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August 2006 Newsletter

Glory to Jesus Christ! When I last wrote to you Plebe Summer (our ministry to the new class of midshipmen at the Naval Academy) was just beginning. This was the first time that the Orthodox Church and OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) has been able to minister to the plebes during their summer ‘boot camp’ experience.

Over the past six weeks, I, along with several visiting priests, have invested in the spiritual formation of these SEVEN new midshipmen. We celebrated the Divine Liturgy and received the Eucharist. I then led the plebes in a weekly Bible study from the book of Ephesians as we fellowshipped together. The theme was “Our Vocation in Christ” and they learned what it means to be an ‘adopted son of God,’ to ‘walk in the Light’ and ‘put on the full armor of God.’

Perhaps the most important aspect of the ministry this summer has been formation in Christ. Every week, we discussed what it means to apply the Orthodox Faith to our daily lives, to grow in the Spirit through prayer, and keep vigilance over our thoughts, words, and actions. These seven men were challenged to keep praying in the midst of their marching, shooting, running, testing, and sweating through record heat!

For these seven men, becoming a true leader is inseparable from what it means to be a godly man. Whether inside or outside the military, these seven plebes have been challenged to put Christ and His holy Church first in their lives so that they may be the men of God He desires.

One of the plebes wrote in his evaluation of the ministry this summer, “It is great; teaches me a lot about God, Church and myself. I need to get stronger.” Another wrote, “The Bible studies were essential after Divine Liturgy.”

Praise God for His work in their lives! And thank you for your prayers and financial contributions to this work of God. Your participation through your prayers and contributions makes this ministry possible!

Please tell a friend at church about our efforts to bring Christ and the holy Orthodox Faith to the students of Annapolis through full-time OCF ministry. We continue to need to increase our regular monthly support.