Dear Cathedral Family,
My name is Jason Leo, and on the first of July, I will begin serving you in my role as Interim Dean for Christ Church Cathedral. I am excited and encouraged that Bishop Breidenthal chose me for this appointment after much prayerful consideration, and in consultation with your Cathedral vestry.
It is not lost on me that this is a challenging time for the cathedral community to be without permanent leadership in place. We are currently witnessing social unrest, record unemployment numbers, all amidst a global health pandemic. There is also a presidential election on the horizon that seems only to contribute to an already highly divisive time in our country. Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us.
That said, hard work has never been the enemy of this cathedral community, but rather a hallmark of it.
There will be much activity at the cathedral in the coming year as we continue to confront the brokenness in the world that currently surrounds us, while simultaneously entering into deep discernment on whom God is calling to be the next Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.
Please know that your wardens and vestry have already begun preparations for the search process to identify your next dean, and be assured that your input will be welcomed. While this pandemic time has indeed made communications more challenging, it is our intent to provide this community with regular updates as this process moves forward.
In the coming weeks we will be introducing you to the Rev. Canon John Johanssen, who will be serving as your consultant in the search process. Rev. Johanssen has successfully served other Episcopal Churches in this capacity, and is currently the Bishop’s Canon to the Ordinary. He is also uniquely qualified for this position, having previously acted as interim dean for Christ Church Cathedral from late 2010 to the Spring of 2011.
Our good work starts very soon, friends, and I am very much looking forward to getting to know this healthy and dynamic community along the way. It is a blessing to be able to be on this journey with you.
The Rev. Canon Jason Leo
We welcome you to Christ Church Cathedral – ours is a vibrant Episcopal community that strives to be a center of compassion and justice that translates into action. Whether you are “church shopping” or know you want to become a member of our community, we are glad to have you worship with us and join with us as we endeavor to live out the calling and mission of Jesus Christ.
Worship of God is the foundation of our community; it is beautiful, dignified and celebratory. Our faith and practice are grounded in the words of our baptismal covenant. (As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, all worship takes place online).
Our beliefs are formed in our worship, and in working for social justice and peace. We are a diverse church, united in common prayer and in our commitment to “seek and serve Christ in all persons.” Sermons delve into scripture, ask hard questions and inspire commitment to helping those in need.
The Book of Common Prayer is an important part of Episcopal life and worship. Many are drawn to the Prayer Book’s ancient beauty which includes a wealth of prayers and liturgies for virtually every occasion. It serves as a way to center our lives in Christ. We gather week by week to hear the Word of God proclaimed, thanking God for the gifts in our lives, the wisdom we find in prayer and the help we find when troubled.
Since our founding, the people of Christ Church Cathedral have encountered the holiness, transcendence and glory of God through the gift of sacred music. Music is an integral part of the spiritual life and rhythm of our congregation, guiding and welcoming the people of God in the central actions of our liturgy and prayers.
Long noted for fine organ and choral music in the Anglican tradition, our music ministry contributes richly to the spiritual and cultural life of our cathedral community as we seek to be a House of Prayer for All People, a cathedral for our diocese, and a church in the heart of the city of Cincinnati.
The Episcopal Church is the American province of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide body of over 70 million Christians who trace their origins to the Church of England. Episcopalians are thinking Christians who engage questions of faith with both seriousness and great joy.
Often, The Episcopal Church is called a “bridge church” between Roman Catholicism and Protestant denominations. This is because much Episcopal theology is Protestant in nature, while much of Episcopal worship, spiritual practice, and church structure resemble Catholicism. As a result, those from a variety of backgrounds will find in the Episcopal Church a home that honors their own faith tradition while providing a renewed source of spiritual nourishment.
This supports our belief that every person is a child of God, and created in God’s image. We live out that image in a Christian community that supports and nurtures one another. We do ministry within the church, including worship, youth and children’s programs, teaching, personal connections, intercessory prayer, retreats, spiritual counseling and hospitality.
Episcopalians describe a common heritage and commitment to the authority of scripture, tradition and reason, sometimes referred to as a “3-legged stool.” The first leg is Holy Scripture, which Episcopalians say is “written by people…inspired by the Holy Spirit” (from the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer). Our Old Testament chronicles the relationship between God and Israel. Our New Testament chronicles the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the faith journey of the first generation of disciples. The wisdom that Scripture provides guides our lives.
The second leg is Tradition. Tradition consists of the interpretation of God’s purposes by past generations of Christians, their faith and practices. Especially valued are the interpretations offered by early church leaders and councils.
The third leg is Reason. Episcopalians understand that human beings are created in God’s image, which includes gifting us with complex, reasoning minds. We honor God’s gift when we use our minds to think deeply about God’s will, consulting Scripture, Tradition and the myriad ways that God is revealed in the world around us.
This supports our belief that every person is a child of God, and created in God’s image. We live out that image in a Christian community that supports and nurtures one another. We do ministry within the church, including worship, youth and children’s programs, and teaching.
We also believe God calls us to ministry outside of our church. We engage in feeding programs and provide shelter, we take part in mission trips and provide support to those in need.
The ministers of the church are its people. Some are called into special “ordained” ministry such as bishops, priests and deacons, yet everyone participates in the work, ministry and governance of the church. The word “Episcopal” is derived from the Greek word for bishop. Thus, our very name means that The Episcopal Church is structured around bishops. Episcopal bishops, like bishops in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, trace their authority to the first-century apostles.
Each bishop oversees a geographic area called a diocese. Within a diocese are local congregations called parishes. A parish consists of a body of baptized Christians, often served by an ordained priest and deacon.
In the Episcopal Church, a cathedral is the central church of a diocese, the seat of the bishop or the bishop’s church. Christ Church Cathedral is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio.
Yes. The General Convention of The Episcopal Church permitted the ordination of women in 1976. The first women were canonically ordained to the priesthood in 1977. The first female bishop, Barbara Harris, was consecrated in 1989. In 2006, Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected as the Church’s 26th presiding bishop, the church’s chief pastor.