Metropolitan Methodios with Emerging Leaders.
Leadership 100 provided a two-year grant of $200,000 to launch The Emerging Leaders Ministry in the Metropolis of Boston as a pilot program to serve as a prototype for replication throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with the purpose of addressing the critical need to engage contemporary professionals in the life of the Church. Initiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios with the convening of a national leadership steering committee to design programmatic strategies, the goal is to strategically cultivate future Church leaders. Some key elements are:
Leadership Forums: Nine Leadership Forums were held across the Metropolis, including motivational leadership presentations followed by small group discussions on mentoring and ministry development.
Research: A survey instrument was developed and distributed at all Leadership Forums and is posted on the Metropolis website. The data serve to guide the leadership team and the education committee in the development of specific programs and ministry offerings.
Education: The Metropolis is partnering with the Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College/Holy Cross to offer an education component of the grant to focus on the topic of leadership. Presentations will be given by renowned theologians reflecting on the theological foundations of leadership and business/organizational lay leaders reflecting on best practices from their own vantage point as both leaders and Orthodox Christians. They will be recorded and edited and put on a new website for the Emerging Leaders initiative, as a national resource for Orthodox Christian leadership.
Orthodoxy on Tap: Several hundred contemporary professionals throughout New England share in open dialogue and discussion about issues, challenges and hot topics in our world, society and Church today in relaxed settings.
REAL Ministry: In partnership with new initiative, REAL (Representing Emerging Adult Leaders, REAL Boston tailored programs to meet the needs and desires of individuals, such as educational opportunities in a fellowship setting with more service-oriented activities that have led to partnerships with food pantries and other local philanthropic agencies; REAL Orthodox Coffee House informal discussions and fellowship for all ages, especially college students under the age of 21; REAL Orthodox Dilemmas Through Cinema where young adults will gather to view a current movie, followed by a group discussion examining the issues raised in the film from an Orthodox perspective; REAL Sports for young adults/young professionals to find athletic competition; and REAL Service Projects to foster engagement with impoverished neighbors through visitations to homeless shelters and soup kitchens and support of local charities and charitable initiative, as well as short-term foreign and domestic mission trips.
The ORION (Orthodox Recognition) Awards: An event honoring the arts to showcase talents of young adults by celebrating the talents of local Orthodox Christians, utilizing the creative arts as a medium to show how God is active in all aspects of life.
The Metropolis will also partner with business leaders to offer professional mentoring through a Speed Networking medium. Young adult retreats will continue to be held at the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in New Hampshire as ongoing periods of renewal and fellowship.
The culmination of the first year of this initiative was the Metropolis Laity Awards Dinner in June 2013 that focused exclusively on the Leadership 100 Emerging Leaders grant. His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios challenged the 850 attendees to actively engage these emerging leaders to build Church leadership.
“Metropolitan Methodios issued an encyclical to all clergy and parish councils in August 2013 that requested all communities to initiate a strategic effort in engaging young adults to become members of the parish councils and to mentor them into leadership positions,” according to the Rev. Fr. Theodore J. Barbas, Chancellor of the Metropolis. “His Eminence has also appointed several young adults to the Metropolis Council,” he said.
The Metropolis will convene a seminar early in 2015 to review current best practices in engaging young adults as leaders; to review the Metropolis of Boston Emerging Leaders Ministry model; and to compile these initiatives into a model that can be replicated throughout the Archdiocese to engage our young adult community and contemporary professionals through REAL Ministries.