December, Anno Domini 2015
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” - Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans 10:14-15
“In the first centuries it was not only the pastors who were tortured, but lay persons as well – men, women, and even children. And it was lay people likewise who enlightened the heathen and fought heresies. And now in the same way, the spreading of the Faith should be a matter that is personal, heartfelt, and dear to each one of us. Every member of the Church must take an active part in it – some by personal podvig spreading the Good News, some by material donations and service to ‘the needs of the holy persons,’ and some by profuse prayer to the Lord that He ‘keep His Church firm and multiply it’ – and concerning those unaware of Christ, that He would ‘proclaim the word of truth to them, open to them the Gospel of Truth, and join them to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.’ I have told this numerous times to my flock. And today, upon my departing from this land, I once more command all of you to preserve and act upon this, and especially you brethren of this holy temple.“ - St. Tikhon of Moscow, Farewell Address, San Francisco, 1907.
Dearly beloved brethren in Christ,
This past year we have seen great gains in the growth of the Saint Brendan Orthodox Mission in Bay County, Florida. Our beloved Metropolitan Hilarion has ordained clergy for the mission and directed us to mission’s work in our city. We have been blessed with a free location for services at a local Roman Catholic parish with many thanks to the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and Our Lady of the Rosary. Through the generous gifts of our members and friends at other parishes, we have many of the initial needs filled for conducting services. We are holding regular services the only mission or parish in our region to do so in the English tongue, or on the Old Church Calendar, or using the ancient Western (Roman) rite and hours. We remember at our altar everyone who has contributed to the needs of Saint Brendan Orthodox Christian Mission.
I thank God that, because of your gifts, we have been able to continue this needful work. We have appreciated prayers offered on our behalf, and will continue to pray for our benefactors.
In the coming year there is much work still to be done. It has been said that Orthodoxy is the best kept secret in America. We are still much of a secret in our community. I invite you this year to reach a new level of support: in financial giving, in attendance of the services, in volunteering towards the beautification and establishment of this mission parish, and especially in spreading the word to those in our community about Orthodoxy and the existence of a mission that worships in their heart language.
We have several needs that must be addressed: funding visits from our rector and dean, opening a mission bank account and applying for our own IRS tax ID, assessments due to the Western Rite of ROCOR, the purchase of candles and altar wine for the year, and towards some other items needed for conducting expansion of the services.
We have also made contact with many people who have shown interest in attending or being a part of Saint Brendan mission. We often hear stories from others about “lost sheep” in the area who have fallen away from participation in the Orthodox church and hurting people abandoned by the apostasy of the West. When you meet or hear of such people, please let them know that there is a canonical community keeping the traditional Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith in Bay County, Florida. We should all do what we can to encourage ourselves and each other to attend scheduled services, to participation in the services, and to grow in our commitment towards Christ our God, His Church, and to one another. This year we will complete our first catechumenate and reception of new members into the Church since 2010. We would like to continue that in the coming year.
Please send any contributions you can make to:
Saint Brendan Orthodox Mission
c/o The Reverend Deacon Aristibule Adams
1008 Arkansas Avenue
Lynn Haven, Florida 32444
Deacon Aristibule Adams
Saint Brendan Orthodox Mission - Lynn Haven
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
Home phone (leave a message): 1-850-248-2903
THE WONDERWORKER - Premier Issue, newsletter for the ROCOR Western Rite Communities - follow this link for a .pdf of the Winter 2015 newsletter of the Western Rite Communities of ROCOR.