UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Seminarians of the Church Ship Boxes to Ukrainian Orphanages!
During this time of year, as we see the excitement and magic in the eyes of children, it takes us all back to those days of our childhood when Christmas was full of wonderful food, grandparents laughing, speculating about presents and the warmth and comfort of knowing you had a family that loved you. At the end, sharing the experience of Nativity of our Lord - celebrating Christmas meant feeling safe and loved unconditionally. Nativity of Christ is a wonderful time to remember orphans, as it was the birth of Christ Jesus that paved the way for our adoption, delivering us from our own former state as spiritual orphans.
Eight seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ gathered together at the Consistory Offices of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA on December 11-12, 2012 to accomplish the task of making Nativity of Christ alive in the lives of over 200 orphans of Ukrainian orphanages that are sponsored by the UOC of the USA. For two days in a row, the seminarians packed boxes with humanitarian aid, especially Montessori equipment, designated for two orphanages in Central and Eastern Ukraine. Finally, following the Vespers service for the feast day of St. Andrew the First-called Apostle on December 12, 2012, the seminarians delivered boxes to a shipping location in NJ, ready to travel to Ukraine.
Over the past several weeks the donations of clothing and arts&crafts were collected at the Consistory offices in order to be delivered to the children of Znamianka and Puhachiv orphanages in Ukraine. In addition, the Church run Orphanage Adoption program sponsored 12 large boxes of Montessori equipment for both orphanages. In must be mentioned that the very first Montessori center at the orphanage for children with special needs was opened two years ago, due to a full sponsorship of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, in Puhachiv orphanage, Zhytomyr region of Ukraine. His Grace Bishop Daniel, accompanied by the college age missionaries of the Church were present at the opening of the school and delivered humanitarian aid on behalf of the UOC of the USA.
As the evening hours of December 12, 2012 entered into the time of physical rest, the students reflected with Bishop Daniel about the accomplished task: "It is a worthwhile project for all of us, which increases our awareness of our greater Christian community, while building empathy and upholding moral precepts of who we are as children of God…"
His Grace Vladyka Daniel stated that “…It seems like every day we are learning of more and more individuals of our Holy Church that are answering God’s call and launching projects in their parishes - ministries of caring for orphans and less fortunate in new and amazing ways. We are truly humbled, honored and blessed to be able to see the efforts of so many of our parishes, and it is our sincere prayer and hope that God will continue to allow us to be a part of His unconditional love in the world and will equip and enable us to serve every parish to reach every orphan in 2013 and beyond. We prayerfully thank everyone for what you are doing for the orphans of Ukrainian orphanages, and please continue to let us know about your ministries and successes and how we can help and pray with you and for you. We are so grateful to work alongside so many dedicated young adults and parishioners of our Church that make themselves available to how God wants to use them in the lives of orphans - children.”