Syosset, New York
February 1, 2007
To the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of The Orthodox Church in America
Dearly Beloved in Christ:
The life of Saint Herman of Alaska is marked with numerous impressive accomplishments, especially in light of the harsh external conditions under which he labored. While living in a world far different from his, we too can accept the call as St. Herman did, to bear witness to the Orthodox Faith in our communities.
In the midst of today’s society and the opposition and obstacles with which it confronts us, our efforts in proclaiming the Gospel may sometimes appear to be hindered. However, we cannot allow ourselves to become discouraged. Instead, if we remember how the Lord helped Saint Herman overcome innumerable obstacles as he worked to bring the Gospel to the native peoples of Alaska, we can trust that He will also bless us as we continue the legacy of evangelization which has been entrusted to us.
I encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors to experience the richness and fullness of Orthodox Christianity. Share the joy of your parish and welcome guests into your community as you would welcome Christ Himself. By reaching out to those in need, and sharing your Faith with any and all who will listen, the mission of St. Herman continues.
That same mission continues in established parishes and our newest missions across North America. In 2007, four communities have been designated as recipients of The Orthodox Church in America’s Church Planting Grant program. The grants are made possible through your generous gifts to the annual Mission Appeal, and the more you give, the more the Church can assist the many other newly-established missions that are also in need of such financial support.
May the Holy Spirit guide our willingness to continue the mission of Saint Herman and the other North American Saints in our efforts to proclaim the Gospel to all peoples throughout this continent.
Thanking you in advance for your gift to the annual Mission Appeal, I remain
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada