May Ministry of the Month: Holy Trinity OCA - Overland Park, KS
Ministry Leader: Donald McCarter

Tell us about yourself!
I'm a retired computer consultant. I worked in the healthcare industry, installing computer software for many years. I was able to travel all over the country doing that. I’ve been retired for seven or eight years and enjoy spending time with my three granddaughters. I’ve been married for almost 41 years and have one son. I also play piano in a band. It is guys about my age and we just get together every Wednesday night and play classic rock music.

What is your background in the pro-life movement?
I feel like I’ve always been at least aware of the pro-life movement. I was in grade school when Roe vs. Wade was first ruled on by the Supreme Court, but it didn’t really hit me then. It wasn’t until I started voting and decided that I didn’t want to blindly follow a party that I started to hammer down my political positions. I was in my 40's when I realized I ought to get more involved in the movement. . . It wasn't until I became aware of 40 Days for Life around 2014 and got involved that I was exposed to a lot of people interested in the pro-life movement.

How did you learn about OCLife?
It is a roundabout story. Our priest is very good about loaning out the parish hall for free to good causes. Through that, I was visiting one day and got super interested in Orthodoxy. I eventually converted and I figured that there must be an Orthodox pro-life group. It was right about that time that OCLife was starting up again. This year, our parish officially became affiliated. I think parishioners were originally cautious, but then people got interested and we decided to figure this out. It’s been cool how it's all coming together for us.

What are some accomplishments of the ministry that you would like to highlight?
There’s already a big culture of life built into the parish. It’s a fairly vibrant parish, with a lot of things going on. The ladies' group will knit scarves and blankets for unwed mothers or women that are in crisis pregnancies. So it was a natural fit for our parish to slide into OCLife.

I think our biggest accomplishment has been getting people to come out and take time off work to attend 40 Days for Life. Some folks took a whole day of vacation to come and be with us, which is great. It is just slowly growing. I can’t wait for the fall campaign because I think we might double our numbers. Next year, we are going to push to get other Orthodox parishes to come to stand and pray with us. 

Do you have any long-term goals for your OCLife ministry?
With God’s help, we hope to be bold. I hope this ministry catches fire in Kansas. We hope other Orthodox churches get on the bandwagon. There is strength in numbers. There’s a hidden gem of Orthodox folks all over Kansas. If we can get all of them aware of what's happening and get over the fear of putting ourselves out there, we can be quite a force to help our non-Orthodox pro-life brothers and sisters that have been carrying the cross for years.

Do you have any words of encouragement for other Orthodox Christians that are looking at starting a ministry? 
You have to be perfectly patient. You have to realize that it's a learning process for folks that may not have thought anything about the pro-life movement until it hits home. In Kansas, it hit home with a lot of the legislation that was pushed through the last couple of years. We just have to pray a lot and be super patient and in time, it will grow. If you go out into the community for the first time and it is you and just one other person from your church, that is okay. The next time, maybe it’ll be four people. And it will just grow from there.