March 8-16, 2013
Under the direction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Real Break Constantinople team will work on construction projects in this beautiful ancient capital of the Roman Empire.
With only 2,000 Orthodox Christians left in Turkey, hundreds of gravesites have been neglected. During this Real Break trip, a team of students will restore a section of vandalized and forgotten graves, and commemorate the souls of the departed. Daily debriefings will focus on Orthodox perspectives of death and preparing for a life with God. The service project will end with a Memorial Service at the gravesites that are restored. The Ecumenical Patriarch may change the service activity at any point before the trip based on what the most important need is.
College students should be prepared for: outside work such as clearing debris, cleaning tombstones and using cement, paint and other supplies. Unlike other service trips where the focus is on those in front of us, here we pray and reflect on the lives of those who have gone before us.
In addition to the service activities, the Real Break participants will attend Liturgy at Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George in the Phanar and have an audience with His All Holiness. The team will tour some of the most important Christian monuments including Hagia Sophia.
The goals of this trip are to serve the persecuted Church in present day Istanbul, experience the life of the Church in a non-Christian land, encounter historical Christian sites in the city, and interact with one of the most important leaders of the Church, His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew.
There are limited spaces for each destination. To secure your spot, register online with a $150 deposit. Final payment is not due until January 30, 2012.
Information about the Ecumenical Patriarchate
The Patriarchate of Constantinople is also known as the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This means that it holds the position of “first among equals” between all Orthodox Christian Patriarchates throughout the world. It is an institution with a history spanning seventeen centuries, during which it retained its see in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). It constitutes the center of all the local Orthodox Churches, heading these not only by administration, but by virtue of its primacy in the ministry of pan-Orthodox unity and the coordination of the activity of the whole of Orthodoxy.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has the historical and theological responsibility to initiate and coordinate actions among the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, The Czech Land and Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, and numerous archdioceses in the old and new worlds. This includes the convening of councils or meetings, facilitating inter-church and inter-faith dialogues and serving as the primary expresser of Church unity as a whole.
His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is the 270th successor of the 2,000 year-old local Christian Church founded by St. Andrew. As Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, Patriarch Bartholomew occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church and presides in a fraternal spirit among all the Orthodox Primates. As Ecumenical Patriarch, he transcends every national and ethnic group on a global level, and today, is the spiritual leader of approximately 250 million faithful worldwide.
FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: http://www.patriarchate.org
There are limited spaces for each destination. To secure your spot, register online at www.ocf.net with a $150 deposit. Final payment will be due by January 30, 2013. However, if you opt to set-up a credit card hold, final payment is not due until 2 weeks after the end of your trip. To set up the hold please call 661-412-2267 by January 30, 2013 to securely process this information. The team will work on construction projects with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Past projects have been refurbishing a Church that had fallen into disuse and the restoration of two cemeteries that were destroyed by the Turks in the riots of the 1950's. The trip also includes sightseeing to various places (Agia Sophia, Church of Chora, Grand Baazar, etc.) and a private audience with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Trip Cost - $2,000.00
The cost includes the international flight, transportation during the trip, visa, any necessary airport or entry/exit fees, travel insurance, lodging, meals, and materials; however, it does not include the domestic flight to and from New York (JFK). You are strongly encouraged to book your domestic flight as soon as you receive confirmation that your Real Break trip is Active – (meaning, there are enough participants for the trip to happen).
If you fundraise over the trip cost, you are eligible to receive a reimbursement of the cost of your domestic flight up to the overage amount fundraised. Please refer to the 2013 Real Break Information Packet at www.ocf.net for more details.
The cost includes the international flight, transportation during the trip, visa, lodging, meals, materials and sightseeing; however, it does not include the domestic flight to and from New York (JFK). If you fundraise over the trip cost, OCF will reimburse your domestic flight up to the overage amount fundraised.
SUPPORT THE MISSION – YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Most groups we serve rely on donations to continue their ministry, as does OCF. Support your mission and OCF by fundraising more than your trip cost! Excess funds will be given to support the work of the Ecumenical Patriarch with a small portion used to cover OCF’s operation costs.
