Our ministry has two primary purposes:
1. Provide educational opportunities for our faithful to continue in their growth in the faith.
2. Educate those outside of the Orthodox Church that are searching or desiring to learn more about the Orthodox Church.
We accomplish these goals through a series of educational gatherings that may be done in person or virtually. We use book studies as one method for achieving this while other sessions utilize lectures and guided discussions.
In addition to these classes, the clergy of the parish meet with individuals and small groups to help them as they journey to the Orthodox Church.
It should be noted that almost every ministry of the parish has some component of Christian education as an essential element.
The purpose of the St. George Bookstore is to make available, religious educational materials to our parish and the general public in an effort to promote the Orthodox Faith. We have served our St. George family and guests for the past 24 years. We offer an expanded assortment of icons, books, religious gifts for baptisms, weddings, birthdays, Christmas, Pascha, special occasions as well as items for personal use.
Our dedicated staff currently includes Mary Lou Chelovitz , Nancy Chobany , Yana Dumbauld, David Egly, Elise Sumner, Beth Flaris and Diane Koers. We work on a rotational basis, two at a time after Liturgy every Sunday, during or after retreats, group tours and upon special request. During the festival, we operate from open to close. Others are welcome to join the team as the need arises.
Building & Maintenance
We have been blessed with a beautiful campus that is offered to the glory of God. With multiple buildings and acres of grounds, there is a constant need for attention, maintenance and upkeep. Our ministry oversees the upkeep and seeks to look towards the future and moving to phase two and three of the master plan.
Integral to the liturgical life at St George Orthodox Church is the art of Byzantine chant. Our chanters help facilitate the prayers of the liturgical services which is very evident in the weekly services of Vespers and Orthros as well as many feast days and saints’ days.
Our mission is to continue Christ’s mission of love and mercy on this earth. Our goal is to transform hurt into hope, therefore, we offer many activities throughout the year. To support our goal, we sponsor:
• Food Drives
• Blood Drives
• School Supply Drive
• Diaper Drive
• Coat Drive
• Bring Awareness to Human Trafficking by supporting Ascent 121
• Christmas Giving Tree
• Benefits for IOCC-International Orthodox Christian Charities
• Events for Local Charitable Organizations, Local Shelters, Christian Peacemakers
In addition, on behalf of the parish we:
• Maintain an Emergency Food Pantry
• Support Children in Lebanon through the Archdiocese Children’s Relief Fund
• Participate as part of Fisher’s Community for Compassion
• Serve as a designated safe place for individuals seeking first aid in mental health or abuse
• The church hall is a designated as a Tornado-Proof Shelter
The choir provides an added layer to services by singing the usual hymns and any special hymns that can be learned. The choir impacts the liturgical life of the parish and God-willing serves to assist us in our prayer life.
We welcome anyone who can sing, is willing to commit to attending rehearsal, and wants to be part of this ongoing ministry. We do ask for a commitment as having consistent members help with services and rehearsals is a necessity. We meet every Sunday morning at 9:00 to practice and try to have rehearsals twice a month on the second and fourth Saturdays.
The St. George Orthodox Church School serves a key role in educating the students of St. George in our catechism. We engage the very youngest (pre-School) parishioners, all the way up to the high School Seniors. Church School is actively working on becoming a whole-family program; working to engage parents in the lessons at the same time as their children. Parent participation is crucial in a partnership of providing Christian Education. Additionally, we are working to expand the education services we offer (The Relationship Project) so that we are as relevant and timely as possible.
In a typical year, Church School meets every Sunday after the Divine Liturgy, for about half an hour. We meet from September-May, with breaks for Holidays. We also typically meet for one or two retreat-style events throughout the year and like to present a Nativity Pageant during December.
This year, we are testing the waters with our virtual approach. This includes a weekly
e-Newsletter that contains links to that week’s lesson. Additionally, we are mailing packets once a month with supplementary information to each registered family.
Some other activities that the Church School students and teachers participate in throughout the year include the student-led Camp-Style Liturgies. We encourage Teen participation during Teen Month (October). We support our Creative Festival participants and support study groups for Bible Bowl style events. We prepare 2nd and 3rd graders for their First Confession on an every-other-year basis.
We welcome Feedback, suggestions, Ideas, and guidance from the entire parish. We welcome hands-on volunteers and support for Creative Arts projects, weekly lessons and projects. We welcome volunteers at our Good Friday student retreat and ideas and support for other supplemental endeavors. Most importantly, we encourage at-home support and discussion from all the families help our students engage in this important curriculum.
The St. George Middle Eastern Festival started 27 years ago at our old church on 4020 North Sherman Drive. It originally started as a smorgasbord where the neighbors and community members came and enjoyed a home cooked meal that was prepared by our St. George Ladies with the help of the St. George Men (Knights). In 1995, the smorgasbord was converted to a festival with food, live music, dancing, shops, pastries, and church tours.
The purpose of the St. George Middle Eastern Festival is to celebrate our Faith, Heritage, and Cultural diversity among our parish. It gives our church and the congregation an opportunity to connect with the community and with each other. The festival also provides an opportunity for our church to raise funds to pay a portion of our mortgage each year.
The festival is usually scheduled on the 3rd weekend of September. It starts on Friday afternoon and ends in the late afternoon of Sunday. Our festival attracts approximately 7,000 visitors.
The festival has food booths, featuring foods like falafel, kibbe, hummus, gyros, kabab, lamb shank, honey balls and other sweets from the Middle East. The festival also has a live band, dancers, vendors, and church tours.
The festival offers opportunities for local businesses to offer sponsorships and to have vendor booths. In addition to the local community getting involved through sponsorships, advertising and vendor booths, the festival preparation and execution requires a coordinated effort of hundreds of volunteers to ensure its success. Our internal and external sponsors play a major role in the festival success as well.
The festival is open to all in the community with no entrance fee.
Knights of St George (Men’s Ministry)
Vision: The Knights of St George Christian Orthodox Church of Indianapolis is a ministry of all men of St George parish with the purpose of inspiring us, first and foremost as Orthodox Christian men, to walk the path of salvation through Christ’s Holy Church.
Mission: With the Trinity as our guide, we look to transform our lives and the parish of St George Church using three pillars of Church life: spiritual, service, and social.
These three pillars address different facets of our lives and the life of the parish:
- Spiritual – Strengthening our spiritual lives through:
- Participation in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church
- Reading and Discussions on scripture, aspects of the Orthodox Faith, etc.
- Trips to monasteries and Mission Work
- Mentoring our new brothers in Christ
- Service –Servant leadership for the parish and surrounding community.
- Social – Providing opportunities to have fellowship with one another and for the parish as a whole
Knights of St George Potential Activities
- Discussion at each meeting
- Readings that the men do in advance of meetings and then discuss at monthly meeting.
- Trips to monasteries
- Trips to do mission work
- Mentoring new brothers in Christ
- Movie and discussion
- Encourage participation in liturgical services, fasting, prayer, reading lives of the saints
- Teaching and learning Byzantine Chant
- Encourage participation in other ministries of the parish
- Complete the Meditation Trail
- Lending Library – sort through books and revive
- Adopt a park or public space in Fishers (to keep clean, landscape, etc.)
- Host community events as a public service (i.e. pet adoption drive)
- Host a “Feed the 5K” fun-run, with proceeds going to local food pantries
- Host other events open to public (Food Truck night, farmers market, etc.)
- Volunteering at soup kitchens, food pantries, etc.
- Lead clean-up days and special work days at church
- Falafel night
- Chili Cook-offs
- Family Cookout
- Host parish picnic
- Going to restaurants together
- Watch ball games together at church
- Attend sporting events as a group
- Host bike rides
- Host Parish Family Nights
Ladies of St George
Mission: To provide support to our parish as a whole and to individual parishioners as needed through our various ministries and fundraisers; to grow and strengthen connections among the women of St. George.
- Caregivers: This ministry provides outreach to parish shut-ins, those who are ill, and/or those in need. At Christmas and at Pascha, the Ladies put together gift packages for parish shut-ins; included are handmade cards from parish children, organized by the Ladies. The Caregivers provide meals, transportation, groceries, medicines and any other basic needs that a parishioner is lacking. Ministry team members have been called upon to use their professional training to advocate on behalf of parishioners and serve as a liaison between parishioners and their schools, hospitals, long term facilities, and government agencies. Caregivers provide an assessment of needs, help organize finances, connect parishioners with resources, and conduct research on their behalf. The Ladies are often called upon to “love bomb” a parishioner with caring cards and notes. Most of all, members of the Caregivers Ministry provide emotional support for parishioners, often calling, texting, messaging, and emailing with parishioners on a daily basis.
- College Outreach: This ministry provides outreach to parish college students and members of the military during a time when they often find themselves adrift, and sometimes, far from home and church. At least twice a year, care packages are sent out to students with both fun and useful items. The Ladies will also pitch-in to write cards to be sent to parish students to remind them they are still very much a part of the parish.
- Food Pantry: The Ladies oversee the parish food pantry, stocking it after the Charity Ministry Food Drive and maintaining it throughout the year. The Food Pantry works in conjunction with the Caregivers Ministry to provide non-perishable foods and basic hygiene products to parishioners. The Food Pantry is also available to anyone from the community.
III. Little Free Library: This is a new ministry, still in its formation stages. At this time, an actual small structure is being constructed that will serve as a Little Free Library, installed in honor of Kh. Elaine Hanna and Fr. Nabil Hanna. This ministry will work to collect and manage the rotation of books maintained in the library. The team will also maintain the structure.
- Mercy Meals: This ministry provides a meal for family and friends to be served after the funeral of a parishioner. The team prepares and serves the meal, as well as cleans up after.
