To the Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in Amierca,
Once again, I am pleased to have the opportunity to request your support for the 2002 Orthodox Church in America Seminary Appeal. This annual appeal provides much needed financial support for the theological education of those who desire to serve the Church as priests and deacons.
The theological education of our Church’s clergy has been one of my highest priorities throughout my 25 years of service as Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America. I am deeply grateful that, during these past twenty-five years, we have witnessed the growth and expansion of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, as well as that of Saint Herman’s Seminary, the diocesan Seminary of the Diocese of Alaska.
We now look forward to new opportunities to further theological education in North America. Our Church is preparing to make an important decision that will affect the way in which the gifts received from this annual appeal will benefit our seminarians. It is our hope that, as part of the new funding method being proposed at the 13th All-American Council, the 2003 budget of the Orthodox Church in America will include a line item to be designated for the Church’s seminaries. If this proposal is approved, then future gifts to the annual Seminary Appeal may be used to provide scholarships for those seeking a theological education at our seminaries.
I consider this proposal to be a great step forward. Our goal is that no qualified student should ever be turned away from our seminaries solely because of financial need. I believe that, with your generosity, this goal can become a reality. Therefore, I ask you to support not only this year’s Seminary Appeal but also the actions that will be taken at the upcoming All-American Council to promote Orthodox theological education.
I would like to thank you for your faithful support of our Church’s seminaries and seminarians. I am confident that my successor as Metropolitan of All America and Canada will also be able to count on your faithful and loving support. Be assured of my blessing and of a continued remembrance in my prayers.
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada