In recognition of the demands placed upon clergy in parish life and contemporary society, the Department of Pastoral Life and Ministry assists clergy in the fulfillment of their ministries through workshops, seminars, retreats, and publication of the Pastors to Pastors newsletter. The Department also develops resources equipping clergy to address issues involving their own ministries, family concerns, and needs of clergy widows and widowed clergy.
The Department is also responsible for a series of pastoral reflections called “Life in Christ,” edited by the V. Rev. John Breck. The series is posted to The Orthodox Church in America’s web site twice a month, featuring articles discussing timely topics.
The Department coordinates the Seminarian Internship Program, which provides seminarians with an opportunity to spend a summer working in a parish setting under the direction of an experienced pastor/mentor. Each year parishes are invited to host interns, who provide valuable assistance and additional ministry resources to their host parishes.
The Department planned previous Pastoral Life Conferences and participated in workshops and forums during recent All-American Councils. Plans for future events are being discussed, which was held at St. Tikhon Monastery in South Canaan, PA, June 2-4, 2004, and attended by over one hundred clergy.
Members of the Department also work in cooperation with the OCA’s Office of Institutional Chaplains, which gives priests and qualified lay people who have Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training and are involved in hospital ministry an opportunity to be officially endorsed by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah as Orthodox hospital chaplains.
by The Right Reverend Tikhon
Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania