In less than two months, clergy and lay leaders from around the Metropolis of San Francisco will gather for our annual Metropolis of San Francisco Clergy-Laity Assembly. Each year approximately 150 clergy and delegates gather at St. Nicholas Ranch near Fresno, California for a two-day opportunity to worship together, learn about and review Metropolis operations, and re-connect.
This year the Missions & Evangelism Ministry shared in planning the Assembly around the theme of evangelism, “The Great Commission in the Parish.” Our featured speaker is Fr. Evan Armatas of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Loveland, Colorado. In addition to full-time ministry, Fr. Evan is devoted to studying parish health and applying innovative strategies in his parish. Inspired by what we learned from Fr. Evan at the 2016 National Missions & Evangelism Conference, during other presentations, and through conversations on his weekly call-in podcast, “Orthodoxy Live,” we believe everyone who attends the Assembly will receive some actionable wisdom from his presentations.
In preparation for Clergy Laity, we asked each parish to respond to a survey asking basic questions about membership, stewardship, ministries, strategic planning, challenges, and successes. Completing the survey is an opportunity for reflection. We believe that this moment of reflection will in turn prepare us for a meaningful exploration of parish health with our featured speaker.
The results of the survey will also shape the Clergy Laity experience. Instead of speaking about parish health generally, delegates will be able to discuss the theme with their own data in hand.
Here are some other things to look forward to at Clergy Laity:
- St. Nicholas Ranch turns 40 this year! We look forward to hearing stories from some of the young adults (now clergy and lay leaders across the Metropolis) who originally camped there, raised the cross on the hill, and created a chapel in the old barn.
- Smaller Groups – We’re planning to break into three groups during various sessions. This means that each group will have about 40-50 people and a moderator, for discussions prompted by Fr. Evan’s presentations.
- Evening Fellowship on Monday night – This time is scheduled to give us an opportunity to meet new people from other parishes, catch up with old friends, and enjoy the rare opportunity to be together. Fr. Evan will also be available for follow-up questions and conversation.
- Divine Liturgy at the Monastery, followed by a 15-year Memorial Service for Metropolitan Anthony – One of the highlights of holding the Clergy Laity Assembly at St. Nicholas Ranch is the ability to worship at the Monastery of the Life-giving Spring and gather in prayer at the grave of Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory.
- Breakfast at the Monastery – This year we have the blessing of experiencing the beautiful hospitality of Gerontissa Markella and the sisterhood by having breakfast in their newly completed trapeza.
For the CLA Schedule, What to Expect, Online Registration, and more information about our featured speaker, please visit: