Convention will elect several people to leadership positions in the diocese. Nominees for each position were asked to answer two questions:
1: Please reflect on your participation in the life of your congregation, the diocese and the larger community.
2: Why do you feel God is calling you to serve in this position?
The nominees and their answers are listed in alphabetical order under each position. Delegates will have an opportunity to meet the nominees and ask additional questions during a nominee forum at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11. Thank you to these individuals for offering themselves for leadership in the diocese.
Note: Some positions do not have the number of nominations needed or any nominations at all. If you would like to be considered for nomination for one of these positions, please contact Nominations Committee chair Nadya Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elect 1 lay, Class of ‘19
DIOCESAN COUNCIL, CLERGY
Elect 2 clergy, Class of ‘19
THE REV. RUTH PAULUS
ST. CHRISTOPHER’S, FAIRBORN
1: As rector of this congregation for 11 years, I have fulfilled the customary duties of any rector. I am trained in pastoral care and counseling, as well as spiritual direction, both of which I have provided for the congregation as well as others seeking these services. I have served the diocese in writing for clergy health, was director of Procter Camp and nurse there for 6 years, and was a part of Parish Health Committee. In the larger community, I have been chaplain to the Fairborn Fire Department, Rotarian, and serve as the President of the Greene County Council on Aging. In addition I serve as part of the team for the Life Transformation Coalition for Fairborn.
2: I am currently serving on Diocesan Council, filling in for a position vacated by one of my colleagues. It has been a rewarding, life giving and fascinating opportunity, that I would be honored and humbled to serve upon. As part of my nature, I bring a forthright approach to situations, as well as wisdom of years and experience.
THE REV. DR. WILLIAM SANGREY
ST. GEORGE’S, DAYTON
1: By the nature of our order, a deacon is called to keep one foot in the church, and one foot in the communities outside the parish door. Although I am active in the life of the parish where I serve by proclaiming the Gospel, assisting in worship and supporting the members, the majority of my ministry takes place outside the walls of St. George’s. Vocationally, I am a chaplain providing pastoral care in multiple and diverse settings including a local hospice, a children’s hospital and a retirement community in a large portion of our diocese including Cincinnati, Dayton and rural south central Ohio. In these roles, I serve people with diverse backgrounds, faith traditions and spiritual challenges. The unifying aspects of my ministry are the need to develop relationships and engage people where they are, recognizing them as fellow children of God. In addition, I volunteer as a scout leader working with youth from the local neighborhood who are growing up in a challenging world. Through these connections, I feel I am able to bring the concerns of the world to the parish, while simultaneously bringing the Good News of Christ to the world.
2: In our Baptismal Covenant we profess our faith and promise, with God’s help, to live this faith out in the world. Part of my understanding of living my Christian faith is to be a servant to others in the parish, the neighborhood and the world. As a deacon, this call to service is a bedrock part of my understanding of my ministry. At this time, I feel that God is asking me to expand my horizons to include service to our diocese through the ministry of the Diocesan Council. If so called, I hope to approach the challenges and opportunities presented as a council member grounded in my faith and trust that God will indeed help me serve for the betterment of the community and the world.
DIOCESAN COUNCIL, LAY
Elect 3 lay, Class of ‘19
Elect 1 lay to fill unexpired term, Class of ’17
1: I have been a member of Trinity Church for nineteen years. During that time I have served on the Vestry, chaired the Community Ministries and Worship, Music, and Arts teams, sung in the choir, and chaired a search committee for a Christian education Director. I lead Morning Prayer each Wednesday in our sanctuary. Currently most of my time is devoted to co-directing Trinity’s IN THE GARDEN street ministry, now in its tenth year, which serves 80-120 downtown homeless citizens weekly.
I have attended numerous diocesan conventions and events, and have taken training as a lay Worship leader. I have not yet served officially on a diocesan committee, but am keenly aware of their work. I am a retired member of the music faculty of The Ohio State University, and am active in Columbus arts organizations as well.
