Category Archives: Alaska

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

OYMT meeting 2/12

Hello Orthodox Youth Mission Team Members,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

This is a reminder that next Sunday, February 12th we have a MANDATORY training session at St. Barbara (480 Racebrook Rd, Orange, CT 06477)—we will be in the Lightle House, which is the white building on the right as you face the church. The meeting will start promptly at 3:00 p.m. and go to 5:00 p.m. Adult leaders will meet at 5:00 p.m. This is our stock sales meeting and everyone is asked to bring their address list printed on peel and stick mailing labels. As in the past we will provide the letters, postage and all else that is needed to mail your stock letters. More than ever this year it is CRUCIAL that we meet our stock sale goal which is $20,000 in order to cover the costs of our trip to Alaska.

This week Fr. Luke, Beth and I met with members of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) who are working with us on this trip. We received more details about our mission trip which we look forward to sharing with you. If you go to the link below, you will see our team’s trip on their website. OCMC would like to list the names of all of our team members on this part of the website. Parents, please email me a “Yes” or “No” to let me know if you are okay with this.

https://www.ocmc.org/about/open_teams.aspx

Also: we have solidified the plans for the weekend training session with OCMC. The weekend will be the one on your schedule, Sat. April 29 into Sun. April 30th. OCMC is flying someone up from Florida for this training and orientation for our trip and everyone must be there from Saturday morning until Sunday after liturgy (no exceptions). The training will take place at Holy Trinity in Danbury and youth and leaders will be staying over at the church. Parents are invited to come on Sunday to meet with the OCMC staff for a Q & A about the trip after liturgy. Please engrave this date on your calendar and make no plans for that weekend!

Lastly, it’s time to make the final payment for the trip which is $150.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday.

Remember to bring your address labels and $5 for dinner!

In Christ,
Susan

OYMT Sip, Shop, Sparkle!

Hello Orthodox Youth Team Members and Parents,

We have an additional opportunity to raise funds for our mission trip to Alaska this year. We will be hosting a Holiday Open House on Sunday December 11th from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the church hall at Holy Trinity in Danbury with lots of gifts wrapped and ready to give to family, friends, teachers, hostesses and more. Also, all skincare and the latest in holiday makeup will be available too. Pani Bethany Mihaly has generously offered to contribute 30% of all proceeds to the mission team. Please post the flyer at your church and spread the word to your parishes as well as friends, family and co-workers. Join us if you can to shop and enjoy refreshments and holiday cheer. If you can’t attend the event you can also shop online at www.marykay.com/bmihaly. See the attached flyer for more details.

If you have any questions, please contact me or Bethany.

In Christ,
Susan

Welcome 2017 Team! See you Sunday!

Hello OYMT 2017 Team Members,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

We are pleased to let you all know that our 2017 Orthodox Youth Mission Team has been finalized. Attached you will find a list of youth and adult leaders who will be participating in our mission trip to Napaskiak, Alaska through the OCMC July 7-18, 2017. This year’s team is comprised of 20 youth and 6 adult leaders from 6 parishes in 3 jurisdictions of the Orthodox church. We are grateful and excited that all of you have stepped forward to participate in this amazing opportunity to serve and put our faith to work! Please use the team list to begin praying for one another and for our mission work, that we may develop a fuller understanding of mission and deepen our relationship with our Lord, each other and those we will serve. Please also begin to pray for Fr. Vasily, the priest of the community we will be serving, as well as the people of Napaskiak and Oscarville. We will be sending the names of our team members to Fr. Vasily and asking him to pray for us as well.

Next up: see you this Sunday, December 4th at Holy Trinity in Danbury for our fundraising kickoff from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Please bring your covenant, medical form/permission slip and $150 deposit if you have not already turned these in. (Forms are available on our website: www.oymt.info.) Also, bring $5 for dinner.

Looking forward to seeing all of you Sunday and beginning our work together!

In Christ,
Susan