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From the Desk of Bishop DAVID                            Around the Diocese
Pilgrimage Schedule for St. Herman Pilgrimage, 2016

Schedule for the St Herman Pilgrimage in Kodiak, August 7-9, 2016

Sunday, August 7

4:00 PM Opening Akathist

5:00 PM Bishop's Tea at the Park in front of the Cathedral

Monday, August 8

9:00 AM Hierarchal Divine Liturgy in the Holy Resurrection Cathedral

Noon  Grand Banquet at the Afognak Native Corporation Banquet Hall

6:00 PM  Great Vigil at Holy Resurrection Cathedral

**Tuesday, August 9

7:30 to 8:00 AM  Transfer of Pilgrims to Spruce Island from Oscar’s Dock in Kodiak.

10:00[1] AM Hierarchal Divine Liturgy at Saints Sergius and Herman of Valaam Chapel

NOON  Picnic on the Beach

2:00 PM beginning of Transfer of Pilgrims to Kodiak

5:00 PM  Prayer and Blessing for Pilgrims and Travelers Safe Return -  in front of the Cathedral

[1] Divine Liturgy at the SS Herman and Sergius of Valaam Chapel will begin once the hierarchs are vested and prepared to begin, it could be slightly before or after 10:00.

** = Depending on the conditions of the sea, weather permitting

Yukon Conference 2016
Clergy and Faithful Gather in Russian Mission
The Yukon Conference, held Friday, June 24 to 26, in Russian Mission, AK.  Clergy and faithful from the Yukon area gathered for three days of fellowship, meetings and prayer.  His Grace, Bishop David met with the clergy to discuss current issues in the Diocese of Alaska, as well as in the Orthodox world in general. He also met with the youth and answered their questions on a variety of subjects ranging from his vestments to the Orthodox view on Salvation.
 
Also in attendance was Fr. John Dunlop, Dean of St. Herman Seminary in Kodiak to give a presentation on vocations in Alaska and the opportunities available for young men and women at the seminary.
 
Fr Stephen Heckman, Dean of the Yukon Deanery, welcomed the attendees on the opening day, as did Fr Thomas Andrew, Chancellor of the Diocese of Alaska, who grew up in Marshall in the Yukon Deanery.
 
A Gramota was presented to Barbara Heckman, a member of the Elevation of the Holy Cross Church in Russian Mission, for her many years of dedicated service to the Orthodox Church.   Reader Joseph (Gary) Alexie, of St Peter the Aleut Church in Mountain Village, was elevated to the Subdiaconate on Sunday.
Entrance prayers with children
Children help vest the bishop

Sunday Liturgy in Russian Mission
Elizabeth Levi rings the bell at the bishop's arrival on Friday.
Reader Joseph Alexie is brought forward to be elevated to the Subdiaconate.

Front row, l-r:  Fr John Larson, Protodeacon Nicodemus Meyers, bishop, Fr Thomas Andrew, Fr Stephen Heckman, Dean, and Barbara Heckman.  back row, l-r:  Fr. Maxim Isaac, Fr John Dunlop, Fr Peter Askoar (host), Fr Nicholai Isaac, and Fr David Askoak
Protodeacon Nicodemus, Bishop David and Fr Stephen Heckman with Barbara Heckman and her award.
 
Photos courtesy of Subdeacon Luke Levi.

 

Healthy Choices Basketball Clinic
Come learn from a famous player

Healthy Choices Basket Ball Clinic

Saturday, May 28th at Lumen Christi High School

Come lean skills from a former Duke Bluedevils star.

8110 Jewel Lake Rd, Anchorage in the Gymnasium Registration Opens at 8:00 AM

Open to all youth from 8th grade to 12th graders.  Both boys and girls are welcome.

NOTE:  A FREE TICKET IS NEED TO BE ON COURT WITH THE PLAYER

Advanced tickets are available by calling or emailing the Office of the Bishop for the Orthodox Diocese of Alaska.

Phone:  677-0224   email:  doakinfo@gmail.com  please note the email is corrected

 

Time

Event

8:00 - 8:30 AM 

Registration

8:30 - 9:15 AM 

Welcome/Introductory remarks by Bishop and & Dan

9:15 - 10:00AM 

Team formation/pairing with coaches

Autograph signing/picture taking/Fundamentals with Team

10:00 - 10:30 AM 

40 Developmental Assets (Dan) Session II

10:30 AM - Noon 

1st Breakout sessions for skill development: 4 fundamentals with shooting and Dribbling repeated in 2nd session. 

  List: Shooting, Dribbling, Passing, Defense

Noon - 1:00 PM 

Lunch and Video

1:00 - 2:00 2nd

2nd Breakout sessions for skill development: 4 fundamentals with shooting and Dribbling repeated in 2nd session.       

  List: Shooting, Dribbling, 1 on 1, Free Throws

2:00 - 3:30 

Games

3:30 - 4:00 

Closing, prizes

 

 

Tithing Presentation
Sowing Our Tithe
A Homily on II Cor. 9:6-11

 

By Bishop David of Sitka and Alaska

Today you heard St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians, telling them the one who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully shall reap bountifully.  What is it about the Corinthians that caused St. Paul to talk to them this way?  What point is he trying to make to them?  Were they farmers that needed to grow more crops?  Were they rich financiers from which he wanted money?  We know that St. Paul had so many problems with the Corinthian Church that his two of his longest Epistles are written to them.  Corinth was a city free from persecution, it had pagan temples, its Christians were weak spiritually; they were surrounded by people of greed, lust, drunkenness, polytheism, freethought and divisiveness.  In short, it wasn’t that different from the land we live in today.

St. Paul had asked them at different times to help raise money for the suffering church in Jerusalem.  Because of its status and freedom, it was also wealthy and capable of helping others, if taught to do so.  So it is that we have this revealing passage on his thoughts on the relationship between giving and God’s response.

It is simply stated, but true.  It is stated in a way that shows the relationship between the giving and receiving in Faith, and it tells us how it is to be done by all of us.

When we give to God, we are not just giving something away.  We are not exchanging one type of bounty for another.  We are not doing something because we are looking for a reward, although we could, in reality be doing all of these things.  St. Paul makes it clear we should be doing so with real joy, cheerfully,  because we want to, and for no other reason.  Orthodoxy does not believe in the so-called “Prosperity Gospel”, the belief held by many of the televangelists that if you give them what they ask you will be highly rewarded in a financial way.  If fact, St. Paul is careful to present his idea about giving in a way that demonstrates the way our Creator has always operated in relation to his creation.

He uses the term “sowing”, a farming term related to how a farmer plants his seeds to collect a crop in the fullness of time.  As anyone knows who has ever been around farming, your yield from the seeds you plant is directly related to the quantity of seeds you put into the ground.  In a given area of ground, a farmer knows how many pounds of seeds he needs to have a good crop yield.  He also knows that if he skimps on the seeds, he’ll be looking at a poor harvest, but if he plants liberally, his chances of a bumper crop are much greater.

But the farmer also knows that it is not just the amount of seeds he puts into the ground, it is type of soil, the amount of rainfall, the warmth or coolness of the climate all are factors in the outcome.  We may ask what has this to do with giving money to God?  We find the answer in the further explanation that St. Paul when he states everyone has to give as he “purposes in his heart”, meaning as he intends to give because he has looked at all the needs around him and made a good choice.  Its not just in giving the money away, its giving it away for the right reasons at the right time.  And even more than that, it must be done cheerfully.  In other words, we should receive joy in the act of giving. 

When the farmer plants his seeds in the spring, he has no idea how wet or dry the summer will be, nor how warm or cool the weather will be, all he knows is that each time he did this in the past, he received his crops in their time.  He realizes that if he lets the seeds remain in the sacks he will have no crop, he has to put his faith in the way God works, the way the seeds, the soil, the water and the wind work together to receive his reward in its time.

All of this brings us to our current situation we find ourselves in.  God has given all of us a great amount of “seeds” for our benefit.  We can use them however we want, we received it freely for one reason, we are citizens of Alaska.  Nowhere else in the United States is there such an act of honor placed on its citizens.  We didn't put the oil in the ground, nor did we create the oil companies that harvested the oil, we didn’t even formulate the system from which we receive this bounty.  Only our act of being born, or moving to, Alaska made this possible for us.  We can be thankful for a good governor, like Jay Hammond, and a legislature that had the foresight to make this possible, but in the end, it is almost entirely an act of God that has given us this gift. 

So, seeing how little we have actually done to receive it, should we not be willing, with joy in our heart, return back to God a portion of what we have received?  Is it not in our interest and for our own benefit that we should be willing to over back to God from this seed that is ours to plant for our own future, the same way that our state planted those first oil revenues as seeds for growth, so that they would multiply and make this blessing possible? 

Beloved, with joy in our heart, let us plant the seed of faith, and do so not grudgingly, but cheerfully, so that we will be able to see the fruit of our efforts in due time.  Let St. Paul’s prayer for the Corinthians be his prayer for us, and “May He who supplies the seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the sedd you have sown and increase the fruits of your won righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

Thank you, God, for the PFD

What follows is a posting on FaceBook by the Dean of the Kuskokwim Deanery and Rector of St. James Church in Napaskiak, Fr. Vasily Fisher.  It is well written, concise, and to the point.  I pray we all heed his words and pledge a tenth of our PFD to our local Church.

Greeting in the Lord!

Today, and soon we all, will begin to be blessed with a free gift which is given to us each year, the PFD. It is a gift that we do not work to receive. It is a gift that is a blessing from the State of Alaska, and a blessing from God.
This is a rather touchy subject to write about but we need to remember that as Baptized Christians, tithing is what we do. Tithing is part of who we are. The scriptures speak of giving back to God that which is His. If we are Christians, we tithe. It's that simple. We give to God out of the joy of our hearts, give back to God with thankfulness for all the blessings He gives to us.

2 Corinthians 31.5 - "As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the first fruit of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything."

Leviticus 27.30 - "Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or the fruit of the trees, is the Lord's; it is holy to the Lord."

We all as baptized Christians tithe: Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Readers, Choir, those who work in the church, and all laity. We all give back to God ten percent of what He blesses us with. It is an opportunity to feel the joy of giving back to God with faith and love. In this day and age, it is God who we must remember first, for the sake of our loved ones and our children, so that they too may know the true JOY of giving back to God as Abel did in the old testament.

Genesis 4:3-5 - "In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell."

Let us all joyfully give as Abel did, in thankfulness and prayer because that is who we are - Christians who give back to God. ALL of us. From this joyful giving our loved ones and children WILL learn about the joy of giving back to God. Glory to Jesus Christ!





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Diocese of Sitka & Alaska
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Anchorage, AK 99504
907-677-0224

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