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Thrive! Equipping a Vibrant Church Together 5.14.19

Thrive! Equipping a Vibrant Church Together

“Stronger and Better Together: Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World” is a strong vision but if we do not have the necessary resources, how are we to fully pursue it? Providing the needed resources is what the Thrive Capital Campaign is all about. That is why PAC member, Pastor Jonathan Eilert, is excited about Thrive! Here is what he has to say:



What excites me about the Thrive campaign is that our synod has the right mission and vision for this moment in the church, but we need this campaign to support key initiatives that will help enliven our mission. We all love Lutheran theology but our practical ecclesiology, our understanding of what it means to be the church, somehow got turned inward. We have to take some practical steps. We have to retool and reinvent ourselves as an outwardly focused church that engages the community and creates disciples for the sake of God's mission in the world. The Thrive campaign will provide valuable resources to help us do this additional work. It will empower us to be more intentional about identifying and then multiplying the best things that we are doing as the Lutheran congregations in Southern Ohio. We are stronger and better together, and we will see this more clearly as a result of the initiatives funded through this campaign. I pray that all congregations will join ours in supporting this important work God is calling us to do together.

Pastor Jonathan Eilert (Prince of Peace, Loveland)

Videos and other information about all five of the Thrive campaign goals may be found at the Thrive Quicklink on the Synod’s website.


“Stronger and Better Together: Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World”
The Southern Ohio Synod vision leading us to Thrive!


An important but lingering goal of our Synod’s vision, adopted by the 2016 Assembly, was to establish a virtual hub at the Synod office that would allow the Bishop and Assistants to “visit” congregations digitally when in-person visits are not required, as well as provide online training and collaboration opportunities.

Susan Barton-Nonno, Director of Communications for our Synod, recently helped bring this goal to fruition. It is already making a difference. Is she excited? See what you think!


As a communicator, I have looked forward to extending the reach of the synod staff to provide training, resources, support and networking for lay leaders, rostered ministers, and congregations so that they can better fulfill their mission and ministry.

In 2014, when Bishop Dillahunt’s Visioning Team talked with groups around the synod, feedback they received highly recommended that the synod office seek ways to expand its reach digitally using web-based tools and other technology to better connect our synod. It had long been my goal, and that of the Bishop, to utilize web conferencing, not just because it’s cool (which it is) but also to enable our small staff to be more places across our synod without the limitations of geography and time. Then we received a generous gift from one of our congregations that enabled us to upgrade our Internet, giving us the capacity to handle the speeds necessary for effective web conferencing. And now, at last, we have purchased and installed all of the equipment necessary to host web meetings!

The maiden voyage of the new virtual hub was May 6 when it was used for a Thrive! PAC meeting. The next day, Pr. Bob Abrams used the virtual hub to connect to his ELCA Systems Team, which is also part of the Thrive! Campaign, Goal #3.

The new Synod office virtual hub, linked in the future with hubs proposed to be established in churches across the Synod, will help make training, collaboration, and support functions by Synod staff and other church leaders both cost-effective and timely. Imagine! We will be able to hold tutorials, training sessions, Bible studies, and maybe, just maybe, some kind of virtual assembly! Hey! An Assembly Planner can dream, can’t she?


“For further information about the Thrive campaign, please contact Pastor Larry Donner, Thrive Campaign Manager, at”




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