His Grace DIMITRIOS of Xanthos officiates at the Groundbreaking Ceremonies for OCMC's Missionary Training and Administrative Support Center

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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His Grace DIMITRIOS of Xanthos officiates at the Groundbreaking Ceremonies for OCMC's Missionary Training and Administrative Support Center

May 9, 2006


“See I begin the excavation of these foundations, and may they stand firm for ever. Amen.”



 Bishop Dimitiros blesses the land where the new building will be constructed.



(From Left to Right) His Grace, Bishop Dimitrios, Helen Nicozisis, Capital Campaign Chairman, Mayor of St. Augustine, George Gardner, Cliff Argue, OCMC Board President and Fr. Martin Ritsi, Executive Director are the first to pick up the golden shovels to break ground for the new Missionary Training and Administrative Support Center




Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), St. Augustine, FL On May 5th, 2006, the groundbreaking ceremonies of OCMC’s Missionary Training and Administrative Support Center were conducted by His Grace DIMITRIOS of Xanthos, General Secretary of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). The day started with an overcast sky, but, as the groundbreaking services began, the sun shone brightly. Faithful from Orthodox communities throughout the country, together with local dignitaries, OCMC benefactors, board members, staff, and missionaries, joined to mark this historic day.


At the celebratory luncheon that followed, Bishop Dimitrios highlighted the historic significance of the event, noting that this building, will strengthen the Orthodox missionary outreach and will also be the first permanent building of a SCOBA agency. In that capacity, the Missionary Training Center will be a physical symbol of the unity that exists between the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States.


Father Luke Veronis, OCMC missionary for ten years in Albania and Africa, elaborated further on the importance of the building. He shared how necessary the training of future missionaries is and how this Center can help to inspire them, prepare them for cross-cultural ministry, then provide a place of refuge and rejuvenation as they return periodically during their missionary careers.



Father Martin, Executive Director of the Mission Center, expressed that in life we should dream and pray for those dreams to come true.  He looked back on the first Orthodox immigrants to arrive in St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, and reflected on how these immigrants would have felt to see all that has happened  in St. Augustine to this day. Would they have ever dreamt that from this same city where they had arrived as indentured servants, Orthodox would depart for the corners of the earth as missionaries and ambassadors of Christ’s love? What would they have thought if they knew that over 100 missionaries and 1,000 mission team members, along with millions of dollars in grants, would be sent from St. Augustine to touch the lives of people in far away places? Truly, God has worked miracles!


Helen Nicozisis, Capital Campaign Chairman, expressed her thanks to all those in attendance, as well as those who contributed to the Lord’s work. She acknowledged that every board and staff member, as well as over 635 pledges coming from persons of all backgrounds and jurisdictions, made the success of the six million dollar Capital Campaign possible.


The groundbreaking event was held in conjunction with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center’s biannual Board of Directors meeting, which was held at the World Golf Village Renaissance Hotel from May 3 – 5. OCMC’s Board of Directors is comprised of 46 clergy and laity representing the Orthodox jurisdictions of SCOBA from all parts of the United States.


As we celebrate this momentous occasion, please prayerfully consider how you can participate in helping the Mission Center take the Gospel to all Nations.  Contributions can be made out to the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and sent to PO Box 4319, St. Augustine, FL 32085.


To find out more about OCMC’s wonderful works and view a complete photo library of the groundbreaking events, please visit our website at www.ocmc.org.



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 the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).


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