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2011 Urban Ministry Summit speakers announced

COLUMBUS, OH [MW Diocese Communications] — A two-day Urban Ministry Conference for parishes looking to begin or expand outreach ministries to their neighbors and the broader community will be held at Saint Gregory of Nyssa Church here Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26-27, 2011.

The interactive conference is open to participants of all jurisdictions and regions. Sponsored by the Parish Development Ministry of the Midwest Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America, the conference provides an opportunity to interact with and learn from individuals with "hands-on experience" in taking the Light of Christ shine beyond the walls of their own parish churches.

The well-attended first Urban Summit was held in Cleveland, OH in July 2009. [See http://www.midwestdiocese.org/urbansummit.html.]

The theme will be explored in speakers' presentations, workshops, open discussions, and networking. Participants will also be involved in the host parish's Saturday community lunch program. Conference content will prove valuable to clergy and lay persons looking to begin ministry in urban neighborhoods or to grow existing ministries.

Speakers include

*** Archpriest Daniel Rentel, retiring rector of Saint Gregory of Nyssa Church, has helped his parish discern its role as an urban setting since its establishment some 30 years ago. He will share the vision that led the parish to reach out to those in need in its immediate neighborhood and beyond.

*** Archpriest Thomas Mueller will share practical insights based on his experience as rector of Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Milwaukiee, WI, a multi-cultural urban parish with a variety of outreach ministries. Using video interviews, he will tell the compelling story of a Lutheran pastor who was sent to close a parish, but instead revived it through new ministry to the neighborhood.

*** Julia Demaree, Assistant Director of the Orthodox ministry "Emmaus House" in Harlem, will offer practical insights for parishes of all sizes and locations in discerning and addressing ways to "make a difference." In particular, she will focus on ministry ideas that go beyond the basics of food, clothing and shelter.

*** Daria Mueller, Senior Policy Analyst for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, will highlight misconceptions regarding people who live in the inner city and contrast them with the realities of human need, crisis, and courage. She will help attendees separate stereotypes from reality.

Midwest Diocese parishes can apply for assistance with travel costs. Forms may be found on the Midwest Diocese web site www.midwestdiocese.org.

Click here to register and to obtain detailed info, objectives, agenda, and hotel info.

The registration fee — $50.00 before July 1, $75.00 after that date — covers midday meals, one evening meal, a welcome reception on Monday evening, and all conference materials.

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