The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal has served as the Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio since 2006. Prior to his election, Breidenthal was the Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University. Previously he was on faculty at the General Theological Seminary in New York, serving as the John Henry Hobart Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology.
He has also served in numerous capacities in the wider church including being a member of the General Board of Examining Chaplains, and serving on the board of Bexley Hall and the National Association of Episcopal Schools.
Breidenthal led the Diocese of Southern Ohio through a strategic planning process, the goals of which have some overlap with the work of TREC. Breidenthal’s focus on congregations moving out of their comfort zones is evident in the diocesan plan to “Discover and nurture relationships with seekers and people in transition using engaging venues and communication to share the Gospel.”
A consistent theme of his ministry has been serving the importance of serving the common good. Breidenthal has written and preached about reaching out to our neighbors. When the membership of St. Michael and All Angels Church in Cincinnati dwindled so that it was at the point of closure, the Diocese of Southern Ohio transformed the property into Gabriel’s Place, a Farmer’s Market that offers the only available fresh produce in an economically depressed neighborhood.
Although Breidenthal has worked on restructuring his own diocese, it is unclear what his thoughts would be for this work in the wider church. As we envision a leaner and more accessible structure, it would be helpful to know his answer to TREC’s question, “What can we let go of?”