- Religious Education: This ministry provides resources for the Ladies to continue with their path of spiritual growth. Included in this ministry is the Ladies’ Book Group, which chooses 2-3 books per year to read and discuss, most dealing with an Orthodox Christian topic. There is also a Devotions Group which meets weekly, reading more in-depth Orthodox topics, particularly dealing with the Orthodox Study Bible. Another part of this ministry is the Ladies’ study of female saints. At each meeting, the Ladies will briefly learn about one of our Orthodox saints. The Ladies have sponsored showing the movie, Love to the End: A Documentary of Mother Maria of Paris as an extension of their study of female saints. Another aspect of the Religious Education Ministry is co-hosting the Lenten Retreat with Holy Trinity Cathedral each year.
- Young Ladies Mentoring: This ministry provides support to the young ladies of our parish, specifically to girls ages 10-18. By inviting young ladies to join in various activities such as tea parties, dinner gatherings, bonfires, etc., the Ladies are bridging the age gap and offering supportive guidance. This ministry is designed so our young ladies have loving, Orthodox Christian role models to turn to when they need someone to talk to, when they need reassurance, advice or just a hug. The Ladies of St. George also provide support to the Midwest Antiochian Women by keeping up on yearly dues and participating in the fall and spring meetings. The Ladies also support the North American Board of Antiochian Women by keeping up on yearly dues, following NAB protocols, and participating in the yearly NAB Project. As funds have allowed, the Ladies have supported parishioners outside of our ministries. We have provided gifts for over-worked teachers, contributed to the fund for building the Meditation Trail, contributed to funding the iconography for the church, and provided funds for various improvement projects in the church. When called to help a parishioner for a particular need, the Ladies pull together to provide whatever is needed and the Ladies always support any parish drives, such as the annual food drive, coat drive, and school supply drive.
The St. George Missions Ministry is an organization within St. George that looks to act upon Christ’s directive to go forth and spread God’s love through mission work. We focus on organizing mission trips every other year to our brethren in Alaska but are open to other mission opportunities and supporting mission work by other Orthodox organizations. The Mission Ministry is open to anyone who wishes to pursue or support mission work. We have previously organized six mission trips to Kodiak, Alaska where we focus on fellowship with the faithful in the cradle of Orthodoxy in America and assist them with maintenance and construction work needed to facilities due to the harsh environment there. The trips are always a good mix of work, faith building, and fun. We have also previously conducted a trip to Evansville to assist our sister parish there with construction on a new church they were renovating.
The Parish Council is an elected group of faithful members of the parish that co-minister in harmony with the clergy for the administration of the parish life. They serve individually, if not chair, many of the ministries listed here. They also spearhead the temporal maintenance of the facilities and ministries of the parish. They serve three-year terms and elected at our annual parish meeting in May.
This ministry is focused on engaging the parish and parishioners to provide their support as good stewards of Christ’s Holy Church through their giving of their time, talent and treasure. The Stewardship Ministry Team launches the annual campaign in late fall for the annual pledges for our operating budget. They are also addressing long-term giving through a bequest program in which people can remember the parish with a gift set aside in their wills.
The Society of Orthodox Youth Organizations (SOYO) is the youth movement of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America. SOYO was founded in 1969 and since then the movement has worked to help teens in the church live the Orthodox faith daily through the organization’s four pillars of worship, witness, service, and fellowship. Our Teen SOYO has incorporated these pillars into our activities by participating in many service projects, church services, and fellowship activities. Some members of our Teen SOYO have also had the opportunity to attend diocesan conferences to meet other members of Teen SOYO from the Midwest Diocese. Diocesan events are a great way for teens to interact with and meet other Orthodox teens to strengthen their network of peers in the church. Teen SOYO strives to help teens get involved in the life of the church and build effective habits that will last throughout their lives.
Welcoming Ministry (Ushers & Welcoming Team)
The Welcoming Ministry is the first line of communication to our parishioners and visitors. The
impression visitors receive from our ministry goes a long way toward becoming a member of our Orthodox faith.
The purpose of our ministry is to greet and welcome all parishioners and guests and to maintain an orderly and prayerful environment for all.
During COVID-19 – Hold the doors open for people entering and exiting church, take temperatures, check off names of all entering church (for contact tracing), insure that everyone is wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.
Offer assistance to all those in need, answer questions, pass out weekly bulletins and other
information, hand out candles and maintain the candle stand, usher individuals or families to
available seating in the Temple and downstairs social hall, release rows for communion and at the end of services, maintain the church pamphlet rack, maintain the “New Members and faces” photo bulletin board, send thank you letters to all visitors signing our guestbook, hosting “New Members and Faces” yearly luncheon, etc.
Presently we are operating with eleven ushers, Hala Bannourah, Riyad Bannourah, Susie Baranyk, Samir Kanazeh, Patrick Koers, Candace Livingston, David Livingston, Veronica Minnefield, Oussama Nahas, Hani Sharaya, and David Sumner. We welcome others to join our ministry.
Young Adults Ministry
The mission of the Young Adult Ministry is to bring together adults in their 20s and 30s through
worship, spiritual renewal and education, service, and fellowship. Some of the activities have included book studies, retreats and workshops, as well as visits to sites in the area for recreation and fellowship. We meet regularly on the second Saturday of every month and have additional gatherings, depending on the season.