A Letter from our Executive Director

March 17, 2020

Christ is in our midst!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. -Romans 12.12

As we experience an unprecedented situation and challenging times, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) can only begin to understand the current reality and its impact on college students and the world. Simply put, life as we know it has been turned upside down.

In the midst of uncertainty, confusion, sickness, distancing, and even isolation, we trust in one constant- the love of God. It is this love that propels us forward. It is this love that gives us hope.

Know that during this time, OCF remains committed to providing relevant and meaningful ministry for college students. Our staff recently explored the question, “Why does OCF exist?” The answer was unanimous, “To offer opportunities for college students to encounter Jesus Christ and the Orthodox Church.” It is to this end that our mission carries forward.

In the coming days and weeks, potentially even months, OCF Staff will continue to work with student leaders, advisors, our hierarchs, friends, and other ministry efforts to evolve our ministry given the current situation. We ask for your prayers as we discern, plan, and implement a purposeful & meaningful engagement for students, one that assists their journey on the path laid forth by Christ and His Church.

Let us accept challenges as opportunities, and let us each remain faithful to the message of the Gospel, the “Good News”, as we live in each moment in each day.

Yours in Christ,

Dn. Marek Simon

OCF Update Regarding COVID-19

After time spent in prayer and careful consideration, coupled with close monitoring of the Coronavirus outbreak, it has become clear it would be unwise and unsafe for OCF to continue with our scheduled Regional Retreats, District Events, and YES Days for the remainder of the spring semester. 

For those events with a registration fee, registrants will be refunded any fees already paid. Please reach out with any questions you might have.

We ask that you join us in prayer for those who are being affected, those who are in the medical profession, and those who are making decisions for the safety of our country.

“O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon us, thy people gathered in thy Holy Name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Coronavirus. Send thine angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians and preserve those who are healthy. Enable us to continue to serve our suffering brothers and sisters in peace that together we may glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.”

“We’ve Got Good News!” March 2020 Newsletter

“We’ve Got Good News!”

“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.”

-Dn. Marek Simon, OCF Executive Director

We’ve got good news!  Applications for the 2020-2021 OCF Student Leadership Board are now open

We’ve got good news! Applications for the 2020-2021 OCF Student Leadership Board are now open

Each spring, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) selects a team of talented students to take on leadership positions in Orthodox campus ministry. The Student Leadership Board (SLB) works with staff and clergy volunteers to plan and implement the programs of OCF, advise and inspire their peers on campuses, and assist in the development of new resources and programs for Orthodox college students. OCF is currently seeking applicants for all positions for the 2020-2021 SLB.

Serving on the SLB offers students a unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills while growing in their faith and giving back to the Church. Current Student Leadership Board Chairman, Caroline Retzios, encourages any student who has been impacted by OCF to consider applying.

“OCF gives us so many opportunities to grow in our faith,” Retzios said. “If you desire to grow closer to Christ through service to your peers, build life-long friendships, and learn more about your faith, apply!”

As part of their training, SLB members will attend OCF’s Summer Leadership Institute.

Recommendations for applicants and questions may be directed to studentleadership@ocf.net.

Applications and are due MARCH 29, 2020.

OCF Hiring Part-Time Ministry Intern

OCF Hiring Part-Time Ministry Intern

Position Title:                                    OCF Ministry Intern

Reports To:                                         Director of Ministries

Closing Date for Applications:     February 5, 2020

Work Schedule:                                10 hours per week

Compensation:                                 $15.00 an hour 

Location:                                             Flexible

Mission:

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.

Position Summary:

Located on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, Massachusetts, and with a network that stretches across the country, OCF is seeking a Ministry Intern to support the work of the National Office.  The Ministry Intern will provide administrative assistance for all OCF programs, in addition to implementing administrative projects, maintaining databases, and providing staff support.