2: I think the Church is at an important crossroads in its history, and I choose to try and help effect meaningful necessary changes within it. For some time, I have felt it is now time for me to use what talents and skills I have to work beyond the local church, to help further the greater good of our diocese and the work of TEC.
ST. GEORGE’S, DAYTON
1: I love the Episcopal Church, been a member of our faith all my life, and for last five years I have been discerning a call to serve Jesus Christ in a lay capacity and participate in leading our church. Served at St. George’s in many capacities since 1972 including: Bible study, youth formation, stewardship, membership, finance, outreach, lay reader, Stephen Ministry, search commission, delegate to 15 DSO conventions, multiple terms on the vestry, and warden.
Within the Diocese of Southern Ohio I served in many capacities including:
• EfM Mentor
• Commission on Ministry
• Harvesting Conversations
• Mission Share Review Task Force
• Lay Leadership Training – work in progress
Within the larger community I served DSO in many capacities, including:
• Helping the poor and the homeless to the best of my ability and courage
• Boy Scouts of America
• Rotary International
• Sales and Marketing Dayton Power and Light Co – 20 years
• Self employed, professional photographer – 45 years
Even though social media is stronger than ever, I believe the best way to bond, plan, resolve conflict, and walk the path with Christ is to share a meal with others.
2: Through my life lessons God has blessed me with the wisdom to solve problems from a different and many times unexpected perspective. I want to serve and care for others with God’s help and a sense of humor. I have a strong spiritual life based on daily prayer and meditation. If elected, I would be very honored and willing to serve on the Diocesan Council and as Lay Deputy to General Convention in 2018. By being on Diocesan Council I will be in a more knowledgeable position to represent the diocese at General Convention. My service at General Convention will then strengthen my work on Diocesan Council.
ST. LUKE’S GRANVILLE
1: In my parish I’ve served in a number of different ministries – Vestry, convention delegate, usher, lector, and counter. I have been involved in the Diocese for many years beginning with SOLLI, serving as an alternate Deputy to General Convention, Evangelism Commission, Stewardship Commission, Budget Committee, Diocesan Council and a member of the Procter Center Board of Directors.
2: My participation in the Diocese has been a learning experience, helping me to grow as an individual and as a follower of Jesus. I have seen Council grow and become a more focused body in carrying out its duties and as a sounding board for the Bishop during my current term. I would like to continue to serve on Council for another term. My interest in being a Trustee of the Church Foundation stems from the realization that there are many parishes in the Diocese that struggle with issues involving the property they occupy and I see this an opportunity for me to be involved with the Church Foundation in helping them find meaningful resolutions that will enable them to focus more on mission and service to their communities.
EPISCOPAL COMMUNITY SERVICES FOUNDATION
Elect 3 clergy or lay, Class of ‘19
ST. JAMES, ZANESVILLE
1: Working as an emergency physician, I am present to what is “trending” in the community. On a more global scale, I have been leading short-term medical missions to Central America for the last decade, and we have hosted international students at our local university. I have been available to serve in my parish, and have co-facilitated centering prayer and inner healing groups. I am a trained spiritual director, so care for souls as well as care for bodies is part of my regular schedule.
2: This is, perhaps, an opportunity to use some of what I have learned serving other non-profit organizations, specifically for the Kingdom of God. I had the privilege of helping to start a children’s advocacy center in my county, and so have a little experience that may be useful in the transitional phase of ECSF.
THE REV. SUSAN RIIS
ST. JAMES, ZANESVILLE
1: My work to date on the board of ECSF has taught me a great deal about the breadth and depth of the ministries of our parishes to our brothers and sisters and encouraged me in the work ECSF does to support these ministries through grants and counsel.
2: As I live out my life as a deacon, I find I am continually pulled or pushed between the theoretical and general and the specific and practical in fulfilling my baptismal vows — as an individual, as one serving a parish, and as a trustee of this Board. Over the past three years, ECSF has been engaged in re-visioning its structure and operations, while continuing to provide grants to parish outreach ministries. I have been blessed to be a part of this effort and would be honored to continue to do so.
