We arrived at the old rector’s house (now the church’s offices & classrooms). I could see the back of this lovely brick church. I was excited. Who wouldn’t be? Before me was the sweetest church I have seen in years; brick, a tall steeple and distinctly Gothic Revival. Plus like Goldilocks and the three bears, “Just the right size.” Not too big. Nor not to small.

original oak pew

The interior was perfect. Bright colored stainglass, maroon carpet and pew cushions for the original oak pews from 1883 when the church building was completed. Facing the aisle each pew side panel has a stylize dogwood blossom in the top. The dogwood was consider in the 1700-1800s as the wood that Christ was crucified on. So the blossom became a symbol of the cross.

The parish gathered and what a charming group. Ruth who played the organ for the service was first to arrive. We chitchatted while she practiced. Then Ronda (no H) came and Mark introduced her. She was the lector. Followed by three ladies Eleanor, Millie and Betty. Then came Larry and Isabel. Mark was introducing people faster than I could get names. Of course I started forgetting names as quick as I was introduced. But at every opportunity I asked again someone’s name. Being a visitor, one should really try to remember names. No one seems offended if you keep on asking. For myself as a monk in the Community of the Gospel, I want to know so I can add them to my daily prayers.

Ruth

The morning prayer service was balanced with three sung hymns with organ accompaniment by Ruth. Mark gave a great homily based on the readings and tying them in to Harry Potter! In particular how when young Harry invited to go to Hogwarts School and now facing the brick wall for the entrance to the train platform (9 ¾). He took a leap of Faith and ran into the wall to get in. Just as Moses and Joshua did climbing up into a scary mountaintop of fog, smoke and fire to receive the Ten Commandments.

After the service we all milled around talking and I once again asked names. Prayers for you Ruth, Ronda, Eleanor, Millie, Betty, Larry and Isabel!

Sunday Holy Eucharist at ALEC-NA and the CMMR

Sunday Holy Eucharist at ALEC-NA and the CMMR 259 194 Connect the Dots!

Sunday Holy Eucharist at ALEC-NA and the CMMR

By Br. Thanasi (Thomas G.) Stama, St. John’s, Lancaster

Went to my former parish, All Saints in New Albany for Sunday service and a visit with several members of the CMMR: Community of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer. As you might have gathered from my name that I am a monk, a part of the Community of the Gospel in the Episcopal Church. Have been observing at very close hand when All Saints was my parish the beginnings of another new monastic group in the Episcopal Church. All Saints in New Albany is the wordwide headquarters for the CMMR. Fr. Jason Prati, rector of All Saints is also one of the founding members of the CMMR about two years ago. He, Fr. Rob Rhodes and Debra Rhodes (Rob’s spouse) founded the community. I should use formal names from here on. Fr. Rob is Abbot Robert Antoni. Fr. Jason is Prior Jason Dominic. Debra is Sr. Debra Susanna Mary. I was at their clothing as monks down at our cathedral back then. Their habit is a white hooded cowl. Since then the Rhodes were out in Seattle and Prior Jason Dominic was serving as rector at All Saints which he still does! The prior attracted and tested over several years (even before the group formally started) postulants who became their first novices and last Autumn became vowed monks. So now their are six monks in the group and several more postulants and novices. Abbot Robert Antoni has since moved to the Columbus area and is serving as curate at All Saints Episcopal Church. So under one roof is the growing CMMR.

Now this Sunday, I came to visit and have Holy Eucharist. Abbot Robert Antoni was the homelist and gave a insightful sermon on the Holy Gospel reading. Before and after the service since this was my home parish for four years, I was renewing friendships and finding out many did not know I had moved to St. John’s Lancaster. Also that I ended my ten years on Facebook. Many stated I wonder why I have not seen any posts in a while.

It was nice to see Abbot Robert Antoni and Prior Jason Dominic both up at the altar together.: the very definition of koinoia (κοινωνία).

It was nice to chat with so many. Have many planning on coming to see St. John’s in Lancaster and go out for lunch. Of course, it will be after Lent. The Great Forty Days I take quite seriously being Greek (if you have not guessed from my name or a bit of Greek used). It was great to see Br. Joseph Mary Ignatius doing what he likes to do best: attending to the little ones in the quiet room. He is also part of the CMMR.

I did get to have a talk with Abbot Robert Antoni for 10 whole minutes all to myself. It was delight to discuss many things.

So I visited All Saints Episcopal Church in New Albany and the Worldwide Headquarters for the Community of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer thus Sunday, February 16!