• Sister Parish
  • Sister Parish

Views of Alaskan projects:

Amelia Savinova is the first Certified Church School Coordinator for the OCA Diocese of Alaska. She is developing this program for the young people of her parish at St. Sophia Russian Orthodox Church in Bethel, AK. Her trainer was Matushka Betty Randolph, who was assisted by her husband, Father David Randolph.

This is the first Church School Program for the St. Sophia Russian Orthodox Church. The Sister Parish for this project is Annunciation Orthodox Church in Brick, NJ, led by Father Gary Breton and Matushka Mary Buletza. Training for Amelia was coordinated through the Antiochian and OCA Archdiocese Department of Christian Education. Church school materials are being provided by the Sister Parish in Brick, NJ.

During the initial focus group meeting the parish committed to their children's attendance and participation in church school and were introduced to the first phase of teaching, which utilizes the IOCC Prayer Journal.

It is expected that this Sister Parish Church School Project will become a model for other Alaska parishes. A waiting list is being developed for future "Sister Parish" projects. If you are interested in particpating in this program, contact us.

 

New Century - 2094: Sunday School Project:

New Century 2094In 2010, Outreach Alaska was approached help raise funds to publish a very important book, edited by the renowned V. Reverend Fr. Michael Oleksa. Since Fr. Michael had been sponsored in 2002 to come to the Heartland on a speaking tour for Outreach Alaska, this publication was a perfect fit for our New Century - 2094 projects.

Mary Ann Khoury, Coordinator for Outreach Alaska provided seed funds from the general donations and solicited new donors for this project. These efforts combined with others throughout Alaska and the lower 48 raised over $10,000 - most from Outreach Alaska - for the publishing of this amazing new historical book - Alaskan Missionary Spirituality.

The mission of Outreach Alaska's Sister Parish program is to build church school programs for Alaska's youth, for Alaska's future. Sister Parish partners work with Outreach Alaska to provide training for Church School Coordinators, teaching materials, and supplies to remote village communities.

A portion of funds from purchases of this edition are given back to Outreach Alaska, the New Alaska Mission.

 

Read About Sunday School Project »

 

St. Herman Theological Seminary Library Project:

Alaska Visits the Heartland:

Reverend Michael James Oleksa The Reverend Michael James Oleksa, born in Allentown, PA, has spent most of his life in the University of Alaska, having come to Kodiak Island in 1970. He taught at Alaska Pacific University and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and Southeast, pastored Orthodox parishes in Dillingham, and Iliamna, Old Harbor, Fairbanks, Bethel, Juneau, Kodia, Seward, Koliganek and now Anchorage.

His courses in Alsaka History and Intercultural Communications have made him an Alaskan celebrity both within the state and outside. His involvement with the world Council of Churches has taken him to every continent.

His books, focusing on Native Alaskan history and culture, include Alaskan Missionary Spirituality and Orthodox Alaska. His four-part PBS television series, communicating Across Cultures has been widely acclaimed.

Father Michael has served on the Board of the Alaska State Historical Museum, Fort Ross State Park, the Alaska Humanities Forum, and the National Council on Alcoholism as well as a delegate to the 2001 Subsistence Summit and the governor's Commission on Tolerance.

Rev. Oleska received the Alaskan of the Year Denali Award and was recognized by the Alaska Federation of Native and the Alaska State Legislature in 2001. His wife, Xenia, is recognized as an outstanding artist - blending her Yupik Native and Orthodox faith heritage to create a colorful and unique painting talent. Father Michael and Matushka Xenia have four adult children and reside in Anchorage where he serves as Dean of the St. Innocent Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

 

Partnering with IOCC for Substance Abuse Treatment Counseling Training and other projects:

Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Training The Reverend Michael James Oleksa, born in Allentown, PA, has spent most of his life in the University of Alaska, having come to Kodiak Island in 1970. He taught at Alaska Pacific University and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and Southeast, pastored Orthodox parishes in Dillingham, and Iliamna, Old Harbor, Fairbanks, Bethel, Juneau, Kodia, Seward, Koliganek and now Anchorage.

Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Training - RADACT:

Training clergy while at St. Herman Theological Seminary in Kodiak to deal with the number one problem in Alaska - alcohol and drug abuse. IOCC provides funds for Outreach Alaska to organize this training/education for seminarians so they will be able to handle these issues when they are assigned to parishes in Alaska. Some will go on to complete certification in Substance Abuse counseling for employment in village Alaska.

2003: One Week training with local treatment center in Kodiak.

2007: Three Week training for seminarians and locals at St. Herman Theological Seminary

2013: One Week training for seminarians and locals at St. Herman Theological Seminary

2015: Three Week Training for seminarians and locals at St. Herman Theological Seminary inclusive of training with Fr. Victor Nick - Substance Abuse trained counselor in Alaska. This includes one year of follow-up with Fr. Victor for those who complete the course and are attached to parishes in Alaska

Books to Villages Project:

IOCC Prayer Journal Outreach Alaska purchases from IOCC annually the IOCC Prayer Journal for clergy in Alaska to use with their youth. This helps the village children have a world view of Orthodoxy and how children in other countries live the Orthodox faith. It also teaches them to pray for Orthodoxy all over the world.

Furniture for St. Herman Theological Seminary:

Outreach Alaska is partnering with IOCC to ship lightly used dormitory furniture to St. Herman Theological Seminary. This will provide 32 sets inclusive of bed, desk, chair, mattress, and chest for each family apartment/single dormitory room at the seminary. Shipment is expected to arrive by the third week of May, 2015.

 

 

  • St. Sophia Before and After
    St. Sophia Before & After
  • St. Sophia with the priest, Fr. Elia Larson
    St. Sophia with the priest, Fr. Elia Larson
  • Worshiping in their new church. St. Sophia, Bethel, AK
    Worshiping in their new church of St. Sophia, Bethel, AK
  • St. Sophia Russian Orthodox Church Parish, Bethel, AK
    St. Sophia Russian Orthodox Church Parish - Consecrated September 2010

St. Sophia Project (2009):

Read About Building Project »

 

 

The Belarus Icon is Presented to St. Herman Theological Seminary:

Belarus Icon In 2007, a long time, dedicated donor to Outreach Alaska mailed me a very old, wooden carved icon of the face of Christ. This donor travels all over the world and found this icon in Belarus in 1994. He had placed it in his safety deposit box all of these years and decided it needed to be in Alaska at the St. Herman Theological Seminary.

At the time I received this blessed icon, there was no bishop in Alaska. Discussing this with my bishop in Wichita, Bishop Basil Essey, and showing him the icon, he suggested I present it to the seminary when the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska receives their new bishop. This took many years. Finally, in February 2014, His Grace, Bishop David Sterry Mahaffey was installed as the new bishop for the diocese. With the new bishop in place, it was now time for this blessed icon to travel with me to Kodiak to be at the seminary, near the relics of St. Herman as they lay at peace in the cathedral just one block from the seminary. But - this needed to be encased in a perfect way to be presented and mounted at the seminary. The icon was small and showed wear. I contacted a Deacon George Nelson, a well-known word worker at St. Herman Mission in Wassillie, AK to design an icon box for this special piece.

That box was sent to me in Wichita, KS where I took it with the icon to a local framer who lined the box with beautiful green satin and mounted the icon on the satin for presentation. A plaque was designed to be placed on the back of the box and reads as follows:

"Donated to St. Herman Theological Seminary by Mabel R. and Kevin J. Carroll. Found in Belarus 1994 - dates to the early 1800s Donor Proviso - Not to be sold and never to leave this seminary. Presented on May 11, 2014 by Outreach Alaska."

 

Mission of New Century 2094

"For this you were called... that you should follow His steps." (I Peter 2:21)

Outreach Alaska Ambassadors and ongoing projects build on those first called for America - the Saints of Alaska. This sure faith foundation focuses on St. Herman Theological Seminary and ongoing projects and campaigns to strengthen Orthodoxy in America's Holy Land - Alaska.

 

Help the Orthodox in Alaska!