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Save the Date!  Fourth Small Parish Forum to be held July 13-15

NEW KENSINGTON, PA [MW Diocese Communications] — The Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the Midwest and Diocese of Western Pennsylvania will co-sponsor the fourth annual Small Parish Forum at Saint John the Baptist Church, New Kensington, PA July 13-15 2017.

Save the Date Fourth Small Parish Forum to be held July 13 to 15
Archbishop Melchisedek and Bishop Paul with 2016 Small Parish Forum participants, Canton, OH.

“The Forum will focus on specific parish situations common to the numerous ‘small’ parishes throughout the OCA and other Orthodox jurisdictions,” said Joseph Kormos, Forum co-chairperson and Parish Development Ministry leader for the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania.  “Workshops and presentations will explore ways to assist parishes with memberships of 75 or fewer souls to achieve stability, build a positive self-image, and accept their calling to live a life in Christ without necessarily becoming ‘big’.

“Most Orthodox parishes are small, yet just as a clinic is not a large metropolitan hospital with fewer beds, so too small churches are not immature, mini-versions of larger parishes,” Mr. Kormos continued.  “Small parishes can bring people to Christ in intimate and exciting ways often unavailable to larger parishes.”

The theme of the 2017 Forum is “Becoming a Community of Engagement — On Behalf of All”.

“With this theme as a framework, we will explore how small parishes with limited resources can worship well, care for one another, teach, serve their community, communicate the parish to the neighborhood and share Christ’s love with others,” added Archpriest Daniel Rentel of the Diocese of the Midwest, Forum co-chairperson.

“Previous forums held in Byesville OH, Weirton WV and Canton OH were successful because people left with actionable ideas, tips and good practices valuable to clergy and lay leaders,” Mr. Kormos said.  “The agenda for the fourth Forum will include an array of speakers, case studies, interactive workshops, sessions focusing on worship, and parallel sessions for clergy and laity.”

Past Forums attracted attendees from seven OCA dioceses and four other Orthodox jurisdictions.

“The 2017 New Kensington, PA location is just a two-hour drive from Cleveland, four and a half hours from Detroit, less than four hours from Buffalo, and five hours from Philadelphia,” Mr. Kormos concluded.  “Over half of the OCA’s parishes are within a manageable drive of the site.”

Registration will open May 1.  To maintain an atmosphere of fellowship and dialogue, registration will be limited to 65 persons.  Sessions will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 13 and conclude at noon on Saturday, July 15.  Blocks of rooms will be reserved at local hotels.  The $100 per person registration fee will include meals, breaks, a hospitality reception and forum materials.  Attendees from the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania and the Diocese of the Midwest are eligible for tuition rebates and grants to assist with travel costs.  Many other OCA Dioceses offer scholarships to small parishes desiring to send attendees.

Additional information will be posted as it is received.

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Upcoming Feasts of the Church

Polyeleos-rank Jun 19 - The Holy Apostle Jude the Brother of the Lord
Polyeleos-rank Jun 23 - Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God
Great Feast Jun 24 - Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John
Polyeleos-rank Jun 26 - Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jun 28 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Fathers Sergius and Herman, Wonder-workers of Valaam
Great Feast Jun 29 - The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul
Polyeleos-rank Jul 2 - The Holy Hierarch John Maximovich, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco;
Polyeleos-rank Jul 3 - The Holy Hieromartyr Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
Polyeleos-rank Jul 5 - Our Venerable Father Sergius, Abbot and Wonderworker of Radonezh
Polyeleos-rank Jul 6 - Our Venerable Father Athanasius of Mount Athos
Vigil-rank Jul 8 - The Sitka (Kazan) Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 10 - The Deposition of the Robe of our Savior; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Father Anthony of the Kiev Caves
Polyeleos-rank Jul 11 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Blessed Princess Olga
Polyeleos-rank Jul 12 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands
Polyeleos-rank Jul 14 - Our Venerable Father Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
Vigil-rank Jul 15 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir
Polyeleos-rank Jul 17 - New Royal Passion-bearers Tsar Nicholas and his family
Vigil-rank Jul 19 - Our Venerable Father Seraphim, Wonder-worker of Sarov
Vigil-rank Jul 20 - Holy and Glorious Prophet Elijah
Polyeleos-rank Jul 23 - Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 24 - Right-believing Russian Princes Boris and Gleb
Polyeleos-rank Jul 26 - The Righteous Priest Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of the Native Peoples of Alaska
Polyeleos-rank Jul 28 - Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 30 - The Holy Martyr John the Warrior


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