News & Updates

Monday
Jul272015

2015 ACM Summer Newsletter

In this Issue:

  • ·       10 Years of ACM in Annapolis: Why it Matters!
  • ·       New Study Released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops on College Ministry!
  • ·       Ninth Year of Plebe Summer Ministry at the USNA!
  • ·       Outreach to students in Moldova through OCMC
  • ·       Your Support is Critical to this Ministry!

Completing 10 Years of Ministry at the U.S. Naval Academy and St. John’s College

Glory to Jesus Christ!  Glory to Him forever!  ACM is getting ready for our eleventh year of ministry to begin this Fall semester.  In our swiftly-changing culture with its evolving and increasingly relativistic morality, ACM continues to offer the students at St. John’s and the midshipmen at the USNA a life-line, connecting them to the timeless and unchanging truth of Christ, the fullness of the life in Him found in His holy Orthodox Church. 

The pressures from secularism, relativism, and pluralism, are affecting those in the Church who don’t understand the dangers that the “new morality” and relativism pose for today’s college students, most of whom are far more influenced by their peers and the desire to “fit in” than they are by the Church.  For this reason, ACM offers students and midshipmen the opportunity not only to “stay connected” with the Church but to grow in their faith in Christ, to wrestle with applying the life in Christ to their daily lives, and to address the many challenges they face as they grapple with our culture and the godlessness that surrounds them. 

New Study Findings by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North America

A new study just released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops stresses these points:

Similiarly to their non-Orthodox peers, they (Orthodox students) are naturally tempted to experiment with and to pick and choose among myriads (of) religious spiritual options offered on the vast American cultural market. And this explains the well known fact that the time in college is a period when many young Orthodox people cease their church participation. Indeed, being taken away from the home parish communities, focusing on academic studies, meeting new friends, engaging in new activities, and    most importantly  being surrounded 24/7 mainly by non-Orthodox persons, many Orthodox students simply drift away from the Church.   In this regard, the need for efficient and engaging Orthodox campus ministry (i.e. OCF) is difficult to overestimate as it is an important way to keep Orthodox college students in the bosom of the Church.

Click Here to read More


Monday
Jul272015

2015 ACM Lenten Newsletter

Blessed Pascha!  Christ is risen!  Indeed, He is risen! 

Dear Friends of Annapolis Pan-Orthodox College Ministry:

As we journey to Christ’s holy resurrection and His victory over sin and death on our behalf, we thank God for His love and mercy manifested in our own lives.  “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4-6)

It’s to this “newness of life” that we are all called and which Annapolis Pan-Orthodox College Ministry (ACM) calls all the students and midshipmen whom the ministry reaches.  College—and the USNA is no different in this respect—is a time of asking the questions, “who am I, what do I believe, what is the truth, is there truth, who is God? 

Every week, I reach out to the students to invite them to our weekly on-campus meetings and prayer services and to worship at our nearby Mission, Holy Archangels.  I also follow up with any midshipman or St. John’s student who is struggling or would like to grow in their Orthodox Faith, or come to a deeper knowledge and love of Christ and His holy Orthodox Church.  

Click Here to Read More


Monday
Jul272015

2014 ACM Nativity Newsletter

Dear Friends of Annapolis Pan-Orthodox College Ministry (ACM):

Glory to Jesus Christ!  Glory to Him forever!  This last semester of ACM has been an amazing opportunity to see God at work in the lives of many of the students in this ministry that you help make possible. 

Following our full summer ministering to the plebes (the incoming class) at the Naval Academy (USNA), we began the Fall semester with a special Great Vespers and dinner at Holy Archangels, attended by 20.  We had a larger number of interested students sign up for our email list at St. John’s at the “Club Fair,” and a successful first week at the Academy. 

Applied Orthodox Theology Discussions: Putting the Faith into Practice in our Daily Lives

1: Fall Retreat Discussion

This year, we started something new at the USNA: in addition to our regular Tuesday Sixth-Hour prayers, we added a monthly discussion over pizza of a topic of particular interest to the midshipmen.  This same “applied Orthodox theology discussion” has been a big success at St. John’s, where our average participation held around 10 per week throughout the semester.  The students suggest the topics and we’ve seen a wide variety of interest from the St. John’s student body.  

Click Here to read more

Monday
Jul272015

2014 ACM Fall Newsletter

This year we celebrate 10 years of Annapolis Pan-Orthodox College Ministry (ACM).  We think of the hundreds of students and midshipmen who have been exposed to Orthodox Christianity and the fullness of the life in Christ along with the fourscore who have embraced Christ and His holy Church over these past 10 years.  We give thanks to God for your faithful participation in this ministry, which has made this ministry possible.  Some of you have been with us since our founding in 2004 and some of you have become participants in the ministry more recently.  All of you have been used by God to enable this outreach to continue.

