Metropolitan Council approves next steps in implementing the Strategic Plan


At their meeting held at the Chancery here February 22-23, 2012, the members of the Orthodox Church in America’s Metropolitan Council unanimously approved proceeding with the implementation of the “Strategic Plan for the Orthodox Church in America: A Comprehensive Action Plan for the Next Decade. [The text of the Plan, updated to reflect input gathered at the 16th All-American Council in November 2011, may be accessed in PDF format.]

According to Priest John Vitko, who chairs the committee charged with implementing the Plan, the Metropolitan Council’s approval is subject to “considering input that might be submitted by the Metropolitan Council and the Holy Synod over the next month.” Council members “did not commit to any costs at this time, beyond those covered by funds currently allocated for the Strategic Plan in the 2012 budget or those that can be raised from other funding sources.

“At the 16th All-American Council, participants in the Strategic Planning workshops identified promising first steps/projects for actualizing the goals of the Plan,” Father John said. “Since then, Implementation Facilitation Teams [IFTs] have been working to develop the means to implement the initial projects presented for review and approval to the Metropolitan Council at its February 2012 meeting.

“These plans define ‘milestones’ indicating what needs to be done, by when, and by whom, along with required resources,” Father John continued. “They also identify the roles parishes, deaneries, dioceses, and the Central Administration will play in implementing specific projects.”

Father John added that “the projects span the development of training materials to present Orthodox Christianity within the context of North America’s varied cultural landscape to the identification and production of resource materials for parish priests and lay leaders and the development of social networking sites to better connect with our young adults.”

Parts of the Plan, according to Father John, “will be applicable to most parishes.

“For example, struggling parishes might find the projects on evangelization and parish development, leadership and management, and more fully involving youth and young adults in the life of the parish particularly helpful,” he said. “Different parishes, deaneries and dioceses will be interested in different portions of the Plan – not only is this alright, but it is how the Plan is supposed to work.

“With the Metropolitan Council’s approval, we can now move on to implementing these initial projects,” Father John concluded.

Implementation plans were presented for several goals/projects, as listed below. Those interested in becoming part of an IFT are invited to contact the appropriate facilitator as noted.

Evangelization and Parish Development – Archpriest John Reeves –
Leadership and Management – Archpriest David Lowell –
Revitalizing Diocesan Relations – Mrs. Donna Karabin –
Inter-Orthodox Relations – Matushka Wendy Cwiklinski –
Contemporary Issues – Priest Caleb Abetti –
Continuing Education – Archpriest Ian Pac-Urar –
The goals on Funding and Theological Education were moved to the Financial Committee and the Board of Theological Education, respectively, for implementation.

The presentations given at the Metropolitan Council meeting are available in PDF format.