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Review of 2016 Pan-Orthodox Continuing Education Conferences

The Department of Christian Education expanded training by taking "the show on the road" this year. Building on the success of "The Orthodox Institute for Continuing Education in the Faith," the department hosted three major events and several smaller trainings during the year with the goal of making training and spiritual enrichment accessible to those who cannot travel to Antiochian Village.

The first of our Pan-Orthodox Continuing Education Conferences was hosted by St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Ottawa, Ontario, on Friday evening and Saturday, September 23-24. Matushka Jennifer Mosher, a doctoral student in Christian Education, spoke on "Christian Education: Forming the Whole Person." We thank Fr. Ghattas Hajal, Pastor, and Kelly Hamwi, Church School Director, for arranging this event with Fr. Christopher Rigden-Briscall, Department Coordinator. At this conference, 28 teachers completed Teacher Training I, 4 individuals completed the Church School Director courses and 8 completed Mat. Jenny's theme track. Participants came from the Greek, Romanian and Antiochian churches in the area.

On October 8 Carole Buleza, Director, and Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick traveled to Brier, Washington, north of Seattle, where St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church hosted our second conference. Fr. Andrew lectured on his book "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" and signed copies for participants. Carole instructed 12 teachers in Teacher Training I. Thanks go to the Washington Orthodox Clergy Association for their efforts to make this event a success, and to the hosts, Fr. James Bernstein, Pastor, and Anne Beach, Church School Director, and the hospitality committee.

Our final Pan-Orthodox Conference was hosted by St. John Chrysostom Church in York, PA, on October 14-15. Melissa Tsongranis, Associate Director for the Center for Family Care (GOA) presented on "Living the Faith in an Orthodox Home." Four new teachers and 2 Church School Directors received instruction while Melissa gave helpful tips and challenged participants to live the Faith with their families - including their church families. Our appreciation go to Fr. Peter Pier, Pastor, and Rebekah Yergo, Church School Director for hosting, and Fr. George Alberts, Diocesan Coordinator. Our participants were from Greek, OCA and Antiochian parishes.

Our Department Coordinators have also been busy planning smaller, local events. In addition to the sessions they hosted at each Parish Life Conference, there have been training and information sessions in Milwaukee, WI, Waterloo, ON, Oklahoma City, OK, San Jose, CA, Littleton, CO and Niagara Falls, NY.

For information on hosting a Regional Pan-Orthodox Christian Education Conference please contact the Department at The attached flier (PDF) also has more details on host responsibilities.

Pan-Orthodox Continuing Education Conferences Fact Sheet (PDF)175.64 KB