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2020 Parish Development Forum Online

Co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania, the Diocese of the Midwest and the Bulgarian Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America, the Parish Development Forum is a conference for Orthodox clergy and laity which provides an opportunity for discussion of timely topics and discovery of practices used by healthy, vibrant Orthodox parishes.

Normally a three day in-person conference, due to restrictions and concerns associated with the Corona virus the 2020 Forum has been reconfigured to be a one day online conference that will occur July 9, 2020 between 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM EDT via Zoom.


Theme: The Orthodox Parish: Charting a Course in Challenging Times

In recent months the cadence and atmosphere of secular and parish life has been turned upside down. As societies and parishes slowly re-establish their footing and balance, the 2020 Parish Forum seeks to help clergy and lay leaders to reflect and act upon the impact of the recent turbulence and to prepare for the ‘new nimbleness’ likely to be required to deal with unusual and uncertain issues in the next six to twelve months.

The 2020 Forum will provide attendees with important emotional, spiritual, and practical insights facing parishes as they re-open and as the work of the parish lives in new and often unusual contexts. 

Some reflective questions:

  • What have we learned?
  • How do we see the Church, our parish and its mission in a new light?
  • The constraints and challenges of the past few months have created opportunities. What would we be missing by limiting ourselves to only what we’ve done before?
  • Can wesee opportunities to start fresh?
  • What is the role of adaptability and creativity in the timeless church?

Keynote Address Metropolitan TIKHON 

Metropiltan TIKHON, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will set the tone for the FORUM as its keynote speaker.

In addition to His Beatitude's keynote remarks the agenda will include eleven sessions that deal with topics that are new or have taken on different or increased importance as parishes chart a course for the future.

There will be breaks between sessions. Some sessions will be for all attendees. Others will be breakout/parallel sessions in which there will be brief intro talks; discussion questions and hopefully open dialogue.One breakout session will serve a clergy only audience. One session will be for laity only.

There will be three breakout periods during the day one in the morning andtwo in the afternoon. Each period will offer three choices. After you register you will receive a survey from which you can indicate your preferences for breakout sessions.

Click here for Session descriptions. Click here for Speaker bios.

Budget Friendly Registration

You must register to attend. Registration is open to clergy or lay leaders from any Orthodox jurisdiction.

Registration for the 2020 Forum includes various budget friendly free will pricing options --including free!  Select the option tht best fits your situation. Income after administrative expenses and speaker stipends will be used for Parish development grants and for donations to Orthodox charities.  

Most sessions will be recorded and registered attendees will have access to recordings.