Archdiocese of Pittsburgh
and Western Pennsylvania
Orthodox Church in America
SMALL PARISH FORUM


Archbishop Melchisedek and Bishop Paul with attendees at 2017 Small Parish Forum
Archbishop Melchisedek and Bishop Paul with attendees at 2017 Small Parish Forum
Archbishop Melchisedek and Bishop Paul with attendees at 2017 Small Parish Forum
Registration is Open for 2018 Small Parish Forum
Registration is now open for the 2018 Small Parish Forum to be held from 3:00 PM on Thursday July 12 through noon on Saturday July 14 at St. George Cathedral (OCA Bulgarian Diocese) Rossford OH.
 
The Small Parish Forum is a conference that offers presentations, discussions, workshops, small group sessions and individual conversations tuned to the challenges faced by small Orthodox churches. Clergy, parish council members, Christian educators and concerned laity from many OCA Dioceses and Orthodox jurisdictions attend to become good stewards of their parish future and help them recognize and harness what is good and beautiful in small Christian communities.
 
Registration Info
The Forum is sponsoredby the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania, the Diocese of the Midwest and the Bulgarian Diocese of theOCA. Attendees from those Diocesesmust register to attend, however, the $100 registration fee will be rebated on the last day of the confererence. Attendees from sponsoring Dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Western PA, will be eligible for a travel stipend which covers travel costs - hotel costs and gasoline for travel. Lodging has been arranged at the Hampton Inn and Suites Toledo/Perrysburg starting at $111 per room per night.
 
For more info contact Joe Kormos lay chairperson.
Theme, Keynote Speaker and Topics

The theme for the 2018 Forum is "Equipping Small Parish Leaders for Discipleship and Change". Keynote speaker will be Archpriest Thomas Soroka, rector of St. Nicholas Church McKees Rocks PA. His topic-   "Discipleship: A Perspective for Orthodox Christian Leaders" will set the tone for the conference.

Content for the 2018 Forum is not a repeat of past Forums. The emphasis will be on the importance of collaboration between clergy and lay leaders in any parish. This is especially critical in small parishes, where resources are modest and everyone needs to be "pulling in the same direction."

Specific themes to be explored include building skills to:

Reshape Parish Councils

Move beyond “firefighting” and “money” to fulfilling the overall parish mission.

Generate Dialogue 

"Find the center” in parish discussions; minimize polarization and bruised egos

Envision a Bright Future 

Express purpose and direction; Act on priorities.

Communicate Identity

Put the parish's best foot forward to the community; share distinctive strengths through words and photos.

Inspire Stewardship

Replace begging and continual pleas with generosity and gratitude.

Stimulate Ministry

Build a thirst for outreach. Overcome insularity. BE the Church of Christ.”


2016 Parish Forum attendee shares hopes for the future of her parish with interested Forum attendees.
2016 Parish Forum attendee shares hopes for the future of her parish with interested Forum attendees.
2016 Parish Forum attendee shares hopes for the future of her parish with interested Forum attendees.
The Small Parish Forum is Unique

To address the unique qualities of small churches, the Small Parish Forum is unlike other events dealing with church ministry and revitalization. The Forum is NOT about telling small parishes of their necessity to grow. Nor does the Forum allow participants to dwell on the difficulties and limitations of small parishes. The Forum provides tools, insights and encouragement that enable small parishes to harness the intimacy and close relationships inherent in their modest size.

Actionable Ideas, Relevant Conversations and a Network of New Friends

Because the forum attracts attendees from many small parishes, Forum attendees are reminded they are not alone in the challenges faced in their parish. They share how other small Orthodox parishes are beginning to make progress on these challenges.


Past Forums
 
2017 Forum Materials
To view materials from 2017 Forum click here.
 
2016 Forum Materials
To view materials and photos from 2016 Forum click here.

2015 Forum Materials

To view photos and materials from the 2015 Small Parish Forum -- click here.

2014 Materials

To View Photos and materials from 2014 Small parish Forum Click Here.