On November 30, 2017, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America released the results of its most recent study, titled “Young Adults and Young Adult Ministries in American Orthodox Christian Parishes.”
“The subject of young Orthodox Church members was a major topic on the agenda of the recent Annual General Assembly Meeting held October 3-5, 2017 in Garfield, NJ,” said Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly’s Research Coordinator and author of its numerous related studies. “This report was prepared in order to help the Assembly address our common concern about the engagement of youth and young adults in the lives of American Orthodox parishes.”
The report comes from the 2016 national study, “Orthodox Christian Parishes in 21st Century America.” The goal of this study was to provide a comprehensive picture of the lives of local parish communities, including such aspects as membership, worship, programs, religious education, finances, usage of electronic technologies, and much more. Young adult members (defined as persons between ages 18‐34) and young adult Church ministries were among the key subjects examined in this study, which was conducted via a national survey of 580 parishes (about 30% of all US Orthodox parishes).
According to Mr. Krindatch, the report highlights
- which programs and activities are most crucial for attracting young adult Church members.
- why it is important to have a designated young adult leader in a parish.
- which aspects of Orthodox worship are especially appealing to young adult Church members.
- how a parish’s involvement with an Orthodox Christian Fellowship [OCF] affects young adult parishioners and young adult ministries.
Links to the Assembly of Bishops’ numerous research studies are available on-line.