Wednesday, December 14, 2005
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince,
rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
Share The Light Sunday
15 January 2006
To the Most Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics and
The Devout Faithful of the Holy Orthodox Church in the Americas.
Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
As Shepherds of the Church, it is our duty to "preach the word" of God to you, the flock entrusted to our care. This has been the way of our Church for nearly 2,000 years now. Those called by God to be Shepherds, are responsible for communicating the good news conveyed to us by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Your Shepherds must preach to you "in season and out of season", in good times and difficult times, in times of happiness and times of sorrow, in times of abundance and times of poverty and hunger, in times of peace and times of war, in times of hope and in times of despair.
At times, as St. Paul explains to Timothy, we will need to convince you what is necessary, what is proper, what is ethical. On occasion we may find that we must rebuke wrong actions, wrong thoughts, wrong teachings that are promulgated by various elements within our pluralistic society. Always, the Church tries through preaching, through books, newspapers, through youth and religious education programs, through every means possible to equip you to be all that God has called you to be.
Still, we know that there are vast millions of people who are not in our churches and not hearing the word of God preached there by our dedicated clergy. The fact that the voice of our Orthodox Christian faith is missing has real consequences for the lives of real people who are led astray by false doctrines and false teachers.
Thanks to all the new means of communication, there is no reason for our voice to be missing today. The establishment of the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) as a SCOBA agency has begun to make it possible for us to lay the groundwork to make our voice heard in this nation. Through the Come Receive the Light radio program we are already able to reach out to millions never reached before.
This is the very reason we established the third Sunday of every January as Share The Light Sunday for all our Orthodox parishes. We are committed to using the powerful communication tools of modern media to share the faith of Orthodoxy with our nation. We are also committed to equipping you, our faithful, with the spiritual tools you will need to both know your faith and share your faith within your communities.
That is why we call on all of you to set aside Sunday, January 15th, as Share The Light Sunday, and request that you fully support with financial gifts and spiritual prayers the work of Orthodox Christian Network. Your support will help make the voice of Orthodoxy available to all who hunger for the spiritual food of our timeless faith.
We ask that you use this special day to stand with us, as we share the light of Orthodoxy with America.
May Christ, our True Light, grant you His peace and salvation!
With Paternal love and devotion,
+Archbishop DEMETRIOS, Chairman
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Orthodox Church in America
+Metropolitan PHILIP, Vice Chairman
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America & Canada
+Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER, Secretary
Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church
+Metropolitan NICHOLAS of Amissos, Treasurer
Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
+Bishop ILIA of Philomelion
Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America
nbsp; Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.nbsp; We are committed to using the powerful communication tools of modern media to share the faith of Orthodoxy with our nation. We are also committed to equipping you, our faithful, with the spiritual tools you will need to both know your faith and share your faith within your communities.