All Things New: The National SR ACRY Announces Growth Initiative
JOHNSTOWN, PA -- With the blessing of the Diocesan Chancery, the newly elected President of the National Senior American Carpatho-Russian Youth (ACRY) has shared with the clergy and faithful of the diocese, the ACRY's desire to be of greater service to the faithful of the diocese, in keeping with its motto Forever Forward and Heavenward in issuing the following letter to our diocesan parishes:
Very Reverend Protopresbyters, Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers and Fellow Diocesan Members,
Glory Be To Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!
My name is Amy Coffman and I am the newly elected President of our diocesan National Senior American Carpatho-Russian Youth Organization (ACRY). As you are aware, the ACRY was founded in 1937 and has been actively involved in the life of the diocese throughout its entire history. Over the years, the ACRY has been in the forefront of every positive initiative in the diocese, always keeping in mind its motto “Forever Forward and Heavenward”
As I am sure you are aware, the ACRY is an organization that performs numerous charitable deeds within our own Diocese for many people. The ACRY is a strong supporter of the youth of our Diocese. In 2012 the ACRY donated $2700 to diocesan camperships to give campers in need the chance to experience Camp Nazareth when they may not have been otherwise able to afford to do so. The organization also donated $2000 to Camp Nazareth for general ministries support to assist the camp to continue to provide a safe haven and Christian environment for all of our diocesan youth. The ACRY also donated $1000 to the publication fund for the Diocesan Apostolate for Youth (DAY) which fosters and encourages our diocesan youth to actively participate in all aspects of life in the Orthodox Christian Church and provides the youth with a forum in which to communicate and encourage each other in all of their philanthropic deeds. During the 2011-2012 academic year the ACRY gave out $6000 in scholarships to assist our youth in paying for collegiate expenses.
The ACRY supported more than just the youth of the diocese in the past year. The organization raised and donated $5000 to give for flood relief for the parishes and parishioners affected by the recent bad weather. In addition to the $5000, $828 was collected at the Grand Banquet on Sunday evening of the Convention by the ACRY members in attendance to aid in disaster relief for our people and communities. It also donated $5000 to the Diocesan Mission Fund which it has for many years, bringing the total it has contributed to this ministry to more than $100,000. The organization understands that to ensure its long term survival, it must invest in its future. The ACRY has done that by donating $500 to Christ the Saviour Seminary, to support its efforts in prepare young men to be our future priests.
The ACRY is an active participant in the Distinguished Diocesan Donor Program to aid in the expansion and maintenance of Camp Nazareth, Information Technology, Christ the Saviour Seminary and other Diocesan Apostolates and Ministries. The ACRY has also created a program to benefit members in all diocesan churches called the ACRY Blessing. This program was created to help financially assist any family with a child, aged birth through twenty-one, with a serious illness or disability. At our most recent convention, we expanded its reach to also assist diocesan members of all ages facing a severe economic crisis due to a catastrophic illness.
Lastly, the ACRY provides an environment for like-minded people that share the same faith to get together on several occasions and spend time together in a Christian atmosphere, allowing God to work through them. Yearly, the ACRY sponsors Lenten retreats throughout our diocese, as well as our yearly Bowling Tournament and National Convention. There are many individuals that can attribute the ACRY for meeting lifelong friends and even spouses.
I am writing to you today to share some exciting news regarding the National Senior ACRY. At our recent National Convention that was held Labor Day weekend we focused our attention on the biblical verse from Revelations 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new.” This passage was chosen because we have entered into a new era. Over the past few years, faced with the reality of declining membership, we have been re-examining the purpose and mission of the ACRY. As a result of our strategic planning, we have discovered that our youth and young adults are seeking opportunities to perform, hands–on mission and outreach projects. As an organization we have rededicated ourselves to service to our Lord and His Church and to one another. Beginning this year, the National ACRY is sponsoring an ACRY Ambassador to do mission work in Christ’s name and to help promote the ACRY throughout the diocese by being an exemplary model member of the organization.
With this letter I am personally reaching out to you, Father, and your parish community. As the ACRY each year performs numerous charitable deeds within our own Diocese for many people, we are asking for the assistance of your parish today in helping us to strengthen and grow the ACRY. Over the years the ACRY has provided support to many worthy causes throughout our diocese and beyond, but with growth in membership we could achieve even more. If your parish does not currently have an ACRY chapter we encourage you to start one, as it can help you begin or enhance your parish outreach ministry.
If your parish has any questions about the ACRY or would like additional information about the organization, please contact me, the National Senior ACRY President, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the National ACRY website at www.acry.org. If desired, a member of the National Board would be more than happy to visit your church, attend Divine Liturgy and give a small presentation about the ACRY. Please visit the website to find out how to start or re-activate your local chapter and become part of something larger, because it is only with new people, new ideas, and energy within the ACRY that Christ’s words, “Behold, I make all things new (Revelations 21:5),” can be fulfilled.
Amy L. Coffman,
National Senior ACRY President