Tuesday, May 26, 2009

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Stavros Papagermanos

May 24, 2009

For photos of this event visit: http://photos.goarch.org/main.php?g2_itemId=2636


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The new Orthodox Christian Mission Center's Archbishop Anastasios and Archbishop Demetrios Missionary Training and Administration Building was dedicated during the two-day festivities of May 20-21.

The new building was named in honor of Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres, and All Albania and Archbishop Demetrios of America, who lead the ceremonies. The Aghiasmos (Holy Blessing) service was held under a tent at the entrance of the new building and with intense rain trough out the festivities. Archbishop Demetrios presided over the service along with Archbishop Anastasios and Metropolitan Jonah, the leading hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

"This day is very significant for Orthodox Christians; this new missions building is a witness to Orthodoxy, because Orthodoxy is always offering herself to everyone; and this is a visible sign of this very character of Orthodoxy: to share, sharing what we have with all the people of the world," said Archbishop Demetrios speaking about the new building and added: "This place is also important because it is a product of a pan-orthodox unity and cooperation, the faithful working together in the spirit of promoting the Gospel and the faith, which is a basic function of a true Christian. Our gratitude belongs to the people who made this a reality."

Archbishop Anastasios said that "the dedication of this building is a milestone for all Orthodox missions and the evangelization of God's People," and added that "it is impossible to think of a dynamic Orthodoxy without world wide missionary work."

About 300 people attended the blessing ceremony under a strong downpour. They were hierarchs of SCOBA or their representatives, from all Orthodox jurisdictions in America, the board of directors and staff of OCMC, missionaries and Mission Team members, benefactors and donors to the successful capital campaign which provided funding for the project, and Orthodox clergy and laity from throughout the country.

Archbishop Anastasios brought as a gift, a small silver reliquary containing relics of Saint Kosmas Aitolos, known for his missionary work in the 18th Century. Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA also brought a small container with relics of Saint Innocent of Alaska. Archbishop Demetrios presented to the OCMC board an icon of Saints Cyril and Methodios.

The new 12,000 square foot building, which is now the headquarters of OCMC, is located near Interstate 95 just north of St. Augustine, on a wooded twenty-acre site. It has two floors which include space for worship, training and meeting rooms, overnight accommodations for visiting missionaries and mission team members, a kitchen, and administrative offices and work areas. State of the art technology infrastructure is installed throughout, to support communications with OCMC's Missionaries around the world.

The facility is the first permanent building designed, constructed, owned and operated by a SCOBA agency. The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is the foreign mission and evangelism agency of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). It has missions in many countries like Albania, Romania, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Argentina, Uganda, Indonesia and others. OCMC traces its origins back to the early 1960's to the Lenten Self-Denial Club of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Lancaster, Pa., which soon became a Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Missions Committee and then a Missions Center in St. Augustine. In 1994 It transformed into a SCOBA program and took today's form.

The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas consists of the following members: Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; Metropolitan Philip, Vice Chairman - Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; Metropolitan Christopher, Secretary - Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America; Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, Treasurer - American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA; Archbishop Nicolae, Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas; Metropolitan Joseph, Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church; Metropolitan Jonah, Orthodox Church in America; Metropolitan Constantine, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA; Archpriest Alexander Abramov, Acting Representative of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA; Bishop Ilia of Philomelion, Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America.

For photos of this event visit: http://photos.goarch.org/main.php?g2_itemId=2636

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