Responsibilities:

Database management

  • chapter, donor, student data input and maintenance
  • chapter outreach, including collection of chapter information and rosters
  • survey management
  • website updates

Programs & Events

  • assist with registration management
  • provide logistical assistance for national programs

Other

  • assist with public relations efforts
  • assist with content & resource output
  • administrative tasks as delegated

Experience & Qualifications:

  • Must display a growth mindset, team-first outlook and be motivated by a passion for young adult ministry
  • Reporting, Administrative Writing, Google Applications, Organization, Analyzing Information, Professionalism, Problem Solving, Verbal and Email Communication
  • Must be able and willing to work with and include individuals from diverse backgrounds and various Orthodox jurisdictions
  • Must be authorized and eligible to work in the United States

Application:

Applicants must provide:

1. An up-to-date resume 

2. A brief letter of interest regarding the position 

These items should be sent via email to Donna Levas at donna@ocf.net by February 5, 2020.

Applicants will be reviewed and contacted based upon the order of submitted applications and with a hope that the position will be filled as quickly as possible with an anticipated start date of February 17, 2020.

Disclaimer:

This job description indicates, in general, the nature and levels of work, knowledge, skills, abilities, and other essential functions (as covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act) expected of an incumbent. It is not designed to include or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities required of an incumbent. An incumbent may be asked to perform other tasks as needed.

OCF Trains Young Leaders at the Summer Leadership Institute 2019

OCF Trains Young Leaders at the Summer Leadership Institute 2019

BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, conducted another successful Summer Leadership Institute last month at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI. This year, OCF equipped 44 Orthodox Christian college students with the knowledge, skills, and practices they need to be young Orthodox leaders in OCF, the Church, and the world.

SLI 2019 featured workshops led by OCF staff and student leaders, as well as experts in Orthodox theology, spirituality, and pastoral ministry – helping prepare participants to be Christ-centered servant leaders. In addition to the OCF staff, this year’s speakers included Fr. Panagiotis Boznos, Christian Gonzalez, Anna Kallis, Fr. Philip LeMasters, Matthew Namee, Jonathan Pageau, and Fr. Brendan Pelphrey.

Focusing on how our common Orthodox tradition is at the core of servant leadership, SLI serves students from various educational and jurisdictional backgrounds. Dimitri Gagianas, a senior biomedical engineering student at Ohio State University from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, shared how SLI impacted him this year:

“SLI is an experience you can’t get anywhere else. It allowed me to explore high-level theological concepts and discuss them with students my own age. I especially benefited from Jonathan Pageau who provided us a deeper understanding of symbolism in our society, culture, and faith and how this symbolism finds its truest expression in the Church. Being able to think deeply about theology and ministry at SLI has impacted how I will serve in my role as an OCF leader.”

The newly-appointed OCF Executive Director, Dn. Marek Simon, was in attendance throughout the week and offered the following reflection about SLI:

“The Summer Leadership Institute was a wonderful gathering of Orthodox Christian college students seeking to learn more about their faith, engage with Orthodox leaders and fellow peers on significant topics, and develop their leadership skills as young adults.”

Prior to the official start of the Summer Leadership Institute, the seventeen-member OCF Student Leadership Board met for three days to make plans for the events, programs, and resources they will implement in the 2019-2020 academic year. Their work is central to the ministry of OCF and was highlighted throughout SLI, where attending students were given opportunities to learn from and serve under the Student Leadership Board members.

Summer Leadership Institute 2019 was made possible, in part, by a generous grant from National Philoptochos and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For more information about Summer Leadership Institute visit www.ocf.net/sli. For further questions and inquiries, please email studentleadership@ocf.net.

OCF transforms the lives of college students in the United States and Canada by guiding them along the path to Jesus Christ through His Church, cultivating a campus community of worship, witness, service, fellowship and education. OCF encourages you to learn more and to support the ongoing work of this vital ministry by visiting OCF’s redesigned website (www.ocf.net) or emailing the OCF National Office (info@ocf.net).

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Selects Deacon Marek Simon as Executive Director



Brookline, MA – Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF)—the official college ministry for all twelve (12) jurisdictions of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops—has named Rev. Deacon Marek Simon as Executive Director. He will begin his tenure on September 16, 2019. Dn. Marek will be formally introduced to the dozens of student leaders attending OCF’s Summer Leadership Institute being held August 14-17 at St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI.
Deacon Marek with his wife, Allison, and two sons – Elias and Luke. 
After graduating from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 2001, Dn. Marek has been serving at Antiochian Village Camp since 2002, where he oversees the development and advancement efforts of the camp. He also serves as supervisor of the camp’s staff and manages its team-building ropes course program. During this time, Dn. Marek remained committed to campus ministry, serving as the advisor for OCF’s Student Leadership Board from 2005-2009. “I first learned about the scope of OCF’s work in 2002, and now I am both excited and honored to focus my efforts in hopes of advancing the mission, vision, and goals of OCF,” said Dn. Marek, speaking of his long history and bright future with OCF. “I am passionate about working with young people as they navigate their journey into adulthood, experience college, explore vocation, and seek to grow in their faith. I look forward to working with the staff of OCF, college students, clergy, lay leaders, and other Orthodox ministries to share the Good News of Christ throughout our college communities,” he added. Deacon Marek’s hiring is a significant part of the growth and restructuring of the organization currently being conducted by OCF’s Board of Directors. “On behalf of our dedicated staff and the students we serve, I look forward to working with Dn. Marek as a fellow colleague in realizing the Board’s vision of bringing Christ in His fullness to the college campus,” said Dn. Alexander Cadman, Board Chairman. OCF transforms the lives of college students in the United States and Canada by guiding them along the path to Jesus Christ through His Church, cultivating a campus community of worship, witness, service, fellowship and education. You can learn more about the ongoing work of this vital ministry by visiting ocf.net or emailing info@ocf.net.

OCF Announces Launch of Its Annual First Forty Days Campaign



Brookline, MA – Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, announces the launch of its annual First Forty Days campaign—a Churchwide partnership of OCF and each Assembly Member’s youth department to connect students to Christ and His Church during college. With the blessing and encouragement of His Eminence Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa, OCF’s Episcopal Liaison to the Assembly of Bishops, all parishes are invited to participate in the First Forty Days Initiative. By submitting student contact information directly to OCF, parents and parishes can be assured that their students will be contacted by local OCF leaders within the first forty days of the academic year, providing them opportunities to make Christ and His Church central to their life on campus. During the first six weeks of their time on campus, college students form the relationships and habits that last their entire college career. So that it is the Church that becomes a foundation for their college experience, First Forty Days ensures that every student becomes connected to an OCF chapter and a local parish within this time period. Parents, parishes, and youth program coordinators can submit student contact information for their graduating high school seniors at www.ocf.net/firstfortydays. All student information submitted by July 15, 2019 will be distributed appropriately in advance of the fall semester. Each student’s contact information will remain private and shared only with the appropriate local and regional OCF leaders. Please contact OCF at firstfortydays@ocf.net with any questions regarding this important effort. OCF transforms the lives of college students in the United States and Canada by guiding them along the path to Jesus Christ through His Church, cultivating a campus community of worship, witness, service, fellowship and education. You can learn more about the ongoing work of these vital ministries by visiting ocf.net or emailing info@ocf.net.

2019-2020 Student Leadership Board Applications are now open!

2019-2020 Student Leadership Board Applications are now open!

Every year, OCF selects a team of talented students to take on leadership positions in Orthodox campus ministry. The Student Leadership Board (SLB) works with staff and clergy volunteers to plan and implement the programs of OCF, advise and inspire their peers on campuses, and develop new resources and programs for Orthodox college students. OCF is currently seeking applicants for all positions for the 2019-2020 Student Leadership Board.

Serving on the SLB offers students a unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills while growing in their faith and giving back to the Church. Current Student Leadership Board Chairman, Caroline Mellekas, encourages any student who has been impacted by OCF to consider applying, “If you feel affected by the mission of OCF and called to carry it through offering your own gifts, then this is what’s next for you.”

As part of their training, SLB members will attend OCF’s Summer Leadership Institute free of charge! Additionally, SLB members will receive priority registration for College Conference and Real Break. Recommendations for applicants and questions can be directed at studentleadership@ocf.netApplications are due MARCH 29, 2019.

New $200 Need-Based Scholarships Now Available for College Conference Midwest 2018

BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, is pleased to announce that new $200 need-based scholarships for College Conference Midwest 2018 are now available, made possible by two generous donors.

The registration cost for College Conference Midwest is $325 per person. The $200 scholarship would lower the cost of registration to $125 for selected applicants. Registration includes food, lodging, fellowship activities, and engaging keynote addresses and workshop sessions.

To complete or share the Scholarship Application visit:  https://goo.gl/forms/qRv9J3h12w7CIRIp1

OCF’s College Conference Midwest will be held from December 27-30, 2018 at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI. The 2018 Conference Theme is “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Fr. Barnabas Powell, parish priest at Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church in Cumming, GA and sole author and contributor of Faith Encouraged Ministries, will serve as the Keynote Speaker (https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/faithencouraged/about/).

For more information about College Conference Midwest 2018, the scholarships, or to register, visit http://www.ocf.net/events/college-conference-midwest-2018/In addition, please feel free to contact OCF’s National Programs Manager, Donna Levas for more information:  donna@ocf.net or (617) 850-1227.

 

OCF Responds to the Thousand Oaks Shooting

OCF Responds to the Thousand Oaks Shooting

BROOKLINE, MA–It is with great sadness that we hear of the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California. Our prayers go out to the grieving families of the loved ones lost in the violent shooting. We praise the heroic efforts of the brave individuals who put themselves in harm’s way to save others. There were many college students at the establishment at the time of the shooting. Students face many challenges while at college, but this should not be one of them. The OCF Board of Directors, the staff, Student Leadership Board, Spiritual Advisors and Lay Leaders all wish to extent our prayers to all those suffering from this senseless act of violence. We pray the faith of the individuals affected by this tragedy will help in bearing with the burden of such tremendous grief.

Fr. Barnabas Powell to headline OCF’s College Conference Midwest 2018

50 Goddard Avenue – Brookline, MA 02445

Phone: 617.850.1227 | Fax: 617.850.1460
www.ocf.net | info@ocf.net

 

<

p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Contact: Communications Office
communications@ocf.net

Date:  October 27, 2018

Fr. Barnabas Powell to headline OCF’s College Conference Midwest 2018

BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, will welcome Fr. Barnabas Powell as the Keynote Speaker for College Conference Midwest 2018.

Fr. Barnabas is the parish priest at Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church in Cumming, GA. He is also the sole author and contributor of Faith Encouraged Ministries, a media ministry hosted on Ancient Faith, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/faithencouraged/about/.

OCF’s College Conference Midwest will be held from December 27-30, 2018 at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI. The 2018 Conference Theme, around which Fr. Barnabas’s keynote addresses will be based, is “Who Do You Say That I Am?”

Limited spots remain, so college students are encouraged to register soon. The registration cost for College Conference Midwest is $325 per person. Registration includes food, lodging, fellowship activities, and engaging workshops with great speakers. Scholarships are available on a limited and first-come/first-served basis.

For more information about College Conference Midwest 2018 or to register, visit http://www.ocf.net/events/college-conference-midwest-2018/. In addition, please feel free to contact OCF’s National Programs Manager, Donna Levas for more information:  donna@ocf.net or (617) 850-1227.

 

Meet an SLBer October 7th for College Student Sunday!

Meet an SLBer October 7th for College Student Sunday!

Sunday, October 7th is College Student Sunday. This Sunday is designated by the Assembly of Bishops for parishes to support the work of Orthodox Christian Fellowship. Our Student Leadership Board members will be present at parishes across the US to share their OCF stories and answer your questions. If you are in the area, we’d love to see you at one of these parishes.

