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.

 

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Last summer looked abnormal for me, as it did for everyone I knew. In the span of a week, I
had been sent home from my freshman year of college on an “extended spring break,” was told
I would not be able to study abroad in Italy, summer church camp, and the Parish Life
Conference were canceled, and I couldn’t physically be with my friends and family. Even
though I was FaceTiming my friends multiple times a day and had more family time than ever
before, I felt alone.

read more
Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

After serving in Romania on Real Break 2020, I applied to be Real Break Student Leader for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. I wanted to help create other service opportunities for students. What a whirlwind of a year! Back in early Fall 2020, we did not know how long the Pandemic would last (2 weeks, until Pascha, two semesters, a year?). We kept running into barriers in planning. We did our best trying to navigate traveling precautions as well as most schools canceling their spring breaks. As the year progressed it became obvious that a traditional Real Break would not happen. To be completely honest, this was frustrating and disappointing. I found myself nervous that I would not be able to do the work of my position on the Student Leadership Board. However trying this time was, it was fruitful nonetheless!

read more
Ask yourself: what brings me peace?

Ask yourself: what brings me peace?

For me, stillness is often the answer. Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.” There is so much external noise and there always will be. Stillness provides a refuge from the noise and the distraction. Because we are all created uniquely, stillness can look different for each one of us. A priest once told me, “do what brings you closer to God.” He didn’t give me a recipe with all the ingredients and measurements. Instead, he encouraged me to listen to my heart and to trust myself. I mentioned to him that I love journaling at the beach to which he replied, “great! Do THAT!”

read more

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.

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Last summer looked abnormal for me, as it did for everyone I knew. In the span of a week, I
had been sent home from my freshman year of college on an “extended spring break,” was told
I would not be able to study abroad in Italy, summer church camp, and the Parish Life
Conference were canceled, and I couldn’t physically be with my friends and family. Even
though I was FaceTiming my friends multiple times a day and had more family time than ever
before, I felt alone.

read more
Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

After serving in Romania on Real Break 2020, I applied to be Real Break Student Leader for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. I wanted to help create other service opportunities for students. What a whirlwind of a year! Back in early Fall 2020, we did not know how long the Pandemic would last (2 weeks, until Pascha, two semesters, a year?). We kept running into barriers in planning. We did our best trying to navigate traveling precautions as well as most schools canceling their spring breaks. As the year progressed it became obvious that a traditional Real Break would not happen. To be completely honest, this was frustrating and disappointing. I found myself nervous that I would not be able to do the work of my position on the Student Leadership Board. However trying this time was, it was fruitful nonetheless!

read more
Ask yourself: what brings me peace?

Ask yourself: what brings me peace?

For me, stillness is often the answer. Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.” There is so much external noise and there always will be. Stillness provides a refuge from the noise and the distraction. Because we are all created uniquely, stillness can look different for each one of us. A priest once told me, “do what brings you closer to God.” He didn’t give me a recipe with all the ingredients and measurements. Instead, he encouraged me to listen to my heart and to trust myself. I mentioned to him that I love journaling at the beach to which he replied, “great! Do THAT!”

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. 

There’s a Saint for That: St. Raphael of Brooklyn

There’s a Saint for That: St. Raphael of Brooklyn

Our newest “There’s a Saint for That” guide features St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Learn how he brought together people of different backgrounds, founded numerous parishes, and humbly served the Church for many years. This month's saint also includes a special "bonus"...

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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.

read more
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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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.

For Spiritual Strength

St. Raphael of Brooklyn

Life’s Challenges & Questions

A Guide for Orthodox Christian college students to live better in body, mind, community, and spirit.

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Last summer looked abnormal for me, as it did for everyone I knew. In the span of a week, I
had been sent home from my freshman year of college on an “extended spring break,” was told
I would not be able to study abroad in Italy, summer church camp, and the Parish Life
Conference were canceled, and I couldn’t physically be with my friends and family. Even
though I was FaceTiming my friends multiple times a day and had more family time than ever
before, I felt alone.

read more
Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

After serving in Romania on Real Break 2020, I applied to be Real Break Student Leader for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. I wanted to help create other service opportunities for students. What a whirlwind of a year! Back in early Fall 2020, we did not know how long the Pandemic would last (2 weeks, until Pascha, two semesters, a year?). We kept running into barriers in planning. We did our best trying to navigate traveling precautions as well as most schools canceling their spring breaks. As the year progressed it became obvious that a traditional Real Break would not happen. To be completely honest, this was frustrating and disappointing. I found myself nervous that I would not be able to do the work of my position on the Student Leadership Board. However trying this time was, it was fruitful nonetheless!

read more
Unexpected Blessings on the Student Leadership Board

Unexpected Blessings on the Student Leadership Board

It’s that time of the year again — Student Leadership Board (SLB) applications are OPEN! 

