The third annual Mission School of the Orthodox Church in America will be held at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, NY August 21-25, 2017.
“The Mission School is an initiative of the Holy Synod of Bishops that utilizes a bequest to the OCA earmarked for missions and evangelism,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary and Mission School Coordinator. “The first Mission School was at Saint Andrew Center, Detroit, MI, while the second year’s program convened at Immaculate Conception Seminary. The school is fully funded and the participants’ expenses are paid with the agreement that they bring back the knowledge to their own churches and dioceses.”
Each diocesan hierarch will select one clergy participant and one lay participant to attend the Mission School.
“The school draws upon the experience of clergy who have served in the mission field and imparts practical knowledge on evangelism, mission and mission operation,” Father Eric continued. “Ten instructors will cover topics ranging from the theology of mission to community building to worship in a mission setting.”
Topics under consideration at this year’s program include Missiology and Evangelism Theory, Creating and Understanding a Mission’s Vision, Community Building, Mission Management, Finance/Stewardship, Catechism and Education, Liturgical/Music, Ethnic Approaches/Challenges, Revitalizing a Parish, Mission Community in Sacramental and Developmental Practice, and Mission in the Secular Age.
In addition to Father Eric, the instructors will include Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest Chad Hatfield, President of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY; Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA; Archpriest David Rucker of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and Saint Herman’s Seminary, Kodiak, AK; Archpriest Thomas Soroka, Rector of Saint Nicholas Church, McKees Rocks, PA; Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki, Rector of Holy Apostles Mission, Mechanicsburg, PA; Priest John Parker, Chair of the OCA Department of Evangelization; and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.
“Interspersed throughout the week-long session will be evaluation exercises and round table discussions so that experiences are shared among the participants,” Father Eric added. “Joining the participants during the week will be members of the Holy Synod, who will lead discussions and share their own guidance and experience.”
Additional information about the Mission School will be released as it becomes available. Recordings from the 2016 Mission School are available on-line.