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Assembly Releases National Study on Evangelization and Outreach in U.S. Orthodox Parishes

Map of participating parishes in 2017 Assembly of Bishops study on evangelization (click on image for larger view)Map of participating parishes in 2017 Assembly of Bishops study on evangelization (click on image for larger view)The first 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. The report can be downloaded in various formats, as an executive summary, or as a full report.

The report, "Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in U.S. 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.

The study was sponsored by the Assembly's Committee for Agencies and Endorsed Organizations, and included parishes from seven Orthodox jurisdictions. Ten of the parishes studied were from the Antiochian Archdiocese. The report was prepared by Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly's Research Coordinator, in cooperation with Sdn. Adam Lowell Roberts of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and Fr. Eric Tosi and Fr. John Parker of the OCA.

Subdeacon Adam is the full-time administrator of Becoming Truly Human, a new Antiochian outreach ministry. He authored a helpful resource at the end of the Assembly's evangelization report, titled "10 Steps to a Great Parish Website: What Every Orthodox Church Needs To Know."