2013 United States Teaching Team
Traveling From: 6/9/2013 to 6/22/2013; Team Cost: $1150*
Teaching – Napaskiak
Discover Alaska’s unique Orthodox heritage by participating in catechetical seminars for the Bethel-area villages of Napaskiak, Kwethluk, and Kasigluk. This Teaching Team will minister to youth in a day-camp format.
Participants will offer catechism for children and teenagers in multi-age classes to strengthen faith and deepen understanding of the Church. For the younger children, basic catechesis with emphasis on answering 'why' and Bible stories will be especially helpful. With the older kids, the Team has been requested to prepare material about living as Orthodox Christians in these socially challenging times, suicide, pre-marital sex and substance abuse.
These villages have populations between 450 and 900 people; they are 98% Yup’ik Eskimo; and over half of their populations are under 18 years of age. They are unique in that they are one of two places in the world where a Native American language (Yup’ik) is still being taught in the home as a first language, and Yup’ik remains the main language of commerce in the villages. The economy is still primarily subsistence-based. Church life remains extremely central to village life; for example, in Napaskiak, the public school year began with the Orthodox priest blessing the classrooms and students and a ‘Moliben’ was offered. The Team will be accommodated in teacher housing and in the homes of parishioners. Some areas will not have running water.
Historically, the villages were evangelized by men like St. Yakov Netsvetov in the 1800s, and are religious to this day. Alaska is considered America’s “Holy Land.” Many Alaska Native cultures place Russian Orthodoxy as central to their self-definition. Nevertheless, the Church faces many challenges as she continues to maintain an Orthodox witness and proclaim Christ while equipping a new generation of future believers and leaders to know and live their faith.
Participants will be responsible for round-trip flight arrangements from their home city to Bethel, Alaska. Team members should be prepared to share the basic tenets of the Orthodox Faith and after the daily lessons, be ready to for socializing with their hosts. Local transportation will be done in boats.
Offer a living witness to different communities of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
Dates: June 9 – 22, 2013
Cost: $1,150 + airfare