US Parishes Mark Annual IOCC Sunday ahead of Thanksgiving Day

In a Challenging Year, Orthodox Humanitarianism Reason for Gratitude

Baltimore, Md. (November 18, 2020) — Partnering with local clergy and volunteers, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) celebrates IOCC Sunday across the United States on November 22 this year.

The mission to serve Christ by serving others is resonant in an ongoing global crisis that has deepened needs. In itself, the ability to serve others even when facing challenges of our own is a reason to give thanks, and serving others can be a path toward healing.

IOCC Sunday — the weekend before Thanksgiving, as designated by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America — lifts up the global humanitarian and development of IOCC as an agency of the Assembly. IOCC Sunday offers parishes an annual forum for highlighting Orthodox philanthropy and joining IOCC’s endeavors, especially through prayer. The tie to Thanksgiving in the United States, a feast of gratitude, underlines the Gospel emphasis on sharing God’s gifts with others.

This year’s celebrations will certainly differ from those of past years in local parishes, given safety measures around the pandemic. Nevertheless, IOCC’s mission offers common ground in its focus on putting the Orthodox faith into action, responding to Christ’s call to care for those in need. IOCC is asking supporters to pray especially for its staff and for the people they diligently serve as across the world communities are living and working amid the pandemic.

In keeping with tradition, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas, IOCC’s liaison in the Assembly of Bishops, has offered a special encyclical to the clergy brotherhood that may be shared with parishioners.

The encyclical, along with additional resources for the day, have been mailed to parishes. These and other resources, including printable bulletin inserts and a poster, are available for download at, including a special Thanksgiving prayer for those in need.

To support IOCC Sunday, please contact IOCC online ( or by phone (877.803.4622). Please also pray for the agency, its workers, and those in need worldwide.


International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has provided more than $715 million in humanitarian relief and sustainable development programs in over 60 countries worldwide. Today, IOCC applies its expertise in humanitarian response to natural and manmade crises in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, offering assistance based solely on need. Learn more at and follow @IOCCRelief on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.