Register now for Third Small Parish Forum July 14-16
CANTON, OH [MW Diocese Communications] — Registration is now open for the 2016 Small Parish Forum jointly sponsored by the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the Midwest and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania at Holy Assumption Church here July 14-16, 2016.
“Titled ‘The Small Parish: Possibilities and Opportunities,’ the forum is open to clergy and laity interested in inspiring and motivating parishes with memberships of 75 or less to accept their calling to live a life in Christ without necessarily becoming ‘big,’” according to Joseph Kormos, Forum Chairperson and Parish Development Ministry Leader for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. “Just as a clinic is not a large metropolitan hospital with fewer beds, small churches are not immature mini-versions of larger parishes. They think, act and feel different and, while their resources are limited, they can worship well, care for one another, teach, serve their community and share Christ’s love with others. Doing so requires they not use their small size as an excuse for inactivity and mediocrity but rather harness the intimacy and close relationships inherent in their modest size.”
“This is not merely a repeat of previous Small Parish Forums”, said Archpriest Daniel Rentel, the Forum’s Chairperson Emeritus. “We’ve recruited outstanding speakers to cover new territory. Most sessions will be completely fresh, so past attendees will find it easy to supplement past insights. Much of the content consists of topics requested by past attendees, including understanding your neighborhood, structuring youth and education efforts in small churches, evangelizing as a small church, and the role of the bi-vocational pastor.”
“Forum sessions will offer actionable tips and good practices for strengthening small parishes that will be valuable to clergy and lay leaders alike,” Mr. Kormos added.
Faculty will include Fathers Eric Tosi, Marc Vranes, Peter Baktis, Daniel Mathewson, Justin Patterson, and Jonathan Bannon and Mr. Benedict Sheehan and Mr. Joseph Kormos.
The 2015 Forum, held in Weirton WV, welcomed over 60 attendees from six OCA dioceses and three other Orthodox jurisdictions. To maintain an intimate atmosphere for dialogue and sharing of ideas registration will be limited to 65 persons. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Staybridge Suites Canton. A discounted rate will be available through June 15. Hotel registration is the responsibility of attendees. Over half of the OCA’s parishes are within a manageable drive of the site. Attendees from the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of the Midwest are eligible for tuition rebates and grants to assist with travel costs. Many other OCA dioceses offer scholarships to small parishes desiring to send participants.