Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
Orthodox Church in America
Clergy Retreat, 2/27/2019

St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church

150 Elmtree Road

New Kensington, PA 15068

February 27, 2019

10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Presenters: Archpriests N. Solak, T. Whitfield, S. Vernak

Lunch provided at no cost to the participants - but RSVP’s are required no later than Friday, February 22.

Email Address for RSVP:


This retreat is part of:

The Orthodox Church in America’s

“Thriving in Ministry Program”


WHY THIS RETREAT? Clergy and clergy wives have wisdom to share - when they share this wisdom, there is a double blessing - clergy families enjoy greater health, and parishes do as well.

The research is striking - healthy clergy families blossom into vibrant parish ministries. Sadly, Orthodox clergy and clergy wives rarely have the chance to gather and develop communities of trust and common support. Geography is a factor, but so is the isolation brought on by stress, overworking, self-neglect, and pride. Pastoral leaders need to gather purposely to do the good work of wisdom-sharing.

This is the PURPOSE of a “Peer Learning Group.” The premise is simple: to gather regularly, under the guidance of a trained facilitator with the goal of exploring the joys, challenges, and insights of pastoral ministry. Peer Learning Groups do not offset burnout, they do something more important - they help clergy families bring greater joy and resiliency to ministry. When is a priest, deacon, or clergy wife “healthy?” There are many markers.

Here are some:

(1) Healthy priests/deacons are clergy who grow (rather than wither) in response to the daily challenges of ministry.

(2) Healthy clergy build Christ-centered congregations that mirror the clergyman’s same joy, humility, and creativity.

(3) Healthy clergy and clergy wives will naturally feed their parishes a steady stream of hope and joy in Christ.

(4) Healthy clergy and clergy spouses are the thriving leaders who inspire their parishes to choose change and growth over resignation and nostalgia.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT? You will receive an overview of a Clergy Peer Learning Group for Orthodox clergy or clergy wives. Topics will include: how Groups are structured, how Groups are run, and how to establish a Group.

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