5th Week of Great Lent
Dear Friend of Annapolis College Ministry:
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever! Lent provides a great opportunity to focus on what’s most important. As we struggle for healing from our sin-sickness and grow in our life in Christ, we are reminded through our increased prayer and fasting how to be thankful.
Men’s and Women’s Bible Studies
Last time I wrote to you last Fall, a new year of ministry at St. John’s and the U.S. Naval Academy was just starting. I shared our vision of reaching out to the women and men of both these venerable institutions with their own weekly Bible studies on the Orthodox Faith and increased opportunities for both communities to worship and grow together. All this has happened and so much more…
With God’s help and your support, Matushka Krissy has been assisting me in the ministry. Her insights, especially with the women, have been a great help. She volunteers two days every week so she can minister specifically to the women on the campuses. In order to be able to do this, we value your help. Your financial and prayer contributions have made possible her participation and freed me up to spend more time ministering to the students one on one, catechizing, and beginning to plan for our mission in Annapolis.
Starting a Mission in Annapolis
With God’s help, we will be starting a mission this year with the ministry to the students as its core. A mission will help all the students enter more fully in the sacramental life of the Church without having to D.C. or Baltimore. The midshipmen, who have limited leave, will particularly benefit from a church close by. For me, a mission will also mean that I can spend more time sharing the Gospel and Orthodox Faith with those whom God brings our way from the greater Annapolis community.
We thank God that one of our St. John’s students, Virginia Buescher, was received into Holy Orthodoxy in February. I am currently shepherding another five people on their journey to Christ and His holy Church. I teach a catechumen class Sundays after Divine Liturgy. Your support also means that I can pastor these students (and others) individually and assist them on their journey to healing and their new identity in Christ.
Giving back to ACM: our first Intern
We are also thankful that graduating senior, Thomas Browning, our current student president, who came to Christ through ACM, will become our first ACM ministry intern. He wants to spend a year giving back to the ministry through which God brought him to Himself and His Church. He will be assisting me in my ministry to the incoming class of midshipmen during “Plebe Summer” and next year with all the students.
Lenten Services and Opportunities for Growth
Thanks to your generosity, in addition to increased teaching, I have been able to offer the students more services, including the Reserved Sacrament. His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH, blessed me to offer the students of both colleges a Deacon’s Presanctified Liturgy at the USNA. This gave the midshipmen their first opportunity to receive the Reserved (Presanctified) Sacrament at the Academy and participate more fully in Lent. Fifteen students came to the service!
In other news this Lent, we were blessed to hear His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware speak on the Transfiguration, and Fr. Daniel Byantoro came and spoke on Islam and Christianity. I also led the students on a Lenten retreat and mission trip on the Eastern Shore at the beginning of their Spring Break. We spruced up a chapel that will, God willing, become a future OCF retreat house for students and their retreat leaders.
We Need Your Help
Please help us spread the word about ACM so that we can continue to grow this ministry and provide more for the students’ needs while we also reach out to the people of Annapolis. We are striving to be faithful to God’s calling to help the students own their faith and help others in Annapolis to come to Christ and His holy Church.
In order to do this, it’s imperative that we raise our monthly support level so that we can continue to live in this area and minister full-time to the students and to other people whom God brings our way. Even an extra $5 or $10 per person can make a big difference. We ask you to pray and to be as generous as you can that we may all bring forth more fruit for the kingdom.
Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry that is making a real difference in the lives of the students and people of Annapolis.
Yours in Christ’s love,
Fr. Dcn. Robert Miclean
Annapolis College Ministry