Small Parish Forum attracts diverse group from US and Canada

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Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania opened the Forum with a message of encouragement and support.
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AnnMarie Mecera (left) shared principles and ideas for determining successful charitable outreach for the small parish.
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Archpriest Daniel Rentel gave the keynote address.
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Archpriest Jonathan Proctor shared the success story of Holy Trinity in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Participants heard a variety of presentations geared to strengthening the parish, committing to long term viability, and developing reachable goals.
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Archpriest Daniel Rentel gave the keynote address.
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David Drillock led a choir workshop in which he stressed that smaller choirs may sound better singing in just parts rather than four.
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Participants heard a variety of presentations geared to strengthening the parish, committing to long term viability, and developing reachable goals.
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Archpriest John Reeves discussed the unique characteristics of parishes of different sizes.
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The hospitality of Christ the Savior Church, headed by Parish Council President John Fedorko (center) was outstanding and memorable.

The first-ever Small Parish Forum was at Christ the Savior Church here July 10-12, 2014. It was co-hosted by the Diocese of the Midwest and the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.

Geared to parishes with 50 members or less, the forum featured speakers who presented ideas, principles and tactics for strengthening the parish, committing to long term viability, and developing reachable goals.

Participants came from as far away as New England, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan. In addition to clergy and laity attendees from Orthodox parishes, the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, Ohio was represented by Priest Dennis Hrubiak.

β€œIt truly was excellently planned and executed!” said an enthusiastic Archpriest William (John) Evansky of Holy Ghost Church, Ambridge, PA and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. β€œI heard numerous positive comments from the attendees, many of whom look forward to similar events in the future.”

Presentations were supported with workshops, case studies, clergy and lay breakout sessions, and time for networking. Participants will be given the opportunity to stay in touch with one another for support and reinforcement through an electronic e-mail group.

Given encouragement to hold another conference in 2015, organizers will begin preliminary planning in the coming months and year.

Forum materials may be accessed at http://www.ocadwpa.org/smallparishforum.html.

Those interested in attending the 2015 Small Parish Forum will find updates on the Archiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania web site at http://www.ocadwpa.org/pardev.html.