Celebrate International Missions in this New Church Year and prayerfully consider how this important work can be shared with family, friends, and the local parish.
A wonderful place to start is by visiting the OCMC website, http://www.ocmc.org, where you will find updates and stories from missionaries and mission teams who are answering Christ’s call to make disciples of all nations. We ask that you continue to pray for those who are serving as well as those who are considering their own calling to “go forth” with Christ’s message of hope and salvation into the world. On the website, there are prayer cards available for each long-term missionary serving through the OCMC as well as prayer cards displaying the Great Commission and Sts. Cyril and Methodios icons. Consider downloading these prayer cards and sharing them with your family and/or with a parish youth, ladies, or Bible study group.
Throughout the year are many opportunities to cultivate the seeds of mission in your local parish, including the following:
* Invite a Missions Speaker
* Coordinate Missions-Related Bible Studies
* Host a Missions Retreat
* Send a Parish Member on a Short Term Mission Team
* Hold a Missions Luncheon/Dinner
* Use Missions Lesson Plans and Coin Boxes from the OCMC in Sunday School Classes
There are several times during the Church year that provide a perfect opportunity to grow awareness of Orthodox missions. Each year, Mission Sunday (the first Sunday of Great Lent) is a day during which we are encouraged to reflect on Christ’s Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations” as shared in Matthew 28:19, and recommit both our personal and communal walks in Christ to this work. In 2011, Mission Sunday will be on Sunday, March 6, 2011. Likewise, in the weeks between Pascha and Pentecost, as we celebrate life in our Risen Lord we naturally are aware of the importance of bringing more of our brothers and sisters into the Body of Christ. The Feast of the Ascension asks us all to reflect on Christ’s last words to the Apostles to go forth and make disciples of all nations. At Pentecost we are reminded that we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us take the Faith and the gift of eternal life to the ends of the earth.
We pray that you will consider these ideas as you begin the new Church year, and share these ideas with your parish priest and friends. If your parish does not have an OCMC Ambassador (a local missions advocate), speak with your parish priest and consider volunteering for this role. For more information or for brainstorming ideas for your local parish, please contact Kenneth Kidd, Annual Gifts Officer, at email@example.com or at 904-829-5132, ext 161.