Connect with Christ

As Orthodox Christians it is important for us to learn how to connect with Christ by learning about Him and His Church.
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What is Orthodoxy

What is Orthodoxy?

The Orthodox Christian Church, founded by Jesus Christ and with its beginnings chronicled in the New Testament, is the oldest Christian Church in the world.  All other Christian churches and groups can be traced historically back to the Orthodox Church.

With roughly 250 million members worldwide, Orthodoxy is second in size only to the Roman Catholic Church.  However, in spite of its size, relatively few Americans are aware that it exists.

The Orthodox Church has deep and lasting roots in Christian antiquity and is steeped in rich Biblical tradition. It has been the context of Christian living for millions of Christians for almost twenty centuries.

Read more about Orthodoxy and the Church that Jesus founded through some of the articles below.

 

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Sometimes it can be easy to forget about the presence of God in our daily lives, especially when we experience pain, loneliness, fear, or spiritual drought. In moments such as these, we might believe that these feelings give us more cause to despair in our suffering, rather than push us to seek reasons to hope in spite of them. During this past year particularly, I have found myself paying more attention to the simple blessings in life that I would normally take for granted. These ordinary, little blessings often remind me of God’s presence in my daily life and fill me with hope for the new day.

read more
When Do We Hear Our Inner Heart & How Do We Respond?

When Do We Hear Our Inner Heart & How Do We Respond?

This moves us outside of ourselves and into communion with others, and with God. As we continue to maneuver through this pandemic and these physically distant times, let us remember the spiritual communion that we continue to participate in as we live and breathe every moment of every day. This moment, this very moment, is all we are given, so let us love one another to the extent that we can, and let us also take comfort in the knowledge that approaching God in silent humility is better than not approaching Him at all. 

read more
7 Questions to Reflect on before the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity

7 Questions to Reflect on before the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity

Our understanding of this upcoming Holiday grows with us, the meaning is always constant. From the first Christmas (the Nativity of Christ) till that one year when you were 7 (and thought the world would end if you didn’t get Heelys for Christmas), till Christmas 2020 (undergoing the stresses of navigating togetherness in an isolated world), God has become man and will be with us always. 

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Deepen Your Spiritual Practice

Praxis is the Greek word for “practice.” In the Church, praxis refers to the actions which flow from our relationship with Christ. Praxis is living theology and active love.  Check out some of these articles about how you can commit to Praxis in your everyday life or use one of our Praxis Programs for your chapter.

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Sometimes it can be easy to forget about the presence of God in our daily lives, especially when we experience pain, loneliness, fear, or spiritual drought. In moments such as these, we might believe that these feelings give us more cause to despair in our suffering, rather than push us to seek reasons to hope in spite of them. During this past year particularly, I have found myself paying more attention to the simple blessings in life that I would normally take for granted. These ordinary, little blessings often remind me of God’s presence in my daily life and fill me with hope for the new day.

read more
When Do We Hear Our Inner Heart & How Do We Respond?

When Do We Hear Our Inner Heart & How Do We Respond?

This moves us outside of ourselves and into communion with others, and with God. As we continue to maneuver through this pandemic and these physically distant times, let us remember the spiritual communion that we continue to participate in as we live and breathe every moment of every day. This moment, this very moment, is all we are given, so let us love one another to the extent that we can, and let us also take comfort in the knowledge that approaching God in silent humility is better than not approaching Him at all. 

read more
7 Questions to Reflect on before the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity

7 Questions to Reflect on before the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity

Our understanding of this upcoming Holiday grows with us, the meaning is always constant. From the first Christmas (the Nativity of Christ) till that one year when you were 7 (and thought the world would end if you didn’t get Heelys for Christmas), till Christmas 2020 (undergoing the stresses of navigating togetherness in an isolated world), God has become man and will be with us always. 

read more

Get to Know the Saints

As Saint Paul did in his epistles, the word we use for “saint” is the Greek word for “holy”- agios. By calling someone a saint, in a real sense we are celebrating the presence of holiness in the world. Every baptized and chrismated member of the church is already a saint and every one of us has the vocation to become a saint. The saints are human examples of those among us who have loved Christ above all else, and are examples that we strive to emulate. Read about some of the saints in our blog or talk about the lives of the saints at a chapter meeting. 

4 Saints Who Demonstrated the Image of God and How to Get to Know Them

4 Saints Who Demonstrated the Image of God and How to Get to Know Them

The good news is, we have as sources of wisdom and intercession those who have walked the walk before us! Truly, out of all people, the saints of our Church have most fully realized the image of God within themselves. When we read their lives, we can see how they have been set on fire with love for Christ, and we can see how that love looks different in each of their lives. Some saints, like St. Mary of Egypt, flee into the desert to wage war against their temptations. Others, like St. Luke, are surgeons—or midwives, like St. Olga. Some are artists, like St. Romanos the Melodist. Some are royalty, like St. Constantine and his sons. Some are martyrs, some are single, some are married, some are monastics. Regardless of your strengths, struggles, and callings, you can find a saint who shares them with you.

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From Being Superhuman to Being Truly Human

From Being Superhuman to Being Truly Human

By Demetra Chiafos   This time of year, everyone starts talking about what they’re dressing up as for Halloween, and especially in the age of Marvel films we are currently living in, people want to dress up as a superhero—or superhuman, depending on your...

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Prisoner #18376: God Will Not Abandon His People

Prisoner #18376: God Will Not Abandon His People

Hi everyone! Quick disclaimer, this blog post is a bit longer than normal, but there was so much that I wanted to put in that I couldn't tell myself to stop. Below you will read an inspiring story of one of my favorite church heroes. So, sit back, relax, and I hope...

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There’s a Saint for that

There’s a Saint for That is a simple program any chapter can follow to get to know a new saint together! We’ve created a template, and you can do the research online to apply it to any saint. Use this as a personal Praxis Program or develop it into a whole meeting with a discussion and an akathist.

Life’s Challenges & Questions

 Are you looking for answers to some of Life’s Challenges & Questions? The Church has answers. To see what they are, look through these articles written by other members of OCF who have struggled with some of the same questions you may be encountering in your life.

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Sometimes it can be easy to forget about the presence of God in our daily lives, especially when we experience pain, loneliness, fear, or spiritual drought. In moments such as these, we might believe that these feelings give us more cause to despair in our suffering, rather than push us to seek reasons to hope in spite of them. During this past year particularly, I have found myself paying more attention to the simple blessings in life that I would normally take for granted. These ordinary, little blessings often remind me of God’s presence in my daily life and fill me with hope for the new day.

read more
The Cherished Advice of 10 College Students

The Cherished Advice of 10 College Students

This month we saw some short and sweet nuggets of advice! We are finishing off with just a few more! Below are 10 quotes from college students on the best advice they have received and a bonus 11th piece of advice from Deacon Marek! I have found that the best advice speaks to your heart not your mind. Some advice may seem cliche because we hear it so much. However, there is much to be said about even the most cliche pieces of advice. When the wisest people speak usually what they say is very simple. It does not depend on the amount of factual evidence you have studied or the vocabulary skills you have worked on for the GRE. Instead, i have noticed that the saints and those beautiful people in your life, who you can just feel are filled with prayer and wisdom, speak in the language of our soul. What they say resonates because it is already written on our hearts. Please enjoy these pieces of advice 11 beautiful people have learned and try to live by!

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5 Pieces of Advice Worth Holding on to

5 Pieces of Advice Worth Holding on to

The older I got, the less I heard my dad say it explicitly, but the more I heard him say it implicitly in his actions and in his love for me. It was first used to correct and discipline me, and then it was used to teach and instruct me. I have learned that to “say okay” once is to be obedient, but to always “say okay” is to learn how to accept things as they come with grace and fortitude, much like my dad has sought to do, even if he isn’t

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Share the Gospel On Campus

Day of Light

As Orthodox Christians, it is important to Share the Gospel. Started at the University of Pittsburgh, Day of Light is an easy way for OCF chapters to set up a table about OCF on their campuses and share the Gospel. During the Day of Light, your chapter takes prayer requests from all students, and offers them a chance to light a candle at a Paraklesis service. The hope as an OCF chapter is to share the Light of Christ with our neighbors by doing something we do every Sunday, lighting candles for ourselves and for our loved ones!

Apologetic’s

 

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Sometimes it can be easy to forget about the presence of God in our daily lives, especially when we experience pain, loneliness, fear, or spiritual drought. In moments such as these, we might believe that these feelings give us more cause to despair in our suffering, rather than push us to seek reasons to hope in spite of them. During this past year particularly, I have found myself paying more attention to the simple blessings in life that I would normally take for granted. These ordinary, little blessings often remind me of God’s presence in my daily life and fill me with hope for the new day.

read more
When Do We Hear Our Inner Heart & How Do We Respond?

When Do We Hear Our Inner Heart & How Do We Respond?

This moves us outside of ourselves and into communion with others, and with God. As we continue to maneuver through this pandemic and these physically distant times, let us remember the spiritual communion that we continue to participate in as we live and breathe every moment of every day. This moment, this very moment, is all we are given, so let us love one another to the extent that we can, and let us also take comfort in the knowledge that approaching God in silent humility is better than not approaching Him at all. 

read more
7 Questions to Reflect on before the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity

7 Questions to Reflect on before the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity

Our understanding of this upcoming Holiday grows with us, the meaning is always constant. From the first Christmas (the Nativity of Christ) till that one year when you were 7 (and thought the world would end if you didn’t get Heelys for Christmas), till Christmas 2020 (undergoing the stresses of navigating togetherness in an isolated world), God has become man and will be with us always. 

read more

Pan-Orthodoxy

OCF is a Pan-Orthodox ministry by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. It is made up of all the active, canonical Orthodox bishops of the United States of America, of every jurisdiction.  The purpose of the Assembly of Bishops of the United States of America is to preserve and contribute to the unity of the Orthodox Church by helping to further her spiritual, theological, ecclesiological, canonical, educational, missionary and philanthropic aims. To accomplish this, the Assembly has as its goals:

  1. the promotion and accomplishment of Church unity in the United States
  2. the strengthening of the common pastoral ministry to all the Orthodox faithful of the region
  3. a common witness by the Church to all those outside her, and
  4. the organization of the Church in the United States in accordance with the ecclesiological and the canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church. 
Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Forget Me Not: On Finding Hope in the Small Things

Sometimes it can be easy to forget about the presence of God in our daily lives, especially when we experience pain, loneliness, fear, or spiritual drought. In moments such as these, we might believe that these feelings give us more cause to despair in our suffering, rather than push us to seek reasons to hope in spite of them. During this past year particularly, I have found myself paying more attention to the simple blessings in life that I would normally take for granted. These ordinary, little blessings often remind me of God’s presence in my daily life and fill me with hope for the new day.

read more
When Do We Hear Our Inner Heart & How Do We Respond?

When Do We Hear Our Inner Heart & How Do We Respond?

This moves us outside of ourselves and into communion with others, and with God. As we continue to maneuver through this pandemic and these physically distant times, let us remember the spiritual communion that we continue to participate in as we live and breathe every moment of every day. This moment, this very moment, is all we are given, so let us love one another to the extent that we can, and let us also take comfort in the knowledge that approaching God in silent humility is better than not approaching Him at all. 

read more
7 Questions to Reflect on before the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity

7 Questions to Reflect on before the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity

Our understanding of this upcoming Holiday grows with us, the meaning is always constant. From the first Christmas (the Nativity of Christ) till that one year when you were 7 (and thought the world would end if you didn’t get Heelys for Christmas), till Christmas 2020 (undergoing the stresses of navigating togetherness in an isolated world), God has become man and will be with us always. 

read more