Tag Archives: Journaling

Commissioning on March 14th

You are invited to join the faithful of St. Elizabeth Greek Orthodox
Church on Sunday, March 14th 2010 in the commissioning of parishioner
James Hargrave to long-term OCMC missionary service in Tanzania.

The Commissioning Service will follow Divine Liturgy, which begins at
10:00 AM.  Fr. Nikitas Theodosion and Fr. David Rucker will officiate. Continue reading



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January 2010 Update and Travelogue

Dear friends,

God is with us!

And greetings from Florida.  On Wednesday I was able to celebrate the Theophany of Christ at St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church in Orlando, FL.  St. Stephen’s is the parish where I was received into the Orthodox Christian faith back in 2003.  Although I was only there for a short season before graduating from Stetson University and moving to South Korea, returning to worship with the faithful there always feels like a homecoming. Continue reading

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Twelve weeks of travel

On August 16th I began doing the missionary-prep thing full-time.  The first stage of full-time missionary-prep involves this amorphous thing that I’m calling “support raising.”  Other terms are “deputation” and “itineration.”

This means that, in order to function in Tanzania, I need to have a large network of folks in North America who are behind me.  They’re praying for me.  They’re keeping in touch with me.  And they’re providing the finances to fund all aspects of my work as a long-term OCMC missionary.

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Updated Itinerary

October – November Itinerary, updated 10-1-09

Sunday, Oct 4th  Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, OH : Divine Liturgy begins at 9:30 am
Monday, Oct 5th   Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN
Tuesday, Oct 6th  Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN
Sunday Oct 11th  Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, OH : Divine Liturgy begins at 9:30 am
Sunday, Oct 18th  St. Matthew Orthodox Church in Torrance, CA : Divine Liturgy begins at 10:00 am
Sunday, Oct 25th  St. Gregory of Nyssa Orthodox Church in El Cajon, CA : Divine Liturgy begins at 10:00 am

Sunday, Nov 1st  St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church in Littleton, CO : Divine Liturgy begins at 9:30 am
Friday, Nov 6th  St. George Orthodox Monastery, Denver, CO : Evening, exact time TBA
Sunday, Nov 8th  TBD (Denver, CO)
Wednesday, Nov 11th Holy Nativity Orthodox Church in Langley, BC : time of Vespers TBA
Thursday or Friday, Nov 12th or 13th   Downtown chapel in Victoria, BC
Thursday or Friday, Nov 12th or 13th   Orthodox Christian Fellowship at the University of British Columbia
Saturday, Nov 14th    Ss. John and Nina Orthodox Church in Vancouver, BC : Vespers at 6pm
Sunday, Nov 15th   St. Herman of Alaska in Langley, BC : Liturgy begins at 10:00am

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October Update

Dear friends,

Glory to Jesus Christ!  Utukufu kwa Yesu Kristo!

This email update assumes that you’re already familiar with who I am and where I’m going.  If you’d like some more background on my preparations for long-term OCMC missionary service with the Orthodox Christian Diocese of Mwanza in Tanzania, please visit http://jhargrave.ocmc.org and click on “Biography.”

The beginning of autumn finds me in Cincinnati, Ohio where the weather has turned brisk and the long sleeves are coming out of the suitcase.  September has been extraordinary.  Since last month’s update, I’ve spent time with fifteen different Orthodox Christian communities– parishes, OCFs, and a monastery– across the Southeastern United States.  I have seen the work of saints.  The Diocese of the South and the Metropolis of Atlanta bear living witness to the finest traditions of missions and evangelism from the apostolic era to the present day.  If you want to know what missionary work looks like, just talk to an Orthodox Christian in the South.  (The Antiochians, from what I’ve seen at Holy Resurrection in Johnson City, TN, are also doing a mighty fine job)

These examples have been a great encouragement in my own efforts.  Thank you to everyone who has hosted, welcomed, fed, and encouraged me.  The memories you’ve shared are a daily blessing.

October will see my efforts shift into a slightly different mode.  I will continue working to raise up a team of 40-50 committed parishes, families, and individuals praying daily and faithfully giving $20 – $100 monthly in support of all aspects of my training and ministry.  These travels are taking me to Ohio and Southern California, but the hectic itinerary will slow down a little as I spend more time on language study, hands-on training, and following up with the considerable network of new (and old) friends who have asked to stay abreast of my progress.

Here’s a progress update on the support raising: As of October 1st 2009, I know of twenty partners who have pledged long-term monthly support of my work.  Forty-five additional donors have made one-time gifts.  And beyond that, 335 parishes, families and individuals have asked to be kept in the loop.  God willing, each of these is praying daily for God’s constant presence with me and with the Church of Tanzania.  In order for my missionary service to be sustainable long-term, I’m praying for thirty more monthly financial partners by the first of November.

If you are ready to make this commitment, there are several ways to pledge monthly support.  First, you can pledge online with your credit card at http://jhargrave.ocmc.org .  Second, you can call OCMC at 1-877-GO-FORTH to set up electronic funds transfer.  Third, you can contact me directly and we’ll work out a plan.

Thank you again for your prayers, encouragement, friendship, and support.  I thank my God daily for you.  Please stay in touch.

By your prayers,

James Hargrave

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September: Orthodox Christianity in the American South

September began at one of my favorite places on Earth– the little hermitage in the woods at Ss. Mary & Martha Orthodox Monastery in Wagener, SC.  The sisterhood in Wagener has been part of my life for four years, and the past four years have been richer for it.  If you don’t know Ss. Mary & Martha, then you should.  If you’re in college (or just in your twenties), you should go to their winter retreat.

Holy Ascension Exterior

Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Mount Pleasant, SC

Holy Ascension Interior

Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Mount Pleasant, SC

While based at the monastery, I experienced much of South Carolina– Holy Ascension in Charleston, Holy Apostles in Columbia, and Holy Resurrection in Aiken.  Charleston is called the “Holy City” for its skyline of steeples.  The churches of this port city are architectural landmarks, and Holy Ascension is the finest among them.  With its towering cupolas and breathtaking iconography, it is unmistakably an Orthodox Christian temple built for the ages.  With its heart pine floors and an exterior of stucco and bronze, it is unmistakably at home in Charleston.  This stunning work of liturgical architecture has a choir to match.  And the hearts of the faithful of Charleston exceed even the glory of their temple. Continue reading


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OCF and Missions

Today I am sitting in a coffee shop called The Golden Roast, right next door to the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  The local Orthodox Christian Fellowship (the Orthodox campus organization here in the States) has asked me to speak with them about my own OCF experience and how that’s drawn me towards missionary work.  I’ve spent the past several hours meditating and journaling about this, and here’s the result:

How does OCF encourage mission work? Continue reading

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