This post was originally published on this site

pastoral life

As part of its ongoing mission to see its clergy families healthy and thriving in ministry, the OCA Office of Pastoral Life hosted a three-day meeting to bring together stakeholders from across the church to discuss ways to help address the unique economic challenges its clergy families face.

“Financial struggles are common to so many of our clergy and their families,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon. “I am pleased that The Office of Pastoral Life of the Orthodox Church in America continues to explore ways to expand our programs to help clergy families navigate the economic challenges that often come hand-in-hand with their ministry.”

From Monday, February 19, to Wednesday, February 21, Hierarchs, Central Administration staff, Diocescan Chancellors, clergy wives, advisors, and OCA Office of Pastoral Life staff gathered to better understand the economic challenges facing pastoral leaders in the OCA and how the church might respond.

Economic Challenges Stakeholders Meeting participants included His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, OCA Office of Pastoral Life Episcopal Liaison His Grace Bishop Nikodhim, OCA Chancellor Archpriest Alexander Rentel, OCA Secretary Archpriest Alessandro Margheritino, Director of the Office of Pastoral Life Archpriest Nicholas Solak, Diocese of the Midwest Chancellor Archpriest Paul Jannakos, Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania Chancellor Archpriest Raymond Browne, Diocese of the South Chancellor Archpriest Marcus Burch, and Diocese of the West Chancellor Archpriest Kirill Sokolov.

pastoral life

In 2023, The OCA Office of Pastoral Life was invited to submit a proposal for the Lilly Endowment’s National Economic Challenges Initiative for pastoral leaders. A confidential survey was sent out across the OCA by a third-party professional researcher, Dr. Robert Saler who also attended the meetings. Participants at the Stakeholders Meeting reviewed an aggregated and anonymized summary of the survey results and presented questions to Dr. Saler to better understand the landscape of economic realities faced by priests and their families. The Office of Pastoral Life plans to submit its proposal to the Lilly Endowment in April 2024 and expects to receive a response in August 2024.

Director of the Office of Pastoral Life Archpriest Nicholas Solak concludes:

“Under His Beatitude’s primatial leadership the OCA continues to advance the health and well being of its pastoral leaders through a portfolio of clergy family-focused programs, including Thriving in Ministry, Synaxis, the National Clergy Retreat, and the Clergy Wives Advisory Group. In addition, we continue to explore potential ways to help clergy families address economic challenges. A grant from the Lilly Endowment would further our mission-critical work in this area.”