Congregations’ FAQs

About the Diocese

Diocesan House

Diocesan House is in Cincinnati: 412 Sycamore St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Bishop Breidenthal, the canons, and finance and communications department have offices here. Local telephone number is 513.421.0311. Toll-free is 800,582.1712.

Procter Center

Procter Center is located outside of London, Ohio, about ½ hour south of Columbus and an hour north of Cincinnati. The Director of the Center, the Director of Youth Ministry and their support staff have offices here. The address is 11235 State Route 38 S.E., London, OH 43140. Local telephone number is 740.874.3355.

All diocesan offices can be reached by calling our toll-free number, 800.582.1712.

To become canonically resident in Southern Ohio

Write to the office of the Bishop of the diocese in which you are currently canonically resident. Ask them to send your letters dimissory to the office of the Bishop of Southern Ohio, 412 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. An Oxford Document Company background check is required. You must also send to the Diocesan offices evidence of completion of Safe Church Training.

What should I know about a Bishop’s visit?

Ann Sabo will contact you prior to the visit by Bishop Breidenthal. If you have requests, you should always ask, but don’t publicize an event (vestry dinner, reception etc.) until you have checked with the respective bishops’ office.

How do I find a supply priest?

If you need a supply priest for vacation or sabbatical coverage, visit the supply clergy information on the diocesan website. The list is updated regularly online.

How do we schedule a celebration of New Ministry?

Saturdays are the preferred day for Celebrations of New Ministry. To schedule a celebration contact Ann Sabo in Bishop Breidenthal’s office at 800.582.1712 and give her your preferred dates.

How do I get a visit from other members of the Bishop’s staff?

Contact the canons or staff members directly by e-mail or by phone at 800.582.1712.

Financial Information

What are the deadlines for Parochial Reports, Audits and Mission Share Payments?

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 Patti Perkins 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 are due at the Diocesan Office by the close of business September 1. Instructions are sent to the treasurers of congregations.
Mission Share for the previous year must be paid by June 30. Questions should be directed to the Finance Department finance@nulldiosohio.org
These deadlines are set by diocesan canon and missing them can result in lay delegates losing vote at Diocesan Convention.

Who do I contact with questions about insurance?

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

Who do I contact with questions about my pension?

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

How do I apply for a Mission Share Review?

The Mission Share process is under review by Diocesan Council. Please contact the finance office at 800.582.1712 with questions.

Is there help for emergency repairs to our buildings?

The Church Foundation can provide grants for these purposes. Click here for information. The Diocesan mortgage company, 412 Sycamore, Inc., can provide low-interest loans. The finance area also has more information.

What should I do if my congregation desires to apply for a Grant in Aid from the Commission on Congregational Life?

Annually, in late summer, the Commission on Congregational Life sends out information outlining the procedure for applying for an assistance grant from the diocese. Grants are for operating expenses, not capital improvements. The deadline for grant applications is normally the early fall. The exact procedure changes from year to year but is outlined in the annual letter from the Commission. Contact the diocesan office at 800.582.1712 with questions. Click here to see grants resources. Click here to for best practices and congregational support.

Communication

How do I add someone to the Connections mailing list?

Contact the Communications Office at communication@nulldiosohio.org to change or remove names from the Connections mailing list.

How do I get something in Connections?

The Communications office can be reached at 800.582.1712. Items are published in Connections based on many criteria, but we are always happy to get information about what is going on in the diocese. Connections is published bi-monthly, and the deadline for each issue is the first day of the month before the issue is published. So, for example, the deadline for the January issue is Dec. 1. Find submission guidelines

How do I get something on the diocesan e-news letter, e-Connections?

E-mail your information to communication@nulldiosohio.org. See submission guidelines

If I get a call from the media and am not sure how to handle it, what should I do?

Contact the Communications office. We can work with you on developing “talking points,” or can handle the media calls from a diocesan perspective (depending on the sensitivity of the subject). If it’s a legal matter or a response to serious allegations, please let the diocese know of the call so that we can present a coordinated statement.

Liturgical Information

What do I have to do to be licensed to witness marriages in Ohio?

You must apply to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. They will require either a copy of your ordination certificate or a letter on church letterhead signed by a warden stating that you are employed in a ministerial capacity. The fee is $10. The license does not expire. You can obtain the application from the Secretary of State’s website sos.state.oh.us. Use the quick link menu to go to Ministers License and then select licensing procedures.

How do I obtain permission to use Enriching Our Worship?

Write a letter requesting Bishop Breidenthal’s permission stating what you want to use and for what period of time. Send the letter to Ann Sabo at 412 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202.

How do I get a parishioner licensed as a Eucharistic Minister?

All of the licensing is administered by the office of the Canon for Formation. The specific requirements for each license can be found on the Formation website.

How do I obtain a Godly Judgment to bless a second marriage?

After you have completed your counseling sessions, write a letter requesting the bishop’s permission to witness the wedding. The letter should include: the causes of the break down of the first marriage, what has been done to address those issues in the current relationship and what arrangements have been made for the support of the previous spouse and children. You must also include a copy of the final divorce decrees (it is not necessary that these be notarized copies, photocopies are fine). A minimum of a full calendar year must have elapsed between the date of the final decree and the date of the proposed marriage. Send the letter to the Bishop, 412 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202. The letter should arrive at the diocesan office a minimum of six weeks before the proposed wedding. The bishop does not normally allow the blessing of third marriages. If you have questions contact Ann Sabo.

Does the diocese allow blessings of same-gender unions?

Yes. The bishop and a task force developed policies and procedures for requesting permision for the blessing of same-gender unions. Read the policy and find other information.

What are the expectations for clergy to vest at various events?

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 and on the diocesan website.
Most clergy in the Diocese of Southern Ohio vest in alb and stole for diocesan events.

Is there an expectation for clergy to attend certain events?

All clergy are expected to attend Convention, the annual Renewal of Vows held in Holy Week, Ordinations, the semi-annual meetings of Presbyters and Deacons and funerals of clergy. Clergy should attend Celebrations of New Ministry within their deanery.

Misconduct Prevention: Training and Reporting

Who must have Safe Church Training?

Information about Safe Church training policies and procedures can be found here.

Youth

Does the diocese have a Summer Camp?

Yes, the diocesan summer camp is held at the Procter Center, in London, Ohio, in June and July.

What is the schedule?

The schedule is published on the youth website in late February or early March.

Are camp scholarships available?

Scholarships are available by contacting the Director of Youth Ministry The usual practice is for the scholarship to cover one-third to one-half of the cost with the camper’s family and congregation covering the other half to two-thirds, depending on the circumstances of the family.
Donations to the scholarship fund are gratefully accepted. Make checks for the scholarship fund payable to “Diocese of Southern Ohio” and send them to the attention of the Director of Youth Ministry to 412 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202. Please mark on the memo line “Youth scholarship.”

Ordination Process & Deployment

How does someone enter the ordination process?

After talking with the member of clergy in charge of the congregation, the next step is to contact Bishop Breidenthal and the Commission on Ministry.
To learn more about the ordination process, visit the diocesan formation website under Discerning a call.

How are deacons placed?

Newly ordained deacons are placed by the Bishop in consultation with the Canon for Mission. 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.