Ministry Profile, New York, NY
Name of the group: FORUM on ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY – FOS, Holy Trinity Cathedral, New York, NY
Demographics (age range, single, married, etc): Age range: 20-70 years old with a concentration of individuals in their 30s and 40s. They are typically single professionals from the metropolitan New York area.
Mission: FOS—Forum on Orthodox Spirituality aims to transform lives by drawing attendees into a fuller understanding of Orthodox faith and worship, all in the context of contemporary society. FOS also seeks to build strong relationships and a sense of community.
When and how often do you meet: FOS hosts a Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer lecture series, 10 – 12 weekly sessions. Past lecture series topics have included “Soul Trek-Cultivating your Spiritual Life,” “Spirit in the City,” and “Lord of the Rings-Living the Sacraments.” Session summaries can be found here: http://www.thecathedral.goarch.org/FOSSummary. There are also additional events throughout the year such as Outreach Socials, Philanthropic Works, Weekend Retreats, etc.
What factor(s) has led to your group's success?: Fr. Frank Marangos’ weekly presentations are sophisticated and tailored toward professionals and relevant to their lives. Participants have expressed a deeper and newfound understanding of their relationship with God, a greater appreciation of Orthodoxy, and an opportunity to discuss the faith in a contemporary context. Overall, a sense of community has been created through regular events and after-session socializing that brings people together in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Is there a leadership team or structure? Please Explain.
There is no formal structure for the group. The priest serves as the spiritual leader, along with one lay leader, Dorothy Poli, who handles all promotion, advertising, recruiting, and coordinating volunteers for FOS events.
How do you advertise/keep in contact with the group? Do you have a website/Facebook group? FOS advertizes through several venues including Greek-American media, Cathedral literature, email blasts, word of mouth, and outreach events that introduce the series to potentially new participants. Information for the group can be found at http://www.thecathedralnyc.org/forum-orthodox-spirituality. A Facebook page is currently under development.
Does a clergyman participate in your gatherings?
Yes. Fr. Frank Marangos presents and leads discussions at each weekly session.