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OCMC News - Fall 09 Agape Newsletter Stories

by Ted Theodorou (Posted 10/26/2009)

Janet Carter Comes to Town – St. Herman Seminary – Kodiak, Alaska (USA)
By:  Mat. Beth Dunlop

Eighteen students, faculty and others from the Kodiak community gathered for a three-day workshop at St. Herman’s Orthodox Seminary at the end of January for training in alcohol and drug abuse counseling. The training, made possible by an OCMC Agape Grant, was given by Janet Carter, a former resident of Kodiak and founder of the Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Training (RADACT) program.  Ms. Carter is one of the foremost people in the field of substance abuse counseling and is known for being a dynamic instructor. She brings with her a wealth of personal experience in Alaska and an up-to-date knowledge on the chemical effects of substances on the brain and the implications for treatment.

The courses taught consisted of a two-day introduction to counseling, and a one-day introduction to addictive behavior. We advertised the event around town so we had three people come from outside the seminary, and even one of the seminarian wives came with their baby who was very quiet the entire three days.

The first couple of days Ms. Carter gave power-point presentations and had us work on skills that would help in a client-centered counseling. Many of us found the counseling skills she taught, such as paraphrasing, reflecting emotions, summarizing, probing and confronting, to be very applicable to our ministries and even in parenting. The role-playing challenged us to try to apply some of these new concepts, while we struggled with practicing asking open-ended questions, rather than simple “yes” / “no” questions. On the third day we studied the addictive process, learned to distinguish between lapse and relapse, and viewed many interesting “slides” made with the latest in brain scans that show the effect of various substances on brain activity.  We also spent time learning and practicing mapping, a useful skill for counseling, especially when working with groups.  Originally developed in the field of education, mapping has applications not only for recovery but also may prove useful to our students for study as well.

We want to express our sincere thanks to all of the OCMC Agape partners for making this grant possible, and hope to have Ms. Carter came again once or twice a semester. St. Herman Seminary last had her come teach in June 2007 at the end of the semester for a longer two-week training. We hope by including her teaching more frequently we can integrate more the information and tools she can give us into our program.

Updates from the Fellowship of Love Soup Kitchen
By: George Russell, Missionary to Albania

We have a new staff member at the Fellowship of Love Soup Kitchen named Altin.  Altin’s wife recently left the family leaving her husband to care for their young daughter.  Desperately in need of money, we hired Altin to provide some much needed repair work, yard upkeep, and painting at the Soup Kitchen.  What he earned working for us really helped his family through a very difficult time.  With your support, we continue to hire families like Altin’s as the Soup Kitchen constantly brings us special cases of extreme need.


As you know Agape Canister grants help fund some very important philantropic ministries of the Church around the world; and we would like our partners to help us raise awareness and support for the Agape Canister program.  Here are some fundraising ideas you can try in your own community:

Host a Coffee Hour – The most tried and true method for fundraising.  Talk to your parish priest or council to reserve a date, then go to http://www.ocmc.org and print information about our mission projects that you can show to your community.

Bake Sale – Who’s got a sweet tooth?  Bake your favorite treats and ask people to make donations to the Agape Canister program.

Percentage Night – This involves a little more planning and coordination.  Ask one of your business owners with an Agape canister to donate a percentage of their total sales during an allotted time to the Agape Canister Program.  Advertise the event in your church bulletin and invite as many people can.  The business will benefit from increased advertising and publicity and so will the Agape program!

Run for Agape – Lace up your shoes and go!  Get a team of runners together and ask people to sponsor your run.  For every mile you run, they pledge to donate a certain amount to the Agape canister program.

How do your collections compare with other partners around the nation?  See what the average partner brought in during the second and third quarters, but don’t be discouraged!  Keep up the good work, and together we can give the gift of love to all those around the world.

Second Quarter (Apr-June), Third Quarter (July-Sept)
*insert number* - Total Agape Revenue
*insert number* - Total Number of Active Partners
*insert number* - Average Partners Collection
*insert number* - Amount of Highest Grossing Partnership
*insert number* - Amount of Lowest Grossing Partnership


Want to make a tax-deductible donation to the Agape Canister Program…online?  Giving to the program has never been easier!  Just visit http://www.ocmc.org/donate/index.aspx and make a secure gift to the Agape Canister Program with your credit card online.  Your receipt will be mailed within two weeks.

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Prayer for Missions

God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
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