The mission of the Parish Development Ministry is to help parishes to become healthy, hopeful, vibrant Orthodox communities that grow in their commitment to living a life in Christ, share the Gospel with all in their own locale and are prepared to do the work of Christ in the world.
To fulfill this mission this ministry seeks to:
Stimulate dialogue about life in good Orthodox Christian parishes in America
Connect parishes to establish supportive relationships, share strengths, good ideas, practices and resources and offer mutual encouragement.
Build assessment, planning and administrative tools to address common parish needs.
Parish Development Services
The Parish Development Ministry offers tools, encouragement and assistance in various forms.
Parishes can schedule workshops and discussion forums to be held on weeknights, or weekends. A variety of topics are offered including: parish health and renewal; discovering shared values; parish leadership; revamping parish councils; stewardship, evangelization.
Webinars are online sessions in which speakers present training material via the web, will be scheduled from time to time for general audiences as well as for a individual parishes. See webinar info
Topical multi-parish conferences, bringing together leaders from many parishes to discuss common issues and obstacles will be scheduled as appropriate on an as needed basis.
An electronic newsletter -- Parish Pulse will be e-mailed to subscribed parish leaders four of five times per year. Click to subscribe or to go toarchives of past issues.
Articles are available on a variety of parish development topics throughout this section of the Diocese' website. (See sidebar section at right.) More will be added based upon need.
Tools and Templates
Handbooks and templates for dealing with various parish development concerns will be shared among parishes via this website.
Consulting and Coaching
Individualized assistance is available to clergy and lay leaders on as needed basis via telephone, email, collaborative web based sessions, skype etc.
Parish Development Resources
Tools, slides, templates, guidebooks & articles on topics of importance to building healthy, hopeful Orthodox Christian parishes in America:
Parish Renewal and Revitalization - Qualities of healthy Orthodox parishes; growth vs. decline; driving change
Envisioning a Hopeful Parish Future - Establishing & expressing a gospel centered vision, mission and values
Leadership & Parish Council - Parish council: a leadership body; organizing parish ministries; leading change
Parish Financial Practices - Audit manual, financial practices guides, vision oriented budgeting
Misconduct Policies & Prevention - Establishing and maintaining vigilant parish misconduct prevention efforts
Communications -- Internal & External - Effective websites, bulletins, photographs and press releases
Christian Formation & Education - Youth efforts, adult education, lay catechists... more.
Stewardship -- Time, Talent, Treasure - Building parishes of generous people -- basis and basics
Evangelization & Spreading the Gospel - Preparing your parish to spread the Gospel, inviting people to church; a welcoming atmosphere
Parish Pulse E-Newsletter - Subscribe and review past issues of e newsletter.
Webinars - Slides and archived recordings of past web based workshop broadcasts
Small Parish Forum - Info about the annual conference for small Orthodox parishes
Youth Ministry - Articles with suggestions for youth and young adult ministry