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Fifth Small Parish Forum to be held in Toledo area July 12-14

ROSSFORD, OH [MW Diocese Communications] — The Fifth Annual Small Parish Forum sponsored this year by the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the Midwest, the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania, and the Bulgarian Diocese will be held at Saint George Cathedral in the Toledo, OH suburb of Rossford July 12-14 2018.

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Archbishop Melchisedek and Bishop Paul with participants at 2017 Small Parish Forum.

As in years past, this year’s Forum will focus on specific situations common to “small” parishes throughout the OCA and other Orthodox jurisdictions.  Workshops and presentations will explore ways to assist parishes with memberships of 75 or fewer souls to achieve stability, build a positive self-image, and accept their calling to live a life in Christ without necessarily becoming “big.”

“Most Orthodox parishes are small, yet just as a clinic is not a large metropolitan hospital with fewer beds, small churches are not immature, mini-versions of larger parishes,” said Joseph Kormos, Forum Co-chairperson and Parish Development Ministry Leader for the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania.  “Small parishes can bring people to Christ in intimate and exciting ways often unavailable to larger parishes.”

“This year’s Forum theme will be ‘Equipping Leaders and Parish Councils for Discipleship and Change,’” added Archpriest Daniel Rentel, Forum Co-chairperson and retired Rector of Saint Gregory of Nyssa Church, Columbus, OH.  “With this as a framework we will explore how small parishes with limited resources can shape leaders and leadership structures to take advantage of the many positive qualities of small parishes.”

Participants in previous forums especially appreciated the focus on practical, hands-on topics and resources.

“As a result, people left with actionable ideas, tips and good practices valuable to clergy and lay leaders from small parishes,” Mr. Kormos explained.  “The Forum agenda will include topics such as ‘Tools of Christian Leadership,’ ‘Techniques of Productive Dialogue,’ ‘Fresh Views on Parish Councils,’ and ‘Communicating Your Parish to the Community.’  Case studies of renewal in small parishes will also be featured.”

Attracting attendees from as far away as Florida, Missouri, Connecticut and Toronto, the 2017 Forum attracted participants from seven OCA dioceses and five other Orthodox jurisdictions.

“The 2018 Toledo-area location is an hour from Detroit, less than a two hour drive from Cleveland, less than four hours from Chicago and Pittsburgh and five hours from Buffalo,” Mr. Kormos added.  “Approximately half of the OCA’s parishes are within a manageable drive of the site.”

Registration will be available online beginning May 1.  To maintain an atmosphere of fellowship and dialogue among attendees, registration will be limited to 65 persons.  Early registration is recommended.  Sessions will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 12 and conclude at noon on Saturday July 14.  Blocks of rooms will be reserved at local hotels.

The $100.00 per person registration fee will include meals, breaks, a hospitality reception and forum materials.  Attendees from the OCA’s Diocese of the Midwest, the Bulgarian Diocese, and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania are eligible for full tuition rebates and grants to assist with travel costs.  Many other OCA Dioceses offer scholarships to small parishes desiring to send attendees.

Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.  Questions and enquiries may be directed to Mr. Kormos at

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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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