Category Archives: Alaska

Tips for Life Back Home

Dear OYMT 2017 Alaska Members,

Glory to Jesus Christ!  Glory Forever!

It was a blessed trip for all of us.  I'm sure all of you noticed a difference in culture from Napaskiak to what you found back here in 'the lower 48.'  I noticed the difference in culture just from the airports on the way home.  We contacted Presbytera Renee and went over some of the points OCMC give to their missionaries when they return home from a mission trip.  These are the ones we want to share with you.  Please read them carefully; think and pray on them.

TIPS FOR ENTERING LIFE BACK HOME
·         Be open to what God taught you while you were in Alaska.   
·         Keep up your prayer life.
·         Allow yourself to reflect a changed live.
·         Think about the most important things you want to share with others to inspire them about your Team experience.
·         Don’t expect others to be as excited about your experience as you are.
·         Be careful about value judgments – don’t judge people back at home or Alaska. 
·         Sometimes injustices or poverty lead us to ask ‘why’ (why not me; why here; why so much; why so little). Get involved in your own Churches outreach and make a difference around you.  Pray for Orthodox Missions.  Pray for your parish at home.  Pray for those you met in Napaskiak.
·         Be prepared for nostalgia – most people miss being with teammates, the hosts and having something meaningful to do.
·         Don’t let a little depression take you by surprise – we can become sad and miss the love and joy we were surrounded with.
·         Keep in touch! – with your team members, hosts, OCMC.
·         Contact your supporters – and share how meaningful your experience was and how you appreciated their financial and prayer support.

Remember to pray for each other and those in Alaska we came to know so well.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Assuring you of my love and prayers,

Fr. Luke Mihaly
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
74 Joes Hill Road
Danbury, CT 06811
(203) 748-0671
www.holytrinitydanbury.org
www.acrod.org
www.ocmc.org

Alaska Update 7/12/17

Things couldn’t be better! We are in one of the best facilities that has ever been our Center. Bible camp was a huge success. We have a day to regroup tomorrow before the teen conference begins on Friday. The people are warm and inviting. We had lunch and dinner in private homes and everyone has been open to trying the local cuisine. Tonight’s delicacy was braised moose! Transportation can be challenging but we hope materials arrive tomorrow so we can continue work on the church in Oscarville. Because we are in a school, the wifi blocks Facebook during the day so we can only post and see comments after 5pm.  Please check out the pictures by clicking the ‘photo album’ button on www.oymt.info, or search @oymt1 on Facebook.

Love these kids! Americawear Wednesday was today’s camp theme, and work continued on the church in Oscarville.

Mary Kay Fundraiser Ends 7/1

 

Hello Team,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

The Mary Kay fundraiser to benefit our team will end this Saturday, July 1st. If you have any last minute orders that you would like to place, please do so by then. You can place orders through the website: www.marykay.com/bmihaly or by email to coachbe1@aol.com. As a reminder, 30% of your purchase goes to our mission team. A big thank you to Pani Bethany Mihaly for so generously donating from her profits to our mission team!

In Christ, Susan

Final Meeting!

 

Hello Orthodox Youth Mission Team,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

 This is it—our last meeting before we leave for Napaskiak, AK! A few reminders:

Meeting will take place on Saturday, June 24th at 3:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity in Danbury.

  • Parents meeting will take place first. We will go over the pack list, itinerary, airport procedure and final departure details.
  • We will also have the release and medical forms that need to be filled out and notarized. We will have a notary at the meeting.
  • Youth meeting will take place immediately following parent meeting.

 As previously announced, we have cancelled the BBQ. We anticipate the meeting ending at 6:00 p.m. (If we can get through everything and end earlier we will.)Adult leaders will meet after the regular meeting.

 Please bring:

  • Any remaining stock sales or other fundraiser monies
  • Insurance cards
  • ID (parents and teens)

For those few parents who are not able to attend the meeting, please ask someone to take notes for you and also to pick up forms. We will also make forms available on our website.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with me.

See you Saturday.

In Christ, Susan

LAST two meetings, pay attention!!

Dear Team Members,

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

We’re getting closer and closer to our mission trip to Napaskiak, Alaska but we still have some important training to do! We have two more sessions:

SATURDAY MAY 20TH 2-6 p.m. at ST. JOHN’S BRIDGEPORT (364 Mill Hill Ave.) – CONSTRUCTION, SAFETY AND TEACHING TRAINING SESSION
As you all have heard, our service in Alaska will be on two projects:
· Running a youth camp and teen conference
· Helping build a church in the nearby town of Oscarville

On 5/20 we will divide our time between
· A refresher of the construction and safety skills we will need for the church construction project
· Training on the lessons, crafts and sports/activities we will be offering at the youth camps
There will also be a presentation from Matushka Tamara Cowan from Holy Trinity Yonkers who has spent much time in Alaska and will share first hand some “insider info” and maybe teach us a phrase or two in Yup’ik.

There will be no meal on Saturday. Please bring any additional stock sales/fundraising proceeds.

SATURDAY JUNE 24TH 3-5 PARENT MEETING, 5-7 TEEN TRAINING AND BBQ (LEADER MEETING AT 7:00 P.M.) HOLY TRINITY DANBURY, CT
· Parents: fill out trip paperwork, go over pack list, answer last minute questions
· Teens: go over pack list, final travel and trip details, prayer walk, preparatory activities, BBQ
Looking forward to seeing all of you and completing our training for our mission trip together!

In Christ,
Susan

Sleepover Retreat this Weekend! Parent meeting on Sunday!

Hello Team,

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

I hope you all are enjoying a most glorious Pascha! Since our weekend-long training session at Holy Trinity in Danbury on April 29-30 is rapidly approaching, I wanted to send a few important details and reminders. We will be welcoming Andy Lekos, a Missions Team Director from OCMC who will be conducting our training. Our two days will be very busy and we have a lot of ground to cover. So, here’s what you need to know:

· Arrive at Holy Trinity on Saturday, April 29th at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast.
· We will also  provide lunch, dinner, and breakfast after liturgy on Sunday.
· What to pack: ASP dress code appropriate attire for day sessions (no work boots required) and sleeping, a Bible, clothes for liturgy on Sunday. Bring an air mattress or mat and sleeping bag. (NOTE: on our trip we will not be bringing air mattresses, only camping mats. This may be a good time to purchase and try out your mat to make sure it works for you.) If the weather cooperates, boys/men may be sleeping outside—we will provide the tents.
· There will be separate bathrooms for males and females; no showers.
· We will be making breakfast on Sunday as a fundraiser for our trip.
· The training session will end for youth on Sunday at 2 p.m. Youth are expected to be here for the entire time unless you have already cleared an exception with me. (Adult leaders will have an additional session with Andy from 2:00-4:00 p.m.)

PARENTS: There will be a question and answer session for parents with Andy from 1:00-2:00 p.m. on Sunday. A parent for each teen is strongly encouraged to attend. This will be your one opportunity to speak directly with someone from OCMC about our trip and get any and all questions you have answered.

Hope your fundraising efforts are going well. Please bring all stock sales and fundraiser proceeds you have to our training session. We have passed the half way point of $10,000 toward our stock goal. 

Also, for our trip everyone will need a government issued photo i.d. This can be one of the following:
· Driver’s license
· Govt. issued driver’s learner’s permit with photo
· Non-driver’s license govt issued photo id
We will need to make a photocopy of your id in order to submit names for your airline tickets. Please bring your id with you on Saturday so we can photocopy. If you do not have one of these forms of ID please make arrangements to get one before our May meeting. That will be the deadline for copying ID’s.

If anyone has any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or email.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the 29th!

In Christ,
Susan

Keep on Fundraising!

Hello Orthodox Youth Mission Team Members,

 Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

Who’s excited about going to Alaska?! Well now it’s time to put your enthusiasm into action. Good news: we have achieved 40% of our stock sale goal of $20,000. But that means we still have more than 50% to go. It’s up to all of you youths (not your leaders!) to organize yourselves to sell stock to your parishes at coffee hours. A week from Sunday (April 9th) will be Palm Sunday and I am sure you are all planning to be in church. Get together and set up a table at coffee hour (with the blessing of your priest, of course). Make a sign, have a laptop or ipad with photos from last year’s trip (if you need help gathering photos, etc. contact Beth-bethyryzyk@gmail.com. Share your enthusiasm with your parish. As we have said, you are on a groundbreaking mission—the first time that OCMC has sent a short term mission team of high school students! Your participation in this mission is exciting not only for our team but for the possibility of opening up this avenue of service to many other Orthodox teens. I know everyone is busy but I also know that you all are dedicated and believe in the mission team or you wouldn’t keep coming back and investing time and effort each year.

