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The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh #400104
10/14/13 08:02 AM
10/14/13 08:02 AM
Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,157
Washington, PA
Fr. Deacon Lance Offline OP
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I deleted the prior thread as it degenerated into personal jabs rather than a fruitful discussion on what can be done to improve the future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh. I invite those of goodwill to restart the conversation.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #400119
10/14/13 04:43 PM
10/14/13 04:43 PM
Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,157
Washington, PA
Fr. Deacon Lance Offline OP
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I will repost a link to my good friend Dr. Anthony Dragani's:
"A Practical Guide to Evangelization for Byzantine Catholic Parishes"
http://www.east2west.org/evangelization.htm


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #400133
10/14/13 11:22 PM
10/14/13 11:22 PM
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Virginia USA
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Irish_Ruthenian Offline
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I found this to be interesting:

Quote
The tendency of Eastern Christian Churches to minister exclusively to one ethnic group, failing to "make disciples of all nations" directly contradicts the will of Christ. Christ"s Church is to be universal, spreading the Gospel to all persons of every racial and ethnic background. In as much as we neglect evangelization, we fail to be Christ"s Church.


I remember being told one day that one of the elders of our parish had referred to a number of us converts, both from the Latin Church as well as non-Catholics, as "boat people." Now there's a fine warm welcome for you!

You know, the fact that the service had parts in Church Slavonic didn't bother me. The fact that it was ethnically Central European didn't bother me either. It didn't bother me because the absolute beauty of the worship overwhelmed me.

Quote
It is especially necessary that the greeters interact with the visitors immediately after worship, as well as before. According to Robert Bast, Minister of Evangelism for the Reformed Church in America, the moments following the end of Sunday worship are among the most important in determining whether or not a visitor will return.


I remember hearing this years ago and it sunk in. When I am serving the altar, I make it a point to scan the crowd to see if there are faces I don't recognize. Then, after Liturgy is over, I make a beeline for them. I have been to a number of parishes where as a visitor I had nary a person say anything to me. This should not be.

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #400134
10/14/13 11:24 PM
10/14/13 11:24 PM
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One thing that I feel is very important -- any effort, to be successful, must come from seeing our leaders, our shepherds, take the initiative.

"Follow me!" is much more likely to provide a response than "Go and do" or nothing said at all.

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #400139
10/15/13 12:55 AM
10/15/13 12:55 AM
Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,157
Washington, PA
Fr. Deacon Lance Offline OP
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I found this to be relevant:

Before proceeding, a few words of caution are in order. First and foremost, evangelization must be pursued with integrity. In no way can the theology or worship of the parish be diluted in an attempt to increase attendance. As warned by evangelization expert Peter Barna, "any church growth strategy that is geared to increasing the number of people without emphasizing the necessity of commitment to Jesus Christ is working in opposition to scriptural command."[3] In incorporating new members into the Church, it is crucial that the Gospel message is not watered down. Barna warns against following the example of a certain well-known Protestant "cathedral":


A church in Southern California began with less than a dozen people attending the first week"s service. You cannot find a seat in the sanctuary today, because more than 10,000 people regularly file into the church every Sunday. But the growth of the church occurred as a consequence of spiritual compromise. People who attend that church see a good show, but they don"t hear the gospel the way Jesus proclaimed it. Yes, this church is well marketed, but it is marketed for a different purpose than to serve Jesus Christ.[4]

[3] Peter Barna, Marketing the Church (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1990), 17.

[4] Barna, 157.


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Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #400140
10/15/13 01:30 AM
10/15/13 01:30 AM
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Portland, OR USA
Lester S Offline
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Thanks, for pointing out Dragani's post, on the subject, as I read it a while back, when I was investigating Eastern Catholics, and Orthodoxy

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #400160
10/15/13 04:39 PM
10/15/13 04:39 PM
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PA
Paul B Offline
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Glory to Jesus Christ!

Thanks for posting the Dragani article, Fr Deacon Lance. It gave many good suggestions.
Expanding on one point, handing some information to the visitor........one item which is always handy and you probably already have in your hand is the weekly bulletin. No need to look through the books and pamphlets.....just hand the person YOUR bulletin.

Next month we are going to repeat something that we did in the summer. Locally (and in many other areas) there is VALPAK direct mail advertising of coupons which are all the same size and include McDonalds and other fast food places. We advertise our bingo on one side, offering a $2 free jackpot bingo card. On the other side is an introduction to our parish with a picture and text reading that "our small parish is family friendly."

The first mailing didn't give direct results right away but we have had some recent visitors. Most advertising doesn't give big "instant results" but with persistence people become open to it.

BTW, the cost is $300 and it reaches 10,000 households.

