Workshops and Meetings

There are many learning opportunities at this year's Clergy-Laity Congress. Keep reading to learn about some of the sessions available throughout the week. Check the schedule of events for more programs and sessions.

 

Larger Sessions

Panel Discussion: “Are We Doing Ministry Correctly: Reflections on the Direction of Our Work”

Wednesday - 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Honest conversation opens the door to improvement. The panelists will reflect on the direction of their work so that we may begin a conversation about what's being done at the Archdiocese, Metropolis, and Parish levels. This forum is an opportunity for clergy and parishioners to share their stories of hope and struggle as they strive to minister effectively to our people . The panelists have each prepared a brief article (links below) as background to the conversation. Panel members: Dr Ann Bezzerides, Mr. Steven Christoforou, Rev. Dr. Alexander Goussetis, Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou, and Rev. Dr. Anton Vrame

 

Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Relations

Walk in my shoes: An Immersive VR Experience of Refugee Life

Monday - 8:00 - 10:00 pm

Over 65 million people- refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and others - are currently displaced around the world. This immersive experience seeks to raise public awareness about the situation facing some of the most vulnerable people of the world. This walk though exhibition seeks to humanize the terms “refugee” and “migrant”. Through video, audio recordings, and virtual reality, it will immerse participants in the personal stories of displaced individuals, raise awareness about the experiences and realties of refugees and migrants, explain the Orthodox Churches response to this crisis, and educate our parishioners on what they can do to help.

From Wedgies to Widgets: Bullying in the Age of Technology

Wednesday - 9:00 am - 10:15 am and Wednesday 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Bullying is an age old issue that has found a new platform: cyberspace. What once necessitated bold face-to-face interaction now lurks in the shadowy solace of cellphones and computers. It begins at school, on the playground, and at GOYA but now continues into our homes and bedrooms. How do we recognize a bully and a victim? How do we respond as parents, teachers, or ministers? How do we communicate with our children about this very serious and timely issue? These, and more, are all questions panelist will address during this interactive panel discussion. Panel members: Christy Buck (Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan), JoAnne Kazis (Newton Public Schools), and Rachel Oblath (Boston University).

 

Department of Religious Education

Things You Can Do Now to Improve Religious Education

Wednesday - 9:00 am - 10:15 am

A special presentation for all those involved in religious education. We will review the challenges we are faced with as we move forward in the world of technology and how to benefit from these advancements. We will present a format for Adult Religious Education as well as discuss techniques and opportunities that will prepare us for the coming season of Sunday School and Adult Education. A presentation that needs to be seen from the beginning. Presented by Gerry Clonaris, Chairman, Archdiocese Council Religious Education Committee, St. Nektarios Church, Charlotte, NC

Engaging our Students with their Faith

Wednesday - 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Students learn better when they talk and do, instead of only reading, watching, and listening. In this presentation, we'll look at and share some strategies that can creatively involve students with the content of the Orthodox Christian faith, especially ways that builds collaboration in the classroom, develops critical thinking skills, allows learners to demonstrate what they are learning, and applies the faith to every day life. Presented by Rev. Dr. Anton C. Vrame, Director, Department of Religious Education

 

Center for Family Care / Department of Marriage and Family

LGTBQ: Thoughts and Considerations

Monday - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Fr Jerry and Helene Hall, parents of a gay son, share a personal perspective of their spiritual journey with their family. They present a pastoral approach that involves listening and openness to the many families and individuals who are part of all of our communities.

“Speaking the Truth in Love” (Eph 4:15): Improving Family Communication

Wednesday - 9:00 am - 10:15 am

How do we dialogue with family members? Does our style of communication bring harmony and communion - or conflict and frustration? This is an invitation to discuss the ways we speak, listen, and understand one another. Led by Fr Alexander Goussetis.

"The Parish Family: Toward a More Perfect Union"

Wednesday - 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

The parish can be understood as a family of faith comprised of many families, including the clergy family (whether the priest is married or celibate). In order to promote greater mutual understanding, this workshop will explore the expectations the family of the clergy and the parish often have of one another and the factors that contribute to these expectations. Led by Presvytera Kerry Pappas.

 

Orthodox Software Initiative

Overview of the Orthodox Software Initiative

Monday - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

This is an introduction to the Orthodox Software Initiative Church Office and Ledger Modules. It begins with an overview and benefits of the software programs, description of best practices, introduction to the National Chart of Accounts and introduction of the programs. It will continue through intermediate and more advanced features, and detail ways in which the programs can enhance a parish’s ministry. Presented by Effie Marie Smith

Introduction to the Orthodox Software Initiative Workshop 1

Wednesday - 9:00 am - 10:15 am

Introduction and overview of the Orthodox Software Initiative. This workshop describes the benefits of the Church Office and Ledger Modules, the Orthodox feature sets, and many details regarding the use of the software for Ministry, Ministering, Communication, Stewardship of time, talent, and treasure, as well as Financial Management. Presented by Effie Marie Smith

A day in an Orthodox Parish - Orthodox Software Initiative Workshop 2

Wednesday - 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

This workshop delves further into the use of the software, including advanced features, and with specific details on the outreach, ministry, memorials, and other processes, voting, and stewardship, as well as customized selections for letters and reports. A brief introduction to custom report and letter writing will be included, time permitting. It will also include details about the interaction and usage of the Ledger module. Presented by Effie Marie Smith

 

Department of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism

Why Be Orthodox?

Monday - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

An insightful look at the phenomenon of religious non-affiliation and the positive ways by which we might share our Orthodox Christian Faith. Presented by Aristotle Papanikolaou, PhD, Professor of Theology, Fordham University Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture and Co-Director, Fordham University Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

What Works: Engaging Parishioners and the Community

Wednesday - 9:00 am - 10:15 am

Why reinvent the wheel? Come learn about programs and ministries used in parishes of various sizes and demographics. Perhaps what worked for your parish one year, doesn’t work the next. This session will stretch your creative muscles and offer new ways of thinking about engaging current and prospective parishioners in the Christian life. Presented by Thomaida Hudanish, Director of the Missions & Evangelism Ministry for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco

Parish ... Know Thyself

Wednesday - 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

If you were able to see into the future of your parish, what would be your hope and your dream for your parish in 10 years? This seminar helps your parish begin to answer that question with a self-assessment exercise that focuses on five key areas. Based on the course, ‘Creating a Healthy Mission-Minded Parish’ taught by Fr. Veronis at HC/HC. All of this is discussed from the perspective of an established parish. Presented by Fr. Luke Veronis, Pastor, Sts. Constantine & Helen Church - Webster, MA and Director of the Missions Institute at HCHC; Fr. Demetrios Tsikouris, Pastor, St. John the Divine Church - Wheeling, WV; and Mr. Stacey Stathulis, Archdiocese Dept. of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism

 

Department of Youth & Young Adult Ministries (Y2AM)

The Future of Youth Safety

Monday - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Wednesday - 9:00 am - 10:15 am, Wednesday - 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Nine years after the Youth Protection Manual was approved, the Archdiocese is ready to take its next big step in youth safety. Steve reviews the new Policies for the Safety for Youth and Children and explains how they will help keep kids across the Archdiocese safe. Presented by Steven Christoforou, Director of Y2AM

Have We Been Doing Ministry Correctly?

Wednesday - 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Why are young people increasingly disconnected from the Church? Steve explores whether the Church's ministry work has been bearing fruit and offers a new way forward. Presented by Steven Christoforou, Director of Y2AM