 It’s crunch time for fundraising! We have a ways to go before we can step on that plane to Napaskiak. In addition to stock sales, each parish is working on their own fundraiser or fundraisers for our trip. Get in touch with your leaders, share your ideas, make yourself available and take the lead in making these efforts successful. As important as raising funds is raising awareness of what the group is doing and what missions means to our Church!

 Reverend Fathers and parents, any and all help you can provide in assisting our youth in promoting this mission trip and opportunity to serve is greatly appreciated!

 Wishing you all a continued fruitful Lenten journey!

 In Christ, Susan

Stock Sales Underway

Hello OYMT Members,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

Hope everyone is enjoying a good start to their Lenten journey.

It’s time to focus on our stock sales—our biggest fundraiser for our mission trip to Alaska. At this point all letters have been mailed (for the few of you who were not at the meeting you should have received your materials in the mail and if you haven’t already, please mail out on Monday). Now to our parish sales: I have sent an email to all of your parish priests. Please remember to coordinate with your priest as you plan your coffee hour stock sales. It is essential that everyone participate in this fundraiser. Beth included sheets in the stock kit for sign-ups for each of the Sundays during lent. Every youth and adult leader should take a turn or work as a group. Hitting our goal of $20,000 is necessary to make it possible to fund our trip.

Our next mandatory training session will be Sunday March 12th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at St. Barbara (480 Racebrook Rd, Orange, CT 06477). We will be doing some specific training for our work in Alaska and will also go over the schedule and details for the weekend training session on April 29-30.

Please bring any stock sales that you have received, $5 for dinner and, if you have not already paid it, the final $150 volunteer fee.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at St. Barbara.

In Christ,
Susan

 

OYMT February meeting rescheduled

Hello Orthodox Youth Mission Team,

Well I’m sure you’re all as disappointed as we were that today’s stock sale meeting had to be postponed but…perhaps it was because something better was in store. On Feb. 25th and 26th, Alex Goodwin, a representative from the Orthodox Christian Mission Center who has himself participated in a short term mission trip will be in our area. So, here’s Plan B: You will have two options for making up our Stock Sale Meeting.

1. Saturday Feb. 25th 6:00-8:00 p.m. at St. John’s in Stratford (600 Silver Lane, Stratford, CT 06614). There will be Vespers at 4:00 p.m. and Alex will give a presentation about missions at 4:45 p.m. Following the presentation there will be some refreshments and an opportunity for Q & A with Alex. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about our host organization, OCMC, and also to speak to someone who has already done what you are about to do and we urge teens and parents to take advantage of this opportunity. From 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. we will have our meeting and get our stock letters addressed and ready to mail. And, we will get to do an OYMT meeting at Melissa’s church which never happens. Yay!

2. Sunday Feb. 26th 1:00-3:00 at Holy Trinity in Danbury, CT. Liturgy at 10:00 a.m. followed by a brunch to support OCMC and a presentation by Alex, and a Q & A. From 1:00-3:00 p.m. we will have a meeting to send out our stock letters out. Again, if you (and your parents) can come in time for the presentation it will be very beneficial but the meeting will be from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

We are asking that all team members attend one or the other of these two meetings. It is imperative that we get our stock letters out before the beginning of March. Please let me know which meeting you plan to attend. If you absolutely (no way) can meet either of these two times, please let me know ASAP.

As with today, please bring your mailing list on peel and stick address labels to the meeting, along with $5 which will be a donation to OCMC since dinner/brunch is being provided. Also, please bring your $150 final payment to which ever meeting you attend.

Our March 12th meeting will now be moved to St. Barbara in Orange, CT who so graciously offered to host us today (as long as that fits with the availability of their space).

Also, please let me hear from parents if we have your permission to list your teen’s name on the OCMC website with our team information.

Lastly, we have some sad news to share. Fr. David Cochran’s father passed away yesterday. We ask that you please keep Jack Cochran in your prayers along with Fr. David, Pani Andrea and their family.

Fortunately our ASP training over the last few years has taught us to be prepared for changes and recalculations. Appreciating your flexibility as we work to reschedule this very important meeting.

Stay safe, warm and dry!

In Christ, Susan