Christ is Risen! As mentioned at our Diocesan Assembly, this year is dedicated to “Cultivating a Mission Mindset.” As our speaker, Bill Marianes pointed out at our Assembly, we will all have to give an account for what we have done with the Lord’s Church.
Bill is a phenomenal speaker and will be coming for a Parish Council Workshop on Saturday, June 3. Please encourage your council members and faithful to come. Every priest and parish council should be represented. Let us not miss this wonderful opportunity to learn how to bring growth to our parishes. We only have one opportunity to make a first impression, let us make time in our busy schedule to examine what we do that works and what we could do better for the building up of the Lord’s Church.
+ Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania
Pascha Message From Archbishop MARK
His Eminence, Archbishop MARK has released his Paschal message to the Diocese of Phildelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania. Read his message HERE.
Attention all Diocesan Graduates!
It is time to submit your graduation photo and information for inclusion in this year's Alive in Christ Graduate issue! You can submit electronically or by mailing your information. For Directions on how to submit your information CLICK HERE.
DEADLINE JUNE 30 2017!
Telos Project seeks “pilot parishes” to explore young adults’ religious lives
The Telos Project, a five-year initiative at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology [HCHC] exploring the religious lives of young adults ages 23-29, is seeking 14 parishes belonging to the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America to pilot new forms of young adult ministry. For more information click HERE.
Appeal to help Fr. John and Matushka Kyra Nightingale
His Eminence, Archbishop MARK has sent out an appeal to the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania to aid Fr. John and Matushka Kyra Nightingale. Fr. John experienced a tragic fall last year, and is continuing to recover, with great expenses. Please read the letter from His Eminence, and as the Great Lent approaches consider making a donation of money or time, and kee[ the Nightengales in your prayers.
Beyond the Plateau: Leading the Church through Needed Change
We all know the story, or have heard versions of it. A new priest is assigned to a parish. Upon his arrival there, the priest discovers or discerns that the parish is in decline, or is struggling with serious issues of Church growth and health, and resolves to do something about it. He may be a priest with not only good ideas but inspiring vision, energy and talent, yet, at virtually every step of the way, he finds himself fighting resistance to even the concept of new ideas and different ways of doing things, ways that challenge conventional parish thinking and possibly even the very parishioners responsible for that thinking. After a while, especially with no backup or support from fellow clergy, including his own bishop, he gives up and goes on with parish life as it has been. And the declines only continue. CONTINUE READING
Proposed Templates for Parish By-Laws / Constitutions *UPDATED DECEMBER 2016!
Christ is in our midst!
Here you will find two recently revised "Proposed Templates" for parishes desiring to adopt a set of By-Laws or Constitutions where there are none or update them in cases where the old By-Laws are incongruent with the Revised Statutes of the Orthodox Church in America or simply out of date. We welcome feedback on these "Proposed Parish By-Laws." According to Federal Law regulating Non-Profit Organizations, every Non-Profit must have a set of By-Laws and follow them. Those who do not endanger their tax exempt status as well as leave their parish council members open to personal liability. The same could also be said of parishes that have bylaws but do not follow them..
+ Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
Updated Guidelines for Clergy Compensation
Updated guidelines for Clergy Compensation have been posted and can be accessed HERE.
New Websites Abound Across the Diocese
Recently many parishes in the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania have updated their presence on the World Wide Web - too many, in fact, to give each their own separate news story. A website is your parish’s “store front” to the world - statistics show that when searching for a church, the first place most people go is to the internet. Does your parish have a website? Is it updated at least weekly? Is your parish using social media? In the 21st Century these tools are used by many who are searching, and can reach millions. Congratulations to the parishes below who have made their place on the internet extra special, for taking the time to ensure their message is being clearly and neatly presented. Did we miss your parish? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list.
Holy Annunciation Berwick
New website featuring parish news and events
Holy Apostles Mechanicsburg
New website featuring news and events and new building fund
St. John the Baptist Edwardsville
New website featuring news, events, parish calendar
St. Michaels Old Forge
New website featuring 360 degree tour, news and events
Holy Cross Williamsport
New website featuring 360 degree virtual tour, news and events
St. Michael's Jermyn
New website featuring 4 part welcome and 360 degree tour
St. Mary's Coaldale
New website featuring 360 degree virtual tour, news and events
Christ the Saviour Harrisburg
New website featuring news, photos, calendar and more.
Hierarchs Gather in Detroit for Annual General Assembly Meeting
Assembly of Bishops Discusses Religious Liberty, Reviews Committees Work, Encourages Pan-Orthodox Cooperation
As many of you know, for a number of years St. Stephen's Cathedral has been hosting a Diaconal Formation Program of St. Tikhon's Seminary. We've been working on expanding this program to also allow for training of layity who are not planning to pursue Diaconal ordination but are active members of their parish and help out in various positions. This program gives participants foundational knowledge of Orthodox Theology, Church History, Scriptural interpretation and Typical, so it can be especially important for those involved in Catechetical work, Sunday School (especially teen/high school level) and cantors/choir directors. More information HERE.
The Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry
The Mission of the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry is to bring the love of Christ to those who are in prison by providing encouragement, material support, transition and reintegration guidance, Christian education, spiritual guidance and the sacramental life of the Church. How can you help?
Toward the Great and Holy Council: Retrieving a Culture of Conciliarity and Communion
A presentation on Ancient Faith Radio you can listen to HERE.
The revised statutes for the Orthodox Church in America are now available. The Revised Statutes are the governing document for the Orthodox Church in America, its' Dioceses, and Parishes. Please review the Revised OCA Statutes HERE.