Every year the University of Alabama takes part in its “Beat Auburn/Beat Hunger Food Drive”, collecting canned goods for the West Alabama
Food Bank while trying to out-collect its in-state rival Auburn University.
Several student organizations at the University of Alabama participate in this
event and, like many student organizations, the Alabama OCF chapter collects
and donates canned goods for this effort. This year the Alabama OCF chapter is
proud to say that it has collected and donated nearly 80 lbs of canned goods to
the cause. The goods collected will go a long way in helping the food bank meet
its goal. Considering the Alabama OCF chapter is one of the smaller campus
organizations, this is a successful feat.
The Alabama OCF chapter, which meets weekly for prayer
services and discussion during the fall and spring semesters, was founded in
the fall of 2003 by a group of dedicated Orthodox Christians students seeking
fellowship among other Orthodox Christians. Until 2006, the chapter met at the
on-campus St. Gregory Orthodox Church for weekly mid-week services, fellowship,
and discussions. After the spring of 2006, the building in which the church was
housed was slated for demolition to make way for condominiums. This left the
chapter without a home for a year and had to meet temporarily at the Ferguson
Center, on campus.
In 2008, the chapter was permitted to hold its prayer
services and meetings at the on-campus Canterbury Episcopal Church. Since this
time, the chapter has continued to holding its weekly prayer services and
meetings under the direction of their chaplain, Fr. Deacon Tikhon Cobb. It has
brought in guests such as Fr. Paul Costopoulos, Dean of the Holy Trinity-Holy
Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Birmingham, along with many assistant priests
that have served with Fr. Paul. In addition, during the deadly tornadoes that
hit Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, the chapter worked to collect
items to donate to relief efforts.
Currently, there are about 20 members in the Alabama OCF
chapter, with membership expected to grow with the growth of the student
population. Though there is not an on-campus Orthodox Church or chapel for the
students to attend, the chapter still remains strong and one day hopes to get a
permanent home where all Orthodox Christian students at the university can go
to pray and have fellowship.
Submitted by chapter president Lea Triantafillu