Saint Barbara Missions Committee
As we begin a new Ecclesiastical Year, the Saint Barbara Missions Committee looks forward to building upon some of the initiatives already undertaken. Our efforts will continue to focus on keeping the parish community aware and engaged in the national missions of the Orthodox Christian Missions Center (OCMC) as well as the relief programs of the national church through International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC).
The most visible means of communicating the programs and work of these wonderful organizations is through our missions display table prominently located in the common area of the education center of our parish, the space through which most of us transition through to coffee hour following Divine Liturgy. Frequent updates keep you apprised of the latest happenings as well as the immediate and long-term needs of the OCMC & IOCC mission fields. All the materials displayed are for your consumption and edification, so kindly help yourself to any/all information available. You will also find contact information that may be used in seeking answers to whatever questions you may have about becoming more involved.
Some of the ways we directly engage parishioners - particularly our children, and by extension their parents - is through coordinated initiatives between the committee and our Sunday School. Recalling the human tragedy resulting from Super Storm Sandy, students responded by collecting IOCC Health Kit items that were assembled and shipped for distribution to communities in need. Currently, kit item collection is on-going and item contributions may be brought to the special receptacle located alongside the display table. Shopping lists of needed items may be found there as well. Many of our Sunday School students also participated in the OCMC Coin Box program during the period of Great Lent, setting aside portions of their earnings, allowances and monetary gifts to help fund missionary activities.
Missions Committee members will be engaging local businesses for placement of Agape Canisters just like the one located at the pangari in our Church Narthex. This OCMC program will have members periodically gather the money collected and those funds will be used in an effort to ease the pain of poverty, hunger and disease at mission locations and throughout the world.
At the local level, the Souper Bowl of Caring program, coinciding with Super Bowl Sunday, collects non-perishable food items for the area shelter sponsored by Area Congregations Together (ACT). Additionally, many trays of freshly prepared foods not consumed at the various events hosted at the parish throughout the year are also delivered.
Committee participation is open to all members of our church community in the collective effort to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19)
OCMC has been sanctioned to help the faithful of North America proclaim the fullness of the Orthodox Christian Faith. Each year hundreds of Orthodox Christians answer the call to make disciples of all nations through one of OCMC’s many initiatives. Consider joining an OCMC Orthodox Mission Team in 2013 or 2014. Mission Teams serve our Holy Orthodox Church’s unending mission effort that all people may come to know the saving love of our Lord. Be a living witness as a family on a Family Outreach Team in Albania, take part in stewardship training in Uganda, or offer your talents on other OCMC Teams in 2013 or 2014.
Team applications and details are available online at www.ocmc.org or call the OCMC at 1.877.463.6787 (ext 142) for more information. Team members must travel on scheduled dates; air travel to be coordinated with Team leader and OCMC; ground transportation will be provided. Team members are encouraged to raise the additional funds to cover the cost of domestic and international travel.
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