Share the Light Sunday Encyclical, 20 January 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021
Christ shall give you light.
To the Most Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics and
The Devout Faithful of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas
Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
We, the Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, greet you in this new calendar year with the love and hope that is in our Lord Jesus Christ. As Orthodox Christians, we have been richly blessed with the sacred repository of the fullness of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. With such a blessing, there come both the responsibility to offer our Orthodox Faith to the world around us and the challenge to find means that are consistent with the our Divine Message of love and forgiveness and suited for contemporary society.
Therefore, on this "Share the Light" Sunday, we ask that you take time to learn about and support the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN), a ministry of SCOBA. OCN was formed to assist our parishes to meet the challenges and responsibilities of sharing the Everlasting Gospel of our Lord. OCN offers to our parishes both means and ways to enhance the outreach of the local Church. The great benefit of such outreach is that as we shine the light of Christ brighter and brighter for our non-Orthodox and un-churched neighbors, we also find that we are bringing the light of Christ to many of our own baptized Faithful who, for many reasons, have wandered away from the Church into spiritual obscurity and even darkness. But we know that "the Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it" (St. John 1:5). The Lord Jesus Christ is the Light, "the true Light Who enlightens every person who comes into the world" (St. John 1:9).
We can use the OCN to keep that light shining throughout the year. We commend to you the Orthodox Christian Network and its programs that are available on the radio and on its Web site, myocn.net. May we all be blessed to share the light of Christ in a world which is in desperate need of His illumination.
With paternal blessings and love in Christ,
+Archbishop DEMETRIOS, Chairman
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
+Metropolitan PHILIP, Vice Chairman
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
+Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER, Secretary
Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada
+Metropolitan NICHOLAS of Amissos, Treasurer
Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA
Orthodox Church in America
Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America & Canada
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA