ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
“Keeping our College Students Connected to the Church”
Fields are White for Harvest: Welcome to College Ministry" Conference
New York, NY – In an effort to inspire clergy, college students, and laity of all jurisdictions to become involved with college ministry, the Diocesan Department of College Ministry partnered with Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), and the OCA’s national Department of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries.
Held in Murray-Dodge Hall on the breath-taking campus of Princeton University, home of OCF’s Princeton Chapter, over a dozen clergy, laity, and college students from New York and New Jersey gathered.
“It is a real honor to hold this event on the campus of Princeton University, in the home of one of the oldest OCF chapters in the nation, led by Fr. Daniel Skvir who has offered himself diligently to this vital ministry for a quarter of a century” said Rev. John Diamantis, Chairman of the Department of College Ministry.
After a light brunch, and introduction about why the work of OCF is so important to college students and appealing to millenials, the first speaker of the day was Mr. Evan Bittner, Vice-President of Penn State’s OCF; perennially amongst the most vibrant chapters in the country who spoke about “The Effects of Campus Ministry on College Students.”
“When I arrived at college, attending church was the last thing on my mind, but my experience in OCF at Penn State has deepened my faith and given me answers to questions on contemporary issues such as war, politics and entertainment” said Mr. Bittner.
Mr. Andrew Boyd, the Director of OCA’s National Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministries next spoke to the theme of “Challenges and Opportunities for Ministering to College Students.” Andrew challenged the college students to re-frame the way they think about interactions and responses to people around them and to be bold in proclaiming Christ through words and actions. His underlying theme was “Shepherds don’t make sheep, sheep make sheep.”
Following the lunch break which included hoagies from Hoagie Haven, a renowned lunch spot for Princeton college students, and a guided tour of Princeton’s University Chapel, the third largest chapel in the world, by Fr. Daniel Skvir, the workshops resumed with “How to Start an OCF” by Rev. John Diamantis, Chairman of the Department of College Ministry.
Fr. John’s talk focused on the practical aspects of campus ministry and was intended to equip college students, clergy, and laity with the necessary tools to launch an OCF on a campus near them.
“My hope as an OCF District Chaplain and as the Chairman of the diocese’s Department of College Ministry is to have an active OCF chapter that meets regularly on every major campus in New York and New Jersey.”
Rev. Deacon Alexander Cadman, Secretary of the Board of Directors for the OCF North American office, and Chaplain of the OCF chapter at Penn State then shared information about “The Effects of Campus Ministry on a Parish.” Dn. Alexander cited examples of three parishes which are involved with campus ministry; a rural, suburban, and urban. “The vital work of OCF is to bring the college students to a real experience of Christ through their fellowship with one another and in their lives through the local parish church” said Dn. Alexander.
The Dept. of College Ministry looks forward to brining this workshop to different parts of New York and New Jersey in the coming years and having even more participation from clergy, college students, and laity of all jurisdictions. We are grateful for those who came today, and we look forward to having more involvement from our brothers and sisters of all jurisdictions in the future as we work to bring Jesus Christ to our college students.
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Jun 17, 2013 4:42 PM