“Lord God instructed the church to fulfill the mission of preaching the good news, that is,
evangelization. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as an integral part of the Ecumenical Church also participates in the mission,” said the head of the UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav, in his introductory address at a press conference at UNIAN on October 5, 2011, as he talked about the strategy for developing the UGCC for the period until 2020.
According to the hierarch, to fulfill the mission of the church, the bishops decided to define the strategy of activity of the church for the coming years as clearly as possible. To simplify the
implementation of the project and to better monitor its course, period of ten years was determined.
“The parish, led by the local bishop who is the symbol of unity within it, is the main component of the process of evangelization. For it is in the parish that the believers usually have their first encounters with Christ either through the Liturgy on Sunday or through a baptism, wedding or funeral,” said the head of UGCC as he talked about the rational of the strategy, namely, the living parish.
“The development of the parish community shouldbe our priority. By fosterin and reviving communities we foster and vivify the whole Church,” stressed Patriarch Sviatoslav.
The Synod of Bishops, according to the patriarch, decided to concentrate the efforts of the whole church on developing the living parish, which is “the best means to achieve the goals of
evangelization.” “The living and open parish will bring closer to Christ both those who practice the faith regularly and those who do so seldom (on Christmas and Easter) or do not do so at all,” explained Patriarch Sviatoslav.
UGCC’s Strategy for Development for the next ten years includes the following components of a living parish:
Leadership – the priest, religious and laity working together, building a parish as a meeting place with the living Christ.
Liturgy – the faithful pray to God and grow in His grace.
Catechesis – the faithful obtain knowledge about their faith and Church.
Koinonia – the faithful build the community.
Diaconia – the faithful go beyond the parish to serve others.
Missiology – the faithful evangelize to others, inviting them to life in Christ.
Only once each of these components is reached and implemented, says His Beatitude Sviatoslav, will the UGCC strategy for development be realized.
The Synod of Bishops, which took place in Brazil on September 5-11, approved a Strategy for Developing the UGCC for the period until 2020. At last year’s synod, held in 2010 in Lviv, a working group was created to formulate a vision for the UGCC for the next ten years. This group includes bishops, who were authorized on behalf of the synod to present a vision of the UGCC. Thus another group was created that has developed the appropriate mechanisms to achieve thisgoal.
In light of the accepted strategy, the hierarchy and pastors will focus their attention on the practicing members of the church (to further involve them in the mission of the church) and on those who for various reasons have moved away from the church or who have yet to have the occasion to know Jesus Christ.
To implement the adopted strategy, the Synod of Bishops appointed a working group for its implementation, headed by Bishop Ken (Novakovskyi), Eparch of New
Westminster. And each diocesan bishop in his diocese will appoint in his
eparchy/exarchate a person who will join the working group and coordinate the implementation of the UGCC strategy in the diocese.
UGCC Information Department