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The Orthodox Observer, the national publication of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, functions as the primary news and information connection and is a direct physical link between the Archdiocese, the Metropolises, parishes and individual parishioners.
The Orthodox Observer is mailed to about 160,000 addresses throughout the U.S. 10 times annually as part of members’ parish stewardship, and to institutions such as colleges, libraries and others. It is the only ministry of the Church that reaches every member on the Archdiocese mailing list on every state, every month.
The Orthodox Observer also has readers in the following 35 countries:
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Korea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom and the Vatican.
Measuring the Value
While costs and revenues are easily determined, the publication’s value to the Archdiocese is immeasurable. As a direct result of appeals for humanitarian assistance presented in various issues, readers have donated to St. Nicholas Shrine at Ground Zero, the economic crises in Greece and Cyprus, natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, etc. Organizations including HCHC, Saint Basil Academy, St. Photios National Shrine, the Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, International Orthodox Christian Charities and other organizations keep the faithful abreast of their activities as a result of articles in the Observer at no cost to them. These organizations and institutions would need to greatly increase their own budgets to purchase the equivalent amount of advertising space to publicize their information, or to send out individual mailings.
Serving Multiple Purposes
The Orthodox Observer performs several functions in its yearly publication cycle.
- News Coverage: Reporting of significant events at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archdiocese, Metropolis and Parish levels; activities of the Assembly of Bishops, OCMC, IOCC and other Church-related organizations and institutions.
- Publication of Record: Texts of official messages of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Archdiocese relating to encyclicals and other official documents for widespread dissemination; obituaries of clergy and lay leaders of the Church; listings of clergy ordinations and assignments and other pertinent information.
- Teaching tool: Articles relating to the Orthodox Christian faith written by theologians and clergy.
- Information source: Information regarding the National Ministries, availability of scholarships for students, how to contribute to humanitarian causes; and contact information for various Church organizations.
- Annual activities and events coverage: This presents the Archdiocese the opportunity to reach out to rank-and-file parishioners to recognize their efforts, including participation in dance festivals, youth Olympics, summer camps, Greek parades and other regularly scheduled activities each year. These involve not only thousands of young people each year, but also parents and other individuals that comprise a substantial number of recipients of the Orthodox Observer. To these readers, the coverage and recognition they receive serves as a great morale booster for their community or group.
In early 2013, the Orthodox Observer introduced a new feature-Day Schools-that has been well received and appears in every issue during the school year: Schools have been assigned specific dates when they should submit information and the issue their feature will appear.