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A Parish Council is a body of practicing Orthodox Christians sacramentally in good standing with the Church, elected by the members of a parish for the purpose of working together with the priest in fulfilling the goals and needs of that parish. This brief description of a local governing body also describes the fundamental structure of the Orthodox Church. That the clergy and laity together are the "People of God," seeking, to the best of their human capabilities, to fulfill the mission entrusted to them by our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Parish Council is a sacred office that requires total love, loyalty and dedication to our Holy Orthodox Church. A Parish Council member is an official representative of the Church, and as such is expected to exert every effort to exemplify its sacred character and spirit. Upon being elected to this trusted office one assumes three basic obligations which will help guide them in making the many decisions and policies that will be their responsibility in the months to follow.
These obligations are
1. To know and uphold the sacred tenets of Holy Scripture and the teachings and traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church;
2. To know and abide by the uniform parish regulations as set forth by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America through its biennial Clergy-Laity Congresses.
3. To live by and uphold the oath of office by utilizing the God-given talents and energies for the spiritual progress and advancement of the parish.
This is attested to publicly before the congregation of the parish with the following oath of office as administered by the parish priest and to which the elected members affix their signature:
"I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will uphold the dogma, teaching, traditions, holy canons, worship and moral principles of the Greek Orthodox Church, as well as the constitutional charter, discipline, and regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and that I will faithfully and sincerely fulfill the duties and obligations required of me as a member of the Parish Council. So help me God."
The role that is played as a member of Parish Council is best understood, however, when the parish is viewed as one part of the total structure of the overall Church. Misunderstandings can occur when the Church is looked upon purely from a local or parochial point of view. To be sure, the needs of the local parish are the most immediate concern of the parish council, but to see only this, and fail to comprehend the role of the parish in the overall life and structure of the Church is like one family member showing no interest in or responsibility for the problems and needs of other members of the family.
Without a basic understanding that the Church is the Body of Christ, the parish can easily be reduced to an organizational center or administrative structure instead of the holy and divine institution which sets it apart from all other organizations and bodies in society.
For more information contact the cathedral office 713-526-5377 ext. 260.
Parish Council Committees
Budget and Finance
Endowments and Special Gifts
Buildings, Grounds and Maintenance
Liturgical and Ushering
Internet Ministry and Communications
Greek Festival Governing Board
Annunciation Orthodox School