Friday, June 10, 2005
Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of SCOBA, attends OCMC Board Meeting and Banquet
The Orthodox Christian Mission Center(OCMC), St. Augustine, FL-The Orthodox Christian Mission Center’s Board of Directors welcomed Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, to its Spring 2005 Board Meeting and Banquet. The meeting was held in the Washington D.C.area at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, Virginia from May 24 to 26, 2005.
The Board of OCMC, the official international mission and evangelism agency of SCOBA, is comprised of 34 clergy and laity members representing various Orthodox jurisdictions. They were encouraged by the presence and words of support from Archbishop Demetrios at the meeting. His Eminence emphasized the importance of the work of the Mission Centerfor the growth of the Orthodox Church around the world. He praised OCMC’s exhibited expansion and proclaimed his support of the OCMC’s Capital Campaign to fund endowments for Mission work and to build a new MissionCenterin St. Augustine, FL.The Capital Campaign, now in its final stages, was discussed during the meeting as the Board of Directors reviewed the architect’s drawings and other plans for moving into the new Center by the end of 2006.
Aside from work related to the Board’s fiscal and governing responsibilities, the Board of Directors also embarked on reparatory work for a new 5-year Strategic Plan to be implemented at the beginning of 2006 and approved two new OCMC Missionaries. Mr. Constantine Triantafilou, the Executive Director of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), OCMC’s sister organization, updated the OCMC Board on the latest projects and programs of IOCC. This general sharing of information was followed by dialogue and discussions which reaffirmed the continued close relationship between OCMC and IOCC, who work in harmony in the service of the Lord.
The OCMC Health Care Committee held a reception for local area health care professionals to learn about Missionopportunities. Dr. John Demakis, chair of the Health Care Committee and a member of the host St. Katherine parish organized the event.
Archbishop Demetrios was the keynote speaker at the OCMC Banquet, Wednesday, May 25, 2005, sponsored by the Mission Committee of St. Katherine. His Eminence spoke about the importance of mission and service as members of the Body of Christ. He read the last words of Christ before His Ascension from the last chapter of the Gospel of Matthew called the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The Archbishop went on to highlight some of the 2004 accomplishments of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center including the first Mission Team sent to Korea, 273 indigenous clergy financially supported in mission lands, 6 churches built, 9,651 people receiving medical or dental care and the land purchased for a new Mission Center.
Fr. Chad Hatfield, OCMC Board Vice President and Dean of St. Herman Seminary in Kodiak, AK, Fr. Martin Ritsi, OCMC Executive Director, and Cliff Argue, OCMC Board President, also spoke at the banquet. Dr. John Demakis served as Master of Ceremonies.
During the banquet, the presentation of a gift of $100,000 for the OCMC Capital Campaign was made by Mr. Charles Masterpolis, an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in honor of his parents. Mr. Masterpolis of Savannah, GA, is a very dedicated Orthodox philanthropist. He was given a commemorative hand-written icon of the Great Commission for his generosity. His Eminence Demetrios was honored for all the work he has done in support of missions with a similar icon.
Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of SCOBA and primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (above-left and center-right) and Mr. Charles Masterpolis, Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and dedicated philanthropist of Savannah, GA (above-right) were honored at an OCMC Banquet held at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA on May 26, 2005. Fr. Martin Ritsi, OCMC Executive Director (above-center and bottom right) and Mr. Cliff Argue, OCMC President (bottom-left) thanked His Eminence for his ongoing support of Orthodox missions and thanked Mr. Masterpolis for his $100,000 donation to OCMC’s Capital Campaign by presenting them both with hand-written icons of the Great Commission.
The Orthodox Christian Mission Center: Helping Orthodox Christians respond to Christ's call to preach, teach, baptize, minister to the poor and make disciples of all nations as the official international mission agency of SCOBA.