Orthodox Congregations in
In the past 50 years, the term
"congregation" has been rarely used in
Today, after May 17, 2007, it is not certain that among the opponents of union who are scattered all over the world, that new ROCOR parishes will be created any time soon which will parallel the existing ROCOR(MP) parishes. Yet, in each ROCOR(MP) parish there are laypeople in deep disagreement with what has transpired. At any given parish, there may be only several people, who may have significant abilities, but not enough for the creation of a complete church body, that is, a parish. Some may not have enough people, others may not have a priest, or their own property. Yet, such a group, even with its substantial disadvantages, can exist, grow, and develop with the hope of achieving the status of a parish. Such a group can be called a congregation. For others who share their opinions and for the church administration, this term can be used to loosely describe the status of such a group of faithful.
It is a good idea to add a name of a saint,
or a feast day, or a holy icon, in whose honor this group is dedicated, to the
title of a "congregation." The
geographic location of the congregation can also be added. For example, a congregation
located in the city of
It is a good idea if the diocesan administration has the postal and email address of the congregation and that all news and decisions made known to the diocese and the entire Church should immediately be transmitted to the congregations, just as if they were parishes.
It is a good idea if every congregation elects a church warden, secretary, or treasurer, or at the least a warden and a treasurer.
It is a good idea if the church directory include not only parishes, but the congragations of a diocese as well, to gather those
laypeople who lost contact with their church leaders as a result of the
sorrowful events of 2007. Bear in mind,
in those countries where believers who do not submit to the existing church
hierarchy may be persecuted, it may be better to avoid publishing all the
information for a congregation, but we are speaking of
It is a good idea if neighboring congregations meet regularly to discuss and resolve common problems. They should also establish a central meeting point, that can be reached easily by a number of neighboring congregations.
Equally important is organizing the financial side of each congregation's life. The funds of a congregation can be generated through monthly dues payments or monthly donations. It is possible also to combine the two - establish a modest dues payment, say $10 a month, and a donation based on the financial ability of any given person each month.
A congregation should assist church bodies
above it - the diocese and the church administration as a whole. For example, a congregation can decide to
provide 10% of its monthly total to the diocese and 10% to the
Within the current conditions in
It is a good idea if all relatively large
groups of faithful members organize themselves into functioning congregations,
without despairing over their small number and isolation. They should also not lose hope because of the
challenges they face or the inability to quickly create a functioning