Manalapan, FL – Louis and Helen Nicozisis hosted a fundraising event at their home in Manalapan, Florida on April 19, 2008 that netted close to $7,000 for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC). The event featured author Del Staecker, who read from his first novel, The Muted Mermaid, a thriller about good and evil. A discussion about the writing process and the mysterious presence of God in our everyday lives ensued, after which Mr. Staecker signed copies of his book for guests.
Mrs. Nicozisis introduced Mr. Staecker to the 60 invited friends and neighbors. Mr. Staecker began by asking Fr. Martin Ritsi, Executive Director of OCMC to speak briefly about OCMC’s mission and its work around the world.
In his talk Fr. Ritsi reflected, “The dedicated missionaries and volunteers of OCMC have helped bring the light of our Lord, Jesus Christ to the darkened corners of the world. But without the support of generous supporters, that light would dim.”
Fr. Ritsi then turned the podium back to Mr. Staecker, saying, “Mr. Staecker is blessed with the gift of storytelling. We are honored he is here to share with us his writing – and his faith – for the benefit of OCMC.”
Mrs. Nicozisis, a member of the Board of Directors of OCMC, and husband Louis, an Archon and long-time supporter of the Orthodox Church and her ministries, first met Mr. Staecker and his wife, Lindy Litrides at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. From that initial meeting discussions about OCMC and the publication of The Muted Mermaid led to the idea for a book signing fundraiser to benefit OCMC and launch the book. Mr. Staecker, who was chrismated in the Orthodox faith in 2005, has offered to appear at other fundraising events on behalf of OCMC; he and his wife are working with Mr. and Mrs. Nicozisis and Fr. Martin Ritsi to identify hosts and locations.
The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (www.ocmc.org) is the official international mission agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), commissioned to proclaim the fullness of the Christian faith to all nations by establishing and nurturing vibrant, Eucharistic Orthodox Christian communities worldwide.