Just Do It!

Many of us probably remember the slogan for Nike, “Just Do It” which
encouraged us to get active in sports. With the hopeful news about the
pandemic, with vaccinations, with dropping numbers, it’s time once again to
“Just Do It” with our ministries. Everyone, it seems, is eager to return to
a sense of “normal” in parish life, knowing that “normal” has been changed!

Yes, there are still many guidelines and restrictions in place around the
US, but with Great Lent about to begin, we have an opportunity to resume
many programs, even if modified, and yes, in new ways that share our Faith
and hand it forward to others. Also, parishes can begin to start planning
for the summer and fall. Here in Massachusetts, just yesterday it was
announced that day camps and overnight camps will be possible this summer.
Here are some thoughts:

Religious Education
With nicer weather re-appearing in many places, outdoor Sunday school could
return. Should the indoor gathering guidelines be changing,
in-person-indoor classes might be possible. Even at this late point in the
year, a Lenten religious education program if only for a few weeks could be
possible. Resources can be found at

St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival
In the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, this program for junior high
school and senior high school students would traditionally be in full swing
with parish Festivals, looking ahead to the District and Metropolis-level
festivals. Each Metropolis is applying its local guidelines for possible
in-person festivals (at the parish level mainly); District and Metropolis
Festivals are going virtual in some cases. Check the website for your

Adult Religious Education
Over the life of the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in on-line adult
level programs, from speaker and lecture series to webinars. Most likely,
this will be one of the lasting positive developments in church life from
the pandemic. These kinds of programs have the potential to reach a larger
audience than in-person events. To improve them, we need to develop ways to
connect people to one another (to form community) and to remind them that
these are not substitutes for being engaged with parish life (you cannot be
a Christian alone!).

Start Planning
This is a good time to start planning for your summer and fall programs,
reviewing what it might take to restart them, from preparing classrooms to
ordering supplies. Since most programs have been on a hiatus for a year
now, regrouping with teachers and volunteers is also necessary.

On March 10 and 11, 2021 from 7 to 830pm EST Fr. Alex Goussetis, Director of the
Archdiocese Center for Family Care, Steven Christoforou, Director of the
Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and I will be offering a
webinar via zoom to further share these trends and ideas for personal and
parish life. On March 10, the topic is “New Trends in Ministry: Lessons for
Lent,” and on March 11 the topic is “A Practical Roadmap: Lessons for
Lent.”  To register for the event, please use this link: