HOW DO I APPLY FOR A MISSION TEAM?
Click “Get Started” to apply for an Orthodox Mission Team. A priest reference form will be emailed to you once we receive your application. After you have been selected for a Team, OCMC Teams staff will contact you with registration information to help you prepare for your Team experience.
HOW DO I RAISE MONEY TO COVER MY COSTS?
Fundraising takes dedication, conviction, a sense of purpose and a lot of effort. You are encouraged to let others know that they will be sharing in the work of missions and creating mission awareness through their financial support and prayers.
There are many methods to raising funds, including writing letters, making presentations, and holding events. Team members will also have access to a Participant Center that can be used to help increase fundraising potential by creating a personalized fundraising page, sending appeals and thank-you emails, viewing the amount of money you have raised
A Mission Team Information Packet which includes a section on fund raising and guidance for your Team will be forwarded to you after you have registered.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF SHORT-TERM ORTHODOX MISSION TEAMS?
OCMC Orthodox Mission Teams provide Orthodox communities with labor, teach the Faith, offer a visible expression of Love, Unity, Support, and increase awareness of World Orthodoxy. This is accomplished through Construction, Evangelism, Teaching, Health Care, Youth Ministry and Outreach.
HOW LONG DO TEAMS LAST?
OCMC Mission Teams vary in length, typically from one to three weeks.
AM I ELIGIBLE TO GO ON A TEAM?
Orthodox Christians, active in their Church, in good health, who are willing to work hard as part of a team, are encouraged to apply. Children (under 18) may participate on certain Teams if at least one parent participates.
Teaching teams require people to be well-grounded in the basic teachings of the Orthodox Faith. With few exceptions, people do not need to be theologians or “experts” in order to participate.
WHAT FINANCES ARE INVOLVED?
A $100 non-refundable deposit is due two (2) weeks after selection which is applied toward your Participant Cost. 50% of the funds should be submitted two (2) months prior to departure and the remainder of the funds raised should be received by OCMC three (3) weeks prior to departure.
Costs vary from team to team, depending on the location, length, scope of the team’s ministry, and the budget submitted by our hosts. A portion of your participant cost includes an administration fee, which covers only a small portion of the overall cost that each member incurs. Many Teams also have project costs, not included in the participant fee, that are often subsidized by the OCMC, such as the cost for camps or retreats, medicines for health care teams, funds for construction.
Your Participant Cost covers: transportation to the Mission Center from Jacksonville for orientation, orientation (lodging, meals and training) and other costs while in the field (transportation, lodging, meals, and most of the supplies needed by the Team).
You will incur additional out-of-pocket expenses related to applying for passport, travel to orientation, specific items designated in the packing instructions, medications, immunizations, fundraising expenses, visiting local restaurants, beverages/snacks, tips/gratuities. If you have raised funds for your participant costs and team airfare you may submit expenses for your domestic flight to orientation and immunizations.
All participants are expected to cover the cost of their participation and their airfare. OCMC encourages you to fundraise; to involve your community in your mission and raises awareness.
WHAT IF I CAN’T RAISE ALL MY FUNDS?
All costs must be covered in order to participate on a Team. We firmly believe that God will provide when we approach the issue of fundraising with humility, a pure heart, and a firm decision to work hard to raise the necessary funds. You can email or call the OCMC for additional fundraising information (tel 904.829.5132 x143 or email TEAMS@OCMC.org).
Though many people find themselves a little uneasy as they approach the challenge of raising their support, Team members have found, time and again, that God answers their prayers and funding comes in miraculous ways. Let others know that they will be sharing in the work of missions through their financial support and prayers. Your enthusiasm will be an inspiration to others, and you will be giving others a chance to participate in missions as they support you as well!
You will also have a personal Participant Center to assist your fundraising efforts.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A MISSION TEAM?
An Orthodox Mission Team Information Packet will be provided with ideas of how to raise support, prepare for short-term mission service, and create mission awareness in your community. These are all very important aspects of preparation.
Some Teams may require you to prepare lessons, ice breakers, crafts, music or sports activities. Together with your host, OCMC will prepare a list of requested topics and activities, email it to you and ask you to reply with a list your preferences. Once all the Team Members have responded, OCMC will assign you a number of lessons to begin preparing and ask that you email your material to OCMC before orientation.
An orientation program on Orthodox Missions, cross-cultural ministry, team dynamics, and the objectives of your Team is mandatory for all Team Members. At orientation you will have time to get to know the other Team members.
