CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — The fifth in the popular series of one-hour on-line webinars on reaching the unchurched, facilitated by Joseph Kormos, head of the Diocese of the Midwest’s Parish Development Ministry, and Archpriest Jonathan Ivanoff, will be held on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.
The webinar will serve as a continuation of earlier webinars, in which 70 to 80 individuals representing parishes of the Orthodox Church in America and other jurisdictions participated.
The theme — "Assimilation and Integration" — will consider ways to incorporate new persons into parish life.
Our new members are singing, "We have found the true Faith!" They’re attending and communing — or preparing to do so as catechumens. They may be tithing as good stewards, but...now what? What do we do with them? Where do they fit in? What more would they want to do - and, believe us, new members want to do a lot! How much of parish life and ministry is really open to them, and how much might be closed without us realizing it?
Assimilating new members into parish life is not easy. There are natural groups of parishioners based on longstanding friendships or demographics, new and perhaps unfamiliar ministries, and possibly even the idea of a new member discovering real personal faith in the Triune God for the first time. This next stage –after discovering, inviting and welcoming on the first visit — is crucial and critical — integrating and assimilating new members into the ethos, the culture, and the wonderful new place they’ve discovered - your parish. New members will leave a church they’ve thought of joining if they are not "handed off" from the priest and greeters to other parish members who can connect them to the parish ministries and - more importantly - to the very people who are now their brothers and sisters in Christ.
What You Will Learn
Content of session 5 is designed to help you to understand the following important new member integration concepts:
1. The importance of connecting and integrating new members QUICKLY into parish life -- quenching their "thirst."
2. How to determine the right areas of ministry to involve them in -- discerning their giftedness.
3. Who are the best parishioners to connect new members with -- and who are not – good mentoring.
4. Building an understanding of the expectations of membership and "total stewardship."
5. Key tools for helping establish a new member integration program – and parishioner roles to make it a reality.
6. Encouraging them to "pass it on" – inspiring to invite.
To register for the webinar—space is limited, so early registration is suggested—log on to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/
The Orthodox Evangelization Webinar Series covers practical and theoretical aspects of sharing the Gospel – as lived and taught by the Orthodox Church – with America. The series seeks to take initial strides to equip and encourage more Orthodox to share the good news of the Gospel ... using words when necessary… with those God sends and to whom God sends us. Previous sessions have been warmly received by clergy and lay leaders from Orthodox parishes of many jurisdictions.