High School Mission Team Returns from New Mexico!


High School Mission Team Returns from New Mexico

The fifth domestic missionary trip for high school students sponsored by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA returned home on Sunday August 16th after spending eight days aiding the UOC Mission parish of St. Anthony of the Desert in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The team was led by Natalie Kapeluck Nixon, Director of Consistory Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Jonathan Patronik of St. Peter & St. Paul Wilmington, DE.

St. Anthony Mission, led by Fr. Gabriel and Pani Matka Susan Rochelle, has been growing steadily in its’ two years of existence “bringing the ancient faith to Las Cruces”, as proclaimed by the mission’s new publicity created by the mission team. The new publicity campaign to raise awareness about the mission included creating parish posters, developing a parish logo, parish tagline, and modifying the website.

The Team also helped develop and host the first Mission Open House.  Mission Service and Open House posters were created and posted throughout the city by the team.  The Open House held on Saturday August 15th brought together the St. Anthony parishioners in fellowship and drawing in local residents to learn about the Mission. The Team also prepared traditional pyrohy and pyrohy “southwest style”, as well as performing a short choral concert of Liturgical Hymns for those in attendance.

Additional works accomplished by the team were conducting a morning Vacation Church School Program, a thorough cleaning of the Mission Church, landscaping of a Mission Parishioner’s Home, a mini-liturgical music workshop and preparing food for and visiting the Gospel Mission soup kitchen.

The Team also presented St. Anthony’s with books to begin a children’s library, music library and supplement the inquirer’s materials.

More information about this year’s trip will be available at the consistory website at www.uocofusa.org and article written by the Team Members will appear in the Ukrainian Orthodox Word.

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