During their Spring Session here October 18-21, 2016, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America approved five full and one partial Church Planting Grants for 2017.
Saint John the Evangelist Mission, Tempe, AZ [Priest Andre Paez, Priest-in-Charge] and Saint James Mission, Beaufort, SC [Priest James Bozeman, Priest-in-Charge] will receive third-year grants. Receiving second-year grants will be Saint Nektarios Mission, Waxahachie, TX [Priest David Bozeman, Priest-in-Charge] and Saint Juvenaly and His Companion Mission, Wasilla, AK [Archpriest Mikel Bock, Priest-in-Charge]. Receiving a first-year grant will be the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary Mission, Saint James, MO [Priest Joel Wilson, Priest-in-Charge], while Saint Katherine Mission, Cardiff, CA [Priest Andrew Cuneo, Priest-in-Charge] will receive a partial-year grant.
“Each of these missions receives a substantial grant—$24,000.00 for the first year, $20,000.00 for the second year, and $16,000.00 for the third year—matched by the missions, in order to support the full-time ministries and missionary work of their priests,” explained Priest John Parker, who chairs the OCA’s Department of Evangelization. “Once again, it is encouraging that representative missions from across the OCA, representing four dioceses, applied this year. Please pray for these missions and missionary efforts, including those who were not able to be funded. Pray for missions to be established, and for our current parishes to thrive.
“There is remarkable talent and energy in our Orthodox Church in America, demonstrated in creative ways in our Planting Grant Missions,” Father John added. ” Here, on the ‘front lines’ of evangelistic work, priests and devoted parishioners labor to bring Orthodox Christianity to new towns and cities—places in which Orthodox Christianity has never been. It is our humble joy to participate is such life-changing apostolic work, in the long line of missionary saints like Saint Herman, Saint Innocent, Saint John Kochurov, Saint Alexander Hotovitsky, Saint Raphael, and the newly-canonized Saint Sebastian of Jackson. We are indeed grateful for their examples, and for the generosity of so many in the Orthodox Church in America whose offerings make the Planting Grant Program possible.”