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Eastern Orthodox Church Growth Statistics in America

trappedandconfused

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Hello All,

I was just wondering about the growth of the Eastern Orthodox Church in America and Specifically in the United States. Can anyone point me to a recent survey or have some figures for growth?

In comparison to an older survey, (if taken), I would like to know about these particulars.

How many new Parishes are built?
How many new converts are there?
What percent of total growth is there.

I am told that Orthodoxy in America and around the world is growing and expanding at this time. I was also thinking of all dioceses (if that is the word) combined. EDIT "all jurisdictions"

Thanks and God Bless

NI
 

livefreeordie

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You should find the following interesting although I'm afraid it doesn't specifically answer all your questions. I would be eager for more info myself than what can be found on the web for a paper I am writing.

http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/quick_question17.html
 

trappedandconfused

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Thank you livefreeordie,

I was really curious about this because a few recent podcasts that I listened to have stated that the EOC is one of the fastest growing religions in America. There have been statistics done but I can't find any on-line. The podcast "The illumined heart", on Ancient Faith Radio, interviewed someone and gave some stats.

Specifically for me what percent of growth from 2007 to 2008 is there or even a longer period like 2003-2008 (5 year growth).

NI
 

livefreeordie

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I've always thought the "fastest growing" assertion is more propaganda than fact.  The Antiochians seem to bring up the "fastest growing" moniker most often with a claimed membership in the hundreds of thousands, but as that report I referred to shows, they probably only have a little over 41,000 active members in a little over 200 parishes, which makes sense, about 200 people per parish, which still seems high.
 

livefreeordie

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That looks really interesting, thanks for the link!

And here is a link to highlights from the book!

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles8/Krindatch-The-Orthodox-Church-Today.php

And even better, the full 182-page report free for download as a PDF!!

http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org/files/OrthChurchFullReport.pdf
 

Tamara

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livefreeordie said:
I've always thought the "fastest growing" assertion is more propaganda than fact.  The Antiochians seem to bring up the "fastest growing" moniker most often with a claimed membership in the hundreds of thousands, but as that report I referred to shows, they probably only have a little over 41,000 active members in a little over 200 parishes, which makes sense, about 200 people per parish, which still seems high.
We may be the fastest growing because in 1966 we only had 65 parishes (the year Met. PHILIP became our primate). In 2007 we had 252 parishes and missions. In over forty years times we have more than tripled in size. Most of that growth occurred in the last twenty-five years since the EOC parishes joined our Archdiocese.

From the 2007 census report at the Archdiocesan Convention:

COMMUNICANTS
A total of 54,667 communicants were reported in the
compilation. There has been an increase of 3,347 com-
municants since the 2005 Archdiocesan Convention,
according to the census reports submitted in 2007. This
represents an increase of 6.0% over the two-year period
These figures are based on statistics received from
190 of a possible 252 parishes and missions in 2007,
and 208 of a possible 236 parishes and missions in
2005.

 

Rastaman

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Tamara said:
livefreeordie said:
I've always thought the "fastest growing" assertion is more propaganda than fact.  The Antiochians seem to bring up the "fastest growing" moniker most often with a claimed membership in the hundreds of thousands, but as that report I referred to shows, they probably only have a little over 41,000 active members in a little over 200 parishes, which makes sense, about 200 people per parish, which still seems high.
We may be the fastest growing because in 1966 we only had 65 parishes (the year Met. PHILIP became our primate). In 2007 we had 252 parishes and missions. In over forty years times we have more than tripled in size. Most of that growth occurred in the last twenty-five years since the EOC parishes joined our Archdiocese.

From the 2007 census report at the Archdiocesan Convention:

COMMUNICANTS
A total of 54,667 communicants were reported in the
compilation. There has been an increase of 3,347 com-
municants since the 2005 Archdiocesan Convention,
according to the census reports submitted in 2007. This
represents an increase of 6.0% over the two-year period
These figures are based on statistics received from
190 of a possible 252 parishes and missions in 2007,
and 208 of a possible 236 parishes and missions in
2005.
My question would be how many of those represent actual Church growth, rather than someone one moving towns, moving churches, occasional visitors etc. After all, I am a regular Antiochian communicant who pays membership dues to a UOCC parish....
 

Tamara

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Ukiemeister said:
Tamara said:
livefreeordie said:
I've always thought the "fastest growing" assertion is more propaganda than fact.  The Antiochians seem to bring up the "fastest growing" moniker most often with a claimed membership in the hundreds of thousands, but as that report I referred to shows, they probably only have a little over 41,000 active members in a little over 200 parishes, which makes sense, about 200 people per parish, which still seems high.
We may be the fastest growing because in 1966 we only had 65 parishes (the year Met. PHILIP became our primate). In 2007 we had 252 parishes and missions. In over forty years times we have more than tripled in size. Most of that growth occurred in the last twenty-five years since the EOC parishes joined our Archdiocese.

From the 2007 census report at the Archdiocesan Convention:

COMMUNICANTS
A total of 54,667 communicants were reported in the
compilation. There has been an increase of 3,347 com-
municants since the 2005 Archdiocesan Convention,
according to the census reports submitted in 2007. This
represents an increase of 6.0% over the two-year period
These figures are based on statistics received from
190 of a possible 252 parishes and missions in 2007,
and 208 of a possible 236 parishes and missions in
2005.
My question would be how many of those represent actual Church growth, rather than someone one moving towns, moving churches, occasional visitors etc. After all, I am a regular Antiochian communicant who pays membership dues to a UOCC parish....
They wouldn't count you as a communicant unless you paid membership dues to the Antiochian parish. If it was just a matter of members moving, you would still need the numbers to start a mission or parish. The number of parishes has nearly doubled in twenty-five years. It couldn't happen unless there were enough people and money to start all of those new communities.

Just for curiosity sake, why do you commune at one parish but pay dues to another? Please don't feel obligated to answer the question if it is too personal.
 

livefreeordie

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Tamara said:
We may be the fastest growing because in 1966 we only had 65 parishes (the year Met. PHILIP became our primate). In 2007 we had 252 parishes and missions. In over forty years times we have more than tripled in size. Most of that growth occurred in the last twenty-five years since the EOC parishes joined our Archdiocese.

From the 2007 census report at the Archdiocesan Convention:

COMMUNICANTS
A total of 54,667 communicants were reported in the
compilation. There has been an increase of 3,347 com-
municants since the 2005 Archdiocesan Convention,
according to the census reports submitted in 2007. This
represents an increase of 6.0% over the two-year period
These figures are based on statistics received from
190 of a possible 252 parishes and missions in 2007,
and 208 of a possible 236 parishes and missions in
2005.
Assuming there are 54,667 communicants now(probably more since not all parishes reported), and when there were 65 parishes in 1966 let's assume there were say only 15,000, that's a "growth" of only about 40,000 people over 40+ plus years. I guess percentage-wise we could say it's "fast growing" but I think that is misleading. That being said, I think the Antiochian church has done a great job planting churches.  I joined the church via what was a small mission in Bloomington, In back in 1997 and which is now a thriving parish.

The use of "propaganda" was too harsh. I only brought it up because it seems like sometimes there is a preoccupation on "growth" which in my opinion can lead to "growing" the church in the wrong ways.  It was especially seen in all those "I used to be EOC, or I used to be evangelical" books that seemed to flood bookstores all at once about 10 years ago or so. Of course, that's another discussion altogether.

Thanks for the figures Tamara, it really is hard to find good information.
 

Tamara

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livefreeordie said:
Tamara said:
We may be the fastest growing because in 1966 we only had 65 parishes (the year Met. PHILIP became our primate). In 2007 we had 252 parishes and missions. In over forty years times we have more than tripled in size. Most of that growth occurred in the last twenty-five years since the EOC parishes joined our Archdiocese.

