Texas may be a long way from Shanghai, but it didn't stop Father John Whiteford learning valuable lessons from the Orthodox Church in China over the last few centuries.
"China is a unique nation, with one of the most ancient and noble cultures in the world. Our efforts to make Orthodox books available in Chinese is a critical step in respectfully sharing the Orthodox Christian faith with Chinese speakers," said Father Geoffrey Korz, rector of the Hamilton, Canada parish who recently sponsored Father John as speaker at their annual fundraiser for the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC).
The translation work of the OFASC is putting dozens of spiritual and liturgical books online in the Chinese language, to support the life of Chinese Orthodox Christians, and to encourage the work of the autonomous, self-supporting Orthodox Church in China, currently in the process of re-establishment.
The annual Canadian fundraising dinner supports the work of the Boston-based OFASC in its work, which has already translated much of the Prologue of Ochrid and the service books, online at www.orthodox.cn.
"North Americans have much to learn from China, its dedication to family, personal discipline, and education. These are critical qualities to cultivate in our own children, and they help prepare the hearts of Chinese faithful to be better Christians, and thus better members of Chinese society," said Father Geoffrey.
Father John Whiteford agreed. "It's a great blessing to see Orthodox faithful working together like this to encourage and support each other. God willing, more and more of our American and Canadian brothers and sisters will join together to support the Chinese translation work of the OFASC. This is mission work at its best."
More information about the project can be found at http://www.orthodox.cn/index_en.html.