On Easter Sunday in 1999, over 1 million atheists and agnostics in America attended a church service. This year we may assume that many Americans continue to search for the Ancient Christian Church.
As the visible presence of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, each Orthodox Christian parish is called to witness to those within and those outside the community of believers. If we believe that in Orthodoxy we have the fullness of the Truth, then we have the great responsibility to share it with all people.
With church attendance increasing over the Lenten period with its usual peak during Holy Week, this is our greatest opportunity to reach out to our inactive Orthodox and to inquirers about the faith. Though Pascha is months away, it is time to prepare for the way in which we will reach out to these people on the fringes of our communities. Don't miss this opportunity.
To order a Lenten Welcome Banner, click here.
Please consider the following:
- Prepare active parishioners and Parish Council members to reach out to visitors;
- Form a parish Outreach & Evangelism Committee;
- Offer and publicize Lenten programs for spiritual growth;
- Collect names and contact information of visitors and prepare for follow up efforts ( customized parish welcome card available from Dept of O & E );
- Plan a sermon for Holy Friday and Saturday midnight services which will begin a series of future messages on a compelling topic ( on Saturday- consider preaching before the Anastasis );
- Gear your sermons to inactive Orthodox and inquirers;
- Encourage parishioners to begin praying for the one or two people whom they will invite to Holy Week or Resurrection services; and
- Schedule a special event or guest speaker after Pascha which will draw people back to the church;
- Utilize resources listed below.
Pascha Passport is a record of your journey through Lent and Holy Week and is available on the Web site of St. Spyridon Church in Loveland, CO. We hope you will enjoy your journey and that you will discover new things along the way. Pascha Passports are intended to help you along your journey to Pascha. They are used as a means of enrichment and education about the Lenten season. Click here to visit St. Spyridon's Web site.
Outreach & Evangelism : Some Practical Steps
(Available in hard copy from the Department of Outreach & Evangelism)
- Our Lenten Journey Preparing for the Passion & Resurrection of Our Lord
- Preparing for Confession by Fr. James Kordaris
- The Great Fast by Metropolitan Isaiah
- Repentance by Fr. Alexander Veronis
- Holy Communion: The Gift of Eternal Life by Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas
- All Things New in the Resurrection by Fr. Stanley S. Harakas
- The Paschal Homily of Saint John Chrysostom (Trilingual: Greek-English-Spanish)
- Lenten Study Program - St. Catherine, Greenwood Village
- Resurrrection Service Handout Brochure
- The Incarnation: A Revolution for Freedom by Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou
- My Soul Magnifies the Lord by Fr. Thomas Paris
- God for Us: Why the Incarnation is Rational by Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou
- Blessed is that Servant Whom He Shall find Waiting: An Exhortation to Vigilance by Fr. William Chiganos
- Focus Fasting by Fr. Athanasios Demos
- The Precious and Life-Giving Cross by Fr. Luke Veronis
- Holy Friday Reflection - The Train Bridge
- Proclaim His Resurrection: Seven Miles with Jesus by Fr Christopher Makiej
All items listed above are available from the Department of Outreach & Evangelism. One copy of each is available free of charge. All items are formatted for easy photocopying. Brochures will be imprinted with parish information upon request.