Friday, June 13, 2014

Small Parish Forum to be held in Byesville, OH

I'm planning on being at this as I attended the tune-up webinar "Profiles in Orthodox Parish Revitalization" yesterday and quite enjoyed it. Join me!
(OCA-WPA) - For clergy and lay leaders from Orthodox churches of fewer than 50 adults, the Small Parish Forum is a regional conference created to share helpful, hopeful ideas and tools for stabilizing and strengthening parish life.

Co-sponsored by the OCA’s Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania and the Diocese of the Midwest and with the blessings of Archbishop MELCHISEDEK and Bishop ALEXANDER, the 2014 Forum will be held at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Byesville OH. The Forum will begin at 3:00 PM Thursday July 10 and conclude at noon Saturday July 12.

Help, Hope, Stability and Identity

The OCA's Midwest and Western PA Dioceses have many small parishes. Some have always been small. Some were once large and for various reasons are now much smaller. They need support -- help and hope. They need to achieve stability –a positive self-image and a sense that small parishes can live a Life in Christ without necessarily becoming “big”. And, for those prepared to grow, they need fresh ideas that are adapted and relevant to the realities of small churches. That is what the Small Parish Forum will try to provide.


  1. A parish "fewer than 50 adults" I am not sure that is a healthy situation. It really depends on the priest: there is a danger of spiritual abuse by a priest who sees himself as a dictator. This is how cults start. I think it is better to join with the closest parish & alternate services between the 2 church buildings.

    1. Of course, in the DOS you have a true missionary situation where you have many parishes with fewer than 50 adults, and no other parish closer than 1.5-4 hours (regardless of jurisdiction). This is not necessarily a recipe for a cult. The entire state of Mississippi (as of my last check) has a total of 7 Orthodox churches comprised of 3 jurisdictions.

  2. I think that this conference is a great idea, and only wish we lived closer so as to attend!