Additionally pray, read, learn some of the language, meet people from the culture you are visiting.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE GUIDELINES FOR TEAM MEMBERS?
You will be challenged to view the world with God's eyes and actively seek how He wants to use you to fulfill His plans. Orthodox Mission Teams are a learning experience. Discretion must be used at all times; always keep in mind Christian modesty, local culture, and that individual appearance, conduct and every action is a witness of the Orthodox faith and life. Team members are ambassadors of Christ.
HOW ARE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS MADE?
Once the Team is filled, OCMC will email you an itinerary prepared by a missionary travel agency, which you may purchase directly from them or you may go online and purchase a ticket that matches that itinerary. If you have raised enough funds you can authorize OCMC to purchase your ticket through the missionary travel agency or if you purchase the ticket online, you may request reimbursement from the funds that you have raised and sent to OCMC. You are expected to travel on the scheduled dates and on the itinerary that the rest of the Team will travel on.
For most Teams, you will purchase two separate itineraries. The domestic travel is one-way from your home city/airport to Jacksonville, FL (JAX) for orientation at the OCMC in St. Augustine. The international travel is from Jacksonville (JAX) to Team destination, and then back to your home city.
For some Teams, orientation will be done in the field so you will travel directly to the Team destination. OCMC will inform you of where your orientation will be held.
You are responsible to purchase your tickets (on the emailed itinerary), confirm that your ticket and passport name matches. You are encouraged to raise funds to cover the cost of both domestic travel to orientation and international airfare.
CAN I MAKE ALTERNATE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AFTER MY TEAM IS COMPLETED?
Yes, you can make other travel arrangements after the project. Dialogue with OCMC and your host about any changes to your Team departure that you are considering. You will be responsible for any costs associated with your change.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH REQUIREMENTS?
Immunization requirements vary from country to country. OCMC may make recommendations; however, it is your responsibility to visit your physician or travel clinic and ensure that you have the appropriate immunizations. If immunizations are required, OCMC will forward a health information sheet or you can visit the World Health Organization (WHO) or Center for Disease Control (CDC) websites and check your Team destination page. OCMC will provide international health insurance.
ARE THERE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?
Seminarian Grants are offered to offset the cost of participation on a Mission Team for seminarians. Applicants must have completed one semester in theological studies at an Orthodox seminary at the time of application; be in good standing academically; have demonstrated church involvement; and have been approved to participate on a Mission Team. The number of scholarships and funds available vary from year to year.
WHAT ARE SOME RECOMMENDED MISSION READING?
- Missionaries, Monks and Martyrs: Making Disciples of All Nations (Minneapolis: Light & Life), 1994. Veronis, Luke. An excellent resource that looks at the lives of missionary saints as a model for mission work.
- Facing the World: Orthodox Christian Essays on Global Concerns (Crestwood: SVS Press), 2003. Yannoulatos, Anastasios. Archbishop Anastasios is leading authority today in Orthodox missions.
- Mission in Christ’s Way: An Orthodox Understanding of Mission (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press), 2010. Yannoulatos, Anastasios. A must-read for Orthodox Mission studies.
- Herman: A Wilderness Saint: From Sarov, Russia to Kodiak, Alaska (Jordanville: The Printshop of St. Job of Pochaev), 2012. An account of the life and works of St. Herman.
- A Mind for Missions: 10 Ways to Build Your World Vision (Colorado Springs: NavPress), 1987. Borthwick, Paul. Offers great suggestions on how to make missions a regular part of our everyday lives.
- Orthodox Alaska: A Theology of Mission (Crestwood: SVS Press), 1992. Oleksa, Michael. Looks at the evangelization of Alaska as a model for Orthodox mission work.
- Eastern Orthodox Mission Theology Today, American Society of Missiology, No. 10 (Minneapolis: Light & Life), 1986. Stamoolis, James J. A good overview of Orthodox missiology.
- People Raising, by William P. Dillon, published by Moody Press
- Getting Sent, by Pete Sommer, published by InterVarsity Press
- Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms (Nashville: Thomas Nelson), 1993. Gillquist, Peter, et. al., eds. Excellent resource with Orthodox notes on the Scriptures.
- Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers (Minneapolis: Light & Life), 1988. Harakas, Stanley. Information on the Orthodox Church’s stance on a number of issues, written in an easy question-and-answer format.
- The Orthodox Church (London: Penguin), 1993. Ware, Timothy. A standard introduction the history, worship, and beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
- The Orthodox Way (Crestwood: SVS Press), 1995. Ware, Timothy. Focuses more on the spirituality of the Orthodox Church.