t is easy to argue that too many Orthodox Christians, too many Orthodox Parishes, too many Orthodox Dioceses, have looked to the “labor union” for funding–the lamentable “dues” systems. It likewise continues to be the case that, too many Orthodox Christians, too many Orthodox Parishes, too many Orthodox Dioceses, have looked to have others support the building and growth of their parishes and ministries through fundraisers, food sales, and ethnic festivals.
Dr Andrew Geleris, author of the new book, Money and Salvation: An Invitation to the Good Way (SVS Press, 2022), raises the question, “How much is our struggle with parish finances the result of our failure to teach what the gospel says about money?” Dr Geleris, a convert to Orthodoxy in 1996 and Neurologist, has had the good fortune to have had many wonderful teachers and role models concerning salvific giving. One of the most important things he has learned is that worshipping God through offerings, often very small offerings, is essential to becoming “fully human.”
Prompted by his internal quest, and a burning desire that our parishes, dioceses, and institutions would find their financial grounding in the incarnational importance of financial stewardship, Dr Geleris, along with well-known Orthodox Priest Fr Patrick O’Grady, offer a three day workshop: “Becoming Rich Towards God: A Workshop on Money and the Incarnation.”
A generous anonymous donor has made possible that this year there is no cost to attend in person. To encourage the *incarnational* importance of meeting, there is a premium put on online attendance ($100). [Note: online participation may be limited in number and in scope depending on enrollment. Please come in person!]
The Workshop hopes to be equally theological and practical, and will work through various chapters of Dr Geleris’ book. Part lecture, part discussion, the hope is to engage participants to help ground and/or strengthen Orthodox Christians, parishes, etc., with respect to money.
Topics will include:
Incarnational importance of money
Approaches to giving: ministry-centric vs. soul-centric
The providential gift of wealth
Tithing – a spiritual discipline for both wealthy and poor
Stewarding parish finances
Supporting our seminaries
Contentment and accepting God’s will
A Christian approach to fundraising
Since this Workshop is St Tikhon’s Annual Continuing Education Conference for Clergy, Clergy of all Orthodox Jurisdictions are welcome to register and attend. Laypersons wishing to attend are welcome, especially online. Discussion groups in person and online will be divided (not mixed), to allow clergy to talk freely and openly about the concerns, approaches, needs, etc, that they face in the parish, and to allow layfolks the same freedoms.
Bright Week of Pentecost, beginning Tuesday, June 14, with Lunch, and ending Thursday, June 16, with Lunch.
Participants will be housed in the Seminary Dormitory. Pairs of Dorm Rooms share a central bathroom. There is not Air Conditioning in the Dorm, though there is in the various seminary classrooms and meeting spaces.
St Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary was founded in 1938, as an institution of the future Orthodox Church in America. The Seminary has a long-standing symbiotic relationship with America’s first Orthodox Monastery: The Holy Monastery of St Tikhon of Zadonsk, which is just across the street. Participants will be able to enjoy the daily service of the Monastery, as well as the verdure of the lush, green Northeastern Pennsylvania Mountains. These very same mountains are *the mountains* about which we sing in the various hymns for the service of All Saints of North America. St Tikhon’s Monastery enshrines St Alexis Toth, whose labors, especially here in NEPA, brought thousands upon thousands back to the Orthodox Faith. In addition to his canonization here at St Tikhon’s, St Raphael of Brooklyn was also canonized here.
St Tikhon’s is located about 30 minutes east of Scranton, PA, and is easily accessible from Interstate 81, as well as the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike. The closest airport is 35 minutes: AVP (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton). ABE (Allentown) is a short 1:15 drive; EWR (Newark) is two hours, door to door; JFK and LaGuardia are about the same distance.
Login credentials for the online conference will be sent after registration