The meeting included from Left to right: George Matsoukas, OCL Board Members Argo Pyle (President), Peter J. Petkas and George Karcazes (Vice Presidents) and Dr William Tenet, Advisory Board Member.
Overview of the work of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) presented to Archbishop Elpidophoros by Executive Director George Matsoukas on July 31, 2019, at a meeting with His Eminence at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in NYC.
OCL is a movement, a catalyst that advocates for the renewal of the Orthodox Christian Church in the USA. It is composed of supporters from all jurisdictions throughout the USA. We see renewal as Orthodox Christian Unity and support…one bishop in one city. We see fragmentation of the church hindering outreach and retention of the faithful and as a hindrance to bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to our brothers and sisters in this geographic area. Our supporters see renewal as transparency and accountability in governance on the parish, diocese, and archdiocesan levels and in our relationships with each other. Renewal respects and includes the voice of the laity as part of the co-ministry of church life at all levels and as part of the conciliar practices of church governance.
OCL uses digital technology to convey its message as well as building direct face-to-face relationships. Our website is over 20 years old and reports Orthodox News. If you Google “Orthodox News,” OCL appears on the first page as one of the top ten providers. If you Google “Orthodox Church,” OCL appears in a prominent list of information providers. We use social media (Facebook and Twitter). Our website is international.our followers can be found in Egypt, India, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Australia, Istanbul, Greece, the rest of Europe, as well as in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. We provide a monthly digital newsletter. We provide a comprehensive list of links to Orthodox Christian websites of all jurisdictions and opinions. Our website is interactive.
But more importantly, we have developed relationships with faithful people in parishes throughout the USA. We have hosted conferences, workshops, organized 31 Annual Meetings in different cities – mostly focusing on Orthodox Christian Unity. We attend conferences. We report on events, and organizations ask us to post their events on our website to publicize their work. We keep in touch with supporters and friends with 2 annual mailings. We send press releases to the Religious News Services. Religious opinion leaders and journalists, Orthodox and other Christian groups see us as a source of information. OCL was the first source reporting preparations for the Holy and Great Council and for the work of the Assembly of Bishops.
We look forward to working with you as you develop your stewardship of Orthodox Christianity in the United States.