- Building Healthy, Hopeful, American Orthodox Parish Communities PDF 53pp (Kormos/DMW)A comprehensive documentation of the parish health inventory model.
- Common Q/A: Orthodox Inquirers PDF 7pp (Joseph Kormos)Answers to 35 of the most commonly asked questions that inquirers ask. Subjects include “The Liturgy”, “The Sacraments”, “The Theotokos”, “Icons”, “The Saints”, and “Tradition.”
- Evangelization Initiative Summary PDF PPT (Joseph Kormos)Introductory proposal to develop materials that can be and are used by Orthodox Christians for developing better skills for evangelization to help parishes grow.
- Evangelization Project PDF 25pp (Joseph Kormos/Fr. Joseph Gibson) Notes from an April 2008 meeting with Joseph Kormos and Fr. Joseph Gibson on a project proposal to create training materials to develop evangelism skills for Orthodox Christians.
- Good Practices of Vibrant Orthodox Parishes: A Framework for Renewal PPT 42pp (Joseph Kormos) Slide presentation from the 2010 Parish Ministries Conference at Baldwin Wallace College.
- Inventory Model Overview: Eight Essential Focus Areas PDF 3pp (Joseph Kormos)
A Brief summary of the Parish Health Inventory model.
- Mystery Worshipper Program: How to Visitors See Your Parish? PDF 13pp (Joseph Kormos) Mystery Worshippers can provide unvarnished feedback. Do we overwhelm and smother visitors or ignore them? And which is worse? What do visitors experience? Do they have any idea what is going on?
- Parish Development and Life (Parish Health Ministry) HTML (Diocese of MW)
- Practical Principles of Orthodox Evangelization PDF (Joseph Kormos) A review of documents pertaining to “Church Growth” and “Evangelization” from the All-American Councils. Updated April 2012.
- Proper Parish Governance: Shared Leadership, Not Congregationalism PPT 19pp (Joseph Kormos) Slide presentation from the 2010 Parish Ministries Conference at Baldwin Wallace College.
- Sharing the Hope that is in Us: A Preparatory Program for Parishioners PDF 87pp (Joseph Kormos) Outline of a course for parishioners to better deal with inquirer questions.
- Stewardship Resources HTML (Diocese of MW) Gateway to many resources on Stewardship.
- Survey of Orthodox Converts PDF 12pp (Joseph Kormos) A survey of Orthodox Converts done as precursor to the Rochester Hills training course.
Growth and Vision Articles
- Crafting Your Parish Vision: A Toolbox for Vision Casting PDF 5pp (Joseph Kormos) “Who are we and what are we about” is a key question that needs to be front and center for all parishes with a future.
- What Kind of Orthodox Parish do we Envision? PDF 3pp (Joseph Kormos) Parishes need to have a defined concept of their future. Without that a parish on a plateau or in early decline can feel helpless and without direction. Yet, for a variety of reasons, parish groups rarely have such discussions. This is an exercise to help a Parish Council begin this conversation.
- Orthodox Parishes and Neighborhood Identity PDF 3pp (Joseph Kormos) What do we convey to our neighbors? Curiously colorful? Or open, hospitable and inviting?
- What do Priests Want? PDF 3pp (Joseph Kormos) Attributes of an attractive parish environment and insights into healthy parishes.
- Discovering Parish Core Values PDF 4pp (Joseph Kormos) A summary of a webinar, “Discovering Parish Values – Foundation for Living a Life in Christ” presented by Fr. Jonathan Ivanoff.
- Total Stewardship: Parish Resources HTML (Joseph Kormos/Archdiocese of W. Pa.) How to practice “stewardship” when budgets are tight, the economy is scary, and numerical decline has hit many parishes.
- Good Parish Stewardship Practices HTML (Joseph Kormos/Archdiocese of W. Pa.) This article, extracted primarily from the Midwest Diocese’ leadership newsletter Parish Pulse, offers useful insights into good practices for building commitment to the parish –particularly financial commitment.
- Introduction to Pledging and All Member Canvasses HTML (Joseph Kormos/Arch. of W. Pa.) Many parishes use a pledge system or all member canvass as their primary approach to stewardship. Yet some parishioners are unfamiliar with this approach. Below, reprinted from a parish stewardship manual is a brief description of this practice — and an approach for addressing a common objection.
- Common Concerns and Questions About Stewardship HTML (Joseph Kormos/Arch. of W. Pa.) Questions and concerns about money and stewardship arise often in parishes. Proportional stewardship vs. pledging.
- How Much Should I Give? HTML (Joseph Kormos/Archdiocese of W. Pa.) In his book Good and Faithful Servant, Stewardship in the Orthodox Church, Orthodox priest Fr. Anthony Scott summarizes a variety of prevalent attitudes and approaches for discerning what to give the church. They are reproduced briefly on this webpage.
- Relevant Scriptural Verses Regarding Stewardship HTML (Joseph Kormos/Archdiocese of W. Pa.)
- The Orthodox Parish in North America PDF 16pp (Fr. Thomas Hopko)
The Parish Our Life in Christ: The characteristics of a healthy parish according to Fr. Hopko. These factors—holiness, catholicity, apostolicity, liturgical worship, spiritual life, education, mission, and unity—closely mirror the quality areas of church life outlined in Orthodox Natural Church Development (NCD).
- Five Qualities of Successful Orthodox Parishes PDF 4pp (Joseph Kormos) Summary of the most important findings from a study conducted by Alexei Krindatch.
- Attitudes that Enable the Church to Grow PDF 2pp (Fr. John Matusiak) Information that first appeared in a 1986 publication of the Orthodox Church in America titled “Church Growth and Evangelization ‐ the Basis and the Basics” Positive attitudes are contrasted with negative ones.
- Decline in Your Parish: Complacency or Action? PDF 4pp (Joseph Kormos) Many parishes – of all dioceses, jurisdictions and denominations are facing numerical declines. What can be done?
- Growing Parishes Are Not All the Same PDF 2pp (Joseph Kormos) There was plenty of diversity among growing parishes. Several myths were dispelled at an OCA Midwest Diocese Parish Health Summit.
- Areas of Commonality Among Growing Parishes PDF 2pp (Joseph Kormos) Ten areas of consistency between growing parishes attending a recent OCA Midwest Diocese Parish Health Summit. The collective insight of those assembled was used to describe a composite view of good Orthodox parish practices.
- On Growth: Things Learned from a Mission Parish PDF 2pp (Fr. Evan Armatas) A bi-fold handout outlining practical steps and things that work when starting a new mission.
Parish Ministry & Education Articles
- Reorganizing Parish Ministries HTML (Joseph Kormos/Archdiocese of W. Pa.) Many parishes are in the midst of re-thinking their set of parish ministries. They are identifying new needs and replacing activities that are no longer useful. If your parish is undertaking this exercise the following information from Holy Trinity Parish in Overland Park KS may be of interest to you.
- Establishing a Parish Youth Effort PDF 7pp (Joseph Kormos/DoMW) What Makes a Solid Parish Youth Effort? Lessons Learned from Diocesan Parishes: Establishing goals, building a system, and linking it to the liturgy, church school, and parish.
- Souls in Transition (Insight into Youth Ministry) HTML (Joseph Kormos/DoMW) A review of the acclaimed book, Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults by Christian Smith and Patricia Snell.
- Love Thy Neighbor PDF 2pp (Ruth Yavornitzky) How St. Mark Church in Rochester Hills, MI tackled poverty and tips how other parishes can get started.
Communicating Your Parish
- Improving Your Parish Website PDF PPT 66pp (Joseph Kormos) From September 2011. Addresses the importance of a parish website, common mistakes parish webmasters make, determining a target audience, telling a parish story through the web, using photos well, and sample website outlines.
- Taking Parish Photographs PDF 7pp (Ksenia Bruner) Tips and tricks from a professional photographer, including the Rule of Thirds, knowing the services, lighting, angles, and recognizing details.
- Toward Better Parish Websites PDF 4pp (Joseph Kormos) Practical advice with a focus on communicating to the parish’s external audience.
- More Parish Website Suggestions PDF 4pp (Joseph Kormos) For vibrant parishes, an effective website can help attract visitors.
- Improving Parish Bulletin Content PDF 4pp (Joseph Kormos) Part 1 of 2: Includes an appendix of sample bulletin content from around the Midwest Diocese.
- Improving Parish Bulletin Format PDF 3pp (Joseph Kormos) Part 2 of 2: Using white space, limiting fonts and emphasis tools.
Videos, Podcasts & PowerPoint Presentations
- Past Webinars Archive HTML (Joseph Kormos/Diocese of MW) Several webinars including Discovering Parish Values, Improving Your Parish Website, Reducing the Risk of Sexual Misconduct, Evangelization Webinar Series, and Revamping Parish Councils & Meetings.
- Parish Pulse Newsletter Archives HTML (Joseph Kormos/Diocese of MW) Thirty issues dating from December 2007 to December 2012.