Registration is now open for the Fourth Small Parish Forum to be cosponsored by the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania and the Diocese of the Midwest at Saint John the Baptist Church, New Kensington, PA, Thursday, July 13 through Saturday, July 15 2017.
On-line registration is now available. The $100.00 per person registration fee includes meals, breaks, a hospitality reception and materials. The Forum is open to both clergy and laity. Participation will be limited to 60 individuals.
The theme of the Forum is “Becoming a Community of Engagement: On Behalf of All.” Workshops and presentations will explore ways to inspire and motivate smaller parishes to accept their calling to live a life in Christ without necessarily becoming “big.”
“Just as a clinic is not a large metropolitan hospital with fewer beds, smaller churches are not immature, malnourished versions of larger parishes,” said Joseph Kormos, Forum chairperson and Parish Development Ministry Leader for the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh. “While they think, act and feel different, smaller parishes can worship well, care for one another, teach, serve their neighbors and share Christ’s love with others. Doing so requires harnessing the intimacy and close relationships inherent in their modest size—and avoiding using size as an excuse for inactivity and minimal effort.
“To enliven the theme, the Forum agenda will focus on four aspects of ‘engagement’ that are significant to smaller parishes,” Mr. Kormos continued. “These include engaging in worship by enlivening a church’s music and worship for everyone; engaging with neighbors by building bridges to the wider community; engaging across generations by harnessing intimacy, loving relationships and mentoring across multiple generations; and engaging with the future, which requires leadership, an understanding of identity and mission as a Christian community and shared, lived values.”
“These and related topics will be explored in brief presentations, case studies, discussions, workshops, small group conversations and short video contributions,” Archpriest Daniel Rentel, Forum Cochairperson, added.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Spring Hill Suites Pittsburgh Mills. The block will be available at a discounted rate until June 13. Hotel registration is the responsibility of the attendee.
“New Kensington is just a two hour drive from Cleveland; four and a half hours from Detroit; under four hours from Buffalo; and five hours from Philadelphia,” Mr. Kormos added. “Over half of the OCA’s parishes are within a manageable drive of the Forum site.”