The Fifth Annual Small Parish Forum sponsored this 12 months by the Orthodox Church in America’s Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania, the Diocese of the Midwest and the Bulgarian Diocese will be held at Saint George Cathedral in the Toledo, OH suburb of Rossford July 12-14 2018.
As in years previous, this 12 months’s Forum will concentrate on particular conditions widespread to “small” parishes all through the OCA and different Orthodox jurisdictions. Workshops and shows will discover methods to help parishes with memberships of 75 or fewer souls to obtain stability, construct a optimistic self-image, and settle for their calling to stay a life in Christ with out essentially changing into “big.”
“Most Orthodox parishes are small, yet just as a clinic is not a large metropolitan hospital with fewer beds, small churches are not immature, mini-versions of larger parishes,” stated Joseph Kormos, Forum Co-chairperson and Parish Development Ministry Leader for the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh. “Small parishes can bring people to Christ in intimate and exciting ways often unavailable to larger parishes.”
“This year’s Forum theme will be ‘Equipping Leaders and Parish Councils for Discipleship and Change,’” added Archpriest Daniel Rentel, Forum Co-chairperson. “With this as a framework we will explore how small parishes with limited resources can shape leaders and leadership structures to take advantage of the many positive qualities of small parishes.”
Participants in earlier boards particularly appreciated the concentrate on sensible, hands-on matters and assets.
“As a result, people left with actionable ideas, tips and good practices valuable to clergy and lay leaders from small parishes,” Mr. Kormos defined. “The Forum agenda will include topics such as ‘Tools of Christian Leadership,’ ‘Techniques of Productive Dialogue,’ ‘Fresh Views on Parish Councils,’ and ‘Communicating Your Parish to the Community.’ Case studies of renewal in small parishes will also be featured.”
Attracting attendees from as distant as Florida, Missouri, Connecticut and Toronto, the 2017 Forum attracted contributors from seven OCA dioceses and 5 different Orthodox jurisdictions.
“The 2018 Toledo-area location is an hour from Detroit, less than a two hour drive from Cleveland, less than four hours from Chicago and Pittsburgh and five hours from Buffalo,” Mr. Kormos added. “Approximately half of the OCA’s parishes are within a manageable drive of the site.”
Registration will be obtainable on-line starting May 1. To keep an environment of fellowship and dialogue amongst attendees, registration will be restricted to 65 individuals. Early registration is beneficial. Sessions will start at three:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 12 and conclude at midday on Saturday July 14. Blocks of rooms will be reserved at native lodges.
The $100.00 per particular person registration price will embrace meals, breaks, a hospitality reception and discussion board supplies. Attendees from the OCA’s Bulgarian Diocese, the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania and the Diocese of the Midwest are eligible for full tuition rebates and grants to help with journey prices. Many different OCA Dioceses provide scholarships to small parishes wanting to ship attendees.