In an article titled “Expanding the Mission in the Jersey Shore Area”, Deacon Alexander Smida of Annunciation Church here recounts how his parish’s adult study group, fortified by their growing faith, were compelled to take up the OCA challenge to “expand the Mission” by serving the poor, needy, hungry and homeless in their local area.
Deacon Alexander’s article is the latest offering in the Orthodox Church in America’s ever-expanding Parish Ministry Resources—a project of the Department of Christian Service and Humanitarian Aid [CSHA].
“In cities and towns everywhere, social service agencies and charitable organizations are looking for volunteers to help in outreach to the hungry, homeless and low-income children and adults,” notes Donna Karabin, CSHA Chair. “At the same time, ministry-minded people in faith communities feel called to service but don’t know where to begin. When the two come together, as in the case of Holy Annunciation Church, there is gratifying mutual benefit and blessings. The article presents the parish’s story to encourage other communities to take up the challenge to ‘expand the Mission’ through loving service and outreach ministries in their local communities, all to the glory of Christ our God.”
“The group resolved to research the faith-based and other organizations already experienced in these forms of outreach and to seek those who might best utilize our readiness to help,” said Deacon Alexander. “We were astonished that the opportunities we found were abundant and welcoming of our assistance. Furthermore, through these new friends, other means of outreach appeared and led us in further directions of service.”
Archpriest Gary Breton is Rector of Annunciation Church.