From the 2007 census report at the Archdiocesan Convention:

COMMUNICANTS
A total of 54,667 communicants were reported in the
compilation. There has been an increase of 3,347 com-
municants since the 2005 Archdiocesan Convention,
according to the census reports submitted in 2007. This
represents an increase of 6.0% over the two-year period
These figures are based on statistics received from
190 of a possible 252 parishes and missions in 2007,
and 208 of a possible 236 parishes and missions in
2005.
Assuming there are 54,667 communicants now(probably more since not all parishes reported), and when there were 65 parishes in 1966 let's assume there were say only 15,000, that's a "growth" of only about 40,000 people over 40+ plus years. I guess percentage-wise we could say it's "fast growing" but I think that is misleading. That being said, I think the Antiochian church has done a great job planting churches.  I joined the church via what was a small mission in Bloomington, In back in 1997 and which is now a thriving parish.

The use of "propaganda" was too harsh. I only brought it up because it seems like sometimes there is a preoccupation on "growth" which in my opinion can lead to "growing" the church in the wrong ways.  It was especially seen in all those "I used to be EOC, or I used to be evangelical" books that seemed to flood bookstores all at once about 10 years ago or so. Of course, that's another discussion altogether.

Thanks for the figures Tamara, it really is hard to find good information.
I never believed the hundreds of thousands claimed by some in our Archdiocese because of the reports in the WORD magazine. But then most of the jurisdictions claim large fantasy numbers. The study you cited (Krindatch?) was the most accurate at the time but may becoming a little dated. Wish they would do another study.
I know a growth of only forty thousand may not seem like much if you are coming from a Protestant background but growing up Orthodox, I have seen mostly a drop in membership in many of the smaller jurisdictions. Some of the smaller jurisdictions we have with us today may not be with us in twenty or thirty years.

 

Rastaman

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Tamara said:
Ukiemeister said:
Tamara said:
livefreeordie said:
I've always thought the "fastest growing" assertion is more propaganda than fact.  The Antiochians seem to bring up the "fastest growing" moniker most often with a claimed membership in the hundreds of thousands, but as that report I referred to shows, they probably only have a little over 41,000 active members in a little over 200 parishes, which makes sense, about 200 people per parish, which still seems high.
We may be the fastest growing because in 1966 we only had 65 parishes (the year Met. PHILIP became our primate). In 2007 we had 252 parishes and missions. In over forty years times we have more than tripled in size. Most of that growth occurred in the last twenty-five years since the EOC parishes joined our Archdiocese.

From the 2007 census report at the Archdiocesan Convention:

COMMUNICANTS
A total of 54,667 communicants were reported in the
compilation. There has been an increase of 3,347 com-
municants since the 2005 Archdiocesan Convention,
according to the census reports submitted in 2007. This
represents an increase of 6.0% over the two-year period
These figures are based on statistics received from
190 of a possible 252 parishes and missions in 2007,
and 208 of a possible 236 parishes and missions in
2005.
My question would be how many of those represent actual Church growth, rather than someone one moving towns, moving churches, occasional visitors etc. After all, I am a regular Antiochian communicant who pays membership dues to a UOCC parish....
They wouldn't count you as a communicant unless you paid membership dues to the Antiochian parish. If it was just a matter of members moving, you would still need the numbers to start a mission or parish. The number of parishes has nearly doubled in twenty-five years. It couldn't happen unless there were enough people and money to start all of those new communities.

Just for curiosity sake, why to do commune at one parish but pay dues to another? Please don't feel obligated to answer the question if it is too personal.
Well I am actually considering paying dues to both....essentially when I converted I was not living in the city and I had no licence/no car, I chose a Ukrainian church as I have Ukrianian ancestry and that way my grandmother (whom I live with) has returned to the Church. Because my grandmother comes along, my dad is gracious enough to drive, even though he does not himself attend.

The Antiochian parish is the closest parish to my home. Therefore, it terms of canonicity, it IS the church I should attend. So it happens that I can choose to attend it when dad is away or something, because it is accessible by bus/walking. Also, it happens to have a very strong youth group...where in my Ukrainian parish I am essentially I am one of 3 in the 15 to 50 age range....
 

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They wouldn't count you as a communicant unless you paid membership dues to the Antiochian parish. If it was just a matter of members moving, you would still need the numbers to start a mission or parish. The number of parishes has nearly doubled in twenty-five years. It couldn't happen unless there were enough people and money to start all of those new communities.

