The mission of the parish council is to keep, practice, and proclaim the Orthodox Christian faith pure and undefiled. This article explores the responsibilities of the parish council and provides guidance on how to successfully fulfill their important role within the church community.
Mission of the Parish Council
The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the Rich Man walks by poor Lazarus daily, showing indifference rather than love. This parable serves as a reminder to parish councils that they must actively reach out to those in need of spiritual guidance.
The Great Commission
The Great Commission, as stated by Jesus, is to make disciples of all nations. This means that parish councils must share the fullness of the Orthodox Christian faith with everyone they encounter, including visitors, non-Orthodox spouses, and lapsed Orthodox Christians.
Ambassadors of Faith
Welcoming new visitors
Research has shown that a visitor’s first impression of a church can have a lasting impact. Parish council members should be friendly, welcoming, and approachable to ensure a positive experience for newcomers.
Reaching out to non-Orthodox spouses
With a high percentage of Greek Orthodox Christians marrying non-Orthodox partners, it is essential for the parish council to make the faith accessible to all. Failing to do so could result in the loss of entire families from the church community.
Choosing Suitable Candidates for the Parish Council
Qualities of good council members
Ideal parish council members are church-oriented and Christ-centered. They should be active in worship and the sacramental life of the Church, demonstrating their commitment to the faith.
The importance of church involvement
The best candidates for the parish council can often be found attending church services. Being present at these events shows dedication to the Orthodox Christian faith and its teachings.
We are Conciliar
Role of the Priest and council members
The Priest is the head of the Parish and is responsible for guiding the overall parish program. The parish council consists of the Priest and elected lay members, working together to make decisions for the betterment of the church community.
Avoiding the corporate paradigm
Referring to the parish council as “The Board” is a symptom of applying a corporate mindset to the operation of the Church. Although some corporate tools can be useful, it is essential to remember that the Church is not a business and should not be treated as such.
Setting An Example for the Parish
Attendance at divine services
Parish council members must regularly attend divine services, setting a positive example for the parish community.
Participation in sacramental life
Being active in the sacramental life of the Church is another crucial aspect of setting a good example for the parish. This involvement demonstrates a deep commitment to the Orthodox Christian faith.
A Commitment to Serve
The Oath of Office
When taking the Oath of Office, parish council members pledge to faithfully and sincerely fulfill the duties and obligations required of their role. This promise is based on a shared commitment to serve the Church, which is the Body of Christ on earth.
The importance of fulfilling duties
Serving on the parish council is both a ministry and a mission. Council members are called to use their unique gifts and talents to carry out the work of the Church, acting as Christ’s hands, feet, eyes, and more.
The mission of the parish council is to keep, practice, and proclaim the Orthodox Christian faith pure and undefiled. By selecting dedicated council members, providing a welcoming environment for all, and upholding the conciliar nature of the Church, parish councils can effectively serve their communities and help spread the Orthodox Christian faith.
- What is the main mission of the parish council?The main mission of the parish council is to keep, practice, and proclaim the Orthodox Christian faith pure and undefiled.
- Why is it important for parish council members to be welcoming and approachable?Being welcoming and approachable can create a positive first impression for visitors and help make the faith more accessible to non-Orthodox spouses and lapsed Orthodox Christians.
- What qualities should ideal parish council members possess?Ideal parish council members should be church-oriented, Christ-centered, and active in the worship and sacramental life of the Church.
- How does the parish council operate within the Orthodox Church?The parish council operates under a conciliar framework, where decisions are made collectively by the Priest and elected lay members.
- Why is fulfilling the duties and obligations of a parish council member essential?Fulfilling the duties and obligations of a parish council member is essential because it demonstrates a commitment to serve the Church and helps to spread the Orthodox Christian faith.
Parish Council Members
President: George Efthimiou
Vice President: George Grossomanides
Secretary: Peter Patsouris
Treasurer: Maria Valkanos
Assistant Treasurer: John Grossomanides