Happening Now: News Around the Synod, July 29, 2021

Vibrant Church Conference – Community Gardening

REGISTER NOW for the Vibrant Church Conference workshop on Community Gardening: “Hands-on Creation Cultivation as Evangelism.” Led by Rev. Michael D. Oakley, this workshop will introduce you to how your outdoor space “can be leveraged into an outreach and evangelism pathway that will connect you to your neighbors, community, the hungry and more.”
If you’ve been wondering how you can connect with your neighbors and witness to the abundance of God’s creation and provision, you won’t want to miss this!
August 14, 10am to 12 noon, online! Register, and we’ll send you an introductory video and links to the online workshop at the beginning of that week.

We are so excited to introduce Cultivate: Emerging Lutheran Communities.

This new Synod initiative is in response to our Thrive Goal #4: “Launching New Congregations and Reaching New People” with the Gospel in a Lutheran key.

We are sure you have questions! The Synod’s Cultivate Team invites rostered ministers to join us virtually on Monday, September 20, from 10am to noon.  The Team has been supported and inspired by our colleagues of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, so we have invited Rev. Jonathan Kollmann, Pastor of Connections and New Ministry Developments at Anderson Hills UMC to share with you the work they are doing both locally and throughout the West Ohio Conference to support and grow new worshipping communities.  We hope that this will help you to see what we mean by “Emerging Lutheran Communities,” and to catch the dream!  Bishop Dillahunt and our DEM, Pastor Katie Kerrigan, will also be on hand to share more about how Cultivate can equip and support you in this work and answer your questions.

You can find out more about Cultivate at our new website: CultivateSouthernOhio.com, and you can register for this Zoom event at https://bit.ly/3BnyYtd.  We are looking forward to seeing you

The Collaborative is forming its 2021 cohort!

The Collaborative is a 2-year program to help congregations find greater vitality as they “tune in” to God’s call for them. The Synod’s Collaborative Team offers training and accompaniment as leaders and congregations learn how to build relationships, deepen faith, identify God’s call for their congregation and – most importantly – respond to that call, following Jesus out into their communities. In following Jesus out into the world, congregations “take hold of the life that really is life.” Thanks to a grant from the ELCA, we are able to offer this at a cost of $100/congregation for each of four retreats.

The Collaborative is for congregations…

  • who may feel stalled and not sure of what their next steps should be
  • are struggling to understand their specific mission or purpose
  • want to strengthen their congregation by investing in their lay leadership
  • are wondering how they could be more effective in sharing the good news about Jesus in a changing world.

If any of these are true of your congregation, contact our DEM, Pastor Katie Kerrigan by email at kkerrigan@southernohiosynod.org, or by phone at the Synod office.

Our first Retreat is Oct 1-2, and spots are limited—don’t wait!

How are Our Pulpit Supply Preachers being Utilized?

As we seek to see that preachers are available for the proclamation of the Gospel in pulpits throughout the Synod, your input is essential to help us understand the need and how well our current resources are being utilized.  We have prepared two surveys, one for congregations (pastors or the person who contacts supply preachers) and one for those who serve or have served as supply preachers.  If you fall into either of these groups, please take a few minutes to complete the appropriate survey.  It will take fewer than 5 minutes.   The surveys will be live through August 5th. 
1. Congregations — How have you used pulpit supply (or not)?
2. Supply Preachers (current or recent past) — How have your services been utilized?

THRIVE! Presents: Effective Congregation Council Workshop

By popular demand, we are offering a return engagement of the Effective Congregation Councils on Monday, August 30th at 7:00 pm – funded by the Thrive! Campaign.

This is an ONLINE workshop designed for all council members and rostered leaders. Church leaders should attend to increase skills in:

  • Developing and working from a strategic plan
  • Focusing on fiduciary, governance, and generative issues
  • Making the best use of time with consent agenda, a purpose for every meeting, and other tactics
  • Having the meeting be spiritually fulfilling
  • Leadership development

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Register no later than August 27th by sending an email to Thrive@SouthernOhioSynod.org and including the name, phone number, email address, and leadership role (e.g.; President; council member; pastor) of each attendee. A Zoom invitation will be sent to each registrant two days prior to the workshop.


Dr. Cory Driver has written a new book, “Life Unsettled: A Scriptural Journey for Wilderness Times.”  It can be pre-ordered here.

Pastor Daniel Snider has written a new book, “I’m Coming to You.”  It can be purchased here.


Prayers for Mr. Steve Goff for peace and strength

Prayers for Pastor Terry Morgan for complex coronary catheterization to place stents

Prayers for Kathy Schnierle for healing and support

Prayers for Mr. Norman Staker, on the passing of his wife Joyce

Prayers for Rev. Dick Mintel’s wife, Nancy, on his passing

Pr. Doug Campbell- prayers for healing