College Conference Highlighted
by New Programs, New Location, and Record Numbers
Fishers, IN - Creating
a "Revolution of Love" was the theme explored by nearly 400 Orthodox college
students, speakers, and hierarchs at the 2008 OCF College Conference. Students
from around the United States
and Canada gathered for
worship, fellowship, workshops, reflection, and fun at three locations: the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, PA; the St. Nicholas
Ranch in Dunlap, CA; and one new location, the Diakonia Center, in Salem, SC.
The College Conference takes
place each year on Dec. 27 - 31. Elaborating on the theme of a "Revolution of
Love" in 2008 were three keynote speakers: Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive
Director of OCF (Antiochian Village), Fr. Nicholas Triantofilou, President of
Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Diakonia Center), and Mr. Dan Christopulos,
Development Director for International Orthodox Christian Charities (St.
How Orthodox Christians
should respond to poverty, homelessness, human trafficking, and genocide were
among the questions reflected upon by each of the keynote speakers.
"There's only one response to
poverty and injustice for the Christian,"" noted Fr. Kevin Scherer, "and that is
During the conference, OCF
officially announced a new program called the Pilgrimage for Justice. This
unconventional conference will take place on Pentecost weekend (June 5 - 8,
2009) at the Antiochian
Village and will further
immerse students into the world of poverty and injustice, equipping them to respond with Christ's love to the broken world around us.
One significant highlight of
the East Coast College Conference at the Antiochian Village
was a visit from the newly-elected Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in
America (OCA). His Beatitude gave a moving homily to those gathered there
following Great Vespers on the final night of the conference.
We were also please to have
Margie Dillenberg of Invisible Children join us at the East Coast College
Conference. Invisible Children is a marvelous organization dedicated to helping
the child soldiers forced to fight in Northern Uganda.
It was truly a blessing to have Margie with us to encourage students to become
involved in addressing this issue.
OCF was also very pleased to
open a new location in the South for 2008 at the Diakonia Center.
Nearly 50 students participated in our first College Conference in this
location. One of the highlights of this location was the Service Project where
the students headed into Atlanta,
GA to share meals with the
homeless, thereby putting into practice the theme of the conference. One
student noted of the experience, "I can't begin to discuss how this has changed
For more reports on the 2008
College Conference, as well as information for the 2009 conference and other
OCF programs, visit www.ocf.net.
"Welcome 2009!" by Jamil Malone, SAB Chairperson
|Welcome 2009! It's a brand new year. This is a great opportunity
for Orthodox college students all around to start off a new year with a new
start on things. Starting off the year in the church calendar, we've just
celebrated Theophany. The feast of the baptism of Christ helps remind us
of our own baptism and the significance of washing away our sins, dying with
Christ, and rising again out of the water with Him. What a great way to
begin the year and begin your spring semester!|
The New Year is a time of renewal and new beginning. Many of us
finished last year at the College Conference. Whether you were at the
Village, down South, or at the Ranch, the College Conference was an opportunity
for us to prepare for the New Year and set our minds on a good and steady
path. If you were at the Antiochian
Village for College
Conference, you had the opportunity to hear His Beatitude, the newly elected
Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA church, speak. His words encouraged us all
to be ready for the New Year and a new beginning. As college students,
we have the opportunity to start new, start strong, and be a voice in our
Now for the usual New Year's talk. Yes, New Year's Resolutions.
Though everyone talks about their ideal resolutions (loosing 100 pounds, eating
healthier, working out), we can also look at the New Year as an opportunity for
spiritual resolutions. It may be hard to wake up early on Sunday mornings
to get to Liturgy on time, but why not start now with the New Year as we begin
to prepare for Great Lent? (Yes, it's coming soon.) Try reading the daily
scriptures. I'm a Mac lover, and for New Year's, I downloaded the "Daily
Readings of the Orthodox Church" widget, which I now read every morning.
Though it may not be working out your body to get healthy, it's a resolution to
workout your spiritual side and make your soul healthy.
I hope the New Year brings you a joyous new beginning. Use this
opportunity, and the great resources that OCF has to start your year off well!||
|Regional Events, Happenings & Important Dates|
Quotes from the Fathers
"Christ is illumined; let us shine forth with Him. Christ is baptized; let us descend with Him that we may also ascend with Him." (St. Gregory the Theologian)
UPCOMING FEAST DAYS
February 2 (February 15): Feast of the Presentation of the Lord into the Temple
January 30- February 1: "A Double Life: The Struggle of the Orthodox College Student Living in an Unorthodox World" hosted by OCF of New York and New Jersey Region and OCF of Rutgers University. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Albert S. Rossi. Also featured will be"Mini Love: Urban Service Encounters" and a "Back 2 the Future" banquet to celebrate the launching of OCF's new website.
Cost is $15. Visit www.RutgersOCF.com to register.
February 20-22: Mid-Atlantic Regional Retreat at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. The theme is "Raised Above This World's Confusion: Finding Inner Peace in a Chaotic World." Cost is $30.
Contact: Christina Thames (firstname.lastname@example.org)
February 27-29: St. Photios Faith and Learning Symposium hosted by Hellenic College/Holy Cross. The topic is "Apologia: Explaining the Faith." The keynote speaker will be Fr. Brendan Pelphrey.
Contact: Daniel Belonick (email@example.com)
PROGRAM DATES & REGISTRATION
Real Break: Registration is now open for the Real Break trip to Los Angeles, CA! The date is March 8-14, 2009, and the price is $735 (not including the domestic flight to L.A.). Spaces are also available for the trips to El Salvador, and Project Mexico I. Visit www.ocf.net to register.
|Giving to OCF
Although these times are tough and our bank accounts seem to be stretched already, there is never a time like the present to help the Church and its ministries. OCF is too important and the progress is too great to let this
blessed campus ministry fall by the wayside.
Please help OCF keep our students connected to Christ and His Church in these
trying times by giving what you can. Thank you.
|Save the Date! - Pilgrimage for Justice
OCF will be launching a radically unconventional conference in 2009 called Pilgrimage for Justice. This conference will take place over Pentecost weekend, and will be like no other event OCF has ever hosted. We will officially begin advertising for this event at this year's College Conferences, but mark your calendars now - June 5 - 7, 2009 at the Antiochian Village will be a weekend you won't want to miss!
Stay Tuned...Other OCF Service Learning Opportunities on the Horizon!
With our hiring of Jordan Henderson as Service Learning Director, we will continue to greatly expand the service learning opportunities offered by OCF. Continue to check our website for information on Internships, Leadership Training, and a Just Love program of study to be used in local OCF chapters.
OCF "Day of Prayer": March 1, 2009
Day of Prayer will be March 1-2, 2009. Spots are still available for OCF chapters that would like to sign up, and chapters can
always double up if necessary. Information should be available on the new website in February. If you have any questions, please e-mail Nicole Jokola at
Internship Opportunities at IOCC!
Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is offering up to four internships
this year, currently planned for Ethiopia, Lebanon and the Republic of
Internships typically last between 10-12 weeks,
and IOCC covers airfare, lodging and food. Interns are given a good
deal of responsibility: they have opportunities to travel into the
field, meet beneficiaries, write stories for IOCC publications, monitor
projects, write reports, etc.
This is a great opportunity for college
and graduate students or recent graduates.
The application deadline is February 15. For more information, please visit: http://www.iocc.org/getinvolved_internship1.aspx