Almsgiving is an important part of our spiritual lives as Orthodox Christians, especially during fasting periods. With Great Lent already well underway, we should really take some time to think about ways we can support the Church in all that She does to help those in need, both here and around the world. In this post, we share some of the different Orthodox Christian ministries out there you should consider supporting in whatever way you can!
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Table of contents
- Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC)
- International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
- Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry
- ZOE for Life!
- Antiochian Village
- Hogar Rafael Ayau
- St. Basil’s Academy
- Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage
- Local monasteries
- Initiatives in your own parish
- Any other Orthodox charities?
Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC)
OCMC is an agency of the Assembly of Bishops that sends missionaries around the world to share the message of the Gospel. They currently have long-term missionaries in Albania, Guatemala, Kenya, Mongolia, Romania, and the United States. Many parishes choose to sponsor a particular missionary family, so check with your priest to see if your local parish is supporting anyone!
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
Next on the list is IOCC, perhaps the most well-known and respected Orthodox charity, providing communities around the world with immediate disaster relief. They also provide long-term community-oriented solutions to poverty, housing, education, and health.
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry
OCPM ministers to men and women who are in prison or have been recently released. They provide spiritual guidance and catechism to those interested. Moreover, they train clergy and lay people on prison ministry. OCPM currently ministers to over 46,000 people in prison including five who have become monks and over 700 catechumens. Glory to God!
ZOE for Life!
ZOE for Life! is a pan-Orthodox outreach ministry that helps women in crisis pregnancies. A donation to ZOE for Life! helps them provide counseling, housing, medical assistance, prenatal care, adoption assistance, and a variety of other services.
Many of you are probably familiar with Village and its camping ministries. Donations to AV help maintain its facilities as well as provide scholarships to campers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. Recently, the Village began an initiative to sponsor the building of a cathedral at the edge of the camp’s grounds! There are also many church camps in other jurisdictions that you can support – talk to your priest to learn more.
Hogar Rafael Ayau
Another ministry close to our hearts here at Saint John’s is the Hogar Rafael Ayau (San Miguel del Lago). It is an orphanage outside of Guatemala City, Guatemala. The nuns of the Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Trinity run this orphanage, educating and caring for the children within the context of Orthodox life.
St. Basil’s Academy
Located in upstate New York, the St. Basil’s Academy ministry takes in orphaned and at-risk Orthodox children. Additionally, they educate them in a safe and nurturing environment that addresses all of their needs. In existence since 1944, they take in children from all Orthodox backgrounds and care for them with Christ’s healing love.
Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage
Project Mexico helps build homes for families in need, while St. Innocent Orphanage cares for and educates orphaned boys in a loving, spiritually-rich environment. In addition to giving, you can always sign up for a summer team with your family, friends, or parish to volunteer.
When people think of supporting an Orthodox ministry, not many people think about local monasteries. But monasteries are important, because they provide a place for monks and nuns to live and worship apart from the world. Check with your parish priest to see if there is a local Orthodox monastery close to you that you could support with a donation.
Initiatives in your own parish
This one might seem obvious, but remember to support the ministries your own parish has started! If they run a meal program, then consider donating money, food, or even your own time to help them minister to your local community.
Any other Orthodox charities?
Which Orthodox ministries or charities do you support that we didn’t list here? Please share them with us in the comments!
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