Our Dream for the Church Study Guide (Session 2)

By the end of this session participants should be able to . . .

  • Draft a “dream statement” for their parish.
  • List two or three of the best aspects of being part of their parish community.
  • List two or three of the worst aspects of being part of thier parish community.
  • List concrete ways they can help make their parish community better.


  • Copies of “Our Dream for the Church”
  • Pads and pens
  • A large open space where everyone can move around comfortably

5 min. Introduction: Review some of the conclusions/concerns from the last session.

15 min. Finish the following sentences as a group.

Brainstorm as many possibilities as you can. Write them down on a conference pad or overhead projector and then discuss your results.

“I want the Church to be a group which . . .

I want the Church to be a place where . . .

I want my parish to . . .

I wish that the parishes in my diocese would . . .

I dream that our Orthodox Church in America would . . .etc."

10 min. Read “Our Dream for the Church” as a group. Discuss how it compares to the statements you came up with earlier.

30 min. Where do you stand?

Clear a large space in the room. Identify one side of the space as “definately agree,” a part as “somewhat agree”, a part as “somewhat disagree” and another part of the space as “defintely disaggree.” Inform the participants that they are to arrange themselves in that space based upon how much they agree to the statement you read. Once they arrange themselves, instruct them to discuss why they are there with the people around them in that area. Based upon the conversation they may wish to move. Once everyone is settled, take one person from each area and ask why they are there. If they disagree, ask them what they think they can do to help the parish/diocese be better at it.

Do this for each phrase in the statement. “Our parish/diocese is . . .”


“Our parish is growing where all are welcome.”

“Our diocesan parishes have love for each other.”

When you have finished with the whole statement, pick one or two areas you want to concentrate on improving and begin planning a concrete way you could help do that.