STANDING COMMITTEE, CLERGY
Elect 1 clergy, Class of ‘19
STANDING COMMITTEE, LAY
Elect 1 lay, Class of ‘19
ST. MARK’S, COLUMBUS
1: As a lifelong Episcopalian, I’ve served on mission committees and vestries, becoming familiar with concerns of various size churches. As interim communications director for the diocese of North Carolina and consultant to the most recent nominating committee for bishop of Southern Ohio, I’ve summarized concerns from across two dioceses and communicated them to others. As co-chair of the St Paul’s Winston-Salem, NC charitable foundation, I participated in evaluating grant applications to award $1 million a year, was a Stephen Minister and Lay Eucharistic visitor, and organized the community’s first Habitat for Humanity “Blitz Build.”
A graduate of the lay preaching course, I am licensed to preach in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
At St Mark’s, Columbus, I am a verger and choir member, have participated in a mission trip to Guatemala, and chaired the stewardship committee.
In business, I am a medical practice management consultant, a certified project management professional, and consult with individuals and not-for-profit organizations as an editor and on marketing and development projects.
2: I am called to this leadership position because I am passionate about the prophetic ministry of our diocese in supporting churches in their service to our communities, especially in areas of social justice.
TRUSTEE OF THE DIOCESE
Elect 1 clergy or lay, Class of ‘21
ASCENSION AND HOLY TRINITY, WYOMING
1: Participation at Ascension & Holy Trinity (A&HT), Wyoming, remains essential for my lifelong Christian formation. From early days in the junior choir, as an acolyte, as the Church School’s Treasurer and leading our youth group’s Sunday evening Compline Service, A&HT’s clergy and lay leaders, by their own example, nourished and encouraged me to fully participate in the life of our parish and community. I’ve been a junior and senior warden and occasionally an Annual Convention delegate. Currently I am a Eucharistic Minster, president of the Endowment Fund’s Trustees, and on occasion, a Lector. Community service includes being Chair of the City’s Planning Commission, a member of the Economic Development Commission and of the Community Improvement Corporation, the Wyoming High School Association’s immediate past president, and a Wyoming School Foundation trustee. I served on the Diocesan staff for 14 years, was a member of the Standing Committee, and am president of the Trustees of the Diocese, am on the Commission on Congregational Life, the Advisory Committee on Compensation & Resources, Convention’s Dispatch of Business Committee, am a member of Procter Center’s Board of Directors, and for 14 years was the Diocese’s Episcopal Relief & Development Coordinator. I’ve served in one or more roles for Episcopal Retirement services (ERS) since 1989 and am currently an ERS Foundation Trustee.
2: God has blessed me in so many ways to be a “connector” and one who, thanks in part to the varied responsibilities I’ve experienced, recognizes when “collaboration” between different agencies of the Diocese or in my community can accomplish so much more by their coordinating their activities. For example, in my roles both as a Trustee of the Diocese and a Commission on Congregational Life member, I recognize that making a grant or facilitating a loan is much more that just making financial resources available to a congregation. It is much more about how that funding will further the mission and ministry of that congregation. That is why I feel God is calling me to serve and for which I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.
TRUSTEE OF THE CHURCH FOUNDATION
Elect 1 clergy or lay, Class of ‘21
ST. LUKE’S GRANVILLE
(see Diocesan Council, above)
DIOCESAN DISCIPLINARY BOARD, CLERGY
Elect 3 clergy
DIOCESAN DISCIPLINARY BOARD, LAY
Elect 2 lay
PROCTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Elect 1 clergy or lay, Class of ‘19
AMY DOHN BAIRD
ST. ANNE’S, WEST CHESTER
1: Since I’ve attended St. Anne, I have read the Bible in 90 days (well, mostly), been a member of the adult formation team, and attended adult formation, I trained and served a year as a Stephen Minister, and I recently graduated from the four year Education for Ministry course. One of my favorite things to do is to grab my knitting and attend on Tuesdays from 10:30am to 2:30pm (with lunch precicely at 12:30!) and spend time with my friends, The Crafty Ladies-they are a wise and wonderful group! I have served as a convention delegate, and can be found almost every year at convention as a visitor if nothing else. I oversee the Book of Remembrance, and enjoy meeting those throughout the diocese who have benefitted from the grants and scholarships we provide. I am currently in the process of becoming a non-profit. I have a yarn shop, Second Hand Stash, and am on the verge of working with autistic adults using knitting machines to make blankets that thy will use, gift, sell and donate. I teach knitting and fiber arts both at my studio and at Michael’s.
2: I am finishing up my one-year term of being on the Procter Board of Directors.
I am currently deeply involved with the Procter kitchen staff working on determining food costs per serving and working to make the food ordering and purchasing process more efficient, and making sure we are not losing money on serving meals. I think there is plenty of room for Procter food services to grow and serve many more people than they currently do. With Amy Boyd, a fellow knitter, on staff as the director of Procter, I see great promise for growth and improved usage of this gem of a center. I love Procter and the staff and look forward to being involved in its future and growth.
DEPUTIES TO THE 79TH GENERAL CONVENTION, CLERGY
Elect 4 clergy + 4 clergy alternates
THE REV. DR. JOHN AGBAJE
ST. ANDREW’S, CINCINNATI
1: I am the Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, by December 8, 2016 I will have been serving in this position for three years. As a result of my leadership St. Andrew’s continues to participate in Diocesan ministries. Through my leadership, members of my congregation continue to support the Episcopal Relief Service, and increased collaboration with Xavier University, Evanston Council, and local businesses.
2: Since my ordination 20 years ago, I have served as a member of the Diocesan Council in the Diocese of Minnesota. I have also served as a trainer in various workshops including involvement of Youth in the church ministries, Multicultural Training in the Diocese of Chicago and the diocese of Southern Virginia. I also served as a member of the Executive Board in the Diocese of Southern VA. Dean of Convocation, Deputy to General Convention and Alternate Deputy to General Convention in the Diocese of Southern VA.
Having been in this Diocese for almost three years I hear the call to use my experience to contribute in the capacity of Deputy to General Convention representing the Diocese. As I have worked in other Dioceses, I pledge to work as hard as possible for this Diocese should I be given the opportunity to serve as a Deputy to General Convention and come back from the Convention and inform others what I learn from the Convention.
THE REV. DICK BURNETT
1: As rector of Trinity, Columbus, and as a member of the Diocese of Southern Ohio for 19 years, I have been involved in several expressions of “public ministry” blending congregational, ecumenical, and community networks that seek to serve Christ in all persons and strive for justice and peace in our day. I have been active in ministries that bridge communities through partnerships in local public education and economic development, opposition to the death penalty in Ohio, and advocacy for ‘Dreamers’ and U.S. immigration reform. Throughout my time in the Diocese of Southern Ohio I have been active in two commissions: Social Justice & Public Policy and Ecumenical & Interreligious Relations. I served as dean of the Columbus Deanery for 14 years and have served as clergy deputy at three General Conventions (2000, 2009, and 2012). In 2009, I was delighted to be a member of the legislative committee on Ecumenical & Interreligious Relations that produced the statement “Toward Our Mutual Flourishing.” Recently, I joined a roundtable of Columbus stakeholder/community leaders seeking to strengthen civic bonds and multiracial dialogue in the midst of distrust and unrest in our city and nation. Healing and wellness starts, I believe, in respectful, inclusive initiatives like this.
2: Having been a deputy to General Convention, I understand the importance of discernment, respectful engagement, and flexibility in the compounded days of legislative action and missional reflection. I have been described by others as a “bridge-person” and find most personal joy in connecting people for ministry in ways offering imaginative and lasting results for the common good. I try to listen to differing voices with compassion and an awareness of local history & culture, yet also be willing to give voice to the Spirit’s new thing(s) emerging right here, right now. Following a positive 78th General Convention (2015) that re-imagined much of our common life as a Christian body and organization, I believe the 79th General Convention will require voices that speak faithfully and consistently from the core of Episcopal identity for a new era. Central concerns of economic, racial, and environmental justice and essential social equity must be at the front of General Convention’s actions in 2018. My long expressed passion for community, collaborative, and public ministry, I trust, will help the voice representing Southern Ohio as it enters into council for the good of The Episcopal Church and the world.
