(OCMC) - To the Reverend Clergy, Parish Council members, and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,
On November 15, 2015, we begin the Nativity Fast — that season during which we especially focus our attention on prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for our celebration of the Incarnation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ!
By taking on our human nature, the Living Word of God shares, in His very person, the “Good News” of salvation. He comes to proclaim the Gospel to all who would receive it, especially the poor, as we read in the written words of Scripture. And He calls upon us to likewise share this Good News in every way possible, “to the ends of the earth.”
Within the Orthodox Archdiocese of Kenya, under the omophorion of His Eminence, Archbishop Makarios, over 250 priests labor to proclaim the Gospel in a growing number of communities, many of which are remote and not easily accessible. Transportation is a major obstacle in pursuing their ministry. In order to assist these dedicated servants of the Living Word, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center has undertaking the cause of raising funds to purchase motorcycles, to be used by the Kenyan clergy, which will greatly assist them in visiting the People of God. This quest, it seems, would provide an ideal way for the faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest to not only give alms during the Nativity Fast, but to ensure that those who otherwise might not hear the joyous message of the Incarnation and to receive the Holy Mysteries might do so, especially during this most holy season and beyond.
With this in mind, I would like to ask our diocesan parishes and missions to raise alms during the Nativity Fast to purchase at least 10 motorcycles for the Archdiocese of Kenya. One motorcycle costs a mere $1,000.00. Perhaps one parish can donate the entire amount to purchase a motorcycle, two parishes donate $500.00 to purchase one, or four parishes can donate $250.00 each to purchase another. Of course, any gifts of any amount would be greatly appreciated. What a wonderful way for parishes of our diocese to work together to raise these funds.
Whether it be through an outright donation, a special collection, or a fundraiser – bake sale, luncheon, or related event — every parish is asked to “do something” in our collective almsgiving effort. Families and individuals also may send donations as well, which will be gratefully received. Regardless of the “method,” we do, as a diocesan family, have the “means” to assist in this endeavor to bring the Light of Christ to those who otherwise might not encounter it.
Additional information may be found on our diocesan website at www.domoca.org. There you will find a flyer that may be downloaded, printed and distributed locally, beginning November 15, highlighting our effort.
Please send all donations, which will be sent to Kenya in partnership with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, to the Diocese of the Midwest Kenya Fund, 927 North LaSalle, Chicago, Illinois 60610 by January 1, 2016. Checks should be made payable to the Diocese of the Midwest, with “Motorbikes for Kenya” noted in the memo line. Once all donations have been received, we will forward our collective alms to OCMC with our prayers for the ongoing ministry of the Kenyan clergy and the faithful they serve.
Thanking you in advance for your positive and generous response to this effort, I remain.
With love in Our Lord,
Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest