So, who are you?

My name is Anastasia (I usually go by Tasya for short) and I will be a Blog Contributor this year! I’m very excited to take on this role!  

14292320_10210580039681994_7563197237603736316_nI study Music at the University of Ottawa, where I’m in my third year. I love to be involved with my church, so typically you can find me studying, at church, or studying at church!

University of Ottawa? Is that in Canada or Illinois?

I am honoured to represent one of the few Canadian chapters! It is my hope and prayer that OCF will continue to
expand around North America (maybe even the globe!).

As an aside, Ottawa is a gorgeous city (I’m a little biased). You should really come visit during the six weeks of nice weather we have each year.

So why are you so excited about OCF?

OCF has been, without question, the highlight of my university career so far. It has given me the opportunity to learn more about my faith, to meet other Orthodox Christians, and to attend some fantastic retreats and conferences (College Conference: go register, it’s a great experience).

In reality, however, OCF is so much more than that. If I said that OCF is an official club of (insert University name here) and left it there, I would be completely missing the whole point of OCF. Orthodox Christian Fellowship is so much more than a club; it is the Church. As one of my Sunday School teachers always reminded me, the Church is 10806491_10154777461065467_657603814454390367_nnot the building, it is the people! How incredible is this opportunity, that we can be a part of the Church right on our secular campuses?

In my city, most people do not leave home to go away for university; instead, many of us opt to study at one of the two large campuses here. Many of my friends have grown up here in Ottawa, but since we all went to different churches, we didn’t know each other. I even know two people who went to the same high school and didn’t know the other was Orthodox Christian!

I was thinking recently that so many of us have grown up minutes’ drive from each other, are months apart in age, and yet we’ve never partaken from the same chalice at communion. OCF gives us so many opportunities to be unified together without the limitations of having different parishes, which is something for which I am incredibly thankful.

At the end of these four years, I could tell people I went to the University of Ottawa and made some amazing friends, which would be great. I could tell people that I learned so much and became a better musician, which would be awesome. But, I can tell people I went to the University of Ottawa and encountered the Church, which is incomparable, and that’s why I’m so excited about OCF this year.

13161708_1015307835213376_5072390570379906980_oAnastasia Lysack in her third year of her Music degree at the University of Ottawa. She attends Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Ottawa, where she teaches Sunday School and sings in the choir. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, volunteering, and visiting just about any coffee shop in the city of Ottawa.