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For Immediate Release

Metropolis of Chicago Completes First Phase of Strategic Planning Initiative Designed to Support and Grow Parishes over the Long-Term
Identity, purpose and guiding principles articulated after three-day retreat

CHICAGO, November 19, 2018 – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago today announced the adoption of a Mission, Vision, Core Values and “Why Statement” resulting from a Strategic Planning Retreat conducted November 2 – 4. Together, these elements will serve as a foundation for improving the vitality and nurturing the growth of parishes.

The three-day retreat, held at Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, brought together 86 diverse volunteers from throughout the Metropolis who held intensive discussions around the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) as submitted by the faithful from throughout the Metropolis over the summer months.

“This retreat allowed us to clearly articulate and embrace who we are and what we stand for as Orthodox Christians of the Chicago Metropolis,” His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael said. “By continuing to receive and share unconditional love, mercy, healing and peace, as we are called to do by our Lord Jesus Christ, our Metropolis will achieve its most aspirational goals.”

With the conclusion of the November retreat, focus now shifts to goal development in Phase II, where volunteers have begun forming task forces around 10 strategic areas of focus. These include: 1) Clergy Development & Support; 2) Communications, Technology & Innovation; 3) Religious Education & Literacy; 4) Lay Leadership Development; 5) Life Cycle Ministries; 6) Metropolis Administration & Best Practices; 7) Stewardship; 8) Welcoming, Outreach & Evangelism; 9) Worship Engagement & Accessibility and 10) Youth & Emerging Adults.

“It’s been said that whoever has a ‘why’ to live for can overcome almost any ‘how’. As long our Christ-centered volunteers possess this spirit, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we cannot fail.” His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael said.

His Eminence also thanked Bill Marianes, the Strategic Planning Facilitator, who donated time, talent and expense for the entire process of Strategic Planning Initiative. A retired attorney and member of the Atlanta Metropolis, Mr. Marianes has been supporting other Orthodox jurisdictions across the nation with similar strategic planning initiatives.

Between November and the second Strategic Planning Retreat in May, the 10 task forces will determine the most critical strategic goals and develop corresponding implementation plans. Thereafter, a Strategic Plan will be finalized and officially presented at the Metropolis Clergy Laity Assembly in 2019.

Parishioners of the Metropolis interested in participating in a Strategic Area of Focus Task Force should register here. Additionally, the consensus SWOT, Statement of Why, Core Values, Mission and Vision of the Metropolis can be reviewed here.

About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago

Tracing its roots back to 1923, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the diocese of Greek Orthodox faithful in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, as well as northern Indiana and southeastern Missouri and consists of 58 parishes and two monastic communities. The Metropolis is one of nine regions in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. For more information, visit To sign up for news from the Metropolis, visit

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Chris Varones