Join us for the Vibrant Church Conference, a Southern Ohio Synod initiative to provide valuable training on topics currently impacting leaders and congregations. Our original plans, like so many others, for an annual in-person conference has been deferred. Instead, the planning team pivoted to an online workshop series comprised of pre-recorded video sessions and Saturday morning Zoom forums to allow for questions, insights and discussion.  A link to the pre-recorded videos will arrive in your email a week prior to the schedule Saturday discussion forums. The links will also be available, the week of the session, in the topic sections below for easy retrieval…We know how cluttered email can get!

Check out the three initial workshop offerings below and register today! You are encouraged to safely watch them as group or gather online and share your thoughts with others in your congregation prior to or after the workshops.  Teamwork is critical to the success of any organization, especially during times of change. The more people you have on the same page, the better the buy in and the more quickly and effectively your church can pivot to meet the ever-changing ministry environment—now and beyond 2020.

Click on the workshop tab below to register for one or all of the upcoming SOS Vibrant Church Conference events.

Questions about the Vibrant Church Conference may be directed to SOS Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM), Pr. Katie Kerrigan at

Neighboring--Building Relationships

Zoom on Nov 14th 10am – 12pm

Neighboring--Building Relationships:  How congregations can be part of a movement to Love Our Neighbors

'Neighboring' is about simply loving our neighbor.  Neighboring means different things and takes on many different forms of actions in our congregations and homes. From formal outreach ministries and invitations, to the informal “hello” at the end of the driveway or over the back-yard fence, neighboring is happening. But what would it look like if each congregation, joined with civic leaders, and social service agencies, and crossed denominational divides to actually work together to learn from one another and teach one another about loving our neighbor? What if we could form a collaborative, that helps create a community-wide neighboring movement? Tune in to learn more about how to start a neighboring movement in your congregation and community. We will talk with Pastor Joel Seymour and Deacon Diane Schwiger-Alexander about how the movement came together in the Lancaster area and how it continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of one community, even in a global pandemic.

Pastor Joel Seymour is Lead Pastor of the Lancaster Vineyard Church and founder of the Art of Neighboring Team in Lancaster, OH.  Deacon Diane Schwiger-Alexander is a rostered minister of the ELCA, and former interim pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Lancaster.

This session is based on the book, The Art of Neighboring. It is highly recommended that you read the book and check out the authors' website at:

Pre-work video. Please watch before 11.14.20 class.



Digital Ministry

Zoom on Sept 26th 10am – 12pm

Digital Ministry:  How to use live-streaming, social media, your website and email to build community and live into God's mission.

Building community starts with making connections. During this time of pandemic and social distancing that is harder than ever. This session will teach you how to foster community and mission by building digital tools that create opportunity for face-to-face interaction and consistent meaningful experiences. Designed with your church in mind, this session is for churches of all sizes and resources.

Topics Include:

People & Purpose: Who are you talking to and what do you want them to do?

Don’t Sweat It: How to have a vibrant digital presence without working 24/7

The Work of the People: How Lay Leaders can create interactive liturgies and other community building experiences.

From Consumer to Community: How to incorporate digital tools for discipleship, small groups, outreach and more.

This course is led by Ben Morris, a member of the Congregational Renewal Team (Collaborative) of the Southern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and is a Church Council Member and Chairperson of the Inviting and Welcoming Ministry at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has been particularly active in the congregation’s online ministry.


Coursework for registrants:

Click HERE to watch video by Ben Morris

Vibrant Congregations Digital Ministry Quick Start Guide

Vibrant Congregations Digital Ministry Cheat Sheet

Vibrant Congregations Digital Ministry Resources


Christmas During COVID

Zoom on Oct 10th 10am – 12pm

Christmas During COVID:  How to make an amazing pageant with resources you already have

Christmas will be here before we know it, and with it the joyful Christmas Pageant! But how can we even consider a pageant with social distancing, CDC guidelines, and a future that is uncertain at best?  Join Pastor Hille as he discusses how to create a "Do It Yourself" Christmas Pageant, building on the strengths and resources that you already have in your congregation. 

Pastor Dan Hille is pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Columbus.


Materials for Saturday's workshop:



Handouts: Christmas During COVID Notes