St. George (GOA), Eugene, OR: Sophia Fraser, Northwest Student Leader

St. Andrew (GOA), San Luis Obispo, CA: Zoe Kanakis, Southwest Student Leader

Holy Apostles (GOA), Cheyenne, WY: Quinn Marquardt, Mountain Student Leader

St. Ephraim (Antiochian), San Antonio, TX: Andja Bjeletich, Podcast Student Leader

St. Silouan (Antiochian), College Station, TX: Elizabeth Buck, South Student Leader

St. George (Antiochian), St. Paul, MN: Peter Karos, College Conference Midwest Student Leader

Three Hierarchs (GOA), Champaign, IL: Amelia Barron, Midwest Student Leader & Demetrios Maroutsos, Publications Student Leader

Annunciation (GOA), Columbus, OH: Caroline Retzios, Great Lakes Student Leader & Dimitri Gagianas, College Conference East Student Leader

St. George (GOA), Greenville, SC: Evangelia Tempenis, Media Student Leader

Holy Trinity (GOA), Raliegh, NC: Alex Lountzis, Southeast Student Leader

Sts. Cyril and Methodios (ACROD), Mercer, PA: Zachary Loutsion, Mid-Atlantic Student Leader

Christ the Saviour (OCA), Paramus, NJ: Simeon Brasowski, Real Break Student Leader

Holy Trinity (GOA), New York, NY: Dimitri Godur, Public Relations Student Leader

St. Mary Magdalen (OCA), New York, NY: Caroline Mellekas, SLB Chairman

Registration Opened for OCF’s Real Break 2019 on October 1, 2018 at 12:00PM EDT

50 Goddard Avenue – Brookline, MA 02445

Phone: 617.850.1227 | Fax: 617.850.1460

www.ocf.net | info@ocf.net

 

Contact: Communications Office

communications@ocf.net

Date:  October 1, 2018

Registration Opened for OCF’s Real Break 2019 on October 1, 2018 at 12:00PM EDT

BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, opened registration for OCF’s Real Break 2019 on October 1, 2018 at 12:00PM EDT.

OCF’s Real Break aims to prepare college students to be socially-informed Orthodox Christian citizens of this world, while directing their focus on the world to come – the kingdom of heaven. Built on a foundation of fellowship, education, worship, and service, Real Break provides students the opportunity to understand the true meaning of seeing Christ in the other – traveling to all parts of the world deepening their faith, serving those in need, and cultivating relationships with like-minded peers.

OCF will offer nine Real Break trips in 2019. March Spring Break trips include Romania, Albania (OCMC), Houston (IOCC), Project Mexico, Jerusalem, Thessaloniki, and Alaska. OCF will also offer two summer 2019 trips: one to Mt. Athos (male only) and one to Jerusalem (female only).

Registration costs vary according to the trip and limited scholarships are available for those who qualify.

For more information about Real Break 2019 or to register, visit http://www.ocf.net/real-break-2019/. In addition, please feel free to contact OCF’s National Programs Manager, Donna Levas for more information:  donna@ocf.net or (617) 850-1227.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s College Student Sunday is Scheduled for October 7, 2018

50 Goddard Avenue – Brookline, MA 02445

Phone: 617.850.1227 | Fax: 617.850.1460
www.ocf.net | info@ocf.net

 

Contact: Communications Office

communications@ocf.net

Date:  September 19, 2018

Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s College Student Sunday is Scheduled for October 7, 2018

BROOKLINE, MA – The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has designated October 7, 2018 as College Student Sunday. On College Student Sunday, parishes recognize and honor their Orthodox College Students and take a special collection to support the work of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, the Assembly’s official campus ministry. Through contributions from canonical jurisdictions and the support of generous donors nationwide, OCF sustains a network of over 350 on-campus chapters, while also providing dynamic programming through district and regional retreats, College Conference, Real Break, and the Summer Leadership Institute.

“OCF has a mission of reaching out to Orthodox young adults…in a way that keeps and strengthens their relationships with Jesus Christ,” said His Grace Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, Metropolitan-elect and OCF Episcopal Liaison to the Assembly of Bishops. Encouraging all Orthodox faithful to remember Orthodox young adults as College Student Sunday approaches, he affirmed OCF’s mission to the campus. “It is a time of physical, emotional, spiritual, and social challenges. I believe it is important—indeed critical—for the Church to help facilitate as much as possible these young adults finding each other for fellowship and support.”

For more information about College Student Sunday 2018 or to access an outline to support your parishes efforts on October 7 visit ocf.net/parents-parishes/college-student-sunday/. In addition, please contact OCF’s National Programs Manager, Donna Levas, for more information: donna@ocf.net or (617) 850-1227.