THE REV. CANON SCOTT GUNN
CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL
1: I have enjoyed serving our beloved Episcopal Church at several levels: congregation, diocese, and church wide. In my present ministry at Forward Movement, it is a delight to travel across our church and see vibrant ministries of all kinds. Beyond Forward Day by Day, I love our work of inspiring disciples and empowering evangelists – helping churches and individuals come alive in the power of the Good News of God in Jesus Christ. In Southern Ohio, I now serve as an examining chaplain for the Commission on Ministry and Bishop, and I have served on the COM. At Christ Church Cathedral, when I am not traveling, I love preaching, celebrating the Eucharist, and, most often, sitting in a pew and adding my voice to our praise.
2: Surely I cannot deny the fact that I am a church geek of the first order. So being a Deputy to General Convention is one of the best ways to live out the vocation as church geek. But that is not the only reason I feel called to serve as a Deputy, or perhaps even the best reason. I am passionate about finding ways to be the Church in the 21st century in our present context. We need to be discerning about the Holy Spirit’s invitation to adapt to changing realities and needs, and we also need to hear when to immerse ourselves in our ancient tradition. My hope – and my calling – is to bring to bear what I hear and see in our own diocese and across the church to my work as a Deputy. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is hard work, but it is also the wellspring of boundless joy. Besides the nitty-gritty of legislative action, I hope to use my talents as a communicator to share the joy of discipleship – even as a Deputy! – with the people of our diocese.
THE REV. PAULA JACKSON
OUR SAVIOUR/NUESTRO SALVADOR, CINCINNATI
1: I have served in DSO since 1987, and as Rector of Our Saviour/Nuestro Salvador since 1990. During this time it has been my privilege to chair the Liturgical Commission, and to serve on the Task Force on Sexuality as well as on the Commission on Latino Ministry and the Network for Public Policy and Social Justice.
I believe my sisters and brothers in the Diocese have learned that they will know where I stand on an issue, but that I will also listen to them with respect. I can learn from others’ perspectives and even be changed by their experiences.
It has been an honor to serve as your Clergy Alternate to General Convention in 2006; and as Deputy in 2009, 2012, and 2015. I have enjoyed the preparation and the work; and have chronicled not only for our parish but for the Diocese in a daily bilingual reflection. GC still gives me hope for the future of the Church.
2: I was asked to run again. If elected, I will accept that as a call.
THE REV. SUZANNE LEVESCONTE
1: I am currently Rector of Trinity, Hamilton. Trinity is a parish of great socio-economic diversity, with parishioners who live in subsidized housing to those who own successful businesses or hold professional jobs and everything in between. We are a parish in great transition as we move from the 1950’s paradigm of doing church that looked inward to the newer paradigm of looking outward into the neighborhood and being church to one another and to the community around us. This transition includes moving from siloed individuals making important decisions to being more collaborative in how we move forward in our lives together. As a result of the work we have been doing together we have been growing in vibrancy, fellowship, hospitality, evangelism, faith, ministry and numbers. And as we grow we continue to draw the same broad range of people. Our newest endeavors are hosting dinner church once a month and embracing mission-based budgeting.
I am also the current President of the Board of ECSF (Episcopal Community Services Foundation) for the Diocese of Southern Ohio. ECSF is also an organization in transition. Over the last year we have worked on clarifying our mission, moving towards non-profit and board best practices, developing a strong and functioning committee structure, implementing forward thinking budgeting, and emphasizing collaborative decision making.
My involvement in the wider community of Hamilton includes networking with various individuals and agencies in the city and county to help address the needs of many of the individuals that come to Trinity for help. One of the most important aspects of serving those in need has been providing a listening ear and becoming companions with them on their journeys. The realization of how vital this type of relationship is in helping individuals and families move toward wholeness resulted in the planting of a seed that has since developed into a companionship/advocacy ministry for recovering women with children and at risk pregnant women which meets monthly at Trinity.
