February 25, 2020

Faculty and Students Attend Conference on Missions and Evangelism

HCHC was well represented at the National Conference on Missions and Evangelism held February 3-5, 2020, at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio. The theme of the conference, which was made possible by a grant from Leadership 100, was “Leading Change Toward a Healthier Parish.” Fr. Jim Kordaris (MDiv 1999), the Director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Stewardship, Outreach, and Evangelism, worked with Fr. Luke Veronis (MDiv 1992) and the Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity at HCHC and an ad hoc Missions and Evangelism Committee to organize the conference. Fr. Veronis is Director of the Institute and teaches at both Hellenic College and Holy Cross. Several of the featured speakers are also graduates of Holy Cross: Fr. Evan Armatas (MDiv 2002), Fr. Theodore Dorrance (MDiv 1990), and Fr. Aris Metrakos (MDiv 1989).

Dr. Bruce Beck, Assistant Professor of New Testament at both Hellenic College and Holy Cross and HCHC’s Director of Enrollment Management, also attended the conference and said, “The conference formed an amazing community of Orthodox ordained and lay leaders and learners who shared a common desire to learn from each other how to develop healthier parishes in America. I was thankful that so many of our students and alumni were able to take advantage of this opportunity, and I thank Fr. Luke Veronis as one of the organizers of this event, at which our school was so well represented.”

Several of the students accompanying Fr. Veronis and Dr. Beck to the conference are in the final semester of the Master of Divinity program at Holy Cross and found the experience especially valuable as they contemplate the next chapter in their lives. “Attending the conference has been one of the highlights of my last semester here at Holy Cross,” said Niki Marshall Mott. “Now I not only feel equipped to work, but also supported and connected to this larger Orthodox Christian family.” Anthony Cornett concurred: “It was a wonderful experience, a great opportunity to get a feel for common and unique struggles for parishes throughout the US. I feel like I have been sent home with a set of invaluable resources that can guide me in my future ministry.” Dan Wright was equally appreciative. “Offering a balance of abstract principles and concrete narratives, the presentations inspired and challenged everyone to think creatively about implementing positive changes in our parishes.”

“The conference built upon the “Speaking to Secular America” conference we held at HCHC in 2015 and the first National Conference on Missions and Evangelism, “Bringing Orthodoxy to America,” in Beaverton, Oregon in 2018,” Fr. Veronis explained. “It’s always refreshing to gather together with clergy and laity who are passionate about how to present the treasure of our Orthodox Christian faith to the world around us. This begins by our leaders having the proper vision of getting our own people in the Church to understand what the Good News of Christ is all about, and living our lives according to His ways.”