Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Opportunities

I've been revisiting some thoughts in the last few minutes, particularly based on something that the Missions and Evangelism Office of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America have going. One of their aims is to establish missions in cities of over 100,000 people that do not have any Orthodox church of any jurisdiction.

If we were to change that slightly, to 'any Orthodox church that is liturgically Anglophonic', we'd find a lot of cities that were completely without:
3. Brisbane. With 1.8 million people, there is no Orthodox church that uses English as a standard liturgic language. The closest anglophonic parish is on the Gold Coast.
5. Adelaide. 1.1 million people, and I'm just as amazed as I am with Brisbane's lack. The closest is a monastery at Monarto North.
9. Wollongong. 280 thousand, with about three churches, all using a non-English language as the primary liturgic language.
10. Sunshine Coast. 230 thousand, and a monthly service.
12. Geelong. 169 thousand, and a monthly service.
13. Townsville. 157 thousand, one church.
14. Cairns. 135 thousand, one church.
15. Toowoomba. 123 thousand, bimonthly services.
16. Darwin. 117 thousand, two churches.
18. Albury-Wodonga. 101 thousand, one church.

That's 10 cities, all over 100,000 people, with the vast majority of their respective populations being essentially excluded from the Church. Probably done entirely by accident and possibly unavoidable, but the effect is the same regardless of the motivation.

There's a lot of work to be done.

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