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2019 Diocesan Assembly Announcement

The official 2019 Diocesan Assembly Announcement has been posted, as well as other important forms necessary for attendance. Reports will continually be posted as the Assembly approaches - please check back often and read reports before the Assembly.


Workshop on parish and clergy financial issues

The Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania will present a Financial Workshop for parishes and clergy, scheduled for Saturday, December 15th from 9am to 1pm at St. Nicholas in Bethlehem. This workshop is open to clergy and lay leadership. Our presenter is Matushka Mary Buletza Breton, the Treasurer of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, a Certified Public Accountant with extensive experience in these areas professionally and as the wife and daughter of priests. She will be available after the program to answer any specific questions you may have until 3pm. Apologies for the short notice - thank you in advance for your understanding and please make every effort to attend. More detailed information can be foound HERE.



"New" Additions to Website - ADDITIONS MADE 11/15/2018

Many old reports and publications will be making their way to the website. At this time, Diocesan Assembly Reports from the very first through the 1990's Diocesan Assemblies have been added to an Archive. You can explore the archive HERE.

Old issues of Alive in Christ are also being archived.  JUST ADDED - THE VERY FIRST ISSUE FROM 1983

ALSO ADDED - 2nd, 3rd and 4th ISSUES FROM 1984


Holy Synod Releases Social Media Guidelines

The Holy Synod of Bishops has released Social Media Guidelines. The guidelines are now posted on our website and can be found HERE.


Updated Guidelines for Clergy Compensation

*2018/2019 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


Statement of the Holy Synod of Antioch

2018-10-06
Concerning the Current Developments in the Orthodox World

The Holy Synod of Antioch met in the Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery, Lebanon, (October 3-6, 2018) and made the following statement:
The fathers examined the general orthodox situation. They stressed that the Church of Antioch expresses Her deep worries about the attempts to change the boundaries of the Orthodox Churches through a new reading of history. She considers that resorting to an unilateral reading of history does not serve Orthodox unity. It rather contributes to the fueling of the dissentions and quarrels within the one church. Thus, the Church of Antioch refuses the principle of establishing parallel jurisdictions within the canonical boundaries of the Patriarchates and the autocephalous churches, as a way to solve conflicts, or as a de facto situation in the Orthodox World.
The fathers of the Church of Antioch underline that any approach for granting the autocephaly of a certain church has to be in accordance with the Orthodox ecclesiology and the principles agreed upon by the Churches in a conciliar way in the past years. These principles for granting autocephaly are about the necessity to obtain the agreement of the Mother Church and the acknowledgement of all the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches. The Church of Antioch affirms the necessity to resort to the principle of unanimity concerning the common orthodox work and the stand on controversial issues in the Orthodox world, and this unanimity is a true safeguard for Orthodox Unity.
The Church of Antioch warns from the dangers of implicating the Orthodox world in the international political conflicts and the resulting harms which come from approaching the Orthodox Church’s issues on the basis of politics, ethnicity, and nationalism.
The Church of Antioch calls upon His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch to call for an urgent Synaxis for the primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches, in order to discuss the current developments that the Orthodox world is facing about the issue of granting autocephaly to new churches, and the efforts made to find common solutions before taking any final decisions about this issue.
The Church of Antioch highlights the necessity of spiritual vigilance in this critical period of history, and the importance of preserving the peace and unity of the Church, and to be watchful on not falling into the trap of political entanglement which history has proved to cause the Orthodox Church a weakening of Her united witness in the world.

 


New Diocesan Center Contact Information

The move to the new Diocesan Center location is complete. All are asked to update their contact information.

Address:
325 N Walnut St.
Bath, PA 18014

Phone Number:
(484) 281-3406

 


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.


The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has released the results of its most recent study, titled “Young Adults and Young Adult Ministries in American Orthodox Christian Parishes.” An Executive Summary and Full Report are available online in PDF format.

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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