My name is Jeanine Kaileh and I have served as the Southwest Regional Student Leader (RSL) on the SLB for 2 years, and I’ll be serving as SLB Chairwoman for the upcoming academic year!

In April 2019, I was volun-told by two friends of mine to apply for the Southwest RSL position. I did not know much about what I was getting myself into, but I did know that it was for the Church, and that in itself is what drew me to apply. During that summer, I met with a few SLB members to discuss our upcoming year, gaining a better sense of what being on the SLB entailed. It was not until the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) in August 2019, that I fully understood what my responsibilities and expectations were. After two years (and moving onwards with a third year), I can confidently say that applying without fully knowing what was going to happen was one of the greatest, most unexpected blessings of my life. 

read more

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!

Apologetics

 

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Last summer looked abnormal for me, as it did for everyone I knew. In the span of a week, I
had been sent home from my freshman year of college on an “extended spring break,” was told
I would not be able to study abroad in Italy, summer church camp, and the Parish Life
Conference were canceled, and I couldn’t physically be with my friends and family. Even
though I was FaceTiming my friends multiple times a day and had more family time than ever
before, I felt alone.

read more
Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

After serving in Romania on Real Break 2020, I applied to be Real Break Student Leader for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. I wanted to help create other service opportunities for students. What a whirlwind of a year! Back in early Fall 2020, we did not know how long the Pandemic would last (2 weeks, until Pascha, two semesters, a year?). We kept running into barriers in planning. We did our best trying to navigate traveling precautions as well as most schools canceling their spring breaks. As the year progressed it became obvious that a traditional Real Break would not happen. To be completely honest, this was frustrating and disappointing. I found myself nervous that I would not be able to do the work of my position on the Student Leadership Board. However trying this time was, it was fruitful nonetheless!

read more
Ask yourself: what brings me peace?

Ask yourself: what brings me peace?

For me, stillness is often the answer. Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.” There is so much external noise and there always will be. Stillness provides a refuge from the noise and the distraction. Because we are all created uniquely, stillness can look different for each one of us. A priest once told me, “do what brings you closer to God.” He didn’t give me a recipe with all the ingredients and measurements. Instead, he encouraged me to listen to my heart and to trust myself. I mentioned to him that I love journaling at the beach to which he replied, “great! Do THAT!”

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. 
Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Finding Gratitude in Perseverance

Last summer looked abnormal for me, as it did for everyone I knew. In the span of a week, I
had been sent home from my freshman year of college on an “extended spring break,” was told
I would not be able to study abroad in Italy, summer church camp, and the Parish Life
Conference were canceled, and I couldn’t physically be with my friends and family. Even
though I was FaceTiming my friends multiple times a day and had more family time than ever
before, I felt alone.

read more
Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

Real Break Now: How it came to be. How it’s going. How to be the church in the world.

After serving in Romania on Real Break 2020, I applied to be Real Break Student Leader for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. I wanted to help create other service opportunities for students. What a whirlwind of a year! Back in early Fall 2020, we did not know how long the Pandemic would last (2 weeks, until Pascha, two semesters, a year?). We kept running into barriers in planning. We did our best trying to navigate traveling precautions as well as most schools canceling their spring breaks. As the year progressed it became obvious that a traditional Real Break would not happen. To be completely honest, this was frustrating and disappointing. I found myself nervous that I would not be able to do the work of my position on the Student Leadership Board. However trying this time was, it was fruitful nonetheless!

read more
Ask yourself: what brings me peace?

Ask yourself: what brings me peace?

For me, stillness is often the answer. Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.” There is so much external noise and there always will be. Stillness provides a refuge from the noise and the distraction. Because we are all created uniquely, stillness can look different for each one of us. A priest once told me, “do what brings you closer to God.” He didn’t give me a recipe with all the ingredients and measurements. Instead, he encouraged me to listen to my heart and to trust myself. I mentioned to him that I love journaling at the beach to which he replied, “great! Do THAT!”

read more