About the Strategic Plan

Beloved in Christ,

Holy Scripture teaches us that “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) It is in that spirit, that I am pleased to present to you a new and exciting vision for our Holy Annunciation Cathedral.

For almost a year, a dedicated group of faithful that reflect the great and rich diversity of our Parish have diligently worked together to identify such a vision. It is a vision that reflects on our significant challenges, and yet is motivated by our great and holy opportunities to serve our Lord in his vineyard here in the Atlanta metro area.

After a wonderful and enormous effort, we are honored to present this Strategic Plan to you. It’s primary focus and purpose is to strengthen our Parish and parishioners. We have fully researched and identified a comprehensive step-by-step process and action plan to achieve 12 very critical and strategic goals. We have also recruited an incredibly capable team from throughout our Parish to achieve these important goals.

The only thing missing is you. We need you to familiarize yourself with this great work and identify what interests you most. We humbly ask you to prayerfully discern where God has called you to serve and how you can help us create a Parish that is “a welcoming and inspiring community of God so that we experience Christ’s love with all seeking eternal life.”

We need you to help us grow our Parish and make disciples as we all grow together in Christ. It is to this holy work that we ask you to join us.

The future of the Annunciation Cathedral depends on how diligently we achieve this Strategic Plan as stewards of God’s many blessings. We truly look forward to sharing this journey of faith and fulfillment with you!

With Love in Christ,

Rev. Fr. Paul A. Kaplanis Rev. Fr. Christos P. Mars

Dean Presbyter

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation is to live, celebrate and teach the Orthodox Christian Faith as a loving, welcoming and understanding community serving others as Disciples of Jesus Christ.

Core Values

Carefully analyzing the behaviors we wanted to model in our Cathedral Parish Family we concluded that to drive our culture and priorities, and provide a framework for decision-making, we will embrace the following shared CORE VALUES:

  1. Christ-Centered

  2. Loving and Welcoming Community

  3. Education

  4. Committed Stewards

  5. Service Oriented

Vision Statement

In determining what we hoped to accomplish and where we were going, we developed a dynamic and inspirational VISION that proclaims that:

In 4 years, we will be better DISCIPLES through:


Infrastructure, Operations and Physical Plant



Inonnative Technology

Prayer and engagement in Church Services and Experience

Lifelong Learning

Engaging our Youth

Service-oriented Partnerships

To address our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, (SWAT) stay true to our Mission and Core Values, and pursue our Vision, we identified 12 Strategic Goals and the detailed action plans to achieve them. To assist in achieving the Goals and to oversee the Goal Captains, three Strategic Plan Chairpersons were selected. Each one is assigned to oversee four Goal Captains.

1.1. Campus Improvement, Accessibility, Athletic & Storage Facility Improvements


Improve Accessibility, Athletic & Storage Facilities 


• Form a task force 

• Assess needs 

• Create surveys and focus groups 

• Get feedback 

• Review existing plans 

• Identify improvements 

• Create criteria, prioritize AAS Projects

• Research costs, create plan for all projects, prioritized, costed, timelines 

• Obtain Parish Council, General Assembly and other required approvals 

• Work with Parish Council to obtain funds, design and build 

• Work with Parish Council, as necessary, to design and complete projects 

•Supervise completion of projects 


There is a strong need to update, maintain, and make our campus easy to navigate, A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant and improve our athletic and storage facilities. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: George Katsoudas (770-926-4304) and Mike Galifianakis (770-491-1034) 

 2.1. Welcoming & Newcomers Ministries


Develop and implement a Welcoming and Newcomers Ministry 


• Form task force 

• Research best practices 

• Develop data collection method 

• Collect data 

• Compile data, merge with current methods

• Create our best practices 

• Recruit/Train Welcoming and Newcomer Team 

• Implement plan 

• Review and assess every six months 


There is a strong need to improve our ability to welcome visitors and future congregation members and better serve our newcomers. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: Despina Lamas (678-641-8100) or Savannah Lawandales (678-468-2223) 

2.2. Worship & Sacramental Engagement


Develop and implement a plan and process that will engage parishioners of all ages in an accessible and fulfilling Worship and 

Sacramental experience. 


• Research best practices, church experience and engagement and determine metrics to collect and analyze 

• Develop new data collection tools that will be used to capture church worship and church experience engagement barriers and opportunities 

• Compile research and data collected and identify best practices in worship and church experience engagement to be implemented 

• Obtain any approvals needed to fully implement the action plans 

• Develop a timeline to address list of worship and church experience barriers and opportunities 

• Implement Worship and Church Experience Plan action plans 


Parishioners need encouragement to stay focused and engaged so they can worship and grow spiritually closer to God and our Orthodox Faith. 

Goal Captains are needed. Please contact Christine Vallianatos if you would like to be the Goal Captain

3.1. Communication & Technology Platform


Create and implement an enhanced communications process plan and technology platform that will enable all parishioners to have online access to our Parish services, ministries and other resources, information, tools and materials. 


• Research most effective church communications and technology resources, software, tools and best practices used to connect and communicate with parishioners and stakeholders 

• Research and identify the capabilities and gaps of our existing software, website and other communication channels 

• Research and identify potential alternative technology solutions enabling broadcast and dissemination of church services and creation of a communications hub 

• Obtain any approvals and establish a process for proper operation and use of all communications and technology solutions 

• Implement the Communication & Technology Plan 

• Conduct parishioner surveys and evaluations to ensure that all elements are the most effective best practices available and ensure achievement of the set targets 


Share information in order to keep parishioners connected and informed while improving daily processes, driving efficiency, and eliminating confusion. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: George Koulouris (678-357-4686), Greg Koutrelakos (404-626-5176) or Stephen Chininis (678-982-4944) 

4.1. Adult Religious Education


Develop and implement an Adult Sunday Education program to build a deeper understanding of Orthodoxy, the Church and the Bible 


• Form an engaged team that passionately wants to make a difference in our spiritual growth and journey 

• Conduct survey to gain community input on most desired religious education and spirituality topics 

• Research best in class Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christian adult religious education programs 

• Review and assess all submitted materials, including community survey data 

• Create a comprehensive Adult Religious Education curriculum 

• Establish online, video and alternative platforms for delivery of Adult Religious Education program 

• Promote Adult Religious Education program 


There is a strong interest and need to create a program for adult Orthodox Christians to learn more about their faith and how to live their faith on a daily basis. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: Maria Chininis (678-481-5541) or Golfo Pappas (770-789-1353)

4.2. Youth Religious Education


Determine applicable metrics needed to design and implement an effective Sunday School curriculum. 


• Conduct research on how to measure religious education programs and materials 

• Establish methods and procedures to test the effectiveness of the religious education programs 

• Research and survey other successful churches to determine best in class materials, content, programs and delivery options 

• Analyze and categorize researched material by topic, effective content and alternative delivery methods 

• Recruit and train teachers 

• Roll out Youth Religious Education Program 

• Establish and implement alternative delivery methods 

• Conduct semi-annual reviews, evaluations and updates of materials 


Increase the knowledge of the Orthodox youth regarding the liturgy, beliefs, doctrines, and rituals of the Orthodox Faith while providing them tools to make informed decisions concerning everyday life and assisting their relationship with God. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: Scott Davenport (404-734-0975) or Connie Mondore (770-365-2488) 

5.1. Orthodox Servant Leadership Program


Develop an effective Orthodox Servant Leadership Training and Development Program for all Parish leaders. 


• Form an engaged team that passionately wants to make a difference in this area, which will ultimately prepare and secure our Churches future 

• Research and identify best-practice Church Leadership and Training Programs 

• Conduct interviews with current Parish leaders to discuss their skills, experiences and what they believe would improve their performance 

• Identify and interview youth and other adults who show leadership potential and assess key developmental areas needed by them for future leadership positions 

• Develop a Leadership Training Program for all current and future Church leaders: Ministry leaders, Parish Council members, and Youth leaders 

• Implement a regularly scheduled Leadership Training Program 


To develop and enable the leadership and management skills of our valuable volunteers, especially those parishioners who manage key programs, ministries, and initiatives - today and into the future. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captain.

Goal Captain: Christine Seymour (678-230-7897) 

5.2. Leadership Management & Operations: Operational Excellence


Improve the processes and workflows by creating and implementing an Operational Excellence Program 


• Using operational excellence best practices, create and implement our own Operational Improvement Plan 

• Form an engaged team that passionately wants to make a difference in this area, which will ultimately prepare and secure our Churches future 

• Review existing documentation of current operations and management processes of ministries and key operations 

• Research best practices 

• Survey community opinions on efficiency and effectiveness of current operating performance 

• Identify and interview all key (non-clergy) employees, staff, and volunteers 

• Create Operations Improvement Plan - include recommendations for tools, checklists, documentation that will move tribal knowledge to a systematic management platform 

• Submit draft Operations Improvement Plan for Parish Council approval and work with Parish Council for consensus for final Operations Improvement Plan 

• Implement final Operations Improvement Plan with regular reporting of KPIs (dashboard to share with parish) 

• Annually assess Operational Improvement Plans against actual experience and evolving best practices and make necessary adjustments and improvements 


To sustain and improve the operating workflows, structures and knowledge transfer, we must assess processes, adjust to evolving best practices, and review our performance metrics 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captain.

Goal Captain: Christine Seymour (678-230-7897) 

6.1. Small Groups


A regular, intimate gathering of small groups of parishioners, outside of Church walls. Fostering fellowship, faith, and friendships while engaging with Scripture, Orthodoxy and current topics in a relaxed atmosphere close to home. 


• Form an engaged team that passionately wants to develop this interactive ministry 

• Research to find best-practice for small group programs, including site visits and interviews of those who have successfully implemented this ministry 

• Conduct surveys to gain community input on topics, frequencyand logistics 

• Develop small groups program 

• Recruit and train group leaders 

• Recruit parishioners to participate in at least 5 small groups 

• Conduct test pilot of at least 5 small groups 


In order to enhance our Sunday experience to be more welcoming and to increase fellowship, participation and intimacy with Christ. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: Joshua Boyd (352-540-5241) or Diane Davis (404-680-6721) 

6.2. Life Stages Ministries


Develop and implement a series of ministries for parishioners throughout different stages of life who are connected by age, generation or other common factor (singles, married couples, families, youth, college students, seniors, etc.). 


• Conduct research on how to measure and test the effectiveness of our existing Life Stage Ministries 

• Research and survey other successful programs and identify the effectiveness of each 

• Analyze and assess existing programs with researched programs and identify gaps (Gap Analysis) 

• Develop new programs or revise existing programs based on Gap Analysis 

• Roll out different Ministries 

• Review and evaluate programs for updates


There is a need to build a strong sense of community, aid in spiritual growth and offer resources by enabling parishioners to participate with a group of people who have similar interests or are currently in the same stage of life. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: Michael Lignos (770-962-7220) or Harry Katapodis (404-281-7271) 

7.1. Philanthropy, Outreach and Evangelism


Establish a vibrant Philanthropic, Outreach and Evangelism Ministry 


• Form an engaged team that passionately wants to make a difference 

• Review and evaluate current Cathedral philanthropic programs 

• Plan, develop and execute one re-occurring significant Philanthropic program 

• Plan, develop and execute one Parish Philanthropic event every four months 

• Leverage partnerships with other non-profits, Christian and Orthodox organizations to implement programs that reach outside the walls of our Cathedral 


The Philanthropic, Outreach, Evangelism Team invites parishioners to experience and share Christ's love by taking part in opportunities to help the growth of our Orthodox faith and Cathedral family through servicing and welcoming those less fortunate in our local community. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: Vickie Klemis (404-213-2732), Mary Tena Melissas (404-403-1428) or Stephen Georgeson (404-376-1949)

8.1 Comprehensive Stewardship Program


Using stewardship best practices, update our stewardship process and create a Youth Stewardship Program, Planned Giving and Thanking Ministry 


• Form task force 

• Review Metropolis 15 Step Plan: Igniting the Flame of True Orthodox Christian Stewardship Program 

• Determine what elements will be incorporated in the New Parish Stewardship Program 

• Complete research of stewardship best practices, including Youth Stewardship Program 

• Compile past three years of detailed stewardship data 

• Synthesize current stewardship best practices, best of Metropolis Igniting the Flame of True Orthodox Christian Stewardship Program to develop the new Parish Stewardship Program including personal interactions and other elements including: Youth Stewardship, Planned Giving, Thanking Ministry, etc. 

• Recruit stewardship team, who conducts personal interactions with parishioners 

• Train stewardship team 

• Begin personal interaction process and reach (A) 100% of previous stewards at least 20% of former (non-current) stewards from past three years 

• After all personal interactions are complete, analyze results, commitments obtained, and lessons learned, then determine changes for next interaction 

• Begin initiation of components of final approved stewardship plan 

• Conduct follow up assessments of the above, and successes, challenges, and revise the other elements accordingly 


There is a strong need for our Parish to be self-sufficient and be self supporting financially via a true stewardship program rather than be depending upon generous end of year donations from a few parishioners, or a festival and outside agencies to fund our Church. 

Interested in helping on this goal? Contact the Goal Captains.

Goal Captains: Nick Grivas (678-561-5267) or Jennifer Smith (646-831-0468) 

Help us create a Parish that is “a welcoming and inspiring community of God so that we experience Christ’s love with all seeking eternal life.”