Emotional and spiritual care, needs assessments under way in Winston-Salem, Wilmington
Baltimore, Md. (September 19, 2018) – International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has deployed staff, equipment, and volunteers for emergency response in some of the worst-hit areas of North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
After Hurricane Florence stalled over the Carolinas, dumping more than 30 inches of rain in some places, the region faces widespread flooding. Numerous shelters have opened to house evacuees, and although rain has largely subsided, families who left their homes are unable to return as waters remain dangerously high. The city of Wilmington, North Carolina, was largely cut off from neighboring towns when floods covered roadways.
On September 18, IOCC deployed four Frontliners to a Red Cross shelter in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Specially trained to serve survivors of disaster and trauma, IOCC’s Frontliners are providing emotional and spiritual care to residents and emergency workers at the shelter.
At the same time, an IOCC emergency response vehicle is en route to Wilmington, where the parish of St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church will serve as a base for emergency action teams in the coming days. Trained team leaders will conduct rapid needs assessments and guide volunteers as they do muck outs, clearing water-damaged homes of sludge and removing debris for Wilmington residents affected by Hurricane Florence.
“We’re on the ground now, and we’re ready to respond quickly as people’s needs emerge these next few days,” said IOCC’s US Country Representative Daniel Christopulos. “Recovery is a long process, and these communities have a long road ahead. IOCC is committed to supporting them throughout that process, both now, with early response activities, and in their long-term recovery.”
As needs change on the ground, IOCC will assess gaps in services and seek ways to address them. The organization remains in close contact with partners and counterparts in affected states, including the North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), as well as with affected Orthodox parishes in the Wilmington area.
Since 2001, IOCC has responded after numerous disasters in the United States, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017. In addition to emotional and spiritual care, IOCC provided emergency food and nonfood items, muck-out assistance, clean-up kits, and generators in affected areas. The organization continues long-term recovery work in both states.
Those wishing to support IOCC’s response to Hurricane Florence can do so with a financial gift online (iocc.org/florence) or by phone (877.803.4622). Those available to help with clean-up, may register at iocc.org/emergencyaction.
IOCC is the humanitarian and development agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has provided more than $661 million in humanitarian relief and sustainable development programs in over 60 countries worldwide. Today, IOCC applies its expertise in humanitarian response to man-made and natural crises in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States, offering assistance based solely on need.
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 email@example.com.
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.