November 30, 2013
Christmas Lenten Season
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
We are very happy to report that because of your most generous response to our recent Angel Fund Drive along with this year’s membership outreach in March and special gifts by board members and friends, OCL has been able to maintain its website, manage its administrative expenses and present an outstanding 26th Annual Meeting and Program. Your prayers and financial support were critical! We hope that the two Informational programs developed and presented this year on the work of The Assembly of Bishops will be replicated across the country as we become more proactive in promoting Orthodox Unity.
The first one took place in Cleveland, Ohio on the weekend of October 27th. Board member, Andrew Kartalis provided support and assistance to the Cleveland area Orthodox communities along with Orthodox Clergy who took leadership in discussing Unity for Orthodox Christians in the United States. The attendance was outstanding with over 300 people participating.
This year’s 26th Annual Meeting was held in Northern California at the beginning of November. In addition to our Annual Board Meeting, the program also included a vesper service at Resurrection Romanian Church in Hayward, CA and a discussion on the Assembly of Bishops at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Moraga. The speakers were excellent (Peter Haikalis, PhD, Eric Namee from the St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wichita, Kansas and His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America.) Archbishop Nathaniel is a member of the Assembly of Bishops and Mr. Namee serves on the Assembly’s Committee for Legal Affairs and the Fund Raising Subcommittee of the Committee for Financial Affairs. The Forum also had the blessing and encouragement from Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Archdiocese.
Both Forums have been videotaped. The Cleveland, Ohio event may be viewed at http://ocl.org/hundreds-attend-cleveland-assembly-forum/, and the Moraga, California event is available on OCL’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/oclaity). Please share what you find informative with your family and friends.
As we complete the activities for the Thanksgiving holiday and continue our preparation for Christmas, we want to thank you for all your support and extend our prayers and best wishes to you and your families for a Blessed Season of Preparation. In keeping with the tradition of sharing, OCL donated $1000 to IOCC for the Syrian Children Refugee Relief Fund. Earlier this year, we also donated $5,000 to St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in commemoration of its 75th Anniversary.
As a quick reminder, it is still possible to make a year-end, tax deductible donation to OCL directly from your IRA, by mailing a personal check, using a credit card or PayPal. Please go to http://ocl.org/orthodox-christian-laity/support-ocl/ for details on how to complete your donation.
It has been a privilege to serve as President of OCL, and I continue to be proud of our role in supporting the Laity in understanding the issues facing Orthodoxy in America. As I begin my second year as President, I ask for your prayers and also for your input on what more we can do to be more effective in promoting Orthodox Unity in the United States.
Thank you for being part of the Orthodox Christian Laity Movement!
Susan Haikalis, President OCL