August 16, 2018
Dear Rev. Frs., Rev. Dns., Matushki and faithful,
Christ is in our midst! Today we were blessed to close on the property in Bath, PA, which will serve as our new Diocesan Headquarters. The property, located at 325 N. Walnut St., Bath, PA 18014 may be viewed HERE. The property is conveniently located seven miles from St. Nicholas in Bethlehem and close to HWYS, 33, 78, 80, 76 and 476. We are excited to begin this new chapter in the life of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania and grateful for the work of the V. Rev. Fr. Raymond Brown, our Chancellor, the Diocesan Council, especially Sandra Tosca, who provided assistance with Penn Dot and her expertise as an engineer, attorneys John Coles, Jr and Lawrence Fox, who obtained a Zoning Variance and the tremendous patience of contractor John McGarrity of St Nicholas in Bethlehem who looked at various properties and provided costs associated with potential properties. John Coles, Jr., will also begin the work of pursuing tax exemption for the property.
Over the next weeks work will begin to prepare the house and office space to accommodate our needs. As the house has been vacant for a significant period of time we would certainly appreciate any assistance with getting the landscaping under control. Much of the Diocesan Center in S. Canaan is packed and we are grateful to Matushka Emelia Burns for her help with that.
There will be much to juggle between overseeing the preparation of our new facility and making sure everything is properly packed and ready for the move. Please keep us in your God-pleasing prayers as we make this step to a more central location within the Diocese. We will definitely miss the tremendous gifts of Matushka Sandra Kopestonsky as Administrative Assistant and her selfless labors on behalf of the Church and the Diocese.
We will keep you posted on the actual move date so that correspondence will remain uninterrupted. Glory to God for All Things!
Your unworthy father in Christ,
Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania
Many old reports and publications will be making their way to the website. At this time, Diocesan Assembly Reports from the very first few Diocesan Assemblies have been added to an Archive for your enjoyment. You can explore the archive HERE.
Old issues of Alive in Christ are also being archived. The first (randomly chosen) issue to be scanned and added to the archive is the issue from the Summer of 2006. JUST ADDED - Winter 1991 (chosen randomly!)
Father John Nightingale has sent a letter to the Diocese Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania which can be read HERE.
His Eminence, Archbishop MARK has released a message regarding Fr. John Nightingale and Matushka Kyra. Please take a moment and read the letter HERE. Please keep Fr. John and Matushka Kyra in your prayers.
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 regarding 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.
Guidelines for Supply Priests and Deacons are also found here.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
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.
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.
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..
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.
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?
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.