Photos from the Mission Team Chicago Dinner in Glenview, IL (top and bottom left) and the Pan-Orthodox Pentecost SAMP Banquet in Spokane, WA (right).
Two cities, separated by thousands of miles but united in the missionary spirit of the Apostles, recently held events to raise awareness and money for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and for global mission work, as they have done for decades. In doing so, they follow in the footsteps of the Apostles who were given the Great Commission by Christ in His final earthly command before His Holy Ascension.
“After Pentecost, as part of their preparation for missionary work, the Apostles fasted and prayed that God would strengthen and protect them as they spread the Gospel,” said OCMC Executive Director Fr. Martin Ritsi. “We offer that same prayer for all those in the mission field today and thank God for people who support missions like those in Chicago and Spokane have done for so many years.”
Mission Team Chicago (MTC), spearheaded by past OCMC Mission Team members, gathered more than 140 people at Sts. Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Glenview, IL. Participants viewed the newest video chronicling the history and work of OCMC since its inception in 1985. Fr. Ritsi offered a special presentation outlining OCMC’s work in Kenya, the first country in which an OCMC missionary worked, and subsequent activities in Africa and around the world. The keynote address was given by His Grace NEOFITOS, Bishop of Eldoret and Northern Kenya, the first hierarch of the newly-formed diocese, who outlined his vision for bringing people to Christ and His Church. It was the 25th gathering over the years that MTC has organized and the first since January 2020. Proceeds from the event will support OCMC and the Diocese of Eldoret and Northern Kenya.
In Spokane, WA the event raised money for OCMC’s Support a Mission Priest (SAMP) Program. The event began 20 years ago at the direction of Fr. Stephen (now retired) and Pres. Irene Supica to honor the name day of Holy Trinity parish. Former OCMC Missionary, Anastasia Barksdale was the keynote speaker along with current Holy Trinity priest, Fr. Daniel Triant. In 2022, the dinner drew participants from five area parishes and raised enough money to support 11 SAMP priests for a year.
If you are interested in joining MTC and Holy Trinity by hosting an event in your city or parish, please click below to contact the OCMC events staff.