Source: Orthodox Christian Laity
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The Local Parish
If you are reading this article, you are most likely a member of a local parish in one of the jurisdictions of Orthodox Churches in North America. Before the pandemic, and now that society is beginning to open up again, you regularly attend a local Orthodox parish, which is your church family. During the pandemic, you may have “attended” services via ZOOM or other online platforms and had the opportunity to “virtually visit” other parishes.
Your Role in the Parish
You may have a particular role in one of your parish’s ministries: liturgical, musical, educational, administrative, community outreach, fundraising, cultural or one of the other numerous areas, including sponsoring the coffee hour (the important opportunity to welcome visitors and catch up with friends). All of these areas are vital to help a parish run smoothly, meet the spiritual, emotional, social and physical needs of its members, and grow. Even if you simply participate in the Sunday services and other parish programs/events, the parish community is your most immediate connection to the Orthodox Church.
Levels of Church Administration
The Church operates on many levels: national, diocesan, deanery, local. For the great majority of parishioners, the local community is all-important (“happy parish, happy life”). Many parishioners may not even be aware of or concerned about those other administrative levels until local resources are not sufficient to address a particular problem or need.
Harmony & Unity / Disharmony & Chaos
We have all experienced the feeling and power of harmony and unity in a family, school, workplace, church or community, especially when the group is focused/united to accomplish a particular goal. A choir or orchestra may be the best analogy of what disharmony looks and sounds like. Disharmony gives the feeling of chaos, frustration, pain and contraction. Harmony reflects a state of order and produces a state of being that gives the feeling of being “in tune.” Harmony leads to clarity, peace, joy, expansion/growth and many other positive results.
Please complete the two-question survey below so that we may share the results in the June 2021 “eblast”.