“The Orthodox Christian response to emergencies and natural disasters has grown increasingly stronger in recent years through the well-organized efforts of International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC],” observes Donna Karabin, who chairs the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Christian Service and Humanitarian Aid, who reported on her department’s efforts to the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops during their Spring Session during the last week of March 2017. “In an inspiring, newly released article now available in the OCA’s Parish Ministry Resources, Archpriest Thomas Moore, long-time Rector of Holy Apostles Church, Columbia, SC, relates how he combined his ministry as a parish priest and an IOCC frontline responder during the tropical storm that devastated the area in the fall of 2015.” [See related article.]
According to Father Thomas, parish life drastically changed when Holy Apostles’ facilities became the headquarters for the various ecumenical volunteer groups that aided in clean-up and rebuilding efforts.
“Amazingly this went on for one full year,” Father Thomas recalls. “We worked closely together to house, feed, and coordinate workers from every imaginable religious background and age, including two teams of Orthodox Christians organized through IOCC. Visitors, many of whom had never heard of the Orthodox Church before or who merely thought of it as a church for immigrants, were fascinated to visit our services, take tours of the church, and learn about our beautiful heritage.”
Read about the valuable lessons the faithful of Holy Apostles Church learned in Father Thomas’ article, “Combatting the Storm as a Frontline Responder”.