Syosset, New York
June 1, 2006
Dearly beloved in the Lord:
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things?”
These words of St. Paul found in Romans 10:14-15 express clearly one of the great challenges that faces our Orthodox Church in America. As we seek to bring the True Faith of Christ to the peoples of this continent, we need more individuals to respond to the call to come to seminary, to be theologically educated and spiritually formed, and to be ordained to the Priesthood or the Diaconate or to serve as lay leaders of our parishes.
Each year at this time I call upon you to pray for more vocations to labor in the Vineyard of Christ, and to encourage those that you may know to say “yes” to the seed that the Lord has planted in their hearts to serve Him and His Church. Likewise, I request of your Christian charity a gift of financial support to assist our three theological schools—St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, NY; St. Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, PA; and St. Herman Seminary in Kodiak, AK.
I am pleased to report record enrollment in all three of these venerable institutions, thanks be to God! These increased numbers, however, necessitate greater funds to maintain the outstanding caliber of their faculties and the excellence of their programs. For this reason, we appeal to your generosity to provide what is needed to continue the sacred work of training those who will bring others to Christ in Holy Orthodoxy!
Your contribution to the 2006 OCA Seminary Appeal is an investment in the future of our Faith in this land. It is an assurance that there will be clergy to guide our parishes not only in this 21st century but until the Lord comes again. It is a commitment to help our seminaries strengthen and expand their mission to better equip those who have the desire to preach the Gospel, to lead people to the Savior, and to build up the Body of Christ. Please give as generously as you can from the blessings that God has given—for His glory and for the increase of His Holy Church!
Bestowing my archpastoral blessing and assuring you of my prayers, I remain
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada