NEWHALEN, Alaska – Are you interested in a Virtual outreach to the community of Holy Transfiguration of our Lord Church in Alaska? The community in Newhalen believes that the connections that are made on Virtual Teams allow everyone involved to see how unified we are as Orthodox Christians living in these socially challenging times. Lessons on Religious Education and Iconography have been requested.

A gravel road connects the villages of Newhalen and Iliamna; they share an airstrip, post office, Church and school. Newhalen is on the north shore of Lake Illiamna, about 230 miles southwest of Anchorage. The 1890 census listed the village of "Noghelingamiut” with 16 residents of Yup'ik, Alutiiq and Athabascan heritage (Newhalen is the anglicized version of the village name). Iliamna was originally the name of an Athabaskan village located where the Iliamna River flows into the lake. Most residents practice a subsistence lifestyle in this region known for the bountiful fish and game.

It has been over two hundred years since the Orthodox Christian Faith was proclaimed on the shores of Alaska, and for this reason, it is often considered America’s Holy Land. The presence of Orthodoxy in these villages can be traced back to early Russian missionaries whose witness contributed to establishing the faith which is central to many of the native Alaskan cultures. Alaskan Native people often find themselves walking in two worlds - one with grandparents, ancient languages, fishing, hunting and close-knit subsistence villages and the other with an emphasis on formal education, internet technology and an evolving world economy. Teams bring a sense of family and connection as they share their faith with those whose home land is the ‘holy land’ of North America. The Church in Alaska faces many challenges as She continues to maintain an Orthodox witness and proclaim Christ while equipping a new generation of future believers and leaders to know and live their faith. OCMC Mission Teams work with the OCA Diocese of Alaska to provide catechism and youth ministry to the faithful to help foster growth and involvement in the Church.

Virtual Team members should be prepared to share their Orthodox Faith. Youth workers, church school teachers and camp counselors are encouraged to apply! This Team is reserved for the Ascension Orthodox Church in Lincolnshire, IL.

Dates: February 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2022

Cost: $60

Fund raising – Team Members are encouraged to invite others to participate in this effort through prayer and tax-deductible donations. If you would like to contribute to this project, which is also supported by the OCMC, we are grateful for your support.

Share in a journey of faith… Orthodox Mission Team members are challenged to view the world with God's eyes and seek how He wants to use them to fulfill His plans. This cross-cultural experience, combined with outreach, offers participants a life-changing learning experience. This experience is about people, culture and missions. It is also about prayer, for you and others; it is about God, those you serve, and about yourself, as you serve Him.