February is Mission Appeal Month!
Support the growth of Orthodoxy in North America!
February 1, 2003
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations
Dearly beloved in the Lord,
With these words, our Lord Jesus Christ defines the mission of the
Church-to proclaim the Gospel so that all peoples "may come to the
knowledge of the Truth." I could not help but recall these words of
the Lord during my first official visit to the Diocese of Alaska
after my election to the office of Metropolitan of All America and
Canada. There, in Kodiak, the site of the first Orthodox parish on
this continent, I once again venerated the relics of Saint Herman of
Alaska and asked his continued blessing upon our efforts to preach
the Orthodox Faith throughout North America. Obedient to the Lord's
command, Saint Herman and his companions made great sacrifices and
endured many hardships to bring the saving message of the Gospel to
the native peoples of Alaska. And the Lord rewarded their efforts by
establishing His Vineyard in North America.
I have recently traveled to Mexico to visit the Mexican Exarchate
where I was able to observe, first hand, the deep love and devotion
which the Orthodox faithful of Mexico have for Christ and His Holy
Church. Both Mexico and Alaska continue to be mission lands. Indeed,
all of North America is mission territory waiting to hear the saving
message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While we often think of North
American society as being rooted in Christian values and ideals, we
must also realize that there are many who have not yet heard or have
not yet accepted the Gospel in its fullness.
In 1994, the Orthodox Church in America set a goal of establishing
fifty new parishes within a ten-year period. Since that time, eighty-
four new missions have been established across North America!
Although much has already been accomplished, there is much that is
yet to be accomplished. There are still states and provinces-there
are still people searching for Christ who await the establishment of
new missions. Together, we can build upon the progress that has
already been made. Your generous support of the 2003 Mission Appeal
will ensure the continuation of the Church's missionary efforts,
especially through its funding of the Church Planting Grant Program
to which eligible mission communities are invited to apply.
My predecessor, His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, was
dedicated to the important work of the missions. I, along with all
the bishops of our Church, share this same commitment. As this is
the first time that I write asking your support of the work of our
missions, I call upon your commitment to Christ and His Church and
invite you to share in the work that is ongoing-the work of
proclaiming the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. I ask you to please
be generous in your response so that this year's Mission Appeal can
make a greater impact than ever in support of this important work.
Asking God to bless you for your commitment and generosity to Christ
and His Holy Church, I remain
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Click here to access the resources for the 2003 Mission Appeal
Click here to support the efforts of the Orthodox Church in America
through the 2003 Mission Appeal.
© 2003 Orthodox Church in America
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