Parish Council Guidebook
The Department of Stewardship provides the Parish Council Guidebook to conducting the work of the Parish Council in a manner consistent with Orthodox Christian teachings and traditions. This manual is a resource for instructing Parish Councils on their lay ministry, and training new Parish Council Members. The draft Guidebook continues to be revised. Also available below are supporting important articles.
"The goal of this guidebook will be to help Parish Councils better prepare themselves to understand and to follow the principles of Orthodox Christian parish governance. To what extent are parishes being governed by Orthodox Christian principles? The Orthodox faithful do not, by and large, live in the cloistered environment of a monastery. They do not teach at or attend seminaries. They do not work in diocesan or archdiocesan offices, nor do they serve fulltime in charitable or missionary agencies. Given this reality, the parish is the key environment for most Orthodox Christians to learn about and to know the true mission and purpose of the Orthodox faith. Orthodox parish governance is the best vehicle through which to teach the beauty and the truth of what it means to be an Orthodox Christian within the realm of the secular world."
"It is not good to be a passive member of the council. You must motivate others and get them involved in the life of your parish. Furthermore, my dear friends, you must cultivate talent in the parish. Through the sacrament of Chrismation, “the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit,” all of us have received from God a variety of gifts. Consequently, we must use these gifts for the edification of the faithful. If someone in the Church has the gift of music, get him/her to join the choir. If someone is gifted in education, get him/her to be a Sunday School teacher and if someone is gifted in administration, get him/her to serve on the parish council."
"Like organs in a body, each Parish Council member has a special function. All of you have different talents and skills that you bring together to form a single body. The Council meeting is not an arena in which we do battle with others. We do not seek to defeat our enemies and compete with others. Each vital organ of the body works together for a common goal, and so Parish Council members must support one another. The aim is to speak with one voice."