Ft Lauderdale, FL. OCF (Orthodox
Christian Fellowship) is pleased to announce another Real Break trip to
Constantinople. Real Break Constantinople serves God and other people
while participating in the life of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His
Grace Bishop Savas the newly appointed Director of Church and Society of the
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will lead the group assisted by the Rev.
Mark Leondis the National Youth Director for the GOA and Chairman of the Board
of Orthodox Christian Fellowship and the Rev. Dr. Christopher T. Metropulos the
Executive Director of OCN (The Orthodox Christian Network) and the Pastor of
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The Real Break
Trip to Istanbul, Turkey, begins on March 14, 2009.
The group consists of 22
participants from five different Orthodox Christian jurisdictions.
The college students from around the country are traveling to
Constantinople to receive the blessings of His All Holiness and refurbish a church
and a cemetery that has fallen into disrepair. Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive Director of OCF commented, "OCF is honored to have the
opportunity to assist the Ecumenical Patriarch in his efforts to restore and
maintain the parishes of his ancient see. This Real Break trip in
particular provides our students with a transformative perspective into both
the past and the present struggles of our Church. The participants will
work hard in a very short span of time."
The group of clergy and college
students will work on a St. Kyriakos Church and the Patriarchal Cemetery of
Erikapi which borders the Land Walls close to the Vlachernae Palace. Along with
the Church, the Patriarchal Cemetery is a site that was desecrated many years
ago. There are about 300 tombs which have broken slabs of marble, knocked down
headstones and crosses. The team will be responsible to bring the Church and
cemetery back to their original state. His Grace Bishop Savas stated, "Laboring to bring order to a
sacred space in disrepair has spiritual as well as physical consequences.
Clearing away years of accumulated filth and debris, restoring tarnished
images, obscured by layers of dirt, to their original beauty, inevitably
affects the inner lives of those who do such work. I know from having
participated in last year's restoration effort that the men and women who will
be taking part this year will experience a renewal of heart analogous to the
renewal the Church of St. Kyriakos and the Cemetery of Erikapi will undergo, to
the glory of God."
The Archons of the Ecumenical
Patriarchate are co-sponsoring this project with OCF, to underwrite the
materials and supplies for the project. Special funding for the
media coverage of this Real Break trip with OCN will be provided by the National
Ladies Philoptochos Society. Fr.
Christopher the Executive Director of OCN stated, "It is an honor to be
partnering with OCF our sister agency of SCOBA. The trip will afford OCN
the opportunity to work side by side in the Ancient City of Constantinople with
the future leaders of the Church in America, while visiting the Mother Church
and the venerable Patriarchate. We expect this to be the beginning of
collaborative work with other agencies who travel and share the love of Christ
with faithful throughout the world".
Faithful in the United States and around the
world are encouraged to visit the web site of Orthodox Christian
Fellowship www.ocf.net , The
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese www.goarch.org and
OCN at www.myocn.net to view
daily progress of the trip as well as photo's and various interviews with the
participants and His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW.
Orthodox Christian Network* is one of the official agencies of
SCOBA,commissioned by our hierarchs to create a national, sustainable and
effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity throughout North America.
the only nationally syndicated Orthodox Christian radio broadcast, as well
as several other outreach programs, including DVDs and Internet-based
media, in direct collaboration with our sister SCOBA agencies (e.g. IOCC,
OCMC, & OCF), as well as with various Orthodox Christian jurisdictions and
pan-Orthodox, para-church organizations. Our goal is to engage the broader
culture of North America with Orthodox Christianity's rich theological,
spiritual and moral heritage, and to thereby strengthen the Orthodox
Church's witness and contribution to the culture in which we live.
Mar 17, 2009 9:29 AM