The Bishop’s Annual Appeal is both a vital contributor to my spiritual growth and to the spiritual vitality of the parish I serve: Church of the Redeemer, Lorain.
All through my process to become a priest, the Diocese has provided support from the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. I have been able to hold leadership positions, attend workshops, develop missional support groups, and facilitate gatherings because of this important diocesan support. It is also a visible reminder of the role the Diocese plays in raising up new leadership and providing ongoing education for the continual growth of already established leaders. The appeal allows for me to explore what my own leadership style looks like in the particular contexts I have served.
The Bishop’s Annual Appeal is also an incredibly important part of the ministry at Church of the Redeemer, Lorain. Like many other rustbelt cities, Lorain has a great many people living close to or below poverty level. Our parish is committed to living out the mission: Love God. Love Your Neighbor. Change the World.®
So much of our new life has been found in breaking bread with our neighbors. The Bishop’s Annual Appeal enables us to care for one another through the spiritual work of serving meals, providing pantries for food and hygiene products, holding service events, like bra fittings for women in need, inviting partner nonprofits to use our space, hosting holiday events, helping people find housing and necessary legal documentation, and most importantly providing a space for people to find Jesus in one another. We, at Redeemer, are very aware of the gift of being in a Diocesan structure because we are reminded daily that we are not alone in this work. Every dollar of support that provides a meal or a birth certificate or a bus pass is a reminder that Episcopalians all over the Diocese of Ohio believe in the life we are trying to lead.
The Bishop’s Annual Appeal is the principal vehicle by which communicants and congregations support many creative and vital ministries not otherwise afforded by the diocesan budget. It allows us to undertake ministries that are beyond the scope of individual congregations, helping us to act together as one community. The appeal funds parish based outreach ministries, leadership development for lay and clergy leaders, youth and adult formation, and other initiatives that build up the vitality of our congregations and the communities they serve.
The 2020 Bishop’s Annual Appeal will kick off during the Lenten season. Brochures and information will be available at your parish and will be mailed to your homes. You may also visit dohio.org/give-now for more information.