Fr Deacon Paul

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #400174
10/15/13 08:11 PM
10/15/13 08:11 PM
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The Third Rome
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True Missionary work, where it is needed the most:

http://orthodoxnepal.org/2013/09/rocor-mission-center/

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #400196
10/16/13 07:13 AM
10/16/13 07:13 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,431
New England
Peter J Offline
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Quote
I will repost a link to my good friend Dr. Anthony Dragani's:
"A Practical Guide to Evangelization for Byzantine Catholic Parishes"
http://www.east2west.org/evangelization.htm

That's a great article. There are probably a million comments that could be made, but I'll just say one (I'm probably close to the trap of spending all morning thinking about this).

He talks about the mentality of the parishioners. Another point about that is that some people define successful evangelization too narrowly. That is to say, while obviously we would prefer if a visitor becomes a weekly attender, it is still a success if he/she only becomes an occasional visitor.

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #400205
10/16/13 01:10 PM
10/16/13 01:10 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Offline
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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

As someone who has regularly attended services in the Byzantine Catholic Church for the last three years, been a frequent visitor in the Melkite Church over the last decade, and comes from the Armenian tradition -I have certain perspective on this question, I'd like to share:

What drew me to the Byzantine Catholic Church is that, even though I am of Armenian descent, my family and I are culturally American.

We want to be in an Eastern Church that -without having to change our culture or language- we can fully participate in the life of the Church and fully partake of its theological and liturgical tradition. We want to experience the Eastern Christian faith and tradition in our own culture without having to learn another language and culture to do so. And we want to do this in communion with the Catholic Church.

Therefore we see the Byzantine Catholic Church as a real possibility and golden opportunity for an indigenous expression of Eastern Christianity in America.

This is what has drew us to the Byzantine Catholic Church (all ten of us). So I'm convinced, if we simply manifest the beauty of the Eastern Orthodox Theology and Worship within our Byzantine Catholic Church in America, we will draw many others to this wonderful Church.

The alternative is remaining an ethnic Church were those who are not of that ethnicity never really feel they are "home" or that Church is for them. This approach ensures the ethnic integrity and peculiarity of a Church but likewise guarantees it will never really reach the host culture where it is located.

I see great oppoturnity in this Metropolitan Church to reach America for our Lord Christ because she has such a good foot forward in manifesting the Orthodox/Eastern Catholic faith in way that is accessible to most Americans.

Sub-Dn. Lazarus

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #401826
11/29/13 09:38 PM
11/29/13 09:38 PM
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Paul B Offline
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Today I heard an interview of an evangelical Christian and he states that the Christian churches (all of them) in the United States are losing 3 million people a year.

Pope Francis's new apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel" delves deeply into evangelization. The document is available here http://ewtn.org/library/PAPALDOC/f1evangaud.HTM

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Paul B] #401827
11/29/13 10:15 PM
11/29/13 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul B
Today I heard an interview of an evangelical Christian and he states that the Christian churches (all of them) in the United States are losing 3 million people a year.

Pope Francis's new apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel" delves deeply into evangelization. The document is available here http://ewtn.org/library/PAPALDOC/f1evangaud.HTM


Ummmmmmmm.....what exactly does he mean by "Christian?" Most Evangelicals do not consider either Orthodox or Catholic to be Christian.

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #401839
11/30/13 03:50 PM
11/30/13 03:50 PM
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Paul B Offline
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I don't know the specifics. Be assured that people are rejecting or de-prioritizing Christianity in the USA whether Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant. The pessimist who claims the Greek Catholic Churches will be gone in a generation or two tend to neglect that ALL the Christian churches are suffering.

I think this trend is like the wind, it will change direction, especially when we feel endangered enough to come out of our shell and surrender to the Holy Spirit within us. Perhaps Chrismation will become as important as God intended.

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #401841
11/30/13 04:43 PM
11/30/13 04:43 PM
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Holy Angels in San Diego is very welcoming to "outsiders." I am half Serbian, so I feel a "natural" draw to ancient Eastern Christian worship. But the fact is, they use English for the divine liturgy, and Father is called "Father," and not some non-English title. And so forth.

The Spirit of Pentecost- speak the language of the people.

I think for starters, we need to remove the excessive ethnic adjectives. Russian-Greek, Italo-Greek, Ukrainian, Romanian, what have you. No one should ever be ashamed of their heritage, and why would anyone want to surrender their rich cultures to the bland, comsumeristic, superficial American modernism.

Does "Byzantine" not suffice for the identification of Eastern Catholics? Or perhaps let us unite under the title of the sui iuris "Orthodox Catholic" Church.

Beauty will save the world. We don't have to become Modern Roman-Lite to win folks over. I think many folks are turned off by subdividing ethnic titles. Retain our heritage, but as a specific parish, it shouldn't be pinned as such.

Re: The Future of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh [Re: Paul B] #401879
12/03/13 11:32 AM
12/03/13 11:32 AM
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New England
Peter J Offline
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Originally Posted by Paul B
The pessimist who claims the Greek Catholic Churches will be gone in a generation or two ...

In my humble opinion, such pessimism is absurd. (Not that I necessarily assume that there will exactly as many Greek Catholics in future generations as there are now.)

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