Orthodox Detroit Outreach
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March 2016
Four years ago a small group of Orthodox Christians from various parishes in the Detroit, MI area began serving a Sunday meal once each month for our neighbors in SW Detroit. Our prayer has been to provide opportunity for Orthodox Christians to serve Christ in the needy, witnessing our Faith actively in an Orthodox Christian Ethos.  

Four years and more than 10,000 meals later, that initial prayer has grown into a weekly Sunday Meal ministry sponsored by Orthodox Detroit Outreach and hosted at the Community Center Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral (OCA).   

It is a great joy to see three and even four generations of faithful Christians working side by side together at the Sunday meal. By the grace of God, our rapidly growing volunteer base now enables us to expand our ministries into a Saturday Program, providing more opportunities for our faithful to serve.   

We are presently developing a Saturday Meal/Bible Study as a means to further offer nourishment to body and spirit, and share more deeply our life in Christ. This Saturday gathering will take place consistently on the first Saturday of each month.  We hope this Saturday afternoon setting will allow us to further develop other new ministries as well, to better serve our neighbors.

In gratitude to God for His mercy; and our Lord Jesus Christ, Whom we serve in the “least” of His children, and for the grace of His Holy Spirit, Who provides for our growth; we also are grateful for all of you and for your continuing prayers and support.

Submitted by V. Rev. Fr. Paul Albert
Spiritual Advisor for Orthodox Detroit Outreach
Pastor of Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Cathedral (OCA) Detroit

We share with you the following short quotes from a few of the many who serve through the ministries of Orthodox Detroit Outreach, young and old.

 “It’s not just about the meal, or even the guests.  For those serving, young and old, this is ‘school’ where we can learn the deeper lessons of life.”  
   (80+ years old)

What have you learned from serving the poor in SW Detroit?

“Regardless of how impossible it is to live on the street, or in poverty, I see how all of our faces light up when we are together. This is truly the work of Christ. “
  (30 years old)  

“From the first time I met the volunteers, I was struck by the obvious dedication and respect with which they approach the luncheon. As a member of the Jewish faith, I couldn't agree more that the work in service of others allows us to enact the high minded values of religion. And in this case, it brings us closer to those of other faiths - to see not the ways we're different, but how much we have in common!”   N. (30 years old)  

"It makes me happy to serve others." E.  (11 years old)

"We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the poor through Orthodox Detroit Outreach.  By serving, we unite with our brothers and sisters who suffer, and we are profoundly transformed and receive truly much more than we give."  
E. & S
. (parents of young volunteer)  

“Something that I did not necessarily learn, but am reminded of every time I help is that these people are just like me and my family/neighbors. They are simply human beings trying to get by. Something that I have learned is that many of the people who attend the meal do work or are at least trying to, but they simply cannot make enough money to make ends meet, and that saddens me deeply.  

Something I have learned about myself is that I am merely born in the right place at the right time and that is ultimate what separates me from many of the attendees at the soup kitchen. I've learned that every one of the people there has a story to tell.”     J.  (25 years old)

“This is a place where people with many different backgrounds can come together for support, and create a special community.” M.  (34 years old)

“You find yourself incredibly grateful for the things you have in this life and I don't mean iphones and xboxes. Food, clothing, shelter, a car, a job, a few dollars in the credit union, and friends; these are the things for which I'm eternally grateful. It's also a blessing to be able to participate and to give when I'm able.”  
R.  (64 years old)

 “St. Mary of Paris sums up my experience and how I feel when I'm at ODO:  

‘The way to God lies through love of people. At the Last Judgment I shall not be asked whether I was successful in my ascetic exercises, or how many bows and prostrations I made. Instead I shall be asked did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners. That is all I shall be asked.  About every poor, hungry and imprisoned person the Savior says ‘I': ‘I was hungry and thirsty, I was sick and in prison.’ To think that he puts an equal sign between himself and anyone in need. . . . I always knew it, but now it has somehow penetrated to my sinews. It fills me with awe.’

It is by far, the most Christian devotion I have been blessed to be a part of.”   
  (64 years old)

“Many have no idea how important this ministry is. The neighborhood guests continue to show up every Sunday not only for the meal, but because they are treated with kindness & respect. This has become a time & place of stability in their hectic lives. For a short while, many years ago, I walked in their shoes.”   
( 59 years old)

“My experience with serving our neighbors always brings to mind that LIFE does not get better by chance.  It gets better with CHANGE! Change is what is happening in SW Detroit with everyone that walks through the doors of the Community Center!”  M. ( 45 years old)

“Some of the people coming through the line looked tired, some looked cheerful, some had a hard time walking, some were getting food for others who couldn't come, some had dirt on their hands, some were children. They were all grateful for the food, and I was humbled.” A.  (46 years old)

“Not only do we help others in the neighborhood change their lives, but we have all changed our lives; those of us that help.. I enjoy showing up every Sunday.  I have never felt not-wanted. I leave most every Sunday feeling "Blessed!"  Blessed that I have a roof over my head, heat, food, etc.   And finally,  blessed in knowing that I have put a smile on my Savior’s face,  for Jesus ‘came here to serve and to not be served’. This is my mission in life. “ J.   (55 years old)  

“Sunday lunches at Sts Peter and Paul for me is Orthodoxy at work – doing what Jesus Christ taught us to do and asked us to do: to pray and serve. With Sunday lunches, ODO gave us all chance to practice what we talk about and pray for on Sunday mornings at our churches. “ S. (44 years old)

 We all come together for the common purpose of serving our neighbor,  “For Christ’s love compels us”     (2 Corinthians 5:14 )   


Our Mission/Vision
ODO provides a venue for volunteers to serve a weekly meal and love our neighbors in need in SW Detroit at Ss Peter & Paul Orthodox Church.
Your generous contribution will help sustain and further the important ministry of Orthodox Detroit Outreach.
Orthodox Detroit Outreach is a recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Orthodox Detroit Outreach     |     3810 Gilbert St. Detroit, MI 48210     |     admin@orthodoxdetroitoutreach.org