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 2015 Diocesan Assembly Registration - Forms are listed below

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Download October 2015 Typicon

09/05/15Around the Diocese -

 $24,422 Grant for King Cove Bell Tower Construction

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. Its that simple. To 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 did Abel, 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.

From the Desk of Bishop DAVID                            Around the Diocese
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.

2015 Diocesan Assembly Registration

The 2015 Diocesan Assembly will convene November 6-8, 2015 at St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska. A schedule of events is included with the main registration form document. Please note, there is a seperate form for Diocesan Council Members and Retired clergy.

2015 Registration and Event Schedule

2015 Diocesan Council & Retired Clergy Registration

2014 Diocesan Assembly Meeting Minutes

Rasmuson Foundation Boosts Alaskan Bell Project

$24,422 Grant for King Cove Bell Tower Construction

King Cove, Alaska August 27, 2015: Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska’s foremost charitable family
foundation, has awarded a grant of $24,422 in support of the construction of the Elders’ Bell Tower to
St. Herman Church in King Cove, a remote fishing community of about 950 year-round residents located
near the southern tip of the Alaska Peninsula.
The Elders’ Bell Tower will be a freestanding tower approximately 30 feet high designed to
house King Cove’s seven historic bronze church bells, cast in San Francisco in the 1880s. Originally the
bells were housed in Holy Resurrection Church in Belkofski, Alaska—a once-thriving Aleut village having
a richly adorned Orthodox church. Gradually the residents of Belkofski moved to nearby villages which
offered them new economic opportunities. The church’s rich inventory—including a beautiful
iconostasis containing numerous icons from Russia—was transferred to King Cove, twelve miles away by
boat, where a new Orthodox church was built in the 1980s.
Due to the often punishing weather of the lower Alaska Peninsula, where wind gusts of 70 mph
and more are not uncommon, it is especially vital for the bell tower’s design to be precisely engineered.
The largest bell has a diameter of 35.5 inches and weighs an estimated 850 pounds. A steel frame and
deep, secure foundation are two elements of the future tower now being considered by planners.
The project relies on the participation of volunteers to provide the labor. A team of four men
from the Sacramento area of California is planning to return to King Cove to oversee the tower
construction in 2016. These generous volunteers are no strangers to King Cove—they came in the
summer of 2012 and stabilized the church which was in great need of emergency repairs. The volunteers
are of Russian heritage and find inspiration in travelling to Alaska to restore a church with history dating
back to the Russian period in Alaska’s history.
Through the building of the bell tower, the local church hopes to promote the importance of
historic and cultural preservation in a part of rural Alaska in which many visible signs of Russian
influence have disappeared. For many, especially the elders of the community who grew up in Belkofski,
the Orthodox Church is a tangible connection to both their cultural and religious heritage. For the
younger generations, the church offers a glimpse into the rich history of both their region and faith. By
dedicating the bell tower to the community’s elders, the church seeks to honor and thank them.
“The bell tower is a way of bringing people together and celebrating our community’s heritage,”
says Father Andrei Tepper, rector of St. Herman Church. “We are a people of faith and restoring the
bells shows that we are serious about preserving the historical items that have been passed on to us.
We want to be good stewards and this is an important step towards protecting and preserving our
heritage, our inheritance, our faith.”
“We are so grateful for all the generous donations we have received from individuals, parishes,
and organizations throughout Alaska and the Lower 48 in support of our restoration.”
Rasmuson Foundation’s financial contribution challenges the community to step up and raise a
matching amount before the end of the grant period towards the church’s final fundraising goal. The
parish expects that the bell tower construction will be the first phase of an overall rehabilitation project
for the King Cove church. Further funds are needed to continue the reconstruction over the coming

Donations are tax-deductible and may be sent to:

St. Herman Church

P.O. Box 169

King Cove, AK 99612

From the Diocesan Archives

Diocesan Archivist Daria Safranova Simeonoff has posted part 1 from the travel journals of Hieromonk Anatolli in the late 1890's which gives a beautiful account of visiting Spruce Island.

Read the article here at the seminary website

Ancient Faith Radio

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Anchorage, AK 99521


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