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On October 10th, 2021, Thriving in Ministry [TiM] hosted its annual facilitators retreat and workshop at the Antiochian Village Conference Center in Bolivar, Pennsylvania.  Sixteen facilitators and board members gathered together from Sunday evening until Tuesday noon for workshops, fellowship, and retreat.  Thriving in Ministry is a national program, as was reflected by the assembled participants.  Facilitators traveled from across the country, including California and Chicago, to participate in the event. Two new facilitators were also trained, allowing for the future formation of new groups in the south and northeast. 

Monday’s presentations focused on skills needed to lead a group, with emphasis on active listening with presentations by Dr. Albert Rossi and Dr. Philip Mamalakis.  Dr. Randa Anderson presented on addressing the needs of clergy wives.  Dr. Rossi led the gathered facilitators in roll playing sample discussion starters for groups.  This allowed each participant the opportunity to model active listening and facilitator skills.  Tuesday’s presentation included logistics about forming new groups and a lively discussion of the future work of TiM under our grant.  The men and women also participated in separate conversations about how to best minister to their specific populations. 

The Thriving in Ministry grant is funded by the Lilly Endowment and administered by the Orthodox Church in America.  It currently hosts seventeen active groups for both clergy and clergy wives; more groups are in the early stages of formation.  If you would like to learn more about peer learning for Orthodox Christian clergy and clergy wives, please visit our website.