We are Conciliar
The Priest is head of the Parish, and is charged with the guidance of the total Parish program. The parish council consists of the Priest, and the elected lay members, and is referred to as a board only when so required by local statute. In internal matters of the Church, we always use the designation of Parish Council . This is because one of the identifying traits of the Orthodox Church is that we are conciliar – decisions are made in council.
To refer to the Parish Council as “The Board” is a symptom of our inclination to apply the corporate paradigm to the operation of the Church. Although some tools used in corporate life may also be useful in the operation of the Church, the corporate paradigm falls short and reduces the local church to something less than she was meant to be.
A Commitment to Serve
In the Oath of Office, the parish council members affirm that they “…will fulfill faithfully and sincerely the duties and obligations required of a member of the Parish Council….” No contract is signed, but a promise is made which rests on the shared commitment of all council members to serve the Church, which is the Body of Christ on earth. We are His hands, feet, eyes and more. To serve on the council is a ministry and a mission. We are called to use the gifts with which we have been blessed to carry out the work of the Church.
Office of the Chancellor