Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
Orthodox Church in America
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Parish Development Forum 2022 Encore Webinar Series

For those unable to attend live presentations for the 2022 Parish Development Forum we will offer a live "encore webinar" of three popular sessions from the 2022 Forum.

The following provides information on each of the sessions.

There is no charge for these webinars.

Attendees must register. There is a separate registration link for each webinar.

Sarah Byrne Martelli: Being a Ministry of Presence to the Grieving
7:30 PM Thursday September 15


To register for Sarah Martelli's webinar click here.

Over the past few years, ministers have had to navigate a difficult landscape of loss of life and livelihood, and help family members and fellow parishioners through the grieving process while also hurting themselves. Orthodox clinical chaplain Sarah Byrne-Martelli, will demonstrate that being there for a loved one is a holy and powerful work that anyone in the parish can do successfully (not just the priest) with the right guidance and resources. The session will offer practical tips on how ministers can focus their attention on the sufferer, comforting them—when tears flow—even though we are discomforted ourselves, and enabling the person to share their story and their pain, authentically and empathetically.

About the Presenter

Sarah Byrne-Martelli, DMin BCC, is an Orthodox lay chaplain and bereavement counselor who has served in Acute Care and Hospice since 2002. She is the author of the forthcoming book from Ancient Faith Publications, "Memory Eternal: Living with Grief as Orthodox Christians." She is the Inpatient Chaplain for the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Palliative Care. Sarah is endorsed by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. She attends St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA, with her husband, Dr. Peter Martelli, and their son Rafael. Sarah holds a Doctor of Ministry from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School.

To register for Sarah Martelli's webinar click here

Kenny Kidd: Creating Opportunities to See and Serve Our Parish Neighbors
7:30 PM (EDT) Thursday September 22


To register for Kenny Kidd's webinar click here

Many people believe that only larger parishes in urban areas can successfully provide food, clothing, occupation, and shelter to the impoverished around them. Kenny Kidd will lead a discussion that addresses this misperception that parishes need to partner or serve in the midst of a city center or somewhere "other" than their immediate parish neighborhood. Examples will be shared of opportunities to engage the faithful in service in the parish neighborhood, even if that parish is along a suburban highway and/or whose parishioners are all commuters. Participants will understand that ministry to the least of Christ’s brethren is a blessing that all in the parish can participate in regardless of their “secular” vocation.  

This session is an encore presentation based on content offered at 2022 Parish Development Forum.

About the Presenter 

Kenny is the Executive Director of FOCUS North America, an Orthodox non-profit that brings Orthodox faithful together to serve the needs of their most vulnerable neighbors across the United States, including food, clothing, occupation, and shelter needs.  A native of Charleston, West Virginia, and a social worker by education, Kenny’s career has afforded opportunities to serve on the front lines of homeless outreach/advocacy/services as well as international Orthodox missions before coming to FOCUS in 2017.    He was Chrismated into the Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday, 1997, at Holy Spirit Antiochian Orthodox Church in Huntington, West Virginia.

To register for Kenny Kidd's webinar click here.

Fr. Justin Patterson: Hopes and Hurdles: Three Stories of Challenges in Growing Parish Ministry
7:30 PM (EDT) Thursday September 29


To register for Fr. Patterson's webinar click here.

Thomas Edison famously said, "I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Oftentimes, we imagine good ministry means that everything must be vested with an aura of "success." This is baloney. In this presentation, Fr. Justin Patterson shares three stories of ministry that might better be called "failure." But, as he will suggest, it is precisely when we hit a brick wall that we are able to learn and grow and retool to meet the challenge in front of us. Fr. Justin will also explore ways that we can frame our past failures as deep learning experiences so that we can build upon them and can see--precisely through those misteps--the way "forward" for our parish communities. 

About the Speaker

Fr. Justin has been a priest since 2005 and has served as pastor of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Nicholasville, KY, for nearly 17 years. In that time, the fledgling mission he inherited has experienced rich years of dynamic growth punctuated by tough years that presented real challenges to the parish's very survival. Now a community of 200 families, St. Athanasius is experiencing a new series of challenges as the parish heads into a new "model" parish life. Fr. Justin and his wife, Matushka Tamara, are both graduates of St. Vladimir's Seminary in 2005, but also studied at St. Tikhon's 2002-03. They have one grown son (18 and mastering welding in trade school) and another son who can't decide if he loves high school marching band or singing in the church choir more. 

To register for Fr. Patterson's webinar click here.