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Assembly  of  Canonical  Orthodox  Bishops  of  the  United  States  of  America      Committee  for  Agencies  and  Endor...
XII.  The    Lessons    that  Other  Parishes  Could  Learn                                                               ...
Executive  Summary      An   urgent   need   exists   in   Orthodox   parishes   in   the   United   States   for   a   mu...
   However,  while  most  priests  adhere  to  similar  definitions  and  general  approaches  to  evangelization,  the   ...
Major  Distinct  Features  of  the  Parishes  that  Are    Exemplary    in  their  Evangelization  and  Outreach   Efforts...
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION  continued from previous page   Detailed discussion of this subject is on pp. 58-61 of the full study ...
PARISH COMMUNITY  Relations among members Detailed discussion of this subject is on pp. 86-89 of the full study report ---...
Detailed discussion of this subject is on pp. 136-144 of the full study report  space  for community events and initiative...
Introduction   Background  and  Need  for  the  Study   Most  reference  books  and  glossaries  agree  on  a  double  mea...
new  believers  to  Jesus  Christ  and  into  the  Church,  is  what  God  commands  us  and  it  is  at  the  very  cente...
This   decline   in   church   attendance   effectively   means   that   from   2010   2015   a   number   of   Orthodox  ...
But  does  this  imply  that  our  lay  church  members  do  not  care  about  greater  Orthodox  outreach  into  the   wi...
III. Evangelization  has  two  aspects             inner     evangelization    continuing   faith   formation   of   the  ...
That   is,     Go   and   Make   Disciples    Evangelization   and   Outreach   Efforts   in   US   Orthodox   Parishes   ...
is  available  in  Appendix  3 .  One  of  the  questions  in  the  survey  asked     Would  you  say  that  your  parish ...
II.  Defining    Orthodox  Evangelism     Not  an  Easy  Task   HIGHLIGHT FINDINGS      The  study  asked  a  question  ab...
DISCUSSION       One  serious  disadvantage  in  our  various  missionary  efforts  is  the  lack  of  a  general  vision ...
Jesus  the  Messiah  has  brought  God   s  kingdom  to  the  world.    12   Or  in  more  common  parlance     preaching ...
The  ultimate  goal  was  to  get  a  mixture  of  interpretations  and  understandings  of    evangelization    across   ...
The   first   most   common   type   of   definition   of   evangelism    22   answers    was   about   evangelism   being...
The  Church,  the  Liturgy,  the  Sacraments  are  the  central  to  the  life  of  an  Orthodox  Christian.  As  Fr.  Ion...
beyond   Sunday   Divine   Liturgy.      Or   as   another   respondent   suggested      Evangelization   means   simply  ...
equally  present  in  all  categories  of  answers.   We   conclude   the   discussion   on   how   the   respondents   de...
the   community   of   the   Gospel,   the   sacramental   synaxis   where   Christ   mediates   the   communion   of   ma...
The  implications  from  this  question       on  how  American  Orthodox  clergy  define  evangelism       are  critical ...
  positive  manner.    That  is,  the  clergy  serving  in  the    exemplary    have  a  tendency  and  attitude  to   vie...
DISCUSSION  As  noted  in  chapter  I,  seventy   five  parishes  representing  seven  Orthodox  jurisdictions  participat...
The  first  question  explored  overall  religious  situation     Please  evaluate  the  general  religious  environment  ...
Second,  Fig.  1  shows  that  there  is  virtually  NO  difference  between    exemplary    and    normal    parishes  in...
One   more   question   gathered   broader   information   on   the   local   communities   in   which   the   parishes   ...
Tab. 4 The Smallest and Biggest Parishes of Various Jurisdictions Participating in the Study  Measured by the Number of Re...
Fig. 2 Membership of the Parishes Participating in the Study   How many persons  including children  regularly participate...
    Senior  citizens  age  65        Families  with  children  at  home      The   following   seven   charts   show   med...
Fig. 3c Median Percentage     of Immigrants  Persons Born Outside US  Among Regularly Participating Adult Parishioners 0  ...
Fig. 3g Median Percentage     of Families With Children at Home 0   10   20   30   40   60   70   50     Exemplary    pari...
stronger    missionary  and  evangelization  zeal    than  cradle  Orthodox  which  would  result  in  a  fact  that  the ...
The   second   large   group   of   responses   from   the     exemplary     parishes   re   iterated   what   was   alrea...
or      no  other  than  transient  nature  of  parish.    That  is,  unlike    normal    parishes,  the    exemplary    p...
time  and  patience.    You  can  t  just  be  somewhere       you  have  to  show  that  you  care  about  the  people  t...
