Faith, Hope, Love
April 8, 2013
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Another year has passed and it is time again for our diocese's annual Faith, Hope and Love fund-raising appeal. Once again I am asking you for your support.
Our missionary diocese is among the poorest dioceses in the nation, but I remain hopeful, and very grateful for the funding we received from previous appeals. Because of your generous contributions and matching foundation grants the diocese has been able to respond to requests from parish council representatives all over our diocese for youth and young adult ministry. This summer for example, our newly established Diocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry office will host the first-ever Fairbanks Youth Conference, People of Alaska, People of God. Although a limited number of youth from our diocese, primarily from our "road system" parishes, have been able to participate in Anchorage area youth conferences in the past, we have long needed a gathering in our own diocese, one which will be accessible to youth from both the road system as well as the outlying bush parishes; and one which will privide for follow-up and future ministry opportunities and outreaches for all our young people.
In addition, our new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Dr. Kelle Lynch-Baldwin, PhD, is developing diocesan-wide Young Adult Ministry catechetical projects; scripture studies, fellowship opportunities and more, again in response to what you, our people have requested; and again thanks in large part to your generous gifts and prayers.
Similarly, because of your generosity, our diocese is working to shore up the Retirement Fund for our Diocesan Priests who have worked so hard for so many years in our mission field. Fr. John Martinek, for example, who has spent more than half of his 40 years in the priesthood ministering in Alaska, will retire this summer. Fr. John's "retirement" plans include taking his ministry "on the road" by driving a camper from place to place and ministering wherever God leads. We wish him Godspeed.