Plebe Summer 2010 is here!
Glory to Jesus Christ! The new plebes (freshmen) have arrived and we are two weeks in to our annual ministry to this year’s incoming class at the U.S. Naval Academy. This year, they come from such vastly different places as American Samoa to Mississippi to the Northeast to the Republic of Georgia. As in past years our emphasis in teaching is on Godly Leadership: what it means to bring your communion with Christ to bear on your formation at the USNA and your military service. In all areas of our life we want to strive to glorify God; serving in the military is no different, and living for Christ is, in fact, all the more necessary!
Receiving the Sacrament
This year since my ordination to the diaconate the Metropolitan has blessed me to offer the Typika Service with the Reserved Sacrament and a Homily each Sunday. This means that the plebes and those helping with the ministry this summer, can receive the deifying strength of Christ’s precious and holy Body and Blood. Praise God! In past years, it has only been on those occasions when we can get a priest that we have been able to receive the Sacrament. This is a great blessing to us all!
We have been blessed at the USNA with the use of a large office space that has become our chapel this summer. We’ve been able to set up our iconostas (though since it is a little large for the space, we have only one deacon’s door). We are thankful for the opportunity to worship the Holy Trinity in our own space, which also affords the opportunity for those helping to start the mission to participate.
Orthodox Teaching and Study
After the Typika service the plebes meet with us for fellowship and a study on the lives of the Orthodox ‘military’ Saints, which provides opportunities to reflect on their godly attributes and how they brought their Orthodox faith to bear on their service to their countries and, in some cases, their martyrdoms, e.g., St. George the Trophy Bearer.
As we reported last newsletter, with the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH, we are laying the groundwork for a mission in the historic downtown part of Annapolis and, God willing, within walking distance of the campuses. This will greatly advance the ministry to the students, particularly at the USNA, where travel and time are restricted. Once I am ordained to the priesthood, God willing, we will be able to offer the students and midshipmen regular Sunday worship, feast day liturgies, and a regular liturgical cycle throughout the Church year. This will mean that more of the students and midshipmen can participate and won’t have to travel to get to church, which is a major hindrance to their ability to participate more fully in the life of the Church.
Graduations and New Students
Three of our students from our ACM ministry at St. John’s College, Thomas Browning, Lauren Cooper, and Virginia Buecher, graduated this Spring. All three came to faith and were catechized through ACM. While we’ll miss having them as part of ACM, all three are planning to participate in helping get the Mission started. Thomas is serving as my first Intern and will be meeting with students and helping lead Bible studies this coming academic year at both St. John’s and the USNA. At the same time, we know of at least two incoming students at St. John’s who are coming to the school in part because of Annapolis College Ministry.
We have just begun to grow! Over the past six years, 20 students and midshipmen have come to Christ and His holy Church through ACM. Your prayers, as well as your faithful and monthly support of this ministry, enables us to continue to grow this ministry and community in Annapolis. Every year we strive to offer the students and midshipmen more so that they have every opportunity to grow in Christ, own and apply their Orthodox faith to their daily lives. Plans are in the works to open an OCF House in the future. With your generous support, we can create an Orthodox house in Annapolis that will help the students grow together in Christian community, accountability, and godly formation.
College life is full of temptations and pitfalls. Your faithful and generous support ensures that another class of students and midshipmen will have access to Orthodox Christian pastoring, teaching, Bible studies, accountability, worship, retreats, Sunday services, fellowship, friendship, and true communion in the Church. This is all vital for their formation into godly men and women!
We thank you!
We want to thank you and ask God’s blessing for your participation in this ministry that is changing lives. God is using ACM to help young men and women grow in godliness, and enabling others to come to Christ and His holy Church. If you are already contributing to the ministry, please prayerfully consider increasing your contribution. Even an extra $5 a month makes a big difference for us. If you are not yet a regular ACM supporter, please consider joining us in this life-changing ministry!
Yours, in Christ’s love,
Fr. Dcn. Robert Miclean