Alaska has been isolated from other Orthodox communities in this country for too long. As our world has become smaller, we still have not accomplished much to close the gap of our own in remote regions of Alaska - America's Great and Holy Land.
The Sister Parish project opens the door for understanding between the Native cultures of Alaska and our multi ethnic cultures (Greek, Antiochian, Romanian, Serbian, convert parishes, etc) in other parts of this continent. Orthodox youth of all jurisdictions in the lower 48, Hawaii, and Canada will have the opportunity to participate in a cultural exchange program with youth in Alaska as their own mission project. This will begin by connecting individual youth groups for Pen Pal communication.
Each parish will appoint an adult contact for their group (Priest or Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, Teen Coordinator, OCF Leader, Ladies Altar Society, etc.) who will communicate with the Outreach Alaska coordinator to develop and maintain continuity of the mission project. The youth will exchange photos and a brief letter telling about themselves, their community, lifestyle, family, church group, etc. to the Sister Parish. As the dialogue develops there may be an exchange of cultural items, holiday cards, youth program ideas, videos, etc. Sister Parish connections will become your extended faith family. As the saints taught, they also learned. The youth should provide some kind of communication within their parish to tell all members about what they are learning through their Sister Parish mission project. This can be done by regular reports to the parish from the youth, the Parish Newsletter, Website, Annual Parish Meetings, etc. - whatever works best in your parish setting. You will learn from each other, about each other.
Sister Parish is not a project of financial support. If correspondence results in the concern for either parish to send funds for any reason, this should not be done without first communicating with Outreach Alaska.
*Sister Parish placements have been made for:
We will also place youth with the youth of our seminarians at St. Herman Theological Seminary in Kodiak, AK. This would be a good "Pen Pal" or Teen Group placement. Written "Criteria" and "Sister Parish Agreement" will be provided upon request.
"So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." (Romans 12:5)