2: The Church as a whole, both universal and Episcopal, seems to be in the process of transition. Our very vision of what it means to serve Christ and be the body of Christ seems to be in the process of transformation. Moving into that transformation will require great change. On the parish level, on the foundation/diocesan level, and in the community, I have concrete experience with transition and transformation, including the faith visioning that is part of moving forward into new ways of being the Church. I have beeen surprised that over the last three years God has placed me in ministries of transition and transformation at every turn. And I would like to bring the perspective I have about change at the parish and diocesan levels and in the local community into conversation with the broader Church by being a delegate to General Convention.
I also bring the perspective of serving at a mid-sized parish in a town that is having to remake itself from once being, and no longer being, a thrieving industrial town. This brings its own challenges to the parish. Trinity is one of many, many small town parishes that finds itself affected by these economic changes and their accompanying cultural changes, and I would like to be a representative for this parish demographic at General Convention.
THE REV. JASON PRATI
ALL SAINTS, NEW ALBANY
1: I am currently serving as Interim Priest in Charge of All Saints in New Albany, Ohio. I am a member of the Diocesan Commission on Ministry as well as the Diocesan Commission on Liturgy and Music. I serve as the Convener for the Society of Catholic Priests for the Diocese of Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Indianapolis. I also have an wonderful working interfaith relationship with the rabbis and congregation of Temple Beth Shalom in New Albany, Ohio.
2: At my ordination, I was charged with the task to proclaim by word and deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which at its core is a message of love. God has blessed me with a deep passion and gifts for this task of evangelization. When we gather at General Convention to help navigate the Church through the waters and storms of our present age, I hope as a deputy to bring this passion for Jesus Christ to the table to help strengthen and enliven the Church to carry His message of love to a hurting world.
THE REV. CANON MANOJ ZACHARIA
CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL, CINCINNATI
1: I have been blessed to serve as cathedral sub-dean and as the Ecumenical and Interfaith liaison for the Diocese of Southern Ohio. My ministry has entailed developing and sustaining relationships among members of the cathedral congregation, diocesan parishes, as well as other denominations and adjudicatories. I have also been involved in combating racism and “phobias” based on culture, creed, and sexual orientation. Sustaining relationships grounded on commonalities reflecting the breadth of the Anglican tradition is my passion, as I have served four (4) churches in Communion with the See of Canterbury. Prior to its dissolution (General Convention 2015) I was appointed by the President of the House of Deputies to the Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations and have served on the Governing Boards of World Student Christian Federation (North America) and other ecumenical bodies.
2: As a missionary, vicar of rural parishes, rector of suburban parishes, bi-vocational cleric, and as a member of cathedral staff, I have been in a variety of situations domestically and globally that have enriched my ministerial focus. As a parish priest who has served under-resourced through well-resourced congregations in a variety of settings, I identify with the call to be missional in difficult and an increasingly “spiritual” but not religious circumstances. The diversity of experiences, as a priest, has made me sensitive to the fact that my call is to represent the breadth and diversity of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. I appreciate the fact that there are a variety of cultures in our diocese and as a priest molded in the Anglican “middle way,” I think I can offer substantive balance as well as diversity in representing Southern Ohio at General Convention. My faith is centered on the Lordship of Jesus the Christ through the tradition of the Anglican faith expressed in The Episcopal Church.
DEPUTIES TO THE 79TH GENERAL CONVENTION, LAY
Elect 4 lay + 4 lay alternates
1: I’ve served on vestries numerous times at Trinity, Newark, and at St. John’s, Worthington, as well as serving on several clergy search committees. I completed the Southern Ohio Lay Leaders’ Initiative (SOLLI) program and the Diocesan Common Ministry program. In the Diocese I served two terms on the Commission on Ministry, and currently serve on the Standing Committee and Commission on Congregational Life. Beyond the Diocese, I am serving my third term as a trustee of the Bexley Hall Seabury Western Seminary Federation.
