2008 OCF 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. Nicholas Ranch).
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 love."
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 my views."
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 opportJamil headshotunity 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 world.

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)

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 (cmtham@wm.edu)

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 (danbelonick@gmail.com)

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.

In This Issue
2008 OCF College Conference Highlights
"Welcome 2009!" by Jamil Malone
OCF Regional Events, Happenings, Important Dates & Registration
Giving to OCF

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!

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is offering up to four internships this year, currently planned for Ethiopia, Lebanon and the Republic of Georgia.

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

Rebecca Phillips - OCF SAB, Editor OCF Headliner
Chip Southworth - Director of Communications
Orthodox Christian Fellowship
Join our movement today online at www.ocf.net