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Dear Faithful Members, Friends and Supporters of Orthodox Christian Laity,

The Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) brand has had a makeover.  We have developed a state-of-the-art, interactive and cost-effective website.  We encourage you to comment on the content and invite you to add your point of view.  OCL also has a new logo.  Its colors and symbolism signify that Orthodoxy in America is Christ-centered, unified, diverse and cooperative. By means of its conciliar governance ethos, Orthodoxy is maturing into a self-governing sister Church fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. In 2013, I am blessed to be serving as your President and I will, with your prayers and support, promote the efforts of the Assembly of Bishops to move ahead with developing the foundation for the unified and self-governing Church in the North America.

What is not new?  Many of you have been faithful members, supporters and friends these past 25 years and without your prayers and support, we would not have a purpose and the means to fulfill our mission.  So during this time period – the onset of Spring – every year, we ask for your membership support so that we can continue to advocate for canonical unity and strengthen the voice of the laity in this process of developing a unified Orthodox Church.  Without our combined voices, the conciliar governance process does not exist.  Your membership support helps us remain part of the governance equation by offering conferences, publications, videos, and an informative, interactive website that impacts the unity process.  Your financial support is critical this year.  If it is possible this year, could you double your membership support?  Any additional dollars will strengthen our mission to keep all Orthodox informed as we work together to achieve Unity.

OCL’s long and positive history clearly shows that we are not anti-hierarchical, anti-clerical or anti-ethnic.  Orthodox Christian Laity is an Inter-Orthodox fellowship, and its board is composed of members who are “cradle-Orthodox” as well as those who have converted to the Faith. Our board and membership – composed of you – are active in their parish communities, teach Sunday School, are choir members and chanters, parish council members and stewards. We are active participants in the sacramental life of our local Churches. On the regional and national levels, we participate in diocesan and archdiocesan governance and events.

Since 2008, OCL has been the advocate, educator and financial supporter of the work of the Assembly of Bishops.  OCL realizes that these times are a turning point in the history of Orthodoxy in the United States and the whole of North America. The work of the Assembly is expected to consolidate and eliminate the costly duplication of services offered by 14 separate Orthodox groupings.  It affords leadership to self-select the outstanding bishops within its midst to lead the Church.   Unity celebrates the multicultural and multiethnic character of Orthodoxy.  In synergy with the clergy and laity, the Assembly of Bishops can better direct the outreach of the Gospel message in America, so that we can be a light in this country.  More importantly, the Assembly can strengthen our educational message to retain and attract faithful people, including our children and grandchildren.

As we complete Great Lent and look forward to the light of the Resurrection, may this spring be a new beginning in our spiritual lives. May we make the effort to participate fully in the services the Church offers to us and, let’s especially pray for the Unity of the Church on this continent.  Please join Orthodox Christian Laity in its important work by becoming a member or making a donation today.

Thank you for you for your generous help at this critical time.

Sincerely,

Susan Haikalis, OCL President

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