Thursday, January 29, 2015

Small Parish Forum on for July

I went to this last year and hope to got again this year. People drove from the far reaches of Canada to get to it. Consider making the trip.

(OCA) - The Diocese of the Midwest and the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania will host the second annual Small Parish Forum at Saint Nicholas Church here July 18-20 2015.

Titled “Help, Hope, Stability and Identity,” the forum will focus on the needs of “small” parishes throughout the OCA and other Orthodox jurisdictions.

Workshops and presentations will explore ways to assist parishes with memberships of 75 or less souls to achieve stability, build a positive self-image, and accept their calling to live a life in Christ without necessarily becoming “big.”

“Small Parishes can bring people to Christ in intimate and exciting ways often unavailable to larger parishes,” said Joseph Kormos, Forum co-chairperson and Parish Development Leader for the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh. “The sessions will offer actionable, hard information, and tips and good practices for strengthening small parishes that will be valuable to clergy and lay leaders alike,” added Mr. Kormos.

The agenda will include panel discussions, a music workshop focusing on small parish worship, an array of speakers, parallel sessions for clergy and laity, and case studies. Sessions will begin at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, June 18 and conclude at noon on Saturday, June 20.

Archpriest Daniel Rentel, co-chairperson for the Forum, said, “We hope to build on the success of last year’s forum in Byesville OH. In that session we drew over 50 persons from six OCA dioceses and three other Orthodox jurisdictions. We’re working on new presentations on stewardship and education in the small parish. David Drillock will return to lead the music sessions. The Forum location is 20 minutes from the Pittsburgh airport, less than four hours from Detroit, four and a half hours from DC, and five hours from Scranton/Philadelphia. Over half of the OCA’s parishes are within a manageable drive of the site.”

While registration will not open until March 15, those desiring additional information may send their requests to To help build fellowship and dialogue among attendees, registration will be limited to 75 persons, so early registration is recommended.

Sessions will take place at Weirton’s Saint Nicholas Church, 604 Colliers Way. A block of rooms has been reserved at two local hotels. The registration fee of $100.00 per person will include meals, coffee breaks, and forum materials. Many OCA Dioceses offer scholarships to small parishes desiring to send attendees.

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