“The study is anonymous—no names are asked and no individual responses will be shared with anyone,” said Mr. Krindatch. “Please share this invitation and link to the study with your Orthodox friends, relatives and fellow parishioners via e-mail and on your Facebook pages and parish web sites. We are grateful for your input on this unique study project.”
Questions may be directed to Mr. Krindatch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In related news, results of the Assembly of Bishops’ latest research report, “Orthodox Monastic Communities in the United States,” is now available here.
Designed as a first step in studying and comparing US monastic communities, the report’s findings are based on a survey taken in late 2013 and early 2014. It offers a wealth of insight into over 70 Orthodox monastic communities, focusing on their significant diversity in terms of size, liturgical practices, openness to visitors, and educational programs.
Archpriest Theodore Boback, Dean/Executive Director of the Orthodox Church in America’s Military and VA Chaplaincies, and Archpriest Joseph Gallick participated in the Annual NCMAF and ECVAC Conference and AFCB meeting here recently.
Due to prior commitments, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon was unable to attend this year’s gatherings.
The annual National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces [NCMAF], the Endorsers Conference for Veterans Affairs Chaplaincy [ECVAC], and the Armed Forces Chaplains Board with the three branches’ Chief of Chaplains was held January 12-15, 2015.
“The ECVAC portion of the conference included presentations by Chaplain Michael McCoy Chaplain John Milewski and Mr. John Batten from the VA Chaplain National Office, who offered a presentation on the VA Chaplaincy and personnel concerns, followed by discussion,” said Father Theodore. “A business meeting was conducted in the late afternoon.
“This year, the NCMAF had as its theme ‘Serving Those Who Serve: A Renewed Vision for a Time of Change,’” Father Ted continued. “The theme was chosen because of the various transitions that have taken place over the last decade.”
The first day included presentations by a panel on “Ensuring High Standards: Serving with Integrity and Trust.
Steve Schwab from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation spoke on Influencing religious Bodies on behalf of our veterans. CAPT Jim Fisher, USN, CHC (Ret) was the luncheon speaker, offering a presentation titled “Operation Heal Our Patriots Samaritans Purse.” Additional sessions included “Guarding Religious Free Exercise” with Policy Representatives of the Chiefs of Chaplains, followed by an interactive policy issue workshop. The day concluded with a presentation by the Navy, Army, and Air Force Chaplaincy Recruiters.
Presentations on the second day included “Improving Patient-Centered Care Via Integration of Chaplains into Mental Health Care” by CAPT Sheila O’Mara, CHC USN (Ret); “Support for the Defense Centers of Excellent for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury” by Dr. Jeff Rhodes, D.Min.; and “Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Neglect and Looking Ahead” by Ms. Rosemary Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Military Community and Family Policy. Dr. Barbara McGraw, Director of the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism, aksi soije ib “Safeguarding Religious Free Exercise” and conducted an interactive workshop with CH (COL) Ken Bush, USA Retired. The day ended with a NCMAF business meeting, during which it’s by-laws were reviewed.
The final day’s events, hosted by the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, opened with a welcome by Mr. Anthony M. Kurta, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, and Chaplain (Colonel) Jerry Pitts, Executive Director, Armed Forces Chaplains Board. Presentations and a panel discussion by featuring Rear Admiral Karen G. Kibben, CHC, USN; CH (Major General) Donald Rutherford; and Ch, Major General, Howard Stendahl, also were offered. Personnel briefings by Chaplain Corps Personnel Directors and the Annual Compliance Process Update rounded out the program.
The Diocese of the Midwest and the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania will host the second annual Small Parish Forum at Saint Nicholas Church here June 18-20, 2015.
Titled “Help, Hope, Stability and Identity,” the forum will focus on the needs of “small” parishes throughout the OCA and other Orthodox jurisdictions.
Workshops and presentations will explore ways to assist parishes with memberships of 75 or less souls to achieve stability, build a positive self-image, and accept their calling to live a life in Christ without necessarily becoming “big.”
“Small Parishes can bring people to Christ in intimate and exciting ways often unavailable to larger parishes,” said Joseph Kormos, Forum co-chairperson and Parish Development Leader for the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh. “The sessions will offer actionable, hard information, and tips and good practices for strengthening small parishes that will be valuable to clergy and lay leaders alike,” added Mr. Kormos.
The agenda will include panel discussions, a music workshop focusing on small parish worship, an array of speakers, parallel sessions for clergy and laity, and case studies. Sessions will begin at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, June 18 and conclude at noon on Saturday, June 20.
Archpriest Daniel Rentel, co-chairperson for the Forum, said, “We hope to build on the success of last year’s forum in Byesville OH. In that session we drew over 50 persons from six OCA dioceses and three other Orthodox jurisdictions. We’re working on new presentations on stewardship and education in the small parish. David Drillock will return to lead the music sessions. The Forum location is 20 minutes from the Pittsburgh airport, less than four hours from Detroit, four and a half hours from DC, and five hours from Scranton/Philadelphia. Over half of the OCA’s parishes are within a manageable drive of the site.”
While registration will not open until March 15, those desiring additional information may send their requests to email@example.com. To help build fellowship and dialogue among attendees, registration will be limited to 75 persons, so early registration is recommended.
Sessions will take place at Weirton’s Saint Nicholas Church, 604 Colliers Way. A block of rooms has been reserved at two local hotels. The registration fee of $100.00 per person will include meals, coffee breaks, and forum materials. Many OCA Dioceses offer scholarships to small parishes desiring to send attendees.