Category Archives: General

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

Pack list prep

 

Hello Orthodox Youth Mission Team,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Well believe it or not, in a little over 3 weeks we will be on our way to Napaskiak, Alaska! Time for the final push on our preparations. Beth will soon be sending you all the list of people who donated stock in your name along with details on sending out thank you’s. Please do this as quickly as possible. All thank you’s must be sent before we leave.

We will have the complete pack list at our last meeting which will take place on Saturday, June 24th at 3:00 p.m.at Holy Trinity in Danbury. However, for those of you that want to get a head start on your shopping, there are a few items that are different from what we’ve needed in years past. Keep in mind that the average temperatures in Bethel in July are a high of 63 and low of 49, and, the mosquitoes are plentiful—so that means overall more long sleeve shirts and few if any shorts. Work day gear will be the same: long pants, t-shirts and work boots (as always, no sleeveless or spaghetti straps, no offensive slogans, etc.). In addition, there are a few items we have not had on our list before:
· Waterproof rain coat (not just a poncho)
· Waterproof rain boots (we will need them getting in and out of the boats and for mud)
· Girls will need a long skirt and head covering for church services; boys will need a collared shirt and khaki or other non-jean pants
In addition, it’s recommended that you not use really good luggage or bags that you don’t want to get dirty. Wheels will work in the airport but the bag needs to be able to be carried from the boat to the school (about 150 yards); wheels will not work there.

As for bedding, we have determined that if you want to bring an air mattress, you can do so as a carry on as long as the dimensions meet those required for a carry on.

Another option is a flat mat for sleeping. In addition you will need a sleeping bag and pillow if you desire. Bottom line: you get one checked bag with a maximum weight of 50 pounds and one carry on with the above dimensions—however you make that work is up to you.

Finally, we have decided to cancel the BBQ at the end of the meeting on the 24th due to the number of grad parties going on. If you are one of the few parents who are not able to make the meeting we recommend you ask someone to get your paperwork, contact list/itinerary, pack list and take notes for you as we will be giving out much crucial info for our trip.

As always, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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 Training Session Sunday 1/22

Hello Orthodox Youth Mission Team,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

I hope this finds you all well and as excited as I am to start our training for our mission trip to Napaskiak, Alaska this July! I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our first training session is this Sunday, Jan. 22nd at Holy Trinity in Danbury, CT from 5:00-7:00 p.m. (note the time). We have a lot of ground to cover so please be prompt.

Please bring the following:
· All missing paperwork and deposits—I will contact you under separate cover if you are missing anything
· Any remaining jars of soup of cookie mix and the money from the jars that were sold during the holidays
· $5 for dinner
· An open mind, enthusiastic heart and a prayerful spirit for the work we are undertaking!

Parents, there will be a sign up sheet at the meeting for families to prepare and serve dinner at the remaining meetings for the year. We will reimburse the cost of the meal but just ask for volunteers to plan, purchase and cook it. If you wish to email me a meeting you would like to take that is fine as well. Thank you in advance.

See you Sunday!

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

Time to sign up for 2017!!

Hello Orthodox Youth Mission Team Members:

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

Thank you to everyone who attended Sunday’s informational meeting. It was so good to see all of you again! In learning and discussing details about the trip and watching Bishop Gregory (before he was Bishop Gregory!) speak from his mission trip to Alaska, you exhibited such excitement and enthusiasm for this upcoming work that you made all of us leaders realize more than ever how grateful to God we are for this incredible opportunity!

The forms folder contains the Covenant, Permission Form/Medical Release and the Training Schedule for the upcoming year. Please fill out and sign the covenant and permission/medical form and return to me along with your $150 deposit (or mail to: Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 74 Joes Hill Ave., Danbury, CT 06811) by this Sunday, Nov. 20th. (Checks should be made out to Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.) If anyone has difficulty making the deposit, please let me know—scholarships can be arranged if needed.

For those of you who were not able to make the meeting and still have questions, please contact me by phone or email, asap.

As a reminder, we will be meeting at Holy Trinity in Danbury on Sunday December 4th from 3:00-6:00 p.m. for our fundraising kick off to make soup and cookie jars to sell during the holiday season. Please bring $4 for dinner. If you are unable to attend, let me know.

Looking forward to serving with all of you!

In Christ, Susan