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CLEVELAND, OH [OCA] -- "Equipping the Saints" will be the theme of a parish ministries conference to be hosted by three Orthodox Church in America departments and the Diocese of the Midwest's Parish Health Ministry on the campus of Baldwin-Wallace College, just minutes from the Cleveland airport, June 27-30, 2010.

"The theme is based on Ephesians 4:11-13, in which Saint Paul challenges every member of the Church to use their unique gifts to minister for the 'building up the Body of Christ,'" said Matushka Alexandra Safchuk, co-chair of the Department of Christian Education [DCE].  "The conference is being organized to provide a much-requested continuing education experience for lay leaders and clergy in an atmosphere of learning, common worship and prayer, and good fellowship."

Partnering in hosting the event are the OCA's Departments of Liturgical Music and Translation and Youth, Young Adults and Campus Ministry.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah and His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest will be the featured speakers.  Among the other presenters will be Prof. David Drillock, Mr. Joseph Kormos, Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, Matushka Valerie Zahirsky, and the Very Rev. John Matusiak.

"The multi-track format will offer a variety of workshops in several areas," Matushka Alexandra said.  "Workshops will be offered for new singers, more advanced directors, and church musicians alike, with focus on the tones, conducting and composition.  For lay leaders and clergy, Church school teachers, parish council members and the general faithful, there will be workshops in skills-building, discussing and teaching about moral issues, responding to those of other faith traditions, developing parish leadership, and discerning spiritual gifts.  Young adults will enjoy participating on sessions focusing on the Orthodox Christian response to pop culture and the new media and offer guidelines for youth and campus leadership."

Workshops will be repeated throughout the conference to enable participants to attend several tracts, while discussions and sessions during which attendees will be able to share their ideas will punctuate the schedule.

"We're confident that many of our faithful will take advantage of this opportunity to share ideas, explore common issues, build new relationships, and equip themselves for the ongoing work of ministry in their parishes and beyond," Matushka Alexandra added.

Additional information and registration forms will be sent to all parishes well in advance of the conference and will be available in PDF format on the OCA web site at www.oca.org.

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