Alex Goodwin serves as the Communications Director at the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) in St. Augustine, Florida, where he lives with his wife and two children. Alex has participated on multiple mission teams to Africa. His duties at the Mission Center include broadening awareness of, and participation in, Orthodox missions among the faithful of North America.
The Annual Spring Board of Directors Meeting of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) was held May 9th and 10th at the Orthodox Christian Mission Center in Saint Augustine, Florida. Board members from across the country attended the meeting. Also present at the meeting were participants on an OCMC short-term healthcare team who were preparing to fly out to serve in Indonesia. The board participated in the commissioning prayer for the team’s outreach, where they will be using their professional skills to minister at the RSU Theotokos Hospital in Medan.
The Board welcomed two new members during the meeting, Mr. Armin Brown of Cypress, California, from the Antiochian Archdiocese and Mr. Frank Catrickes of Boston, Massachusetts, from the Greek Archdiocese. The Board also recognized members of the Executive Committee whose terms are ending, especially officers Fr. George Liacopulos (President), John Colis (Vice President), William Birchfield III (Treasurer), and Dr. Gayle Woloschak (Secretary). A new slate of officers will be voted upon and installed this summer.
“We appreciate the work that has been done and will continue to be done through the support of those participating in the work carried out through the OCMC Board,” stated Fr. Martin Ritsi, OCMC Executive Director.
There was a positive report of the organization’s financial health. The OCMC Board heard a report from their independent outside auditor, who announced that the agency received a clean audit on its 2015 financials.
A large part of the meeting involved reviewing OCMC’s new three-year strategic plan. Fr. Ritsi and Dr. Gayle Woloschak led the Board in looking at the vision and mission of OCMC for the next three years and beyond. He mentioned the three core focus areas that drive mission efforts; these include bringing non-Christians to Christ, helping to establish the Church in places where it is newly emerging or re-emerging, and encouraging self-support for the programs and parishes that have been started in the mission field. The board had an extensive conversation about about the importance of self-support.These focus areas work toward OCMC’s overlying vision: “to bring all people to know the saving love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
The OCMC Staff and Board, along with retired Executive Director, His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, enjoyed a dinner together on the evening of May 10th at Creekside Dinery, where Indonesia Healthcare Team Leader Dr. Cheryl Johnson gave a presentation about her journey to Orthodoxy and how missions has been an integral part of that journey. Presentations such as Cheryl’s bring to life the work of OCMC in a way that makes it tangible and relevant for those who hear it. We thank God for the continued opportunity to make disciples of all nations through His grace and provision.
Please continue to pray for OCMC’s staff, board, missionaries, and volunteers in the coming year.
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