ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
“Keeping our College Students Connected to the Church”
OCF Board of Directors Answers Constituents Questions On-Line
Brookline, MA – November 16, 2012 - The Board of Directors of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, as part of its' goal of being transparent and accountable, solicited input and questions on-line from the students, families and faithful it serves during its Fall Meeting at Hellenic College held on Nov 15-16, 2012. Having received the questions and discussed them at today's concluding session, the board offers the following response:
Thank you all for your excellent and thoughtful questions. The Board of Directors was happy to answer the following questions which fell within the scope of their mission. Please continue to send us and the North American Staff your feedback at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to another exciting year serving the great ministry of OCF.
On behalf of the entire board, thank you again for your honesty and dedication to the future of our organization.
Dn. Paul Zaharas, Chairman
Board of Directors 2012-2013
1. Any chance we could develop an online or telephone crisis counseling service for OCF?
This is a great question, and we'd love ro research our options. We would at minimum like to make available those already existing resources for those in crisis which exist in the Orthodox Church in North America. We would also like to make our North American Chaplain, Fr. Michael Ellis, available for any student who feels that he or she would like to speak with a priest. Be looking for these updates on our website soon.
2. In your goal of establishing Regional Coordinators, will that coordinator be active in campus ministry of a particular university in addition to supporting regional activities, or will that coordinator primarily be traveling and equally supporting all OCF chapters within his/her assigned region?
Ultimately, we would like to have Regional Coordinators that can dedicate their time to equally supporting all of the chapters through their districts in a given region as well as spend time establishing new chapters at schools where there is no OCF presence, work with the Regional Student Leaders and the Regional Chaplains to develop programs, resources, and leadership training specific to each region, and influence the direction of OCF at the North American level through their interaction with the NAO staff.
3. Are there any plans to provide any type of training for lay coordinators? The training does not have to happen on a North American level, it could happen on a regional or district wide level. The North American office could provide its expectations and vision, but it can be implemented on local level. We could even have online training. There were times as a lay coordinator that I felt I could have personally have benefited from some type of training.
We would LOVE to increase our efforts in this area. Currently, the staff plans on meeting with the District Coordinators via video conference once each month for mini training sessions and program updates. In the works for next summer, as part of our Summer Leadership Institute, the staff would like to gather our District Coordinators for more formal leadership training as well as offer them time for spiritual reflection and growth, brainstorming, and theological and pastoral training. Ultimately, we'd like our Regional and District Coordinators to feel equipped to provide leadership training for the Lay Coordinators working in their chapters so that they feel prepared to engage in exciting and fruitful campus ministry.
4. My next question/comment is leadership training for our students. I personally would love to see this happen on a regional level. Other organizations oftentimes will send their officers to a week long camp or retreat. There, the students get real, practical training on how to do all the stuff they have to do for their chapters. I think doing this will also help give a sense of solidarity with the national office, a sense of being not only a part of their local chapter, but also of the national ministry. I think it will also help to somewhat standardize how ocf chapters are run. I do know that each chapter and university is different with different needs and other dynamics, but we can provide a structure that will enable our students to go back to their campuses in the Fall and adjust it to whatever unique needs they may have at their campuses.
Great comments! We piloted a similar training this past aummer for our highest level of student leaders, the Student Advisory Board. This Summer Leadership Institute is just the beginning of our leadership training efforts. As we have mentioned, the staff would like to start including our District Coordinators in this training, and as a component of their training, they would like to provide them with the skills and resources necessary to provide this sort of training and mentoring for the students in their districts on an annual basis.
5. Can OCF please publish its operating budget and income statement for the previous 3 years online? How much does OCF presently spend on overhead?
We appreciate your question, and we are proud to say that OCF continues to come out each month under our board approved budget. While we cannot publish financial records online, this is information that we have discussed making more readily available to our constituents. In the meantime, if you'd like details, please contact our Executive Director, Jen Nahas, and she'll be happy to discuss it with you.
Nov 16, 2012 6:44 PM