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Updated Guidelines for Clergy Compensation

2017/2018 Updated guidelines for Clergy Compensation have been posted and can be accessed HERE.

Dear to God,

Christ is in our midst! Please find attached a letter regrading an annual review of clergy compensation, the compensation guidelines and the figures for Median Income for your city and county. Keep in mind that if the cost of living is lower where your church is located than where your parishioners live, the compensation should be based on where the majority of the faithful actually live.

Asking your God-pleasing prayers, I remain your unworthy father in Christ,
 
Yours in Christ,

+Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania


*NEW* Update on Property Transfer of Diocesan Center

Glory to Jesus Christ!

His Eminence, Archbishop MARK has released a message regarding the status of the Property Transfer involving the Diocesan Center. His letter can be found HERE.


International Orthodox Christian Charities Accepting Donations for Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

By now we have all seen the devastation in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey. International Orthodox Christian Charities has set up an online donation center where you can make a contribution to help those affected by this massive storm. Click here to donate and find out more.


The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America have released a study entitled ʺThe Places of Greater Orthodox Unity in America: The State of Local Parish‐to‐Parish
inter‐Orthodox Cooperation and Communication”.  The study was conducted by the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. You can read the results of the study HERE.


AN UPDATE ON FATHER JOHN NIGHTINGALE

Fr. John is home.  Glory to God!  After a few days of transitioning from the large hospital setting of the VA in Bronx NY to our small home he is maneuvering successfully throughout the house.  The ramp, deck, and remodeled rooms allow him to have access to our entire first floor and outdoor area.

The converted van arrived a few weeks after Pascha and has given us independence.  It was a blessing to visit St. Tikhon’s Monastery during Memorial Day weekend to venerate the Iveron Icon of the Theotokos.  Father John has been attending Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings.  His nurse Paula and aid Brandy agreed to begin their day extra early so we can be at church by 8:30.

Throughout this experience we have met and heard from so many people who are praying for Father's recovery.  We are grateful for everyone's prayers, well wishes, and support.  We are humbled by your thoughtfulness.  Please know you are in our prayers.


St. Tikhon’s Seminary Announces Enrollment into Diaconal and Parish Leadership Formation Program


St. Tikhon’s Seminary is announcing open enrollment into an expanded Diaconal and Parish Leadership Formation program!  The program is currently structured to satisfy the educational requirements of laymen who would like to pursue ordination into the Diaconate.  It is also intended for faithful men and women, who would like to deepen their knowledge of Orthodox theology and spiritual life to be more effective in their ministry in the Church.  The expanded program now consists of two educational tracks: one for those who intend to serve as Deacons in the Orthodox Church and another for those who are actively involved in parish leadership.
The Parish Leadership Formation program is designed for laypeople who would like to seek greater knowledge of our Orthodox Faith toward exercising a more active role in the life of their parish. The program will be helpful for those: serving on parish council, conducting catechetical instructions, teaching Sunday School, and leading youth activities, assisting with church services either in the altar or in the choir, or undertaking any responsibility in the parish life that can benefit from the knowledge of Orthodox Theology, Spirituality and Liturgy.
Archpriest Victor Gorodenchuk, the director of the program, remarked: “We are very excited with the decision of St. Tikhon’s Seminary to create an opportunity for dedicated Orthodox faithful of our area to learn more about Theology, Scripture and Liturgy.  This program is ideal for those who have full-time employment and are able to commute once a week to Philadelphia.  In contrast with correspondence courses, the ability to meet for both prayer and classes and to spend time in fellowship with other students allows participants to have an important formational aspect which is indispensable for their ministry in the setting of an Orthodox parish.”
The program meets on Saturdays over the course of two years from September to May at St. Stephen Orthodox Cathedral in North-East Philadelphia, PA.  To download a copy of the flyer, click here.  For any questions about the program, please contact Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk at 215-745-3232 or dean@ststephenscathedral.org.



Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Parishes

The first ever, national study on evangelization and outreach in Orthodox parishes in the United States has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA.
Download the report in various formats:
    •    Executive Summary (pdf)
    •    Full Report (pdf)
The report "Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Parishes" explores the practices and strategies developed by some Orthodox parishes that can be viewed as "exemplary" in their missionary and outreach efforts. Examples of what the readers will find in the report include:
    •    The "secrets" of being a parish that attracts and welcomes new members;
    •    Eight good practices of welcoming first-time visitors and inquirers about the Faith;
    •    How do "exemplary" parishes achieve a high degree of involvement of their members in parish life;
    •    Four distinct features of religious education in the "exemplary" parishes;
    •    Six "lessons" that Church leadership (bishops) can learn from the "exemplary" parishes.
Parishes of seven Orthodox jurisdictions participated in this study. The report was prepared by Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly's Research Coordinator in cooperation with Fr. Eric Tosi (OCA), Fr. John Parker (OCA) and Adam Roberts (Antiochian Archdiocese). The study was initiated and sponsored by the Committee for Agencies and Endorsed Organizations (Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, Chairman).


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.

READ ARCHBISHOP MARK'S APPEAL HERE


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..  

By Laws            Constitution

+ Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania


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.



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?


Important Message Regarding Diocesan Insurance

His Eminence, Archbishop MARK, has released a message regarding an upcoming change with Diocesan Insurance which will require parishes to abide by the new carrier's sexual misconduct policies. Please review these policies.which can be found HERE.

Revised OCA Statutes

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.




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