    There  is  no  significant  difference  between  the  clergy  serving  in  the    exemplary    versus    normal     pa...
will  try  to  outline  the  collective    portraits    of  the  priests  serving  in  the  parishes  involved  in  the  s...
This   difference   in   the   presence   of   converts   among   the   priests   in     exemplary     and     normal     ...
Fig. 5 Religious Upbringing of Clergy Serving in the Parishes Participating in the Study  While you were growing up, was t...
Fig. 6 Duration of Clergy s Work in Their Present Parishes  How long  how many years  have you served this parish    100  ...
the   most   important   motivation    or,   perhaps,   combination   of   circumstances    that   brought   you   to   th...
       My   Grandmother   was   the   one   who   kept   the   faith   for   the   whole   family.   She   was   the   one...
Church  in  my  studies,  and  then  converted.  Archbishop  Dmitri  encouraged  me  to  continue  on  the   path.  The  C...
       Discovery   of   the   truth   of   Christ   was   irresistible,   and   eventually   as   it   became   more   per...
The  first  group  of  answers  was  about  becoming  more  patient  and  developing  ability  to    love  all    in  thei...
       It  was  always   that   of  a  shepherd  but   how   to  be   a   shepherd   has  changed.  As  a  young   priest,...
       I  had  certain  responsibilities  as  a  young  priest,  such  as  youth  ministries  and  participation  in  the ...
DISCUSSION  It   was   noted   in   the   first   chapter      Approach,   Goal   and   Procedure   of   the   Study      ...
The  survey  continued  with  a  more  specific  question    Are  your  parish  s  outreach  efforts  carried  out  by  a ...
Overall,   the   content   analysis   of   the   answers   from   the     exemplary     parishes   revealed   that   their...
   Below   we   provide   the   quotes   from   our   respondents   exemplifying   each   strategy   and   offering   spec...
        We  have   A  variety  of  ministries   serving  meals  to  the  homeless  at  3  different  locations,  mission  ...
Cultivating  a  sense  of  a  parish  s  mission  beyond  worship  services          Church  is   not  a  Sunday   morning...
VI.  Four  Distinct  Features  of  Religious  Education  in  the  Parishes  that  Are    Exemplary    in  their   Evangeli...
The  survey  asked  parish  priests     What  are  the  most  remarkable  and or  distinctive  characteristics  of  your  ...
       Our   Religious   Formation   Service   Group   fosters   the   life   of   the   parish   in   a   variety   of   ...
We   have   15   people   involved   in   Sunday   school.   We   have   five   youth   groups,   with   2   leaders   per...
  exemplary    parishes  developed  and  employed  successfully  the    free  will  offering    model.    The   free  will...
Third,  a  significant  number  of  clergy  simply  reported  that  their  parish  councils   parish  boards,  etc.   are ...
       We  operate  as  a  family.  Priest  is  a  father  and  people  of  God  are  his  children  and   brothers  and  ...
Seventh,  a  few  respondents  wrote  about    Christ   oriented    process  of  decision  making  in  their  parishes    ...
Fig. 10  What are the most remarkable and or distinctive characteristics of governance and decision making in your parish ...
In  a  nutshell,  the  most  important  difference  in  style  of  parish  governance  between  the    exemplary    and   ...
Fig. 11  Which model best describes your parish s system of financial contributions by parishioners    Percentage       of...
Below  are  several  comments  from  the    exemplary    parishes  that  employed    free  will  offering    approach   an...
VIII.  Programs  and  Ministries  in    Exemplary    and    Normal    Parishes   HIGHLIGHTS FINDINGS      Three   differen...
    When  asked  about  one  single  area  of  a  parish  life  where  a  parish  can    set  an  example    for  other   ...
that  merely  increase  the  number  of  people  who  regularly  attend  the  church.  Rather,  evangelization  was   defi...
Accordingly,  the  first  noticeable  difference  in  responses  from  the    exemplary    versus    normal    parishes   ...
changing   circumstances.   That   is,   the   clergy   in     exemplary     parishes   understand   that   a   program   ...
  The   changes   in   each   of   the   above   categories   were   mentioned   more   or   less   equally   frequently  ...
In  addition,  by  developing  intentionally  a  variety  of  programs  and  ministries  some    exemplary    parishes   a...
    Religious   outreach    work   with   inquirers   about   Faith   and   catechumens,   mission   trips,   Orthodox   m...
studies,  household  work  projects,  and  participation  in  the  liturgical  and  community  life  of  our  parish,  as ...
