- The spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church in America recently commended International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) for its 10 years of humanitarian work, calling it “nothing less than service to Christ Himself.”
Addressing a gathering of Cleveland religious leaders and IOCC board members last week, His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman used the occasion to praise IOCC, its board, its staff and its supporters.
“(They) are all to be commended for the important work that they accomplish in service to so many people around the world,” he said. “Recalling the words of Christ, ‘Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me,’ we acknowledge that the services offered by IOCC are nothing less than service to Christ.”
Metropolitan Herman spoke at the offices of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer newspaper, which hosted the inter-faith luncheon on Thursday and the biannual IOCC board meeting on Thursday and Friday. Plain Dealer Publisher Alex Machaskee sits on the IOCC Board of Directors.
Metropolitan Herman presented Machaskee with a citation for his “many contributions in working to promote mutual respect and understanding among peoples of various religious traditions and confessions.”
Among those attending the inter-faith gathering were Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell; her mother, the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches; members of the Greater Cleveland Council of Orthodox Clergy; and various Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders.
Metropolitan Herman also presented citations to IOCC Executive Director Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Board Chairman Bert Moyar, and the IOCC Board of Directors and staff.
In his luncheon address, Metropolitan Herman said communities of faith must first strive to meet the spiritual needs of people.
“By inspiring the human person to cultivate an awareness of and love for God’s Word, our respective faith communities can indeed impact and improve the quality of human life,” he said. “The Word of God has the power to fill the human mind and heart with the sacred, the Divine, transforming a profane and self-centered existence into the very engine which drives one to serve and love others.”
In other business, the IOCC Board of Directors discussed the strategic direction of IOCC; honored all IOCC employees with 10 years of service; and elected two new members, Michael “Mickey” Homsey of Oklahoma City, Okla., and George Kaludis of Bethesda, Md.
For more information about IOCC and its programs worldwide, please visit www.iocc.org or call toll-free 1-877-803-4622.