Just for curiosity sake, why to do commune at one parish but pay dues to another? Please don't feel obligated to answer the question if it is too personal.
Well I am actually considering paying dues to both....essentially when I converted I was not living in the city and I had no licence/no car, I chose a Ukrainian church as I have Ukrianian ancestry and that way my grandmother (whom I live with) has returned to the Church. Because my grandmother comes along, my dad is gracious enough to drive, even though he does not himself attend.

The Antiochian parish is the closest parish to my home. Therefore, it terms of canonicity, it IS the church I should attend. So it happens that I can choose to attend it when dad is away or something, because it is accessible by bus/walking. Also, it happens to have a very strong youth group...where in my Ukrainian parish I am essentially I am one of 3 in the 15 to 50 age range....
Your last line is one of the reasons why Orthodoxy as a whole is not growing...many parishes are losing their youth or have already lost their youth. They have forgotten how to evangelize and minister to their children. It breaks my heart.  :( :(
 

Rastaman

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Tamara said:
They wouldn't count you as a communicant unless you paid membership dues to the Antiochian parish. If it was just a matter of members moving, you would still need the numbers to start a mission or parish. The number of parishes has nearly doubled in twenty-five years. It couldn't happen unless there were enough people and money to start all of those new communities.

Just for curiosity sake, why to do commune at one parish but pay dues to another? Please don't feel obligated to answer the question if it is too personal.
Well I am actually considering paying dues to both....essentially when I converted I was not living in the city and I had no licence/no car, I chose a Ukrainian church as I have Ukrianian ancestry and that way my grandmother (whom I live with) has returned to the Church. Because my grandmother comes along, my dad is gracious enough to drive, even though he does not himself attend.

The Antiochian parish is the closest parish to my home. Therefore, it terms of canonicity, it IS the church I should attend. So it happens that I can choose to attend it when dad is away or something, because it is accessible by bus/walking. Also, it happens to have a very strong youth group...where in my Ukrainian parish I am essentially I am one of 3 in the 15 to 50 age range....
Your last line is one of the reasons why Orthodoxy as a whole is not growing...many parishes are losing their youth or have already lost their youth. They have forgotten how to evangelize and minister to their children. It breaks my heart.  :( :(
Tell me about it. I am Sunday School teacher and OCF pres....on a good day I may get 3-5 to both. What we need is vision. We need to ensure that from day 1 of preschool to the day they graduate with a post-grad degree, it's an Orthodox atmosphere.

I mean we send our kids to secular preschool/playschool, then either into the public or RC school system, then on to (in most cases), a secular liberal university, and then e wonder why they don't attend church?

*sigh*
 

ialmisry

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Last Sunday I gave a drive to a dear friend who preceded me in Orthodoxy, and we have been in three parishes together, for different reasons.  She told me that she received a letter from our former parish asking why she left.  So at least someone is thinking about the problem.

Her case is different from mine.  In my case I stayed on the old rolls until my impeding divorce made the parish priest where I was actually attended and now attend want me to switch, so their was no question about his "jursidiction" to deal with the matter (by tellingm my to be ex wife not to come back.  She and our children were already on the other parish rolls.  I had stayed on principle on the other rolls, but had decided that when the children had gotten to be school age, we would have to switch to the other parish.  Our old parish at best tolerated children.

I often tell the story of how, visiting the Greek Church near my mother, I was the only non-family member in a pew with a rambungcious boy.  Afterwards, one of the family introduced himself and apologized profusely over the boy (who perhaps distruptive, but nothing out of the ordinary for a todler), and explained that it was the anniversairy of the boy's baptism, that he was the godfather, and the family always goes to DL as a family to celebrate the baptism.  After praising him for such a custom, I said that the boy was not a problem.  In fact it was good to see him "because I've been to so many Churches where there are no children, everyone is older than God, and I stand wondering where the Church is going to be in 10 years. I'd much rather see life in a parish."
 

serb1389

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[/quote]
I never believed the hundreds of thousands claimed by some in our Archdiocese because of the reports in the WORD magazine. But then most of the jurisdictions claim large fantasy numbers. The study you cited (Krindatch?) was the most accurate at the time but may becoming a little dated. Wish they would do another study.
I know a growth of only forty thousand may not seem like much if you are coming from a Protestant background but growing up Orthodox, I have seen mostly a drop in membership in many of the smaller jurisdictions. Some of the smaller jurisdictions we have with us today may not be with us in twenty or thirty years.


[/quote]

Tamara, the study was done this year 2008.  So I would say it is the most recent data we have...anywhere.  It is also fairly comprehensive with questions being answered by over 80% of parishes (which is a huge number). 

The “Orthodox Church Today” study was conducted by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute duringSeptember 2007 – May 2008.
 

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serb1389 said:
Tamara, the study was done this year 2008.  So I would say it is the most recent data we have...anywhere.  It is also fairly comprehensive with questions being answered by over 80% of parishes (which is a huge number). 

The “Orthodox Church Today” study was conducted by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute duringSeptember 2007 – May 2008.
I meant the other study, the one done by Krindatch.
 

SolEX01

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Tamara said:
serb1389 said:
Tamara, the study was done this year 2008.  So I would say it is the most recent data we have...anywhere.  It is also fairly comprehensive with questions being answered by over 80% of parishes (which is a huge number). 
The “Orthodox Church Today” study was conducted by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute during September 2007 – May 2008.
I meant the other study, the one done by Krindatch.
Krindatch was the author of the recent study mentioned by serb1389:)
 

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SolEX01 said:
Tamara said:
serb1389 said:
Tamara, the study was done this year 2008.  So I would say it is the most recent data we have...anywhere.  It is also fairly comprehensive with questions being answered by over 80% of parishes (which is a huge number). 
The “Orthodox Church Today” study was conducted by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute during September 2007 – May 2008.
I meant the other study, the one done by Krindatch.
Krindatch was the author of the recent study mentioned by serb1389.   :)
http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/quick_question17.html
This study above was the one I was referring to and it was conducted a while ago by Krindatch. The other study is the new one and does not include numbers for the various jurisdictions.
 

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The statistics for the Various Orthodox Churches in the US vary for several reasons:
   How does one define being a member ?
     a. all those who have been baptized minus those who have died?
     b. only those who attend church regularly (average of church attendance annually)
     c. Those who pay tithes and offerings?
     d. Adherents (people who were baptized in one jurisdiction but attend another jurisdiction's parish)?
     e. does one alos count active catechumen?
     f. Only count those who pay dues or assessments?
     g. does one count non-orthodox spouses who attend functions, go to church services, and work on parish fund raisers.

Most reports from jurisdictions fail to fully define how does one count a member of the jurisdiction. Most studies, as in the one quoted, rely upon those who answer the survey and often incorrectly count membership because no one has clearly defines what it means to be counted as a member of the Orthodox Church as a result most studies no matter how recent fail to provide anything but trends.

The survey in questions tried to define the Orthodox Church in the US but only used two of the larger churches  (one extremely ethnic in its approach to mission and the other more open to a non-ethnic approach) to define the Orthodox in the US. The survey although using the best intentions was still a poorly done sociological study of the Orthodox Church in the US, its title would should have been a Study of the Greek Orthodox and OCA in the US. By leaving out legitimate  jrisdictions in the US , more especially the Old Calendar Churches the survey was schewed as to its results.

In American society where many people are very mobile moving from city to city for employment, jurisdictions become less improtant that what Orthodox Church is in the area that I can attend. Many jurisdictions do not purge members from their rolls after they have left the parish assuming the become the singular isolated orthodox person who occassionally drives long distances to attend the jurisdictional church and thus is still a member of the jurisdiction---I personally have been in three jurisdictions in the past 20 years and probably are being carried as a member of  the 2 other jurisdictions as well as the one I am currently attending.  This would tend to schew the validity of studies of Church Growth.

Thomas
 

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Tamara said:
SolEX01 said:
Tamara said:
serb1389 said:
Tamara, the study was done this year 2008.  So I would say it is the most recent data we have...anywhere.  It is also fairly comprehensive with questions being answered by over 80% of parishes (which is a huge number). 
The “Orthodox Church Today” study was conducted by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute during September 2007 – May 2008.
I meant the other study, the one done by Krindatch.
Krindatch was the author of the recent study mentioned by serb1389.   :)
http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/quick_question17.html
This study above was the one I was referring to and it was conducted a while ago by Krindatch. The other study is the new one and does not include numbers for the various jurisdictions.
that's what I thought you were talking about = the old survey that they did that was more representative of the other jurisdictions.  I wasn't sure though...hence my comment.  Sorry about the confussion!  I'm glad we're on the same page now... ;) ;D
 

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Thanks for all the replies.

Maybe I can adjust my original post to get to something more concrete that would give a fairly good estimation.
How one defines a member to be counted can be an issue. So numbers could be inflated. I know the Mormons really inflate their numbers to look real good.

If we know how many parishes exist in America from all jurisdictions then we would have something more concrete. You can't really fake a building. Maybe a study would give us a number. Then we could compare it to an older study or report to see the number of buildings that have been built over a certain time period.

A rough calculation could be made based on the average number of people in the different parishes. I am new to Orthodoxy but if the average parish is the roughly the same we would have a general idea on growth. Even if we took maximum and minimun values for attendance we could find a new growth range that I think would show something.

So how many new parishes are created each year? Or how many total Eastern Orthodox parishes were there in year 2000 for example then how many today?

EDIT: I was just thinking the attendance would need to probably just include baptized members to make it show true Orthodox membership growth at a minimum requirement.

Still wondering ???


NI
 

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Dear new illumined,

I believe the Greek Archdiocese has 550 parishes and missions within the United States. The OCA (Orthodox Church in America) has approximately 700 parishes and missions but their communities tend to be smaller in number than the Greek Archdiocese communities. The Antiochian Archdiocese has 252 parishes and missions. These three are the largest archdioceses if that helps you get a clearer picture of the size of the Orthodox Church in the United States.
If I were to guess how many full adherents there are between these three I would but the number at approximately 700,000.

 

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Tamara said:
Dear new illumined,

I believe the Greek Archdiocese has 550 parishes and missions within the United States. The OCA (Orthodox Church in America) has approximately 700 parishes and missions but their communities tend to be smaller in number than the Greek Archdiocese communities. The Antiochian Archdiocese has 252 parishes and missions. These three are the largest archdioceses if that helps you get a clearer picture of the size of the Orthodox Church in the United States.
If I were to guess how many full adherents there are between these three I would but the number at approximately 700,000.
Keeping in mind that that does not include several other jurisdictions...
 

minasoliman

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JamesRottnek

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Does anyone happen to know why Greek parishes are so substanitally larger than OCA ones?  I mean, the Greek Archdiocese (at least I have heard) has a lot of money, which would presumably allow them to build more parishes.
 

BTRAKAS

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Reply No. 27, James Rottnek,  

I don't have a specific factual answer to your inquiry; however, from my experience, these are my impressions.  My experience is from where I've lived all my 57 (almost 58) years, Northeast Ohio, along with discussions with friends, including priests, and relatives in other regions.  The OCA parishes in this area were typically the same size, more or less, as the GOAA parishes.  However, during the past 30 years, especially the last 15 years, this region has declined in population, likewise, the OCA parishes have experienced a massive decline.  The OCA's largest parish in their Midwest Diocese (possibly previously), has dropped from 800 families, to less than 400, although it remains an active parish.  Their cathedral in this area has dropped in size by 50% too, from 400 members to 200 (+/-).  The OCA has experienced a massive reduction in members in the neighboring state, Pennsylvania too; a state which has lost its major traditional areas of employment, manufacturing, coal mining, etc.  The GOAA parishes are remaining stable in size in Ohio, but many in PA are in decline.  Many GOAA parishioners are leaving the area too, but their bases of employment are more diversified.  I think it's important to point out too, that both the GOAA and the OCA have been led by devout and dynamic local hierarchs during this period, along with quite dedicated and competent priests.  The size of the GOAA Metropolis of Atlanta, much of the South, has grown drastically in the past 30 years.  The OCA has focused on missionary outreach in the South, and the West too, I believe.  But those mission parishes tend to be quite small.  The whole concept of parish priests who have to support themselves with lay occupations, is a development of recent years in the OCA.  So, the matter of why the OCA has smaller parishes than the GOAA, is a result of the decline in population in the OCA's traditional strongholds, and its growth of missions in the South and West, a phenomenon of the past 20 years or so.

On another related matter, the GOAA's "Orthodox Observer" (national) mailing list was recently updated (finally) and it has increased 40,000 since 1997, from 125,000, to 165,000, a more than 24% increase.
 

JamesRottnek

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Hmm, thank you for the observations.  That could well be behind - to one extent or another - the big difference in size.
 

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James -

Part of the reason may be that Greek priests are paid much more than OCA priests, so it takes a larger congregation to support them!

Along with that, the Greeks require at least 50 pledging families in order to start new missions, whereas the Antiochians only require 25 families and the OCA require 20. So the different Orthodox jurisdictions in the US differ greatly on what is considered a "viable" parish.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Greek build massive churches and then just stick one priest and no deacons in there. It's a great way to save money on salaries, but unfortunately it often means less connection with the parishioners.

Does anyone else find it strange that the Orthodox notion of missionary work is setting up a church when enough people get together and petition the bishop? Really takin' it to the streets!
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Does anyone else find it strange that the Orthodox notion of missionary work is setting up a church when enough people get together and petition the bishop? Really takin' it to the streets!
The Orthodox are the "best kept secret" in America, and we plan on staying that way!  :-\
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Does anyone else find it strange that the Orthodox notion of missionary work is setting up a church when enough people get together and petition the bishop? Really takin' it to the streets!
This may be the predominant model in the US but it's by no means universal.
 

Benjamin the Red

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Does anyone else find it strange that the Orthodox notion of missionary work is setting up a church when enough people get together and petition the bishop? Really takin' it to the streets!
I like this. What we do is, if a group would like to set up a mission, they speak with our parish and we begin catachesis, they visit us, we visit them, etc. Once a group is catachized and baptized, they may petition for a mission.

I prefer setting up a strong mission slowly than build churches like crazy without any thinking behind it, and have parishes that fit 300+ but only have 40 regular attendees who are less than devout. That's the Protestant model, anyway. Quality over quantity.
 

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Statistics show the Greek model is the best.
 

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Could you please provide these statistics, Augustin717?

It seems to me most of the work to evangelize the non-Orthodox in the US has been undertaken by the Antiochian Archdiocese, followed by the OCA. The Greek Archdiocese will accept converts who walk in the door, but they have not undertaken any special efforts to evangelize them that I'm aware of.
 

chris

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Eugenio said:
The Greek Archdiocese will accept converts who walk in the door, but they have not undertaken any special efforts to evangelize them that I'm aware of.
Really?

Department of Outreach and Evangelism

...
vision

As the presence of the Universal Church, the parish is called to witness to those within and those outside the community of believers. If we believe that in Orthodoxy we have the fullness of the Truth, then we have the great responsibility - the Great Commission - to share it with all people. All aspects of the parish may be seen as apostolic, and the Orthodox faithful are called to incorporate Christian mission in all aspects of life. When Christ said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..." he commissioned us to transform the parish into an agency of Christian outreach.

...
 

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FrChris said:
Eugenio said:
The Greek Archdiocese will accept converts who walk in the door, but they have not undertaken any special efforts to evangelize them that I'm aware of.
Really?

Department of Outreach and Evangelism

...
vision

As the presence of the Universal Church, the parish is called to witness to those within and those outside the community of believers. If we believe that in Orthodoxy we have the fullness of the Truth, then we have the great responsibility - the Great Commission - to share it with all people. All aspects of the parish may be seen as apostolic, and the Orthodox faithful are called to incorporate Christian mission in all aspects of life. When Christ said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..." he commissioned us to transform the parish into an agency of Christian outreach.

...
Okay, but how often is this actually practiced (and we can ask the same question of all jurisdictions)?
 
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