The   sixth   category,     Ethnic   programs   and   events      ethnic   festivals,   dancing   competition,   language ...
First,   the   chapter   on   definitions   of   Orthodox   evangelism   provided   by   the   parish   priests   indicate...
It  should  be  noted  that  there  was  a  significant  gap  in  frequency  of  mentioning  of  the  top  three  categori...
   Being  friendly,  open  and  welcoming  community  that  attracts  visitors  and  inquirers  about  the  Faith         ...
Emphasis  on  including  children  and  youth  into  the  life  of  a  parish            Children   We  encourage  familie...
Do  these   differences   imply  that  the    exemplary    parishes   are   not   good   at    being   and   building   a ...
quarters   75    of  the    exemplary    parishes  are  fully  convinced  that  the  inquirers  about  the  Faith   and  f...
Chapter   V   discussed   several     strategies     that   the     exemplary     parishes   intentionally   use   in   or...
The  second  group  of  responses  was  formed  by  the  answers  simply  saying    yes     i.e.  reaffirming  that  this ...
Finally,   the   answers   in   the   fourth   category   focused   on   the   fact   that   this   parish   is   a     tr...
Fig.  12  shows   the  percentage  of    exemplary    and    normal    parishes   providing   the  answers   that  fit  in...
In  order  to  better  examine  the  issue  of  welcoming  and  hospitality  of  US  Orthodox  parishes,  the  survey   fo...
attention  to  the  inquirers   about  the   Faith   and   first   time  visitors,   because   of  their   personal   memo...
Fig. 14 Presence of Converts among Parishioners and Responses of the Parishes to the Question  Would you say that your par...
First  practice.  Make  a  point  and  a  policy  to  not  miss  a  single  soul  visiting  the  parish  for  the  first  ...
Fourth  practice.  Have  someone  who  is  available  and  prepared  to  explain  Orthodox  worship  process  to   visitor...
Sixth  practice.  Make  the  visitors  to  meet  parishioners  first,    break  the  ice,    and  then  introduce  them  t...
those   who   already   somehow   found   their   way   to   a   parish   and   engaging   in   the   active   search   fo...
Despite   this   decline   in   actively   involved   parishioners,   the   data   indicate   that   the   vast   majority...
but       for  various  reasons       did  not  pursue  in  practice.  Among  the  latter  group  of  parishes   the  ones...
A   significant   number    about   40     of   both     exemplary     and     normal     parishes   affirmed   that   bei...
       In  the  27  years  of  existence,  St    X    has  done  nothing  more  that  open  the  doors  and  minister  to ...
passive    way  of  acquiring  new  adherents  and  winning  new  members  for  the  Church  is  very  consistent   with  ...
visitor  has  with  a  parish.    X    parish  does  not  have  a  website  further  contributing  to  the  challenges   t...
    61    of     exemplary     parishes   self   evaluated   themselves   as   being     well   known   in   the   local  ...
Not  surprisingly,  answering  the  question    Have  you  made  a  conscious  effort  to  make  your  parish  better   kn...
Fig.   16   gives   a   good   idea   of   what     exemplary     and     normal     parishes   do    and   what   they   ...
percentage   of   both     exemplary     and     normal     parishes   reported   that     Engaging   in   social   justic...
Differently,   a   significant   number   of     exemplary     parishes   emphasized   that   they   are   trying   to   b...
Fig.  17  shows  that       predictably       the  parishes  that  are    exemplary    in  their  evangelization  and  out...
       The  church  itself  has  been  in  the  neighborhood  for  one  hundred  years,  it  s  a  local  landmark.       ...
       It  is  the  most  photographed  building  in  town.             As   the   Cathedral,   it   has   long   made   i...
The   answers   fitting   into   one   of   the   five   categories   came   from   both   the     exemplary     and     n...
XI.  Relations  and  Cooperation  of    Exemplary    and    Normal    Parishes  with  the  Non   Orthodox   Religious  Con...
DISCUSSION  We   saw   in   Chapter   III      The   Parishes   Participating   in   the   Study      that   nearly   two ...
Fig. 19 Relationship of the  Exemplary  and  Normal  Parishes with the non-Orthodox Religious Congregations Located in the...
       Past   history   with   the   local   clergy   association   has   put   our   parish   in   the   awkward   positi...
Yet   another   group   of   comments   was   about   the   fact   that   each   Christian   denomination   or   local   c...
First,   significantly   fewer     normal     than     exemplary     parishes   answered   this   question   and   gave   ...
XII.  The    Lessons    that  the  Other  Parishes  Can  Learn   HIGHLIGHT FINDINGS      The   parishes   were   asked    ...
DISCUSSION Two  related  questions  will  be  discussed  in  this  chapter.  The  first  question  is   from  the  perspec...
Most   of   the   answers,   however,   touched   on   more   substantial   matters    something   about   parish   commun...
       The  Eucharistic  life  of  our  parish  is  vibrant       I  can  t  think  of  another  parish  in  our  deanery ...
Finally,   and   perhaps   most   importantly,   a   number   of   answers   that   came   from   the     exemplary      b...
The   survey   followed   with   the   question   about   any   advice   that   the   parishes   participating   in   the ...
Fourth.   Another   group   of   answers   suggested   that   a   parish   should   pay   attention   to   making   Orthod...
mission   and   evangelization   is   about   the   Truth   not   about   numbers.   Speak   the   Truth,   Teach   the   ...
       Every  parish  must   pray   admit  to  being  counter   cultural   teach  of  God  s  mercy   and  encourage   the...
community   will   radically   change   things,   however    faith   does   deepen   in   terms   of   joy   experienced  ...
      Encourage   inter   Orthodox   cooperation   between   the   local   parishes   in   evangelism   and   outreach   e...
      Encourage   inter   Orthodox   cooperation   between   the   local   parishes   in   evangelism   and   outreach   e...
       Show  up  and  put  some  sweat  equity  into  the  life  of  the  parish.  Too  often  the  bishop  shows  up,   t...
       Send   a   clear   and   consistent   message   by   being   in   the   midst   of   their   flock   not   distant ...
       Provide   better   resources   and   training   at   level   of   clergy   and   laity   for   how   to   evangeliz...
       Influence   the   local   clergy   to   reach   out   to   their   Orthodox   brothers.   They   can   best   do   ...
    We  looked  specifically  at  parishes    homepages   that  is,  the    front    pages  of  their  web   sites  that  ...
visitor  wanting  to  worship,  and  also  offers  guidance  to  look  into  available  resources  for  visitors  that  is...
XV.  The  Ultimate  Goal   Witnessing  Orthodox  Faith  in  21st  Century  America   HIGHLIGHT FINDINGS      The  parishes...
DISCUSSION  One  of  the  study  participants  wrote     People  are  looking  for  Orthodoxy,  even  though  they  don  t...
and  build  word  of  mouth  knowledge  to  our  friends.  Most  of  this  is  impossible  with  how  we  are   at  presen...
In   addition   to   these   two   major   categories   of   responses   from   the     normal     parishes,   some   of  ...
Serve  the  community  you  are  in       not  only  your  own  people.  That  is,  be  present  in  multiple   settings v...
       Most   importantly,   the  local   Orthodox   parish   needs   to   integrate   into   its   local   community.   S...
beautiful  temples,  we  only  knew  what  was  going  on  because  we  had  the  Liturgy  already  in  mind.     Our  par...
one  of  our  inquirers  talked  about  how  much  he  liked  the  class  and  how  the  community  was    like   a   fami...
a   parish   of   200   total .   Willingly   engage   the   parishioners   during   a   homily,   not   often,   but   ev...
Tab.  5    Major  Distinct  Features  of  the  Parishes  that  Are    Exemplary    in  their  Evangelization  and   Outrea...
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION  continued from previous page   Detailed discussion of this subject is on pp. 58-61 of the full study ...
PARISH COMMUNITY  Relations among members Detailed discussion of this subject is on pp. 86-89 of the full study report ---...
Detailed discussion of this subject is on pp. 136-144 of the full study report      Serve the community you are in - not o...
More  specifically        The  most  common  definition  of  evangelism  provided  by  the  parish  clergy  was  about  ev...
Similarly,  all  clergy  believe  that  the  richness  of  Orthodox  liturgical  life  lived  out  in  a  parish  can  att...
First,   while   the     natural   law   of   attraction     is   presently   the   major   model   of   Orthodox   Christ...
Orthodox Parishes Participating in the Study on Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Christian Churches  2016      W...
10 steps to a great parish website  What Every Orthodox Church Needs To Know  153  Adam  Lowell  Roberts
Is your website as beautiful as your temple  154
Did you know  YouTube, which only has videos, is the second largest search engine In 2015 more people used a smartphone in...
Part of the equation of a healthy parish is a healthy website. Does your website speak life to its visitors or do they lea...
Additional help is available at the end of this eBook on the Resource page. Also at the end is a glossary of terms commonl...
01  The Language Of The People  English should be the default language on your website. If you are a parish with other lan...
 We warmly welcome you to join us for a service. In the meantime, explore our visitor section for some introductory inform...
St.  Paul,  Katy,  TX  03  ShortVideo  Have a video front and center on your website that is 2 minutes or less in length. ...
04  This Sunday we will be celebrating Jesus Christ ascending into heaven. You are welcome to be our guest at this and all...
05  Mobile Friendly  Make sure the layout of your mobile version is clean and simple. Everything that is on the desktop ve...
Why does this matter  according to research of Americans participate in the life of the Orthodox Church. This includes Ori...
Al  Saints  Of  America,  Homer,  AK  06  Schedule, Phone, Location  Have clearly marked links to all three items to save ...
Assumption  Cathedral,  Moscow,  Russia  07  Dated Content  We all hate websites with outdated information. If you do not ...
Mt  Athos,  Greece  08  Test It  Show your new website to snake people, protestants, and nonChristians. Snake People are h...
09  Implement, Then Repeat  After you implement the changes, return to those same people and ask for new feedback. Also co...
Our  Lady,  The  Joy  of  All  Who  Sorrow,  ROCOR  10  Parishioners  Add a link to the home page titled  Resources.  This...
RESOURCES Here is a checklist of the 10 steps. Languages   Welcome message   Video   Terms vs. explanations   Mobile frien...
RESOURCES DIY Website Builders  Squarespace.com  Easiest to use, however not lots of bells   whistles. Wix.com  Almost as ...
GLOSSARY  desktop  having to do with a computer which has a full size screen, such as a  laptop or desktop computer. domai...
Appendix III. Questionnaire used in the study. Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America First thing...
  2. In what state is your parish located  Please, select the state from the dropdown menu State     3. In which Orthodox ...
Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America Please say a few words about yourself    4. Which of the f...
7. Between the time you were ordained an Orthodox priest and now, has your understanding of your role as a pastor and lead...
Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America About your parish s neighborhood...    8. Please evaluate ...
Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America About your parish s membership    10. Approximately, how m...
13. Besides attending liturgical services, would you say that the dominant majority of your parishioners are actively invo...
Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America About how this parish community has changed since you were...
  20. Given the fact that Orthodox Christians are a small religious minority in America, what are the best ways for our Ch...
Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America About organization and governance of your parish  21. Besi...
  25. Which model best describes your parish s system of financial contributions by parishioners  Membership dues  a fixed...
Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America About your parish s outreach    26. Would you say that you...
  29. Would you say that your parish is truly  outreach oriented   Definitely no  Rather no  Not sure  Rather yes  Definit...
Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America About your parish s  welcome   33. Would you say that your...
Living Out Our Faith  Orthodox Churches in 21st Century America Suggestions and insights for others    37. In a nutshell, ...
Appendix  4   Selected  Quotes  from  the  Clergy  Participating  in  the  Study  that  Can  be  Helpful   for  Other  Par...
we   do   not   encourage   burnout   or   parochial   insecurity.   We   try   to   help   our   members   to   identify ...
    We   present  giving  as  a  spiritual   discipline.   We   ask  people  to  give  as  much  as  they  can   joyfully ...
    It   is   IMPORTANT   to   state   that   our   liturgical   services   include   a   full   panoply   of   akathists,...
    Pray  hard  and  play  hard.  Do  things  to  help  build  community  like  get  together  for  meals,  have  a   tale...
4. Praise  and  recognition  must  be  acknowledged  as  commensurate  with  the  group  activities.     5. In  our  paris...
organizations  that  serve  those  in  need  also  provides  a  positive  witness  in  addition  to  caring  for   the  po...
humbly   accept   the   fact   that   it   is   for   us   to   obediently   sow   the   seeds,   and   for   God   to   b...
will   depend   on   their   core   leaders,   where   they   are   in   their   relationship   with   Christ,   where   t...
opportunities  to  serve  an  OCF.  4.  Increase  opportunities  for  laypersons   men  and  women   to  be   trained  as ...
Orthodox  members  of  parishioner  families.  Do  it  and  let  them  know  you  ve  done   it.  11.  Do  not   email  pa...
parishioners  are  not  there  text  them.  During  the  week  pray  for  them  and  let  them  know  via  email   or   te...
    We   emphasize   religious   education   in   all   aspects   of   parish   life   and   use   every   opportunity   t...
ministry  of  the  parish   e   OCFs,  OCMC  support,  local  charities,  etc.  are  important  and  worthy  of   local   ...