Sacrificing a cool, rainy Saturday in the Mon Valley, St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was well-represented at the Annual Archdiocesan Assembly convened at Holy Resurrection Church in Bell Vernon, PA. Although we’re typically involved with many aspects of our individual parishes, oftentimes, we fail to look beyond our own communities to the greater church, in this case the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, to which we belong. Of course, a great deal of the meeting was focused on annual reports, financials, and elections — not unlike our own annual parish meetings. However, encouraging to me were the examples of growth and perseverance sprinkled throughout the day.
Recently clarifying the joint responsibility of Parish Councils and Clergy in ministering collectively to both the material and spiritual needs of their respective communities at the recent Archdiocesan Leader’s Day on October 18, Joseph Kormos remains engaged in strengthening the Archdiocesan Parish Development Ministry through the coming year. Additional resources offered by this Ministry include the Parish Pulse e-Newsletter, several webinars, and a Small Parish Forum. Even with these resources, it’s obvious that change can be difficult and attendance could stand to improve. Fortunately, several encouraging examples throughout the Archdiocese were highlighted including an “external” mission team led by Fr. Daniel Mathewson from SS. Peter & Paul Church in Crossingville that began work on refurbishing the recently-returned rectory in Boswell and are involved in building and repairing additional Orthodox Churches for missionary purposes. Engaging the local community, choir members and musicians from St. Nicholas parish in DuBois organized a Christmas concert with the DuBois Area High School band which raised about $1,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Once at the brink of extinction, Holy Transfiguration Church in Steubenville, OH is now growing and thriving under the leadership of Fr. Gregory Thompson.