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CLEVELAND, OH [MW Communications] - The unique ministry of parishes in urban settings was the topic of a summit hosted by the Diocese of the Midwest at Saint Theodosius Cathedral here and Archangel Michael Church, Broadview Heights, OH July 16-17, 2009.
Believed to be the first gathering of its kind, the summit enabled clergy and laity to explore the role of the urban parish in the 21st century. The program included presentations from Orthodox and non-Orthodox contributors, roundtable sessions, case studies, relevant workshops, and fellowship.
Mr. Joseph Kormos facilitated the summit.
On the first day of the summit, the Rev. Justin Mathews of FOCUS North America offered insights into opportunities for urban ministry and introduced the work of FOCUS -- a new Orthodox charitable ministry aimed at serving those in need. [A detailed article on FOCUS appears in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of "The Orthodox Church" magazine, available on-line at]

Charles Robbins, outreach coordinator at Saint Gregory of Nyssa Church, Columbus, OH, offered personal insights into the amazing outreach ministry in full swing in his parish. The day closed with a cross-parish workshop designed to help parishes develop practical approaches for new ministry opportunities.
The second day of the summit was devoted to the issue of fostering change and growth in the established parish. Through a combination of speakers and workshops the participants were encouraged get "unstuck" and think in creative ways about urban parish life. A concrete principle that emerged was the importance of parishes not doing things alone.  The importance of partnering with existing institutions, other Orthodox parishes, and non-Orthodox faith communities was actively explored.

Participants received valuable insights, content for further exploration, and possible solutions to share with their parish councils and communities.  In the words of one participant, “We found ourselves dreaming new dreams of what are some distinctly Orthodox ways we can put our holy faith into sustainable, concrete action for the sake of witness, service, and radical hospitality, rooted in our existing commitment to a full liturgical life as a faith community.”

For more information on this event please click here.
To view a photo gallery from this event please click here.
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Upcoming Feasts of the Church

Polyeleos-rank Jun 19 - The Holy Apostle Jude the Brother of the Lord
Polyeleos-rank Jun 23 - Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God
Great Feast Jun 24 - Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John
Polyeleos-rank Jun 26 - Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jun 28 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Fathers Sergius and Herman, Wonder-workers of Valaam
Great Feast Jun 29 - The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul
Polyeleos-rank Jul 2 - The Holy Hierarch John Maximovich, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco;
Polyeleos-rank Jul 3 - The Holy Hieromartyr Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
Polyeleos-rank Jul 5 - Our Venerable Father Sergius, Abbot and Wonderworker of Radonezh
Polyeleos-rank Jul 6 - Our Venerable Father Athanasius of Mount Athos
Vigil-rank Jul 8 - The Sitka (Kazan) Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 10 - The Deposition of the Robe of our Savior; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Father Anthony of the Kiev Caves
Polyeleos-rank Jul 11 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Blessed Princess Olga
Polyeleos-rank Jul 12 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands
Polyeleos-rank Jul 14 - Our Venerable Father Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
Vigil-rank Jul 15 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir
Polyeleos-rank Jul 17 - New Royal Passion-bearers Tsar Nicholas and his family
Vigil-rank Jul 19 - Our Venerable Father Seraphim, Wonder-worker of Sarov
Vigil-rank Jul 20 - Holy and Glorious Prophet Elijah
Polyeleos-rank Jul 23 - Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 24 - Right-believing Russian Princes Boris and Gleb
Polyeleos-rank Jul 26 - The Righteous Priest Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of the Native Peoples of Alaska
Polyeleos-rank Jul 28 - Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 30 - The Holy Martyr John the Warrior


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