Online Registration is now open for the 2022 Parish Development Forum, to be held from 10:00 AM EDT to 5:15 PM on Friday June 17. The Forum is co-sponsored by the Orthodox Church in America’s Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania, the Diocese of the Midwest and the Bulgarian Diocese.
“While we hope to return to in-person Forums in coming years, it seems most effective to once again offer the Parish Development Forum as a one-day online session,” said Joseph Kormos, Forum co-chairperson and Parish Development Ministry Leader for the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania. “Having the Forum online will also help parishes redirect their travel budgets to the upcoming All-American Council,” he added.
The Orthodox Parish as a Vessel of Ministry: Increasing Our Capacity for Ministry
Archpriest Alexander Cadman, clergy co-chair of the Forum noted, “The 2022 Forum theme is ‘The Orthodox Parish as a Vessel of Ministry: Increasing Our Capacity for Ministry’. Our theme was chosen to enhance the theme of the 20th All-American Council, Becoming Vessels of Grace, and to emphasize the importance of renewing ministry in post-COVID parish life.”
His Grace Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the Midwest, will offer the keynote address. His Grace will highlight how discipleship and ministry is easily traceable to the earliest Christian communities. Also addressed will be the question of how Christian discipleship and the ministries that arise from it can be better understood and enhanced within the context of Orthodox parish communities today.
New View of Ministry
“Ministry seems like a simple term. But ask someone in your parish ‘what is ministry’ and you’ll get a variety of answers”, said Kormos. “Our goal for the Forum is to build awareness of and interest in ministry as a critical, not optional, element of parish life and mission. Returning parishioners and newcomers yearning for expanded, updated and renewed ministries may be one the most significant opportunities for the Church in recent years. We will address critical practical aspects of increasing the parish’s capacity for ministry including overcoming ministry resistance, enlivening new ministries and connecting personal talents and gifts with effective ministry opportunities.
Three Tracks of Encouraging Ministry
Attendees will select participation from three parallel content facilitated tracks.
“Living Active Ministry” will explore and provide practical advice for those actively serving in ministry. Segments include encouraging vocational ministry in the local neighborhood, connecting generations with one another for mutual support, and offering a ministry of presence to those in need into the parish.
“Leading and Coordinating Ministry” will help parish leaders to determine the array of ministries appropriate for their parish, find and build good ministry leaders, and to remove obstacles to ministry participation.
“Rethinking Education As Ministry”, will examine post-pandemic changes in religious education needs, the role of a fully functional diaconal ministry and a recent report in which Orthodox youth express the need to be empowered witnesses in their community.
Subject matter experts will contribute brief presentations and lead attendee discussion. Attendees will have an opportunity to dig deeply into areas of interest. Exploration questions and reflective articles concerning track content will be provided to attendees in advance.
Archpriest Cadman added, “For the past eight years this conference has attracted persons from virtually every OCA Diocese and many other Orthodox jurisdictions. The online venue makes this opportunity available to a broad group of potential attendees.”
Free Will Donation and registration
Registration is open to clergy and laity from any Orthodox jurisdiction. Forum registration includes various budget friendly free will pricing options—including no charge. Attendees can select the option that best fits their personal situation.