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Robert M. Arida: "How to Expand the Mission"

Originally written as a reflection for the OCA’s upcoming All American Council in July of 2015, I believe what follows applies to all Orthodox Christians in North America. The theme of mission and evangelization permeates our ecclesial atmosphere. From the beginnings of Christianity mission and evangelization has compelled the Church to enter the new and unknown. This is seen in the Pauline letters and in The Acts of the Apostles regarding the reception of Gentiles. Guided by the Spirit, this monumental movement on the part of the Church to move beyond the confines of Judaism was fraught with fear, suspicion and opposition. Yet, in the end, as the Church expanded its mind and heart Christianity was saved from becoming another Jewish sect as it engaged and transformed its surrounding cultures.