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CANTON, OH [MW Diocese Communications] -- The Diocese of the Midwest and the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania recently announced that the third annual Small Parish Forum will be held at Holy Assumption Church, Canton, OH July 14-16, 2016.

The Forum will focus on specific parish situations common to the numerous “small” parishes throughout the Orthodox Church in America and other jurisdictions.  Workshops and presentations will explore ways to assist parishes with memberships of 75 or fewer 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 Ministry Leader for the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh.  “Forum sessions will offer actionable information, tips and good practices for strengthening small parishes that will be valuable to clergy and lay leaders alike."
The Forum’s agenda, yet to be finalized, will include panel discussions, interactive workshops, sessions focusing on worship, an array of speakers, parallel sessions for clergy and laity, and case studies.  Sessions will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 and conclude at noon on Saturday, July 16.
Archpriest Daniel Rentel, Co-chairperson for the Forum said, “The previous Forums, held in Byesville OH and Weirton WV, were a big success. In each of those sessions we drew 60 persons from six OCA dioceses and three other jurisdictions.  We’ve created a great advisory team of past attendees and speakers to guide our agenda and enable people to leave with actionable ideas.  And about half of the OCA's parishes are within a manageable drive to Canton.”
Registration will be open April 1, 2016.  Additional information on the registration procedure will be made available in advance.  To maintain an atmosphere of fellowship and dialogue among attendees, registration will again be limited to 65 persons.
Sessions will take place at Canton’s Holy Assumption Church.  A block of rooms will be reserved at local hotels.  A $100.00 per person registration fee will include meals, breaks, a hospitality reception and Forum materials.  Attendees from the Diocese of the Midwest and the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh are eligible for tuition rebates and grants to assist with travel costs.

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