With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, the second district seminar of the Thriving Congregations Initiative was held on Saturday, May 7th, 2022. Over 200 clergy, parish council members, and lay leaders represented the 62 parishes of the Metropolis of Boston. Made possible by the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the Thriving Congregations Initiative aims to enhance the vitality of parishes by helping them understand their changing social and cultural context, clarify their mission and vision, and cultivate spiritual practices in the lives of their faithful. Nine host locations simultaneously welcomed clergy and parishioners from each district of the Metropolis connected to each other via video broadcast.
View Materials From the Seminar Here Under 'Spring 2022 Seminar'
At this seminar, participants focused on applying concepts learned from the Fall seminar surrounding 'understanding changing social and cultural context'. After uplifting remarks and encouragement from His Eminence, the program featured two inspiring keynote speakers. Yianno Pantazelos, offered a presentation titled 'Motivated by Ministry', and Costa Sideridis, offered a talk titled, 'Aligning Our Purpose With Our Activity'. Participants then broke out into workshops where they were challenged to critically think through related issues in light of their own parishes.
At the Fall seminar hosted in December of 2021, communities were introduced to various tools intended to assist them articulate various quantitative and qualitative aspects of their history, ministry offerings, community makeup, and potential impact. Under the guidance of Fr. Dimitrios Moraitis and Mr. Greg Kanteres, the parish of St. Nicholas in Portsmouth made outstanding progress with these tools and presented their findings to the larger audience. Of particular note was how Fr. Dimitrios and Mr. Kanteres inspired the local team to engage in the process resulting in the development of several dozen potential actions the parish can take towards becoming a Thriving Congregation.
At the conclusion of the seminar, parish teams were invited to apply for several micro-grants in which the Metropolis of Boston will fund various parish based initiatives in the areas of Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Community Outreach. Given a template to charter a specific project, parishes are asked to submit a proposal and application by July 1st via mail to the Metropolis of Boston offices and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parishes are additionally invited to a workshop via video call on June 8th at 7pm to debrief the contextual understanding toolkit and learning activities given at the December seminar. Interested individuals or parishes may register at tciboston.org/events