Volunteer Sunday 2024

Friday, January 19, 2024

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Volunteer Sunday 2024

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”
- Mark 10:45

Dear Beloved in Christ,

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has blessed the last Sunday of January as Volunteer Sunday, raising awareness about a new Agency of the Assembly, Orthodox Volunteer Corps (OVC). As the Episcopal Liaison to OVC, I invite you to join me in observing January 28 as Volunteer Sunday.

In the Gospel of Mark, Christ calls his disciples to an unexpected form of greatness–service.

You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Just as Christ called his first disciples to service, so he calls his followers today. Orthodox Volunteer Corps seeks to embody this call by providing a yearlong, domestic immersive service program for young adults (21-29 years old) combined with Orthodox formation, community living, and engagement with local parishes. OVC began programming in Pittsburgh in 2022 with 6 Corps Members, grew to 30 participants in 2023, and will expand to Boston in 2024. Corps Members serve alongside our most vulnerable neighbors–at homeless shelters, after-school programs, free medical clinics, and more.

Please join me in reminding the faithful of our call to serve and in raising awareness at our parishes of this new ministry of service, Orthodox Volunteer Corps.

In Christ,

Bishop Andrei
Episcopal Liaison to OVC