UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
2012 Winter Mission Team Leaves to Visit the Children of Ukrainian Orphanage!
Seven individuals were commissioned as Missionaries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA following the Divine Liturgy on December 19, 2012 at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church in South Bound Brook, NJ, while celebrating the life of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. His Grace Bishop Daniel, the President of the Consistory of the Church, and spiritual father of the Winter Mission Team, assisted by Very Rev. Fr. Yurij Siwko, pastor of St. Andrew Memorial Church and in the presence of the members and workers of the Consistory, faculty and seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary led the Commissioning service, calling upon Very Rev. Fr. John Haluszczak of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh, PA, Rev. Fr. Victor and Pani-matka Ivanka Wronsky of New York, NY; Deacon Vasyl and Dobrodijka Ilona Dovgan of the Three Holy Hierarchs Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary Chapel in South Bound Brook, NJ and Patrick Scannell of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Johnson City, NY to give a gift of their presence to the children of Znamianka orphanage in Kirovohrad region of Ukraine, as the Team travels to the Church-sponsored orphanage to bring a spirit of Holy Wonderworker Nicholas and Nativity of our Lord season into the lives of over 100 orphans.
Later in a day, the Team met with Hs Eminence Metropolitan-elect Antony for a brunch. Vladyka Antony reminded the Team members: “All who take upon themselves the name of Christ are called into ministries of love and service by the example of Christ. As these Mission Team members of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA begin their work with the orphans, we pray for the blessings of God upon their endeavors. We recognize them as ambassadors of our Church in ministry with the children of the orphanages and dedicate them to service in the name of our Savior. Through our prayers we will be united with them in their work. May God richly bless their labors.”
On December 18th, the eve of St. Nicholas feast day, following the Vespers service, His Grace Bishop Daniel led the orientation for the Mission Team. The bishop spoke of the task that is set before the missionaries: “to open their hearts to the unknown experience and to expect nothing but love, while offering the love of Christ to those that are in need.” His Grace stated that people often ask, 'Why would you do this Mission Trip? Why would you go to Ukrainian orphanages and spend your own money to go and work with handicapped children?' The answer is quite simple - we need to understand, when you know Christ, this is what you do. You share the love and compassion of Christ with the world, and Ukrainian orphanages that are at times forgotten by the world are the very part of that world.
Each year thousands of people of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA are blessed to witness the Church’s work with the orphan’s in Ukraine. Some of them feel a nudge to do something that benefits someone else. Others are looking for adventure and personal growth. They have a desire to see, experience and discover their Holy Orthodox Faith in new and meaningful ways. Adventure is a way to learn from others and explore what God is doing around the world. When we perceive God working among us and become a part of His mission, we find adventure. The adventure is a result of the mission. On these Mission Trips to Ukrainian Orphanages we love the adventure; however, it is never about the adventure. The mission of Christ’s love comes first."
Following the orientation, the Team spent several hours preparing the suitcases with medical equipment, toys, arts and crafts supplies, which were collected by the parishes of the Church throughout the United Sates of America and shipped to Metropolia Center for the final shipment to Ukrainian orphanages. It is with fifteen suitcases of donations and gifts that this year’s Winter Mission Team is leaving the United States for Znamianka orphanage in Kirovohrad region of Ukraine.
We ask our readers and the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA to remember the servants of God – the Missionaries of our Holy Church – His Grace Bishop Daniel, Very Rev. John Haluszczak, Rev. Fr. Victor and Pani-matka Ivanka Wronsky, Deacon Vasyl and Dobrodijka Ilona Dovgan and Patrick Scannell in their daily prayers. The Mission Team will remain in Ukraine until December 28, 2012.
This year’s Winter Mission Trip of the UOC of the USA is sponsored by the Consistory Offices of Christian Charity and Youth and Yung Adult Ministry. Please, return back to the Church’s web site for the updates on the Missionary efforts of the Team.