The Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity Holds Annual Meeting at SVOTS

24 April 2013 • On–Campus

Missions Institute board members with Fr. Chad (Photos: Pdn. J. Matusiak)Missions Institute board members with Fr. Chad (Photos: Pdn. J. Matusiak)In keeping with St. Vladimir's Seminary's continuing emphasis on missions and outreach, SVOTS hosted this week's board meeting of the pan–Orthodox Missions Institute, which is housed on the campus of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, SVOTS chancellor/CEO and adjunct professor of missiology, has been an integral part of the Institute since it launched in 2010 with the stated goal of promoting an awareness of missions within Orthodox Christian schools of theology in the U.S.

Institute Director and former Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) missionary The Rev. Luke Veronis Board discusses future goals in the Gerich BoardroomBoard discusses future goals in the Gerich Boardroomaddressed the members of the board and led a discussion of several new initiatives, including the creation of a fund to underwrite short–term mission trips for seminary faculty members, and the creation of a new Mission Class Guatemala trip, commencing in the summer of 2014. For the past several years SVOTS seminarians have participated in a for–credit collaborative seminarian missions trip, joining Holy Cross seminarians and Fr. Luke for two weeks of study and ministry in Albania.

Seminarians from St. Vladimir's, Holy Cross, and St. Tikhon's on 2011 Albanian mission team: (Photo: A. Berksdale)Seminarians from St. Vladimir's, Holy Cross, and St. Tikhon's on 2011 Albanian mission team: (Photo: A. Berksdale)In another missions initiative, the Seminary hosted its first annual Missions Day in late November, 2011 with guest speaker The Rev. Themistocles Adamopoulo, a member of the Alexandrian Orthodox Patriarchate who ran a vibrant ministry and mission in Nairobi, Kenya for years and now serves in Sierra Leone. Hurricane Sandy forced the postponement of the next missions lecture, which had been scheduled for November 7 with guests The Very Rev. Archimandrite Dr. Andres Girón de Leon and The Very Rev. John Chakos, both missionaries among the indigenous people of Guatemala.

The Institute was founded in 2010 with support from the Virginia H. Farah Foundation and the Endowment Fund for Orthodox Missions (EFOM), a charity honoring Greek Orthodox missionary pioneers the Very Rev. Alexander and Presbytera Pearl Veronis. In addition to Fr. Chad Hatfield, Dr. John Barnet, associate dean for Academic Affairs and associate professor of New Testament, and Director of Admissions and Alumni Relations Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, attended the mid–week meeting.