CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — The fourth in the popular series of one-hour on-line webinars on reaching the unchurched, facilitated by Joseph Kormos, head of the Diocese of the Midwest’s Parish Development Ministry, and Archpriest Jonathan Ivanoff, will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.
The webinar will serve as a continuation of earlier webinars, in which 70 to 80 individuals representing parishes of the Orthodox Church in America and other jurisdictions participated.
"Understanding the needs of the unchurched, reaching out to the neighborhood, effectively communicating the parish, planning for growth and inviting people to church are all part of the array of efforts for effective Orthodox evangelization in 21st century North America," according to Mr. Kormos. "Eventually those efforts result, God willing, in enquirers arriving at your church. Whether they come for Divine liturgy, Vespers, or a parish event, how they experience your parish is crucial. What can be done to show warm Christian hospitality? What are potential turnoffs? How can we improve the prospects of building a relationship with them? In session four, we will explore these questions and more."
Specific topics will include
- preparing for a warm welcome — understanding the visit from the inquirer’s perspective.
- equipping an effective greeters ministry — good practices for the entire parish to help inquirers feel comfortable – before, during and after.
- eliminating seeker insensitive behaviors — one by one!
- greeting at the conclusion — overcoming reticence to visit fellowship hour; the bookstore and more.
- good follow up — increasing the likelihood of return visits.
"The Evangelization Webinar series presents practical and theoretical aspects of sharing the Gospel – as lived and taught by the Orthodox Church – with America," said Father Jonathan who, in addition to serving as rector of Saint John the Theologian Church, Shirley, NY, has been at the forefront of Orthodox evangelization and Church growth efforts for nearly two decades. "The series seeks to take initial strides to equip and encourage more Orthodox Christians to share the good news of the Gospel — using words when necessary — with those God sends and to whom God sends us."
To register for the webinar — space is limited, so early registration is suggested — log on to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/121771712. Registrants will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for joining the webinar. PC-based attendees will need Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server, while Macintosh®-based attendees will require Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer. Mobile attendees will need iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet.