Parish Pulse

A Newsletter for Orthodox Parish Leaders

Parish Development Ministry

Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania

Orthodox Church in America

May 2022

Stewardship * Leadership * Communication * Evangelization* Administration * Planning

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

Welcome to Parish Pulse.

A reminder about the upcoming Parish Development Forum!Info on registration speakers and agenda.

Content from past Forums: Open letters to clergy and laity: Stop; Start; Continue.


Please use the unsubscribe button if you do not wish to receive this publication. Likewise if you've been forwarded this newsletter and would like to subscribe see the subscribe link at bottom.

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.


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


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

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 

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

15 Video:J Kormos Talk on Vibrant Parishes for Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

Parish Ministry & Education

1.Reorganizing Parish Ministries

2. The Blank calendar

3.Love Thy Neighbor

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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Parish Development Forum

Friday June 17 Online

What, Why and How of Ministry

Ministry seems like a simple term.

But ask someone in your parish “what is ministry” and you’ll get a variety of answers.

At the Parish Development Forum on Friday June 17 we’ll unpack the important idea of parish ministry. The Why? What? And How?

  • Why should we see ministry as a Christian duty not an option?
  • What are the mix of ministries that can enliven our parishes?
  • How can we strengthen ministry, remove obstacles to ministry and raise up good ministry leaders?

The Parish Development Forum is a conference for clergy and laity to share ideas and intentional efforts of healthy Orthodox parishes.

Join us online Friday June 17. Bring a group from your parish. You must register to attend.

Register Now

View Agenda


Sarah Byrne Martelli

A Ministry of Presence - Video Intro

One of the important sessions at this year’s Forum will be offered by Sarah Byrne Martelli, an Orthodox Lay chaplain and bereavement counselor, as she speaks about “Being a Ministry of Presence”.

Hear Sarah in her own words as she describes her session. Ms Martelli Intro Video

Please join us.

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Increasing Our Capacity for Ministry

"Our Most Significant Opportunity"

Returning parishioners and newcomers yearning for expanded, updated and renewed ministries may be one the most significant opportunities for the Orthodox Church in recent years.

We all know 'Ministry' is not just "the priest's job" and its more than singing in the choir, and serving on parish council.

However, can we learn to also see ministry as not a suggestion or even a recommendationbut rather a duty? A commandment?

That is our goal for the Forum -- to heighten awareness of and interest in ministry as a critical, not optional, element of parish life and mission.

Join us!

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Useful content from many past Forum topics can be found here.

Register Now.  You must register to attend.

Download Forum Flyer


Measuring Churches

"The mark of a great church is not how many people come but how many people live differently as a result of coming."  Unknown

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Practical Assistance

The tone of the Parish Development Forum is always to provide practical information for use in renewing parish life.

We'll make ample use of brief videos about the "What is Ministry" in this year's Forum. See a brief 60 second example. 

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Effective Greeting -NOT!

Mention of videos reminded us of a past Forum effort using videos.

Filmed with assistance of the talented parishioners at Holy Ghost Church in Ambridge PA this more extensive video emphasizes the importance of hospitality and the role we all play as "active welcomers". It shines a light on key situations where churches often "drop the ball" when welcoming guests to church services and coffee hour.

Open Letter to Clergy and Laity

Flashback from Forum #1 2014

Misalignment between Clergy and Laity?

Speaking of useful info from past Forums, at the 2014 Forum attendees were divided into separate groups of clergy and laity. Laity were asked to respectfully offer suggestions and insights to clergy about 'things' they should "stop", "start" and "continue". Clergy undertook a mirror image of the same assignment.

After about 60 minutes the groups reconvened and, with some trepidation, shared their suggestions with the other "side".

The laity group created a reasonable set of thoughts for clergy consideration -- but in actuality it seemed to be a rehash of common issues. Laity letter

The clergy group, on the other hand, created what all agreed was a thoughtful, helpful insightful letter. Clergy letter

This still makes useful reading.

Thank you for your time.

Let us know your feedback. 513.518.5878

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Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania | Parish Development Ministry