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Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking “Diakonima” Outreach
Open Call for Proposals
This Outreach Seeks Proposals for: Papers, Projects, Constructive Advice and Practical Assistance
“Diakonima” Project Synopsis:
Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV) is circulating this open “Call for Proposals” requesting help from qualified persons who wish to participate in this important public service ministry or “diakonima” in “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking”. Throughout the duration of this initiative, we desire to facilitate the establishing of a pan-Orthodox Christian response that is spiritually and psychologically safe, engaging the issue of Human Trafficking, “together in the presence of the Compassionate God”. As God blesses, we envision cultivating a dialogue to help promote sound collaborative initiatives across Orthodox Christian jurisdictions, agencies and interested persons in order to “light a Candle in the darkness” of this on-going tragedy. Together, we desire to humbly bear witness to the omnipresent, unconditional love of God, while bringing a measure of competent, practical relief to facilitate healing and liberation in as many contexts as possible.
We hope to bring together a small, select pan-Orthodox group of experienced theologians, leaders and practitioners whose proven work and expertise directly engage in this domain of ministry or service. We are extending this invitation to respected non-Orthodox experts in the field, as well.
A Three-to-Five Year Process:
In order to discern and help build the first phase of this collaborative framework, we anticipate a three to five year process of private consultations, which hopefully will also be organized in conjunction with an annual public event (e.g. a lectureship or conference), so that Orthodox Christians and the general public may benefit from these conversations and service. We will also release updates through the social media outlets of SCV, our collaborators and friends, and other organizations.
About SCV . . .Cultivating a Charism of Education, Dialogue and Service:
Saint Catherine’s Vision is an international, pan-Orthodox Christian, non-profit organization. SCV brings women theologians together with ordained and lay servant-leaders addressing contemporary concerns in a manner that is established in and accountable to the living tradition and canonical heritage of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Founded in 2001, we are an endorsed organization of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. SCV is governed by a board of directors who manage general affairs and a larger advisory board (or advisory council), who, together comprise the bulk of a “prayer-based think tank…that also acts.”
For example, just this past year:
- We released the first international, “Call for the Rejuvenation for the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess” (www.saintcatherinesvision.com/collaborative-work/rejuvenation-ofdeaconesses). This document subsequently was published in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review (59:1-4).
- A new opportunity for enlarging the circle of guidance and collaboration occurred while we were co-authoring: Encountering Women of Faith, Volume III (anticipated release: 2016). His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia kindly accepted our invitation to attend SCV’s June Writing Colloquium, offering us the blessing of his presence and supportive direction.
- Furthermore, His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos, returned to help us rollout our “diakonima” by offering the keynote address for our summer 3 “Divine Compassion Distinguished Lectureship”. He spoke on “Divine Compassion and the Restoration of the Human Icon” (www.saintcatherinesvision.com/media/video-gallery).
- In November 2015 we presented the “Divine Compassion Conference III” on “Women and Healing, Authority and Ministry in the Orthodox Spiritual Tradition” The conference provided us with many constructive conversations, encouragement and positive feedback for the sake of “the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). Both the summer “Divine Compassion Distinguished Lectureship” and November Divine Compassion III Conference were co-sponsored by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston.
For more specific information about SCV and our previous books, videos, educational initiatives and conferences, as well as an overview of this “diakonima”, please visit our website: www.saintcatherinesvision.org
Our collaborative studies and dialogue for over a dozen years engaging the lives of women saints from an Orthodox Christian perspective are benefiting us in numerous ways. One way relates to our appreciation how women through history from various backgrounds and circumstances came to know Christ and find their healing and freedom through Him, often despite extraordinarily difficult conditions. Today the tragedy of human trafficking presents us with our own “extraordinarily difficult conditions.” While no one person, agency or institution, or combinations thereof, have the ability to eliminate this sin (as this belongs to the merciful God, alone!), we believe that a coordinated effort may “light a Candle in the darkness”. This act of faith invokes His presence already invisibly saturating this darkness, while reaching out to one person at a time, assisting with: spiritual, physical, medical, psychological and material support, particularly through collaboration among respected agencies and persons engaged in this ministry. Furthermore, as the Lord blesses, we strive to influence our own contemporary culture through prayer, education and relationship building.
These collaborative studies and on-going discussions regarding the lives of women saints have profoundly touched us. Perhaps, most of all, we have been reminded (through the intercessions of the saints and by the love of the 4 Compassionate God) how we are all mysteriously and deeply inter-connected, called to be “knit together in love” (Col. 2:2).
It was only after we discerned earlier in 2015 to commit to this “diakonima”, that we also realized at least a third of the SCV leadership already had many years of personal and professional experience serving and/or advocating on behalf of “commodified” persons, such as: providing depth psychological therapy and pastoral counseling to survivors of physical and sexual trauma, trafficking and addiction, building and managing non-profit charitable Orthodox Christian and/or other Christian ministries, directing Orthodox and/or community agency outreach services to persons living-on-the-street, registered clinical nursing, ministries to unwed mothers, and providing urban agency outreach educational services to the underserved, etc. This discovery affirmed our prayerful beginning and energized subsequent efforts in following through to the best of our abilities with due diligence through to this very day.
Proposals must be limited in length, no longer than two pages and should include a clearly written and complete synopsis of the paper, project, constructive advice or practical assistance being brought to our attention for consideration. In addition, please include a personal and professional biography, with contact information. There is no monetary compensation for participation. All proposals become the property of Saint Catherine’s Vision. Please send proposals to: firstname.lastname@example.org before Thursday, February 4th, 2016.
We ask the reader to please help us circulate this “Call for Proposals” and share this document with persons who may be able to help us with this important initiative.
Thank you . . . and we also ask you to pray for this initiative and for us!
All Rights Reserved, Saint Catherine’s Vision www.saintcatherinesvision.org
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