The Strategic Planning Committee [SPC] has revised the draft Strategic Plan for the Orthodox Church in America based on feedback on the earlier draft via the internet, diocesan assemblies, a meeting with the Holy Synod, and the work of 10 Church-wide working groups.
According to Priest John Vitko, SPC chair, changes reflected in the revised draft include the following.
- The inclusion of the statement of the Holy Synod of Bishops on the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America.
- Deletion of any discussion of the organizational structure of the Church so as to make clear that no organizational changes are being proposed.
- A significantly expanded discussion and plan for the proposed ministry priorities for the coming decade.
Specifically the revised draft focuses on three critical questions.
- Who are we, the Orthodox Church in America, and where are we going?
- What should our ministry priorities be for the coming decade?
- How do the Central Administration, the dioceses, the deaneries, the parishes and the individual parishioners work together to establish and continue these ministry priorities?
“It is important to ask and answer these questions so we can be faithful and wise stewards of God’s household in North America,” said Father John. “This Strategic Plan does not reflect traditional corporate strategic plans with numbers, statistics, membership numbers or budgets. The Church is not an institution. It is a sacramental mystery that unites us to Christ to transform our lives and by our witness to transform those around us. It is this inner spiritual transformation and the resulting efforts to reach out to others that are the focus of this Plan. If we follow Christ in this, then everything will follow.”
The revised Strategic Plan will be presented at the meetings of the Holy Synod of Bishops and the Metropolitan Council in May 2011. It will then be posted on the internet for Church-wide comment.
“We will continue to evolve this plan based on the feedback we receive,” said Father John. “A major part of the 16th All-American Council will be dedicated to an in-depth discussion of the Strategic Plan. Delegates will be asked to pre-register to participate in working groups corresponding to the ministry priorities identified in the Strategic Plan so as to further refine the plan and to begin forming the human networks that will be critical to implementing it.”