2: I believe God gives each of us gifts to be used to serve God and our “neighbors” near and far. I am firm in my commitment to the ministry of all people. I believe God calls us to ensure the consistent, creative, ongoing formation of all God’s people and support for our various ministries. I am and will continue to be an advocate for that and encourage the church to embrace that commitment – internationally, nationally, diocesan-wide and locally. For the first time, I am in a position to attend the General Convention as a lay delegate, and I am willing to be nominated to do so.
ST. PATRICK’S, DUBLIN
1: I am a cradle Episcopalian who has gone out and explored many other faith traditions, but who has always come home to the Episcopal Church. I love this church! On the congregational level, I have served on vestry, in the choir as a Stephen Minister, an EFM mentor and as a parish nurse. In this Diocese, I have served on Diocesan Council and as a Delegate to Diocesan Convention. In the larger community I have served as an Alternate and then a Delegate to the General Convention. My commitment to the work of the church is absolute. I am open to discussion and new ideas and also to the richness of the tradition of our church.
2: I am committed to being an instrument of God’s work in the world. I have implemented this in my international work in Honduras, Jamaica, Liberia and Cambodia where I have served in the capacity of health expert and provider. It has been exciting to me to participate in the outreach of the church to the health of our country and to other countries. I was so excited about the role of youth, the role of our church in health and wellness ministries, the role of our church in the global community. I believe I’m called to continue this participation and to represent our Diocese in the larger community
ST. JAMES, PIQUA
1: In years past I was on the Vestry, I drove the church van, and worked in our church food pantry. My wife and I hosted Lunch with God the last Sunday of each month until January this year. I run the sound for our church services. I am on Diocesan Council and represent the council on the Procter Board. I am on the budget committee and I am the Finance Officer of ECSF, serving the first of a 3-year term.
2: My wife, Evelyn, and I attended the convention in Utah at which time she was able to speak on all the LGBT resolutions at the hearings. This was the first time we attended a National convention for the church. I was elected as third alternate deputy and went as a guest but we attended all the diocese group meetings and the convention sessions. I told Evelyn that I would take her to the next convention however she died March 31 this year unexpectedly. I believe God has a plan for all of us and the final item on Evelyn’s plan was to speak on the resolutions and God is tugging at me and nudging me to run for convention Deputy.
ST. MATTHEW’S, WESTERVILLE
1: God has blessed me with a passion to serve others in ways that can fundamentally impact the way in which they can find and pursue their own relationship with God and their own calling. Towards that end, I have been a ‘serial entrepreneur’ for most of my adult life. My focus has been on franchising, small business development, and real estate development. My journey has taken me through more than a dozen enterprises serving eight states and nine dioceses. Since 2012, my wife Cherie and I have been active members of St. Matthew’s, Westerville. Currently, I serve on the Vestry, and the Way Forward/Strategic Initiative Task Force. I am a lay reader and am actively involved in our Episcopal House in Uptown Westerville. Along with Cherie, I have helped lead our outreach to refugees. In addition to sponsoring a high school student’s trip to Boston to compete in a national STEM Club competition, we have also ‘adopted’ a refugee family; a father with two daughters in high school and a son in middle school. This family was one of several families St. Matthew’s helped through emergency situations. I continue to be blessed by serving as the Chairperson of Partners In Ministry In Liberia (PIMIL). My completion of Formation for Common Ministry laid the foundation for me to become a more active part of the Diocese. I was honored to serve as a Delegate to Diocesan Convention for the last two years. Last year I was humbled by the privilege to serve on Diocesan Council. I now serve on the Budget Committee as well and am gaining a much better sense of how I can serve our Diocese going forward. I have been awarded keys to the city by mayors in both Birmingham, AL and Philadelphia, PA and previously honored as African American Business of the Year in Los Angeles, CA. I have served on the Boards of Directors of the Urban League and Boys and Girls Club in various cities as well as having served as a Board Member of both the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association and the Burger King National Minority Franchisee Association. Additionally, I was a Board Member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated National Building Foundation and the Chairman of Alpha’s National Business and Economic Development Foundation. Finally, now as a real estate developer with a focus on church-based non-profit owners of affordable housing I am continually working with real estate professionals across the country as I seek to assist these owners in bringing their visions of benefiting their residents and their communities, and those of their church sponsors, to fruition.
2: We were told in Mathew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”
The next two words changed everything – “Therefore go…”. And go they did. The first century church had it right. Two thousand years is a long time and many, maybe even most, and in truth we all have lost have our way at some time in one way or another. And in what I believe to be a reaction to that more global ‘lostness’ more than 70 years ago Archbishop William Temple said:
“The Church is the only institution that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.”
That was a global call to return to what Jesus told us to do. That call was global but life is lived ‘local’. And while I cannot say exactly how many years ago this was first said here (it was here when we got here) I can say that in our Diocese I believe the word ‘connection’ to be that same call to return to what Jesus said. We shout it at the top of our lungs on our web site and other communications and we strive to live it in all that we do. God has blessed me more than I could ever ‘ask for or imagine’ with a wife, a parish, and a Diocese all of whom allow me the privilege to serve and thereby help me to grow nearer to God and that which God intends as revealed through the Holy Spirit that dwells within me. I believe that God now is calling me to serve as a Lay Deputy at the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church. The President of the House of Deputies writes that Deputies are charged to listen, share, attend, and vote informed by prayer, factual, information, and the workings of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, the goal is to seek not the mind of the majority but to reflect the mind of the Holy Spirit. Being transformed from nomad to pilgrim I have heard God’s call and humbly and prayerfully respond by offering myself in nomination to serve.
I close respectfully mindful of the closing of Isaiah 6:8…”Here am I. Send me.”
ST. GEORGE’S, DAYTON
(see Diocesan Council, above)
ST. PHILIP, COLUMBUS
1: I have been blessed to have found a parish and diocese where gifts are shared with each other as we continue to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. That love and support has given me the opportunity to serve in leadership capacities, such as vestry member, Junior Warden, Chancel Choir, Altar Guild, Lay Eucharistic Minister and Visitor, and lay licensed preacher.
In continued growth of God’s beloved community, I have been given the opportunity to extend my passions on a diocesan level through leadership positions in such as areas as Chair of Racism Training Task Force, Deputy to General Convention, member of the Bexley Seabury Seminary Board, the Diocesan Disciplinary Board, and Trainer for Worship leaders.
As a retiree, my love for public service has continued through participating on community boards (YMCA), social action organizations (NAMI of Franklin County, Project Harmony) and faith organizations (Bible Study Fellowship). Everything is fueled by my desire to serve my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in building community.
2: I believe God continues to call me to this position so that my gifts of compassion, understanding of cultural/ethnic diversity, knowledge of health and social issues, a sense of humor, and experience as deputy to past General Conventions can be further used in the wider Church. It has been a great joy to serve the Church as Deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
I have been humbled by your continued support. If elected as Deputy, I will continue to prayerfully represent this Diocese to the best of my ability. I love the work and I love this Church!!
ST. JAMES, CLINTONVILLE
1: Raised as an Episcopalian in the Diocese of Southwest Florida, I moved to Columbus and the Diocese of Southern Ohio in 1998. I was active as a college student and student minister at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, as well as serving on teams for Vocare. As an adult, I have been an active member of St. James, Clintonville, for 8 years. In that time I have served as member of the choir, various lay liturgy ministries, on a Search Committee, and on Vestry for 3 years. I have served as a delegate to Diocesan Convention once previously, and am slated to serve again this fall. I work on the weekly announcements for my congregation and am active in our hospitality ministry. In Summer 2015 I joined Diocesan Council as a Bishop’s appointee and have greatly enjoyed my time serving the larger Diocese.
2: I have felt a call to General Convention since the previous triennium. I believe that diverse representation is critical to a healthy diocese and that my position as a member of a “younger” group helps fulfill this need. I feel a strong commitment to the position of the Church within the larger national community, and believe that willfully submitting myself for service is the best way for me to live out my faith in the world.