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Bishop Paul asks Midwest faithful to help sponsor Alaskan, Mexican AAC delegates


Bishop Paul asks Midwest faithful to help sponsor Alaskan, Mexican AAC delegatesCHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — In a letter dated November 30, 2017, His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest called upon the clergy, monastics and faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest to join together to collect funds during this Advent season to assist clergy and lay delegates from the Dioceses of Alaska and Mexico with expenses they will incur in attending the 19th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, slated to convene in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018.

The text of the letter reads as follows.

Letter of His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest
November 30, 2017
Apostle Andrew the First-Called

To all Clergy, Monastics and Laity of the Diocese of the Midwest,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Two years ago, we embarked on the motorbikes for Kenya collection, in which our Diocese collected over $31,000.00 to purchase 33 motorbikes for the Diocese of Kenya.  Thank you for your generosity.  The news of Bishop Paul asks Midwest faithful to help sponsor Alaskan, Mexican AAC delegatesthis project has become well known throughout the Orthodox world, and I am so thankful to God that we were able to do something within our means to help our fellow Orthodox brethren across the Atlantic.

During this Advent Season, I have been thinking about how we might be able to do something to again assist our fellow Orthodox Christians needing support.  Next July, the Midwest Diocese is hosting the All-American Council [AAC] in St. Louis.  Making it to the AAC is particularly difficult for delegates from Alaska and Mexico due to the real lack of financial resources they have to cover the expenses for the AAC.  Here is the breakdown of the costs to attend the AAC supplied to me by Melanie Ringa, Treasurer of the OCA.

For Mexico
Airplane Ticket $400.00
Hotel: $150.00 per night x five nights - $750.00
Train to hotel and back to airport - $20.00
Meals: $40.00 per day for six days - $240.00
Total $1,410.00

For Alaska
Flight(s): Anchorage to and from St. Louis - $1000.00; Transport to and from Anchorage - $500.00
Transport to hotel and airport - $20.00
Hotel: $150.00 per night x five nights - $750.00
Meals: $40 per day for six days - $240.00
Total: $2,510.00

As the host Diocese of the AAC, I think it would be a good thing to ask our parishes to help out in the way they did two years ago in the motorbike collection.  It would be great if we could raise enough funds to send Bishop Paul asks Midwest faithful to help sponsor Alaskan, Mexican AAC delegatesat least four people from each Diocese to enable them to attend next year’s AAC.  The funds we need to raise to do so comes to $15,680.00.  One or two of our parishes having the resources might be so bold as to donate the entire cost for a delegate from Alaska or Mexico.  Parishes can partner up and put up half the funds each for a delegate.  Our youth could sponsor a meal at their parish to raise these funds.

I just want to encourage you to do what you can to help; any donations would be greatly appreciated.  Please make out your checks to the “Diocese of the Midwest” and note that it is for “Alaska-Mexico.”  It would be good to have these funds collected by February 1, 2018.  AAC registration opens up as of January 1, 2018.

May this be a fruitful Advent Fast for us all, as we wait in anticipation of our Lord’s wondrous Nativity.

With love in Christ, the unworthy


+ Paul
Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest


Download the printable PDF, here.

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