Please refer to the Real Break Information Packet at www.ocf.net for detailed information regarding refunds and cancellations.
Your international flight to and from Constantinople (Istanbul) will be booked by OCF so that the team will fly together. Each participant will be responsible for making their own domestic travel arrangements, updating this information online in their registration, and e-mailing this information to email@example.com. The international flight to Constantinople will leave JFK at 11:15 PM on March 8, 2013 and will arrive back into JFK at 12:25 PM on March 16, 2013.
Please book your flight to New York (JFK) on March 8th before 7:15 PM and out of JFK on March 16 after 4:25 PM.
Proceed to the Turkish Air Counter (Terminal 1), where the team will assemble. If your domestic flight does not arrive in time to catch the international flight, OCF will aid you as much as possible but will not be responsible for your flight arrangements.
If you need a hotel room near the JFK airport on March 16th, please e-mail OCF at firstname.lastname@example.org and contact your trip leader to make arrangements.
We recommend that you register with the state department before you travel at https://step.state.gov/step/
Entry and Exit Requirements
A valid US passport is required to enter and depart Istanbul. Certificates of naturalization, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and photocopies are not considered acceptable alternative travel documents. Non US citizens must check Visa requirements for entering and exiting Istanbul.
We will be staying at the Daphnis Hotel (www.daphnis.com.tr/en/index.htm). You don’t need to pack sleeping bags or bedding. Meals will be provided during the trip.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you receive/be up to date on the following immunizations: influenza, chicken pox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR Vaccine), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT Vaccine). In addition, Hepatitis A & B are recommended for travel to Turkey. These shots are available through a family physician or a public health clinic (generally, clinics are much less expensive). These shots are a one-time immunization and if you plan to do future traveling it is worth getting them now; many other travel destinations require the same immunizations. Begin getting your shots several months before your departure. If you have any further questions consult the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov).
In case of emergency during your trip, please call 800.919.1OCF (1623) or you may call the Ecumenical Patriarchal offices at 011.90.212.531.7777. Also, your trip leader will be providing you with his phone number in case you have problems with your domestic flight.
Mission work through the Orthodox Church has always been an effort to bring the Gospel of Christ to all people through meekness, and humility. Therefore everything that we do or wear represents an image of who we are. T-shirts with suggestive, crude, or derogatory language will draw negative attention to your group. Please do not bring them.
When traveling into monasteries and churches, women must wear long skirts and respectable shirts that cover their shoulders, while men must wear long pants and respectable long-sleeve shirts. As you will travel to various religious and historical sites in a two-day period, it is suggested that women bring a wrap-around skirt or sarong to wear over your clothes and carry on all trips. This will allow you to travel comfortably in pants, but also make a quick change and enter into any monastery or church while you are traveling. While working at the site, it is appropriate to wear jeans, t-shirt and a sweatshirt. "Work clothes" means clothes that you are willing to get dirty!
Another reminder, be sure to pack at least 1 extra set of clothes in your carry-on just in case your suitcase gets lost for the first day or two.
What to Bring?
- A positive attitude
- US Passport
- Work clothes (we suggest jeans and t-shirts)
- Work shoes/sneakers (no sandals or open-toed shoes while working)
- Warm clothes for evening and night (light jacket/sweater)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sufficient clothing
- Nice Church outfit for Audience with His All Holiness (women - skirts and blouse; men - long sleeve shirt, khakis and tie)
- Flip-flop sandals for showers
- Personal toiletries
- Bible/Spiritual Reading
- Notebook, pen, etc.
What NOT to Bring?
- Alcoholic Beverages and/or Tobacco
- Illegal Drugs (prescription/over-the-counter drugs must be kept in their original containers)
Download 2013 Real Break Constantinople Trip Information Packet PDF Format)
Download 2013 Real Break Participant Information Packet (PDF Format)
View 2013 Real Break Fundraising Essentials