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Bishop David with Alaskan clergy.

Clergy from across the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of Alaska attended a week-long retreat sponsored by the OCA Department of Pastoral Life at Holy Spiirt Center, Anchorage, AK April 23-27, 2018.

Hieromonk Nikhodhim, Department Administrator, and Archpriest Raymond Martin Browne, Rector of Saint Mark Church, Wrightstown, PA, facilitated the gathering.  Their presentations explored in detail the retreat theme, “Being Good Pastors to Our Flock.”

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Fr. Maxim Isaac leads the choir during retreat services.

“The gathering marked the first time in over 10 years that a retreat of this magnitude was held in the diocese,” said His Grace, Bishop David of Anchorage and Alaska.  “The program was graciously funded by the Diocese of Alaska, as requested by our Diocesan Council.”

In addition to presentations and discussions, the clergy attended the cycle of retreat services and sang the liturgical responses under the direction of Archpriest Maxim Isaac.

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Bishop David with Frs. Browne and Nikodhim.

After the retreat, Bishop David and several clergy visited the home of Archpriest John Zabinko, Dean of Anchorage’s Saint Innocent Cathedral, who continues to recover from a debilitating stroke in December 2017.  During their visit, they celebrated the sacrament of Holy Unction in its entirety and anointed Father John.

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Bishop David and clergy visit Fr. John Zabinko at home.

Acknowledging the often unique demands borne by clergy and their families, the Department of Pastoral Life offers support through workshops, seminars, and retreats that equip the clergy by providing the necessary resources and tools to maintain and enhance their ministries.  In encouraging personal growth and fostering supportive relationships between those engaged in ministry, the department works to ensure that the leaders of our parish communities are continuously growing and maturing personally so that they may continue to lead the faithful with wisdom and zeal.