Ministry & Missions
Since our parish is also a genuine community, our ministry to one another begins with fellowship. Each Sunday, following the main worship service, we have a light meal together. We call this time Fellowship Hour, and it allows us to catch up and stay connected to one another on a weekly basis. But once a quarter, we also have an extended Fellowship Hour that we call our Community Meal; during this time, we not only get to visit with one another, we also have the opportunity to share our needs with the larger community. These needs are later complied into a prayer list that we use during our worship services and in our own personal devotions. But we also do a great deal of hands-on ministry within our parish: we provide meals during times of crisis; we help members with unexpected bills and medical expenses, and we provide on-going support during times of illness or unemployment.
Our ministry to our brothers and sisters in Central Texas begins with the canned goods that we supply each week to Hill Country Community Ministries. Several times a year, we also distribute Blessing Bags; these are large zip-loc baggies that contain granola bars, socks, a small bottle of water, and a prayer card. The members of our community give these bags to the homeless who stand at intersections and ask for assistance. During the season leading up to Easter, we collect money for International Orthodox Christians Charities; this organization funds relief and development work around the world. During the season leading up to Christmas, we collect toys as part of our St Nicholas Project; the toys are then donated to several different organizations in the area. We also enjoy working with the Texas Alliance for Life; each January, we sing for the annual Rally for Life that is held at the state capital.
We are also involved in long-term mission projects in Alaska and Romania. For a number of years, we have helped to support a Native Alaskan priest, Father Ishmael Andrew. Father Ishmael lives and works with his family in Sitka (Washington Times: Village priest finds a new calling in Sitka). Jeffrey and Caryn Macdonald are members of our parish, and they are also missionaries in Albania. The Macdonald family has been in Albania for a number of years now, and Jeffrey teaches at the Holy Resurrection Seminary in Durres.