College Conference is Amazing

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This is a guest post from John Dixon, College Conference East Chair on the 2013-2014 Student Advisory Board and a Junior at West Virginia University. He is currently studying Computer Engineering, and this is his first year on the OCF Student Advisory Board.

Behold now, what is so good or so pleasant as for brothers to dwell together in unity?” -Psalm 132:1

What better way to accomplish this task is there than to have fellowship with other Orthodox Christians? For many of us college students who don’t have a substantial crowd at our OCF meetings, it can be hard to have interactions with other Orthodox Christian Students who may be struggling to keep the faith while in college. Some of us may feel drained of our faith, and lack the proper recharge we got from Church or camp when we were younger. You may be wondering, “What can I do? How can I meet other Orthodox Christians when I have no clue where to start looking?” The answer is simple: OCF College Conference.

If you have never heard of College Conference, then prepare to be amazed! The Orthodox Christian Fellowship holds not one, but two gatherings once a year where Orthodox Students from around the country can come together to learn about their faith, meet new Orthodox students, andto put it plainly— have the time of their lives. Since I am the chairman for College Conference East, I will be speaking predominantly about the conference activities on the east coast.

We on the east coast have our conference at the Antiochain Village Conference and Retreat Center located in Bolivar, PA (for those of you on the west coast, College Conference West is located at Saint Nicholas Ranch in Dunlap, CA). For those of you who have never been to AV, I can assure you from many years of personal experience that it is one of the most Holy places that I have ever stepped foot on. If its peaceful surroundings aren’t enough for you, AV is also holds the grave of Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, which is indeed a place you want to visit sometime during the conference.

Now you may be wondering, “How can I grow in my faith during the conference?” Well, along with the various church services that we will offer, we are also privileged to have many workshops speakers, and our Keynote speaker—His Grace Bishop Gregory of Nyssa—is speaking on our topic of Unity. For our workshops we have priests from different jurisdictions, as well as laypeople that have their own subtopic of unity they are going to talk about.

Now that we have talked about how you can grow in your faith while attending college conference, we can talk about some fun that you will be having. Not only will we be having dances featuring American, Greek, and Arabic music, we will be having an “open mic”-style talent night so you can show off your voice or guitar playing. There will be other various activities that you can partake in, so stay tuned!

Over the course of the four days of the conference, you will have the opportunity to meet Orthodox students from all over the country, and by the end you may find that you have made friendships that will last a lifetime. This is the best chance that any college student has to broaden their support group and become a part of something bigger. College Conference can change people’s lives in so many different ways that are not possible out in the “real world” that is college.

There are still spots available! If you would like to learn more or register, please go to our website and register for either East or West. I can’t wait to meet all of you at College Conference! Who knows, we may even start a friendship that could last from this life till the next.

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