Every parish can support the spread of Orthodoxy in America in various ways. Mission communities that are spawned and assisted by existing parishes are less isolated, and likely to have a healthy beginning aided by local support and resources. What resources can you offer?
Parish Discussion Outline
Use this outline to conduct a parish conversation about your participation in the Diocese’ grow a mission effort.
Dedicate a parish council meeting or discuss this at various ministry meetings.
- Discuss Actions
Watch the video together as a parish council (or other parish group) and discuss it.
What seems to stand out? What do you remember?
2. Discuss Actions
What actions can we consider from our parish to support Diocesan outreach?
1. Spawn / Plant a New Mission?
• Why – Why might mission communities planted and nurtured from an existing parish have a better chance of becoming a future healthy parish?
• Now? – Is it time for our parish to extend its reach by planting a new community? Why? Why not?
• Constraints – What holds us back from doing this – really?
• Direction – In what direction would be best to expand the ‘footprint’ of Orthodoxy in our region?
• Partner – Can we partner with another parish?
• When? – If not now when? What capacity or resources do we need to do this?
2. Assist an Existing Mission?
What is the closest mission parish to our parish? How far away is it? In truth, do we have any idea they exist or what they need? In what ways can we assist them or another mission?
• Prayer – Pray for their health and vibrancy. For their clergy and pastors. For their faithful. That their flock may increase. For their strength and fervor to bring people to the Body of Christ. Can we add a petition to a litany remembering missions?
• Community – Organize a field trip for a group to visit for a feast day, Saturday vespers or Sunday Liturgy? Join them for a community picnic?
• Financial -Perhaps ease their burden or support their tight budgets with a monthly donation? Help them to reach more people?
• Resources – Share parish resources such as liturgical furnishings or particular skills? Music leaders? Financial Administration? Communication? Service books? Books for a library? Sponsor their travel to a Diocesan Assembly or conference?
• Transplant – Are there parishioners in our parish who would flourish as part of an existing mission– perhaps even moving their residence to become an active part of a mission? Could their particular gifts be put to good –perhaps better – use by a small mission? Could that be encouraged?
• OCCIF – Can we invest a meaningful portion of parish funds with the Orthodox Church Capital Improvement Fund? Doing this can increase the availability of money for loans for building new Orthodox churches.
• Donation – Could we make a special donation (onetime or recurring) to the Midwest Diocese to expand the budget that supports “Missions”?
Becoming mission minded is a two way street. Consider how your actions might affect your community positively.
1. How it Helps Us
How would our parish’s participation in the above assistance opportunities help to strengthen us as the Body of Christ?
Would it help us to be less insular and consider the needs of other Christian communities? Might we feel and be connected to the larger church?
Once you’ve completed your discussions please summarize on the response form here.