UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
High School Mission Trip to St. Augustine, FL Lifts Off!
The members of the High School Mission Team met yesterday to begin there work in St. Augustine, FL. The team members arrived in Jacksonville airport with team leaders Fr. Dn. John Charest of Palos Park, IL and Natalie Kapeluck Nixon, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry. The High School Mission Trip was developed to provide students with the opportunity to discover that the missionary spirit is not only reserved for going over-seas but is intrinsic to our everyday Orthodox life.
The team proceeded to the complex for Orthodox Christian Mission Center where they were greeted by Margot Kelly, Assistant Missionary Coordinator. The team received a tour of the facility and a brief history of the work of OCMC. Our team is deeply honored to be the first group of its kind hosted at the OCMC Center which was completed a mere three years ago. It was a touching moment for the team when the dedication plaque for the complex was shown to them bearing the name of the ruling hierarchs at the time of the dedication - which included His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine of Blessed Memory. The team was asked to reflect upon how they may focus on living their Orthodox life in the secular world - being a light of Christ. Utilizing lines from the Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick the team members are focusing on a different aspect each day beginning with, "Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me".
The team celebrated Divine Liturgy on Sunday with the faithful of St. John the Divine parish in Jacksonville and were were warmly greeted by all. In the coming days the team will be volunteering their time at OCMC, St. Photios Shrine and St. Francis House Homeless Shelter - all located in St. Augustine.
This year's team is comprised of: Elizabeth Hershey (Holy Ghost UOC - Coatesville, PA), Gregory Markiw (St. Peter & St. Paul UOC - Carnegie, PA), Andrea Linck (St. Demetrius UOC - Carteret, NJ), Metro Martin (Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral - New York City), Nicholas Perkins (St. Michael UOC - Woonsocket, RI), and Katie Zimmerman (St. Mary UOC - Allentown, PA).