Javascript Menu by

click on image to enlarge
click on image to enlarge
click on image to enlarge

Reader Keanu Matthew Ortiz, a parishioner of Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow Church" in Princeton NJ, was nominated to represent the Diocese of New York and New Jersey at the annual IOCC Serv-X-Treme Conference in Minneapolis MN held July 29 – August 4, 2017.  He sent the following report sharing his experience:


To the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey:

I was privileged to represent our diocese this past summer, at the 2017 IOCC Serv-X-Treme Conference. There were nine Orthodox Christian jurisdictions represented, and our diocese was one of the few from the Orthodox Church in America. It was a fun experience for the twenty-five of us who came together in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We came from many different dioceses across the country, as far as Massachusetts and Alaska. We took part in volunteer work, activities, and social gatherings in the context of our Orthodox faith. We participated in workshops led by Orthodox individuals and hands-on service activities ranging from pricing curtains at ReStore, to cleaning out a hoarder house in Waseca, Minnesota that was damaged by unexpected flooding in the summer of 2016.

I personally learned that love, service, sacrifice, and compassion for others provide great spiritual growth and strength.  Our group showed love to each other with cooperation, and we embraced the service with diligence and compassion. I began to realize all the community service that I have not done and began to think of many ways I can help those around me and encourage others through my actions. As the Saints say, “Share the Gospel everywhere, and if necessary, use words.”

I want to thank my parish rector, Fr. Peter Baktis, for nominating me to attend, and Archbishop Michael and the Diocesan Council for accepting my nomination to go on this trip. I am immensely grateful and honored to have been chosen, and I look forward to applying what I have learned in my everyday life, following the example of Our Lord, Who “came not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).

- Reader Keanu Matthew Ortiz

Share This:

< PreviousNext >
You might also like:

On the Diocesan Calendar


May 17, 2018

Feast-Day of the

Ascension of

Our Lord


May 27, 2018

   Holy Pentecost

The Descent of

the Holy Spirit


August 6, 2018

Feast-Day of the

Transgfiguration of

Our Lord


August 15, 2018

Feast-Day of the

Dormition of

the Theotokos


September 8, 2018

Feast-Day of the

Nativity of

the Theotokos


September 14, 2018

   The Exaltation of the

   Life-Creating Cross


November 21, 2018

Feast-Day of the

Entrance of the

Theotokos into

the Temple


December 25, 2018

  Feast Day of the

  Nativity of Our

  Lord, God, and Savior

  Jesus Christ


Diocese of New York-New Jersey; 33 Hewitt Avenue; Bronxville, NY 10708; 914-779-6580

Powered by Orthodox Web Solutions