January is full of new beginnings, rededication, resolution, looking forward to what’s to come.
What is to come?
We made it to February; so what now?
This month, our theme is hope. Paul tells us that the things that remain are Faith, Hope, and Love. Once we start something or make a decision, how do we continue? How do we stay constant in our faith or remain loving through the struggles we endure. We hope.
I see this time of year as one that necessitates hope.
We push on through the path we have chosen with it.
But how do we hope in the right way? Hope is a confident expectation. It is not just a passive looking off to the future that one-day things will come together, but a confident expectation that the Kingdom is right here with us.
C.S Lewis, in Mere Christianity, points out that when we say in the Creed, “Thy will be done” we often say it thinking about the far-off future and are less likely to be so willing to relinquish our life at each present moment to the will of God.
And perhaps, after setting our goals, small failures along the way bog us down. Perhaps they discourage us from wanting to run the race altogether.
However, having confident expectation does not have to proceed from past moments of “success,” but simply from the knowledge that each moment we have here is ready to be used for God. Each next moment, even the one right after we get done binging Netflix for 5 hours can be used to choose love, care, patience, service… Our lives are made for picking up each of our crosses and going.
So with hope as a confident expectation let us go. Whatever we have chosen up to now and choose in the next moment go and give it back to God: Thy will be done.
Publications Student Leader
I am a senior at the University of Kentucky studying philosophy and microbiology. I love hiking, staying active, and enjoying great books and food! Above all, I love the family OCF has given me. Whatever your story may be, there is a place for you in this community! Reach out to learn more about OCF or if you would like to contribute to the blog! email@example.com
Do you know the story of Wally? He was a nine year old second grade. He should have been in fourth grade but everyone knew that Wally had difficulty in keeping up. He was big and clumsy, slow in movement and mind. Wally fancied the idea of being a shepherd in the...
Last month I was in Washington D.C., and I met up with a friend of mine from the Antiochian Village. We spent the day walking around the National Mall just enjoying the city and each other’s company. Afterwards, she said that it was, “a nice break from the secular...
In the months of November and December we are inundated with messages of ‘giving thanks'and ‘spreading Christmas cheer.’ While nice sentiments on the surface, they all point towardsone thing: consuming. To prepare for Christmas, we are told we need to start shopping...
From an OCF Student
“OCF has allowed me to connect with people my age that are faced with the same challenges and worries as I am, and helped me to create a network of Orthodox life-long friends all over the country.”
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Class of 2021
Flex Chapter Guide
It’s here! Created for advisors and student leaders to plan a spiritually-enriching year that prioritizes the health and well-being of students, parishes, and campus communities, the 2021 OCF Flex Chapter Guide serves to help navigate campus ministry during COVID-19.
After a Christmas break, Podcast Student Leader Marcus turns to Psalm 40 and St. Paisios to both meditate on God’s justice and righteousness and think about what happens when we lose sight of God in our human attempts for justice, equality, and mercy.
We’ve got good news! OCF receives $25,000 Matching Grant Opportunity
BROOKLINE, MA — Over the past few months, we have all been faced with challenges that point to an uncertain future. However, in the midst of these challenges, OCF remains committed to building community, strengthening faith, and bringing Christ’s love to college students. Since March 2020, OCF has provided these new opportunities for college students:
Virtual discussion series on Fr. Thomas Hopko’s “55 Maxims for Christian Living”
Virtual chapel opportunities, including Compline, Paraklesis, and the Akathist of Thanksgiving
Virtual small groups facilitated by OCF alumni connecting students with their peers to discuss their faith and current experience
Lenten cooking videos
Holy Week video series connecting the pilgrimage sites of Real Break Jerusalem to the services of Holy Week
Graduation video series honoring the Class of 2020, featuring actor and musician Jonathan Jackson as keynote
Virtual series on racial reconciliation as Orthodox Christians (currently being offered in partnership with the Fellowship of St. Moses the Black and CrossRoad Summer Institute)
Virtual Summer Leadership Institute (beginning June 28)
OCF has been offered a tremendous opportunity for the faithful to support our college students. The Renaissance Fund has extended a $25,000 matching grant to OCF, where donations of up to $500 between June 15th and August 4th will be doubled if the $25,000 goal is met!
College students need us NOW. They want to live faithfully. They want to be engaged in their faith. They want their faith to engage them. OCF can only do this with the help of its supporters.
For more information about this matching grant opportunity please contact OCF Development Manager, Donna Levas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is an agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States and serves as the official campus ministry for the twelve (12) Orthodox Christian jurisdictions that the Assembly represents. Its mission is to transform the lives of college students by guiding them along the path to Jesus Christ through His Church, cultivating a campus community of worship, witness, service, fellowship, and education.*Matching Grant generously provided by The Renaissance Fund. A donation up to $500 will count towards the matching grant opportunity until the $25,000 match goal is met. For donors who gave in 2019 or 2020, donations will be matched if the amount given towards this campaign exceeds any previous 2019/2020 donation. This provides current donors with the opportunity to increase their support for OCF as well as invite friends to learn about and support OCF’s ministry.
We’ve got good news! Registration for the first-ever virtual OCF Summer Leadership Institute is now open!
BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s Summer Leadership Institute will be offered from June 27 – August 9, 2020 as a six-week virtual leadership training course for college students and young adults (ages 18-25). Attendees can expect to learn what it means to be an Orthodox leader in OCF, the Church, and the world. This is the first-ever virtual offering of SLI and attendance is free of charge.
Various aspects of leadership will be explored through readings, short video lectures, interactive sessions with instructors, and weekly leadership breakouts. SLI 2020 will feature lectures led by OCF staff as well as experts in Orthodox theology, spirituality, and pastoral ministry to help prepare participants to be Christ-centered servant leaders.
This year’s instructors will include John Meese, Entrepreneur & Dean of Platform University; Dr. Philip Mamalakis, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology; Matthew Namee, General Counsel & COO of Orthodox Ministry Services & Founding Director of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas; Christina Andresen, Director of Ministries for OCF; Donna Levas, Development Manager for OCF; and Fr. Panagiotis Boznos, pastor of Saint Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church in Aurora, Illinois.
Emma, a former SLI Participant, had this to say, “During SLI, you grow as an Orthodox Christian not only by learning about your faith in the theological or doctrinal sense, but by harnessing essential life skills like public speaking, servant leadership, organization and planning, and conflict resolution and giving them back to the Church.”
Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is an agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States and serves as the official campus ministry for the twelve (12) Orthodox Christian jurisdictions that the Assembly represents. Its mission is to transform the lives of college students by guiding them along the path to Jesus Christ through His Church, cultivating a campus community of worship, witness, service, fellowship, and education.
“As the new Executive Director of OCF, I share the above exclamation as OCF immerses itself into the present-day lives of college students and builds hope for the future. Simply put, we are both encouraged and excited for our work in this ministry in 2020 and beyond. Our efforts are focused on strengthening OCF to impact and nurture students in their faith as they journey through their college years.
As with any great cause, to achieve our aspirations will require a great amount of investment, from the Church as a whole and by individuals and organizations who wish to support OCF in our cause. I invite you to join us in our commitment and our endless pursuit to be the loving presence of Christ on college campuses and for college students.”