Parish Pulse

A Newsletter for Orthodox Parish Leaders

Parish Development Ministry

Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania

Orthodox Church in America

January 2022

Stewardship - Leadership- Communication - Evangelization - Administration - Planning

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

Welcome to Parish Pulse. This newsletter is written for clergy and lay leaders in the Orthodox Church in America's Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania as well as those from Orthodox parishes throughout North America. We focus on topics of importance in parish life such as stewardship, discipleship, leadership development, communication, parish vision and outreach.

Our New Year's resolution for 2022 is to be more regular - at least monthly -with these newsletters. And, to keep them shorter and hopefully more readable.

Feel free to hold us accountable! And, let us know topics of interest to you. If our (intended) increased frequency becomes bothersome we promise not to be (overly) hurt if you use the unsubscribe button below!

In Christ,

Joseph Kormos

Parish Development Ministry leader, Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania

Quick Links

Quick access to resources available on the Archdiocesan webpage or in a few cases the Midwest Diocese website.

Parish Finance Articles

1.Parish Financial Audit Guidelines  

2. Best Practices & Principles for Parish Financial Accountability

 3. Your Parish Budget: What Does It Convey?

 4. Replacement Reserve Accounts

5. Endowment Pros & Cons

Growth & Vision

1. Toolbox for Vision Casting

2. What kind of parish do we envision?

3. Orthodox parishes and neighborhood identity

4. What priest's want?

 5. Discovering Parish Core values

6. Approaching Change Fr T Soroka (PPT)

7. Change Workshop Kormos -- Small Parish Forum (PPT)


1. Ministry of the Parish Council 

2. Empowering Your Parish by Granting Permission

3. Learning to Delegate

4. Eight Good Parish Council Practices

4 Nine PC meeting time savers

5.Better preaching 


1. Total Stewardship  

2. Good parish Stewardship Practices

3. Intro to Pledging and All member Canvasses

4. Common Stewardship Q&A 

5. How Much Should I Give?

6. Relevant Scriptural verses re: Stewardship

Parish Renewal

1. The Orthodox Parish in N. America - Fr. T. Hopko from Orlando AAC

2. Five Qualities of Successful Orthodox Parishes - A. Krindatch study

3. Attitudes that Enable the Church to Grow --Fr John Matusiak

4. Decline in your parish

 5. Diversity among growing parishes

6.Commonality among growing parishes

7. Wake Up a Sleeping Church

8. Revit'liz't'n Thumbnail 1 

9. Revit. Thumbnail #2

10. Triple Digit Anniversaries -- Face Forward

11. Describing Parish membership

12. When Parishes Close Themselves

13. Local Mission Teams

14 Diet & Exercise on our terms

Parish Ministry & Education

1.Reorganizing Parish Ministries

2. The Blank calendar

3.Love Thy Neighbor


1. Orthodox Evangelization Principles

2. Survey of Orthodox Converts

3. How Visitors Experience Your Parish -Mystery Worshiper Reports

4. Common Q/A: Orthodox Inquirers

5. "Sharing the Hope" Course

6. Which Parish would YOU Choose?

7. Communicating Our Faith Fr Stephen Frase

8. How Visitors Define 'Friendly' 9.Video: Parish Welcoming and Hospitality

Communicating Your Parish

1. Website Webinar slides

2. Taking Parish Photographs

3. Toward Better Parish Websites (I)

4. Better Websites (II)

5. Improving Bulletin Content

6. Improving Bulletin Format 


1. Establishing a Solid Parish Youth Effort

2. Souls in Transition

3. Soccer vs. Church 


1. Parish Revitalization Series #1 Building Urgency and Hope 2013 

2. #2 Characteristics of Vibrant 21st Century Orthodox Parishes. 2013 

3. #3 Driving Life in Your Parish. 2013

4. Profiles in Parish Revitalization (June 2014) 5. Communicating Your Parish - Yellow Pages Is Not Enough

6. Waking Up Your Parish with College Ministry

7. Fostering Generosity & Practical Stewardship

8.Parish Council Practices 

Broken Links? Let us Know.

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Review Your Website

As parishes work to return to a normal stride after almost two years of COVID related disruption it's a good time to take inventory’ of a wide array of parish good practices. One of them is to tend to your parish website.

While Facebook and other social media (more on that in a future issue) are of course an important -perhaps primary- method of communicating your parish to the world - the website still remains your communication front door. Many parishes are experiencing a flurry of new people and inquirers. So its clear that people are looking for churches -- Orthodox Churches.

This check list will help you be prepared:

1. Does the home page of your website prominently display services times, church address, parish phone number?

2. Have you asked someone not affiliated with your parish to offer a bare knuckled review of your website? Ask them to find items that are unclear -- perhaps "insider only info" that may be off-putting to inquirers.

3. Do you have photos of smiling people liberally displayed on your site? If you have a page describing a class show people in the class --not just words. Do you invite people to join your choir? Show a photo of singing during liturgy. Coffee hour? Same thing. (If you can't find anyone smiling that can lead to other areas of focus!)

4. Have you removed images of people no longer affiliated with the parish?

5. Have you included photos of any recent baptisms or adult Chrismations? Project an image of growth and renewal. Surely someone is smiling then!

6. Is a button to access online donations easy to find? (If you haven't noticed most people do not carry cash. Some say checks will be virtually extinct by 2026.)

7. Is your services and events calendar up to date?(FYI: “Merry Christmas/Christ is Born 2017” is now out of date.)

8. Have you added info about important events for the next 4-5 months? Particularly those that would be of interest to inquirers? Do these events indicate a serious Christ centered church --or do they sound more like the Rotary club?

9. Do you have a link to Live Streaming of Services? Many parishes experiencing new faces find the visitors first checked things out via live stream.

10..Has your site gotten cluttered over the years? Do some winter clean-up.

Need further help? Just ask.

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Parish Development Forum 2022

June 17 Online; Call for Speakers & Presentations

Now in its ninth year, the Parish Development Forum sponsored by the OCA's Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania the Midwest Diocese and the Bulgarian Diocese, will be held on Friday June 17. Since the OCA will also hold its Triennial All American Council in 2022 (July 18-22) the date of the Forum is earlier than in previous years. And, since most parish travel budgets are earmarked for AAC travel, the Forum will once again be held online.


Building on the AAC theme of Becoming Vessels of Grace", the Forum will explore the theme "Parishes Becoming Vessels of Ministry".

The Forum planning team is hard at work identifying appropriate speakers, workshops and topics in areas such as:

  • Diaconia: Renewing a ministry of service

  • Living Your Vocation - Doctor, Lawyer, Butcher, Baker --and more.

  • Educating the Parish for Ministry - Lifelong learning, growing a culture of learning, and developing educational ministries for Evangelism, Outreach, Parish educational programs.

If you know of a topic or possible valuable speaker that fits this theme please let us know.

AND mark your calendar!

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Audit Guide

A parish auditor recently emailed us indicating he had discovered this document on Parish Audit guidelines and found it valuable. (It made our day!)

The Guide was initially prepared more than ten years ago for the Midwest Diocese. Do you have suggested updates and improvements? Let us know.

Let us know your feedback. 513.518.5878

Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania | Parish Development Ministry