WEIRTON, WV [OCA]
With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisidek and His Grace, Bishop Paul, the second Small Parish Forum once again will be sponsored by the Orthodox Church in America’s Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania and the Diocese of the Midwest at Saint Nicholas Church here June 18-20, 2015.
Early registration is recommended, since the forum will be limited to 70 attendees. Prospective participants may register on-line. The $100.00 registration fee includes lunches and dinners, coffee breaks, and forum materials. Blocks of rooms have been reserved at two local hotels. Hotel registration is the responsibility of the attendees.
“With a theme of ‘Becoming Stewards of Our Parish Future,’ the forum will focus on the needs of the numerous ‘small’ parishes throughout the OCA and other Orthodox jurisdictions,” said Joseph Kormos, forum co-chair and head of the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania’s Parish Development Ministry. “Workshops and presentations will explore ways to assist parishes with memberships of 75 or fewer souls to achieve stability, build a positive self-image, and accept their calling to live a life in Christ without necessarily becoming ‘big.’
“Transitioning from barely surviving to thriving takes lay and clergy leaders who appreciate being entrusted with building a brighter future for their parishes,” Mr. Kormos added. “This includes inspiring parishes to live and spread the Gospel while building a legacy of a healthy 21st century Orthodox Christian community that will one day be inherited by a future generation.”
The forum’s agenda will include panel discussions, a music workshop focusing on the small parish worship, an array of speakers, parallel sessions for clergy and laity, and case studies. Topics will include building lay leadership, fostering generosity and practical financial stewardship, motivating change, and faith formation. A case study will examine ways to “wake up” a small parish.
“Small Parishes can bring people to Christ in intimate and exciting ways often unavailable to larger parishes,” said Archpriest Daniel Rentel, forum co-chair. “We hope to build on the success of last year’s forum held in Byesville OH, which attracted over 50 persons from six OCA dioceses and three other jurisdictions. We’re also happy to be able to offer scholarships covering forum registration and lodging to small parishes from the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania and the Diocese of the Midwest.”
Located just 25 minutes from the Pittsburgh airport, the forum venue is less than a four-hour drive from Detroit, four-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC, and five hours from Scranton/Philadelphia. Over half of the OCA’s parishes are within a reasonable drive of the forum site.