Author Archives: elmiller

Always Looking for Opportunities to Live Our Mission

An Open Invitation:


See Hamilton County’s services for job seekers first-hand!  Wednesday, May 14:  Join Cincinnati’s interfaith leaders for a field trip to Ohio Means Jobs (formerly SuperJobs) at 1916 Central Parkway in downtown Cincinnati!  Using federal grants, this program hosts hiring events, up to $200 in bus or gas cards for newly-hired people, and grants for on-the-job training and vocational courses .  Employment is a top issue for the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati (MARCC) this year, so MARCC is holding its May delegates meeting at Ohio Means Jobs.  Come at 11:30 to observe an open hiring session, then hear an overview of Ohio Means Jobs services by director Kevin Holt.  The event is free!  Bring a brown-bag lunch.  This is a great chance to learn not only about a valuable resource for employers and job-seekers, and also to see MARCC in action. MARCC was spearheaded by Bishop Blanchard in 1968 to unite Cincinnati’s religious community to foster reconciliation and social justice.  For more information, and

Hope to see you there!
Ariel Miller, diocesan representative to MARCC

A Mission-minded Parish



Did you know that Ascension & Holy Trinity is having two parish mission ministries this summer?  That’s right, not one, but two mission events!  June 18-22nd several parishioners will be traveling to Staten Island to assist in the rebuilding efforts from the devastation left behind from Hurricane Sandy.  Ascension & Holy Trinity will be helping through the auspices of Episcopal Relief & Development.  More details and a planning meeting date are forthcoming. Vestry member, Rolf Stottmann, is working on details for our Staten Island Mission Trip.


In addition to our traveling mission trip, our Helping Our Neighbors In Need ministry team is hosting another “At-home Mission Week” the week of June 23rd.  Noel Horne is busy planning this event and wants your input.  Adults and children are invited to the home of Noel and Angela Horne this Friday evening April 25th at 6:30 for a planning party.  This fabulous planning party is for adults and children.  The evening will be very informal and will involve wine and cheese, soft drinks and desserts.  Please call Noel at 513-729-2173 to let him know that you and your family plan on attending the planning party.  I know all will have a great time together as we seek opportunities to take God’s love into the world!


In God’s Grace,

Eric L. Miller+

Pastoral Care Team Meeting

Easter Sunday






Ascension & Holy Trinity is an amazing parish, truly.  The majority of our parishioners have the understanding that by virtue of their baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ they are ministers of the Gospel.  We hav
e a very active core group of folks leading the way toward our vision statement, that we become a vital and growing faith community, with overflowing worship services and Christian growth opportunities; a church with compassion-centered ministries through which all find a place and take God’s love into the world.

As rector, I’m always keeping my eyes and ears open for people in need of a healing word of love brought to them.  Pastoral Care is of utmost importance for me and the ministry to which I’ve been entrusted.  Our members have a solid understanding that pastoral care isn’t the “job of the priest,” but rather, pastoral care is the ministry of all God’s people.  Our parishioners engage in offering pastoral care through a variety of ways.  We

offer musicians who sing to shut-ins, Eucharistic Visitors taking holy communion to those unable to come out for worship, altar guilders offering our altar flowers after our worship, welcoming team offering hospitality bags to newcomers and a bread ministry for those new to the parish, Vestry members being in contact with parishioners every month to check in, a card ministry recognizing birthdays and anniversaries and joyous moments and grieving moments, and a whole host of other ministries to share the love of God.


All Ministry Team Leaders and any others able to participate are invited to join me this Sunday April 27th in the Parish Health Office following our 10:00 worship.  The purpose of this meeting is to recognize what is working well and what ministries need tweaking.  In addition, how might we better coordinate our pastoral care efforts?  How might parishioners feel even more empowered to visit those needing spiritual uplift?  Do we develop a “Pastoral Care Team,” or do we better organize all of the various ministries already in place?   I value your input an
d your experiences.  So, please join me this Sunday after 10:00 worship to reflect on how we may more fully take God’s love into the world.