ACM was one of the first full-time discipleship-oriented college ministries in the Orthodox Church.  Sadly, it’s now one of but a few.  Arguably, there’s never been a greater need for faithful Orthodox Christian college ministry than now!  Our youth face a barrage of secular, nihilistic and relativistic peer pressure from our culture and fellow students and need the anchor that formation in the time-less truth of Christ provides. 

ACM has given 10 years worth of students and midshipmen the opportunity to come to Christ and His holy Church, and those already Orthodox to grow in and ‘own’ their faith.  For others, ACM has given them the opportunity to consider the timeless truth of Christ and the Good News of salvation in Him for the first time. 

Now, as we celebrate our 10th year, ACM is facing one of its greatest financial challenges.  While our budget (and my support for my growing family of five) has NOT increased for several years, contributions from our faithful supporters have sadly declined.   We do not take any contributions for granted.  We thank God for you!

Here’s a short synopsis of the last 10 years: Take a look!

  • ·       ACM founds two new chapters of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF)—our North American-wide Orthodox college ministry—at St. John’s College and the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • ·       2005.  Then Sub-Deacon Robert begins Full-time college ministry in Annapolis with weekly services on the campuses, teaching, and discipling in the Faith.  Annual Fall retreat begins!
  • ·       By 2006, several St. John’s students and a mid have converted to Orthodox Christianity.  Plebe Summer ministry begins each summer at the U.S. Naval Academy.  More ‘seeds’ are planted.
  • ·       2007-2008, another several students and another midshipmen embrace Christ and His holy Church.  Many of those Orthodox grow in applying their Orthodox Faith in Christ to their daily lives! 
  • ·       2009.  Several others come to Christ and His holy Church.  Fr. Robert ordained to the diaconate.
  • ·       2010.  Plans begin for a Mission in Annapolis so the students and midshipmen can worship and receive the Sacraments locally (instead of traveling to Baltimore or D.C.).  Fr. Robert ordained to the priesthood.
  • ·       2011.  More students “put on Christ” in baptism (Gal. 3:27) as Holy Archangels Mission founded in Annapolis by the students.
  • ·       2012-13.  Additional baptisms and chrismations of students at the new Mission.  In 2012, Fr. Robert begins leading the OCF Realbreak trips to the orphanage at Valea Plopului, Romania for college students across North America.
  • ·       2014.  ACM celebrates 10 years of ministry to the student and mids of Annapolis.  Fr. Robert and Psa. Krissy welcome their third child into the world—Simeon Mihai Miclean.

Hundreds of students and midshipmen have been given the opportunity to grow in their Orthodox Faith and come to Christ and His holy Church. Click here to read the rest

Tuesday
Jul152014

2014 ACM Lenten Newsletter

Dear Friends of Annapolis Pan-Orthodox College Ministry:

OCF Romania RealBreak 2014

Christ is in our midst!  It’s with great joy that I write to you following our 2014 OCF Realbreak mission trip to Romania.  The mission trip and pilgrimage with Orthodox student leaders from around the country took place from March 22-29.  It was a tremendous blessing to minister Christ’s love to “the least of these.”  And Christ gave us so much in return.

After arriving in Romania’s capital, Buchuresti, the ten of us traveled to Valea Scrazii and the Pro Vita (“For Life”) ministry, where we jumped right in encouraging the adults who care for the orphans, abandoned or abused children,  and the women, families, and elderly who have sought refuge in this safe haven of Christ’s holy Church.  

We prayed Evening Prayers with the children and I served Vespers for them, which was a particular blessing since they no longer have a priest serving in the village.  We played with the children and brought many smiles to their faces, we read to them, we held them, we shared the love of Christ and His Church with them.  We became part of their family. 

There were some things that made us sad: one beautiful little girl, three years old (the same age as my daughter) also shared the same name, Anastasia, which means “the resurrection.”  She has a brain tumor and is not expected to live.  We spent time taking turns holding her as she is not able to walk.  God gave us comfort in such situations, seeing that our love and affection was ministering to the children and their care-takers alike.  The children opened their hearts to us and enabled us during those days to love them, pray for them, play with them, and remind them that they are not forgotten by their brothers and sisters in Christ far off upon the seas. 

We came to minister to the 400 plus children of Pro Vita, our little brothers and sisters in Christ, but we found that Christ was using us in far more ways than we could have even anticipated: I was able to hear the life confessions of two of the women who have sought refuge at Pro Vita, fleeing abuse and the girls on the trip ministered to the women of Pro Vita in diverse ways. 

While we came to be a blessing and to minister to others, we found that we were at least equally, if not more, blessed ourselves.  As a priest, I was so greatly blessed and humbled to lead this group of young adults and to see God working in each of their lives through their encounters with the children, adults, and others they ministered Christ’s presence to. 

Click Here to read more (please note that the faces of the children have been blurred for online presentation and for their safety)