Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
Orthodox Church in America
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Shine! Shine! Project Ideas

Growing in Faith: Education, Formation, Worship, and Community Building

  1. Needs Audit - Conduct an education audit. Identify key segments of parish population (seniors, parents, teens etc.) and determine what their formational status and needs really are.
  2. Adult Education – Orthodoxy 101 class at the church, bible study in neighborhoods where parishioners live
  3. Orthodox Book reading list – Create a reading list of books about the Orthodox faith.
  4. Orthodox discussion group – Create a book club and invite non-Orthodox
  5. Parish Book reading challenge – Conduct a book reading contest
  6. Liturgical music – make a commitment to improved liturgical music.
  7. Congregational singing – Teach the congregation to sing liturgical music
  8. Services – Liturgical services other than Sunday Divine Liturgy (vespers, feast day Divine Liturgies, Lenten services)
  9. Attendance – Obtain a pledge from a core group to expand attendance at vespers and feast day services.
  10. Feast day sponsors – Have families or parish organizations sponsor particular feast days: decorate; special meal.
  11. Parish Stories Project – Interview and save the stories of older parishioners
  12. Commit to regular coffee hour – fellowship every Sunday!
  13. Break up seemingly impenetrable groups during coffee hour; Re-form new social relationships.
  1. Parish Photo Contest – Invite each parish group; persons to capture their Life in Christ – expressing your parish’s vibrant personality.
  2. Create an updated "membership" responsibilities document/manual. What does it mean to be a member of the Body of Christ? What is expected of us? Discuss it with parish groups.
  3. Monastery pilgrimages – Plan a series of visits to monasteries.
  4. Eliminate dues – Decide now to eliminate dues as your parish stewardship approach.
  5. Stewardship Class – explore the full meaning of stewardship and generosity as a key value of Christians.
  6. Build a parish mail and email list, and use it regularly.

Sharing Our Faith: Proclaiming Christ in our life, words, and service

  1. Hold classes of interest to neighbors, such as a financial or budgeting class.
  2. Commit to give a sizable percentage of fundraising dollars to charity.
  3. Participate in regular charitable efforts, such as working once a month at a local soup kitchen.
  4. Hold event series (e.g., lectures or films) aimed toward inquirers of Orthodoxy.
  5. Hold a parish speaker's bureau.
  6. Public relations efforts with local newspapers and radio.
  7. Commit to achieve a certain percentage donation to charity.
  8. Implement a decent parish website, new or improved.
  9. Ministry to parishioners in need.
  10. Neighborhood Block Party – Plan a Saturday of games/fun for neighborhood Youth.
  11. Buy Orthodox books for local library with parish name inside.
  12. Parish yard signs and/or bumper stickers (“Honk forty times if you’re Orthodox”)
  13. Update Orthodox Church listings at nearby hotels to identify your parish.
  14. Rent a kiosk at a local mall. Offer Orthodox Books and crosses, recordings at reasonable prices. Provide free literature. Preface with an effort to prep for questions about the Gospel, the Orthodox faith.
  15. Survey parish neighbors. "Who are we?" “What do you know about us?”
  16. Undertake a serious effort to invite friends, relatives, and neighbors (“FRAN”) to church or a church function.

Welcoming Others: Showing hospitality to guests and strangers. Being open to new ideas of parishioners with different needs and attitudes.

  1. Greeter's ministry, including following up with them later.
  2. Liturgical aids - Divine Liturgy and Vespers books.
  3. Mystery Worshipper – Engage 2-3 persons unknown to parishioners to attend your parish for 3-4 weeks. Summarize and share their reactions. Make necessary changes.
  4. "What not to do when guests arrive" video – create a humorous video identifying the wrong ways to welcome people to our parish.
  5. Conduct a light-hearted yet serious training about showing hospitality to parish visitors and strangers.
  6. Create a new member integration ministry – Help them find friends/find a role.
  7. Help people on the margins of the parish to participate in a key ministry. Actively identify their gifts and interests. Help them connect.