UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
1 December, 2013 - UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX LEAGUE SUNDAY
The first Sunday of December has been set aside as "UOL SUNDAY" for the past thirty some years in the life of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. This is a day when both Senior and Junior local chapters in parishes around the nation invite their parish members to join in a celebration of the UOL'S accomplishments and vision in living up to its motto: "Dedicated to our Church - Devoted to her Youth". It is also a day when those chapters invite parishioners to join this, one of the Central Organizations of the Church, to become part of the UOL'S mission of service and love and a day to reach out to sister parishes of our Church with encouragement to establish new UOL chapters where none exists.
The UOL does not, of course celebrate UOL SUNDAY simply to toot its own horn, but to draw attention to the ever increasing need to be vigilant about the temptations of our very secular society, which are luring our youth away from church and family. The organization has always recognized these temptations and has struggled to battle them.
Among the most important programs of both the Jr. and Sr. Leagues are the following few, but powerful examples:
- the establishment of an Education Commission to publish materials about our Holy Faith - her traditions, history and dogma - and about personal spiritual development at all ages
- the establishment of our Church's first camping program, the Teenage Conference, at a rented facility called Camp Kon-O-Kwee, which existed for some twenty years before the League convinced our hierarchs and Metropolitan Council to purchase what is now All Saints Camp in Emlenton, PA in 1975, where our encampments now include the Teenage Conference, the Church School Camp, the Mommy/Daddy and Me Camp and the upcoming encampment for children with special needs - a first among the Orthodox jurisdiction in the USA, all conducted by our Consistory Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office
- the establishment of the Clergy Candidate Commission along with the Metropolitan John (Theodorovich - our first Prime Hierarch) Scholarship Fund to encourage our young men to answer the Lord's call to the priesthood and to those who did, providing scholarships to assist with seminary expenses of tuition/room and board - over $200,000 awarded over 48 years
- the establishment of the Lynn Sawchuk-Sharon Kuzbyt Scholarship Fund in memory of two devoted Jr. UOL members who reposed in their teens - over $150,000 in college scholarships awarded over 30 years
- the establishment by the Jr. UOL of tithing/pledging 10% of its annual income to our church's ministry programs
- the establishment by the Jr. UOL of Great Lenten, Souper-Bowl and Thanksgiving Tithe fund raisers from which all proceeds are gifted to various charitable needs, like our developing mission parishes, parishes that have experienced tragedies like damaging fires and other worthy needs
It is obvious from these examples why we, as your Hierarchs and Spiritual Fathers write now to encourage all the faithful of our Church to not only support the Ukrainian Orthodox League but to join the organization and to encourage, rather direct, all parishes without UOL chapters to organize them.
The UOL is more than just a religious service organization. It is a social organization, which brings people of common mind, needs and goals to enjoy one another's company and support. We express our gratitude to God Almighty for blessing our League and Church with individuals who fully comprehend the Church's mission - THE SALVATION OF SOULS.
May god bless all the membership of the UOL and remind them that to all who are faithful in the utilization of their God-Given talents will most certainly be given more to accomplish in His Holy Name. May the Grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Love of God the Father and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.