2014 United States Outreach Team
Traveling From: 6/25/2014 to 7/3/2014; Team Cost: $1245*
Members of the Holy Trinity Church in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey will discover Alaska’s unique Orthodox heritage by participating in an OCMC service project to the Saint Herman Theological Seminary located on Kodiak Island. They will participate in completing renovations, general maintenance and service projects.
The 2014 Kodiak Orthodox Mission Team will be assisting the Saint Herman Seminary community by offering their time, talents and service to perform upkeep around the Seminary and Church property, and by offering tours of the historic Seminary. Team members will assist with general maintenance, cleaning, and light repairs, where the harsh weather has taken its toll on the seminary buildings.
In 1844, St. Innocent [Veniaminov] organized the first Orthodox theological school in North America at Sitka, inaugurating a golden age of Orthodox educational ministry and mission in Alaska. In 1975, the Holy Synod of Bishops accepted the school into the Church’s seminary system and later changed its name to St. Herman Theological Seminary. The student body of the Seminary is composed of both Native Alaskan and non-native students. The chapel is a replica of the first Orthodox Church built in North America in 1794. The Seminary exists to proclaim the universal doctrine of the ancient, undivided Christian Church, and strives to continue the educational and evangelistic work begun by Saints Herman, Innocent, Yakov, and the host of dedicated clergy and laity who struggled to increase the presence of Holy Orthodoxy in the Diocese of Sitka, Anchorage & Alaska.
It has been over two hundred years since the Orthodox Christian Faith was proclaimed on the shores of Alaska, and for this reason, it is often considered America’s Holy Land. The Orthodox Faith has become central to many of the Alaskan cultures, and Orthodoxy plays a significant role in many parts of the State. The Orthodox Church in Alaska today faces many challenges and is in a period of renewal, as she continues working to maintain an Orthodox witness. The Orthodox Mission Teams to Alaska continue to play a role in this renewal by offering encouragement, education and support to the communities in this vast diocese.
The Team will be comprised of youth, young adults and chaperones from the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, and will be led by OCMC Board of Directors' president, Fr. George Liacopulos.