The Diocese of New York & New Jersey for the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) recently sponsored the 2013 Parish Council Conference for the Diocese. At the invitation of His Grace Bishop Michael, the conference facilitator was Antiochian speaker and author The Very Rev. Constantine Nasr. Father Constantine oversaw the growth of a modestly sized parish in Oklahoma City, OK to a truly thriving community of over 1,000 souls during his three decades of pastoral ministry. With enthusiasm, clarity, and wit, Father Constantine shared his years of expertise and highly practical methods for making the faith contagious and parishes inviting to both new visitors and to those who have fallen out of regular participation in parish life.
Blake Keller (Parish Council Warden, Saint John the Baptist Church, Rochester NY) said: “Father Constantine Nasr immediately got the attention of the conference participants by reminding us that in the Gospel of Mathew we are told to ‘Go ye therefore...!’ He repeatedly inspired us that this requires energy and effort, not sitting frozen. He spoke of the importance of planning. My professional world revolves around planning, and yet I have never really thought of a strategic plan for our Parish. We need one! And, I'm now excited to help develop one. As a Protestant convert myself, it was good to be reminded that we need to learn how to talk to Protestants (and others, as well). We should not judge others, but should seek common ground upon which to build dialogue. We should learn more of their language and theology to aid communication. Father Nasr's presentation was informative, challenging, humorous, and engaging!”