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The Annual Parish Council One-Day Retreat

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Five excellent reasons for the retreat:

1) Dedicated time with Father, Son and Holy Spirit

2) Train for servant leadership through formal parish council development

3) Share the joy of fellowship

4) Strategically plan

5) Help new members to integrate quickly and continuing members to learn new skills

Preliminary suggestions:

1) If possible, hold the retreat apart from the church facilities for better focus and fewer distractions.

2. Ask parish council members to be on time, attend from beginning to end and to place their cellphone on silent mode, responding to texts and calls only during break time unless it is an emergency. We do this when we go to a movie. We can’t do this when we gather for the Lord?

3. Carefully prepare and personally recruit for 100% attendance

4. Create opportunities for the parish council chairperson to share in leading the retreat with the priest or consultant facilitator.

5. The priest and the parish council chair should thoroughly review all parish council development material available at Stewardship Advocates Library to gain an understanding of the formal process of board development as utilized by the nonprofit community and adapted to Orthodox ecclesiology.

Suggested agenda

8:30 a.m. Morning prayers (a wise person would arrive a little early) 8:45 a.m. Icebreaker/Get better acquainted “Circles Exercise” (see Library) 9:15 a.m. “Parish Envisioning Exercise” with discussion (see Library) 10:00 a.m. “The Parish Council Development Process” (PowerPoint) with discussion (see Library) 11:00 a.m. Break 11:15 a.m. Review the “Parish Council Members Notebook” with discussion (see Library) 12:15 p.m. Lunch 12:45 p.m. “Parish Council and Priest Communications Exercise” (see Library) 1:30 p.m. “Parish Strengths/Weaknesses; Opportunities/Threats” with discussion (see Library) 2:30 p.m. Break 2:45 p.m. “Goals and Objectives” of the parish council and the parish with discussion (see Library) 4:15 p.m. Evening prayers and departure


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