In God’s Grace,

Eric L. Miller+



Monthly Community Dinner a Success

20140110-165700.jpgTake a moment to read this followup email from our Community Dinner coordinators, Dee and Ralph Damico:

“Hi folks
We had fun at the community dinner last night. The barbeque sandwiches went over well, as well as the potato salad, fruit and dessert.
We fed 69 children, 14 seniors and 18 volunteers, as well as sent over 8 meals to the St. Monica’s recreation center for a grand total of 109.
Thanks so much to our regular volunteers, Noel Horne, Paul and Elizabeth Anderson, George and Laura Harperink, and Maria. We also had help from Bridget and Molly Glover, Megan and Paige Walters, and Jennifer Morris and Paige Walters. Thanks so much. And we also wish to thank the volunteers from St. Simon, Darlene Gray and her workers.
Hope to see you in May.
Dee and Ralph Damico”
Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church collaborated with St. Simon’s in Lincoln Heights to provide a healthy dinner for 109 individuals needing a healthy meal–109 hungry people!  From my imperfect count it looks like we had about thirteen total folks from Ascension & Holy Trinity helping to make this ministry a reality on a busy Tuesday night–simply phenomenal in my eyes!
Have we stopped lately to think about the difference we can make in the world?  I know that there’s plenty of heartache in the world and in our own lives.  I get that, truly, I do.  But in order to be vessels of God’s love and mercy we must look to the good in one another and be willing to make a difference.  You and I are capable of making a difference because we know God loves us, and we know God loves the other.  In fact, in God’s kingdom there isn’t “other.”
Our lives are over programmed today.  There are so many “opportunities” out there that many of us seldom take the time to sit back and reflect on God’s presence in our lives and on how we share and receive that goodness.  I want to encourage us to see our lives as one big ministry.  Ascension & Holy Trinity has a ton of ministry options for people to partake, but what if your schedule doesn’t permit you to help in the once a month Tuesday night Community Dinners?  Well, you may have the ministry of being mommy or daddy helping your child with their homework or any other number of parental roles.  Maybe you or a loved one is suffering an illness, whether it be cancer or otherwise.  Can we consider the role of supporter to be a ministry?  Or, can we consider the act of living with a life-altering illness a ministry?  I sure hope we can because God’s love and compassion and mercy is capable of being reflected through anything we enjoy or endure.
Our monthly Community Dinners are one ministry of Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.  I want our parishioners involved in our “church” ministries because I consider these church ministries to be life-giving and transformative for the individual and for our faith community at large.  And..and, I/we need to realize and remember that ministry isn’t confined to our parish, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Valley Temple, etc…We need both, ministries offered from the church and to see our lives as ministries.
For some of my readers this idea of life as ministry will be considered a radical idea, and for many this idea will seem rather obvious.  To both parties and everyone in between, wherever you are is all right as long as you are living from a place of love and a willingness to grow.  It is Wednesday afternoon, the week before Holy Week.  Tonight there is a huge presentation in our Parish Hall about El Hogar, a ministry based in Honduras.  I’ve heard from many who won’t be able to attend for one reason or another.  I’ve heard from several who shall be able to attend.  Do I want to see our Parish Hall overflowing?  You better believe it!   However, I have to trust, we have to trust that those needing to be present to learn about El Hogar will be present.  We also have to have the courage and willingness to share our learnings from this evening with our faith community over the coming Sundays.
Ascension & Holy Trinity, you are loved by your rector more than you will ever know or understand.  I bid you a beautiful Wednesday afternoon as you consider what ministries you are about this fine day.
In God’s Grace,


Community Dinner

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


This month we will be serving beef barbecue sandwiches, potato salad, fruit and dessert. We need sandwich buns, barbecued beef and grapes. Bring any donation to the church by Monday, April 7, and please let us know if you can help in any way. We especially need help in food preparation from 4:30 to 5:30 PM.


Dee Damico

Women of Faith Join Us to View an Immigration Film Wednesday April 2nd

Women of Faith invited to evaluate a new film on immigration, Wednesday, April 2, at A & HT at noon: Active Voice, an outstanding non-profit in California, invites you as midwestern women of faith to comment on the a special preview screening of the new film Who is Dayani Cristal?  This documentary, which features the actor Gael Garcia Bernal, tells the stories of Mexicans who try to cross the US border, and why they are willing to risk their lives to do so. The film is not yet in theatres, so this is a special preview screening. Active Voice  has a grant from the John T. and Catherine T. McArthur Fund for a research project to understand how films about immigration can help create a more informed and positive discourse about immigrants in the U.S.  Viewers will be asked to fill out a survey before and after the film, with a chance to win a $50 gift card.  We will provide a free lunch to participants but need to ask for an RSVP by March 30 to Ariel Miller, or 513-221-0547.  The movie takes 80 minutes – plan two hours for this event.
Active Voice’s mission is to put a human face on public policy, exploring social issues through the creative use of documentaries such as Gideon’s Army and Kids for Cash to spark informed civic engagement. Active Voice’s  executive director is Cincinnati native Shaady Salehi, a 1999 graduate of Walnut Hills High School, who earned a bachelor’s degree at Oberlin College, and master’s degrees in strategic communication from Columbia, and cultural anthropology from the University of California at Davis.  Read more at


You Don’t Want to Miss This Sunday!

Sunday March 23rd will be a joy-filled and exciting Sunday.  Yes, I know some find joy hard to come by during Lent, but I’m always up for some joy!  Mr. Rob Konkol, Diocesan Youth Minister, and several of our diocesan youth will be joining us during out 10:00 worship Sunday to share about their experiences at Procter Camp and Conference Center.  The youth will even be teaching us a song or two!  Rob and his youth always bring a powerful message about God’s love experienced at Procter, and I hope you’ll be with us to hear their message.

In addition, our Vestry has decided to host a special coffee hour for the next two Sundays, March 23rd and March 30th.  These coffee hours will be special times for you to look over Vestry’s priorities of “Increasing youth engagement in the life of the parish” and “Pursuing active, loving relationships to promote a vital and growing faith community at Ascension & Holy Trinity.”  We want your feedback on how best to proceed in implementing plans to work toward these to priorities.  So again, please be sure to join us for worship this Sunday, and stick around after worship for coffee hour where you’ll be able to talk with Rob Konkol and diocesan youth about Procter Camp, and you’ll be able to share your ideas about our Vestry’s priorities.  This Sunday we’ll be looking at the Priority aimed at engaging our youth.

Remember, Church is a group activity.  That is to say, the life and ministry of the church of God isn’t about me as your priest, or even about singular parishioners, but rather, the life of the church is about how we experience God together and take that experience to the world.  So, join us as we put the love of God into action and as we journey toward a vital and growing faith community, with overflowing worship services and Christian growth opportunities.  A church with compassion-centered ministries through which all find a place and take God’s love into the world!

In God’s Grace,

Eric L. Miller+

Come Celebrate the Life of Becky Ralph

A Memorial Service for Becky Ralph, wife of the late Rev. Wiley Ralph, will
be held this Saturday, March 22 at 1:30pm at Ascension and Holy Trinity. A
reception in the Parish Hall will follow the service.

Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy
of God, rest in peace. 

Elizabeth Graham is coordinating the Reception and is seeking donations and
kitchen help. 
Please text or call Elizabeth at 504-2955 to let her know what you would
like to contribute. 
Ideas: finger sandwiches, cheese & trackers, fruit tray, veggie tray,
cookies, brownies, etc.

The Way of the Cross

Tonight at 7:00 Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will deepen our Lenten devotions through walking the “Way of the Cross” together.  Praying the Stations of the Cross is a way to remember Jesus’ last days on earth leading up to his crucifixion.  This liturgy is brief, but quite powerful.

I encourage you to join us this evening in our church nave to walk with Christ as he endured trials and suffering in his “last” days.  The service is moving and helps put one squarely into Lent.  All are welcome to come.  I’ll lead the first service, and our lay members will lead the remaining Friday liturgies.

Have blessed afternoons as we wrap up our work weeks and prep for the weekend.