At least 13 clergy delegates from the Diocese of Alaska and four from the Diocese of Mexico will be joining the 600-plus individuals already registered for the 17th All-American Council at Holy Trinity Church, Parma, OH on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.
Recently, an appeal to raise funds to assist clergy from these dioceses with travel expenses was posted on the web site of the Orthodox Church in America at the recommendation of Hieromonk David [Mahaffey] and Archpriest John Reeves to the Metropolitan Council. The appeal goal was to raise $15,000.00. [See related article.]
“As of today—Friday, October 26—we have surpassed this goal,” said Ms. Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer. “This makes it possible to fund travel expenses for at least 13 Alaskan and four Mexican delegates. All additional funds received will be earmarked to help fund participation by additional clergy and lay delegates from these two dioceses.”
Donations are still being accepted and may be made on-line at http://oca.org/17aac-appeal.
In recognition of the generosity of many faithful in this effort, Father David issued a note of thanks, the text of which is printed below.
And Jesus said to him, “All things are possible to him who believes” [Mark 9:23]
At the Fall Session of the Metropolitan Council, Fr. John Reeves put forward the question concerning the ability of the most distant diocese from Parma, Ohio to attend the All-American Council next month. It was decided to find a way to provide funding so that our Brothers and Sisters in Alaska and Mexico would be represented in this important event in the life of the OCA.
With little more than faith in God that through Him all things are possible, and the belief that the good people who are part of this God-protected Orthodox Church in America will respond to any good cause, we set out to raise the needed funds. Our goal was high, our need was great, but we had faith that God would provide, through the loving gifts of the Faithful, enough. That faithfulness produced a wonderful result, and now we will have a fuller and better representative council, thanks to the many gifts that have come in from those who answered the call.
Let us first say, with as much appreciation as we can, that our grateful thanks will never be enough to truly honor your generosity. It is our prayer that God will restore to you a hundred-fold the gift of your offering. You gave above and beyond, expecting nothing in return; now may God return to you, in ways you may not expect, the true fruit of redemption, as you “lay up your treasure in heaven”.
Let us also say that what you have done speaks of the true heart that is the Orthodox Church in America. Since its beginning, every time a true need arose, you have responded, not because you were forced to, but because you wanted to, in the firm belief that you were helping the truly needy. Even if there have been times when some individuals did not live up to the standards they should have, you have not forgotten why you are here, because you believe in an American Orthodoxy that lives for and loves the people in America, whatever their needs may be.
This All-American Council will be a better council because of you. If you are there, and you see a delegate from Alaska or Mexico, let them know of your help so they can say “Quyana”, if from Alaska or “Gracias”, if from Mexico.