Monthly

Chapter Content

Not sure what to talk about at your OCF meeting? We’ve got your covered. Each month we publish content designed with your OCF chapter meeting in mind! This academic year we’ll feature a different saint each month, sharing how their life and writings point to Christ. Discover below the various types of content ranging from discussion resources, educational videos, and blog articles to suggested activities and nationally hosted virtual events. These resources give chapters things to do at their meetings and ease the planning workload on chapter leaders.

February 2024: St. Dionysios the Areopagite

Three Paradoxes with St. Dionysios – Guided Discussion

Three Paradoxes with St. Dionysios – Guided Discussion

Introduction St. Dionysius the Areopagite is often perceived as one of the more difficult Church Fathers to read and comprehend. His writing style and the ideas he presents can be complex, and at the same time, his influence is felt across generations of later Church...

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Staff Book Pick | Devotions: Mary Oliver

Staff Book Pick | Devotions: Mary Oliver

Recommended by Christina Andresen, Director of MinistriesPulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver presents a personal selection of her best work in this definitive collection spanning more than five decades of her esteemed literary career. Throughout her celebrated...

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The Life of St. Dionysios the Areopagite

The Life of St. Dionysios the Areopagite

St. Dionysios lived originally in the city of Athens. He was raised there and received a classical Greek education. He then went to Egypt, where he studied astronomy at the city of Heliopolis. It was in Heliopolis, along with his friend Apollophonos where he witnessed...

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January 2024: Saint Basil the Great

Staff Book Pick | Harp of Glory: Enzira Sebhat

Staff Book Pick | Harp of Glory: Enzira Sebhat

Recommended by Ivy Gabriella Tesfay, Ministry InternHarp of Glory is a major hymn sounding the praises of the Theotokos, from the heart of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in its Golden Age. It is a text hardly known in Eastern Orthodox or Western churches, even though...

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St. Basil the Great – There’s a Saint for That

St. Basil the Great – There’s a Saint for That

The Life of Basil            St. Basil from Cappadocia, was born into a lineage with future saints like St. Macrina and St. Gregory of Nyssa. Educated in Constantinople and Athens, he imbibed the pinnacle of Greek wisdom. His journey led him to absorb asceticism and...

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December 2023: Saint Athanasios the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria

November 2023: St. John of Damascus

November Events:

  • Pray the Akathist of Thanksgiving with OCF
There’s a Saint for That: St. John of Damascus

There’s a Saint for That: St. John of Damascus

St. John was born in Damascus around the year 680 into a Christian family. His father was well-respected in the city since he served the Muslim caliph as a high-ranking financial official. Thus, St. John received an exceptional education that included studying...

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October 2023: St. Ignatius of Antioch

Staff Book Pick | The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death

Staff Book Pick | The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death

Recommended by Peter Mansour, Ministry CoordinatorBy returning to the practice and methodology of the early Church, Fr John Behr, a renowned patristics scholar, invites readers to approach the mystery of Jesus Christ in the same way that the first disciples learned...

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There’s a Saint for That: St. Ignatius of Antioch

There’s a Saint for That: St. Ignatius of Antioch

The Life of St. Ignatius of Antioch “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 19:14 Holy tradition tells us that when Christ spoke these words, it was St. Ignatius of Antioch who was sitting on His lap....

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September 2023: St. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom’s Life Advice | Guided Discussion

St. John Chrysostom’s Life Advice | Guided Discussion

Introduction Of all the teachings and sermons of the Church Fathers, by far the most recorded and preserved are those of St. John Chrysostom. With hundreds of sermons to read, you could easily spend a lifetime learning from St. John’s powerful rhetoric as well as his...

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Staff Book Pick: On Living Simply

Staff Book Pick: On Living Simply

Recommended by Alexandros Pandazis, Campus MissionaryThese excerpts from the sermons of Saint John Chrysostom bring fourth-century wisdom to 21st century issues. Each serves as a brief introduction to a major spiritual thought and as a meditation for daily use.

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There’s a Saint for That: St. John Chrysostom

There’s a Saint for That: St. John Chrysostom

The Life of St. John ChrysostomSaint John was born at Antioch in the year 347. His father, Secundus, being a famous military commander, died soon after John’s birth. His mother, Anthusa, although being widowed at the age of 20, did not dare to remarry but rather...

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There’s A Saint For That : St. Lazarus

There’s A Saint For That : St. Lazarus

St. LazarusThe Life of St. LazarusSt. Lazarus of Bethany was brother to Mary and Martha and a known close friend of Jesus. He was very sick; some historians believe he had leprosy. He was a poor man and was often found lying at the gates of rich men begging for table...

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Staff Pick : “Everyday Saints and Other Stories”

Staff Pick : “Everyday Saints and Other Stories”

Recommended by Ivy Gabriella Tesfay,Ministry InternIn Communist Russia in 1984, five youths from non-religious backgrounds joined a monastery. This is the story of what they experienced and some of the "everyday saints" they met. The author says, "In this book I want...

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Guided Discussion: “Let the Living Bury the Living”

Guided Discussion: “Let the Living Bury the Living”

This discussion is made up of five parts, with each part containing a reflection and a set of discussion questions. Either with your OCF chapter, a friend or two, or just on your own, read each reflection and discuss the questions related to it. You can choose to...

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March 2023: Challenging Hurry

March Events:
Staff Book Pick : The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

Staff Book Pick : The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

Recommended by Christina Andresen, Director of Ministries John Mark Comer tackles the problem of hurry in our lives by helping diagnose the problem and introducing (or reintroducing) us to the spiritual practices of silence and solitude, Sabbath, simplicity, and...

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Curated Discussion: The Way of the Pilgrim

Curated Discussion: The Way of the Pilgrim

Part I: Excerpts from The Way of the Pilgrim Split up into pairs or small groups. Each group should be assigned one of the following excerpts from The Way of the Pilgrim to read aloud. Each group should try to answer these questions about their excerpt: What does this...

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February 2023: Redeeming the Time

February Events:
There’s a Saint for That: The Seven Holy Youths of Ephesus

There’s a Saint for That: The Seven Holy Youths of Ephesus

The Seven Holy Youths (“Seven Sleepers”) of Ephesus The 7 Holy Youths “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus—Maximilian, Iamblicus, Martinian, John, Dionysius, Exacustodianus (Constantine) and Antoninus—lived in Ephesus in the third century. Friends from childhood, the Seven...

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Curated Discussion: “Monastic Time”

Curated Discussion: “Monastic Time”

Watch the video of Maggie’s first visit to a monastery and hear what some of the sisters at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Monastery had to say about the role of time in the Orthodox life and the way that monastics seek to “redeem time.” Then, discuss some of the...

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Staff Pick: “The Mountain of Silence”

Staff Pick: “The Mountain of Silence”

Recommended by Alexandros Pandazais, Campus Missionary An acclaimed expert in Christian mysticism travels to a monastery high in the Trodos Mountains of Cyprus and offers a fascinating look at the Greek Orthodox approach to spirituality that will appeal to readers of...

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December 2022: Despondency

December Events:
Guided Discussion: What to Do When Life Gets You Down

Guided Discussion: What to Do When Life Gets You Down

Part I: The Feelings Are Real Reflection “Despondency is the impossibility to see anything good or positive. Despondency is the suicide of the soul because when man is possessed by it, he is absolutely unable to see the light and desire it.”  Fr. Alexander...

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There’s A Saint For That : St. Silouan the Athonite

There’s A Saint For That : St. Silouan the Athonite

St. Silouan the AthoniteHow can St. Silouan intercede for us?As we can see in his simple yet complicated life, there may be no saint better acquainted with the depths of despair and despondency than St. Silouan. Although our temptation to hopelessness may look...

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Podcast: Despondency with Nicole Roccas

Podcast: Despondency with Nicole Roccas

Despondency | Your Orthodox Voice on Campus: OCF Campus Ministry Podcast In this episode Samuel Dutschmann, College Conference Midwest Student Leader, is joined by author, podcaster, and trauma coach, Nicole Roccas. They discuss despondency in the life of college...

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Curated Discussion: Combating Restlessness

Curated Discussion: Combating Restlessness

Part I: Start your meeting by reading from Father Jeremy McKemy’s blog post Acedia: The Two-Faced Demon. Part II: After reading, take 2-3 minutes to write down your initial thoughts about the article. Part III: Then, discuss the following questions as a group, or in...

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Staff Pick: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Staff Pick: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Recommended by Dn. Marek Simon, Executive Director In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed...

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November 2022: How Gratitude Changes Our Perspective

November Events:
St. John the Hut-Dweller | There’s a Saint for That

St. John the Hut-Dweller | There’s a Saint for That

St. John Calybytes “the Hut-Dweller”How can St. John intercede for us?St. John is known for his love for his parents and his gratitude. Pray to him to grow closer to your family while you are away for college. Ask him to implore the Holy Spirit to give you a spirit of...

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Curated Discussion: “A Deeper Level of Thanksgiving”

Curated Discussion: “A Deeper Level of Thanksgiving”

Part I: Start your meeting by listening to this clip from Father Thomas Hopko’s Speaking the Truth in Love: “A Deeper Level of Thanksgiving” (Click here to listen to the the full episode on Ancient Faith Radio.) Part II: After watching, take 2-3 minutes to write down...

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Suggested Activity: “Practicing Gratitude”

Suggested Activity: “Practicing Gratitude”

We are called to be grateful in two ways: towards God and towards our fellow human beings. If practice makes perfect, however, then we need to practice gratitude in order to achieve this calling from God. Here are two ways to practice gratitude this month: Read “This...

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Guided Discussion : “Gratitude for Evil”

This discussion is made up of four parts, with each part containing a reflection and a set of discussion questions. Either with your OCF chapter, a friend or two, or just on your own, read each reflection and discuss the questions related to it. You can choose to...

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Staff Pick: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Staff Pick: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Recommended by Alexandros Pandazis, Campus MissionaryWhen Christians first began living as monks in the Egyptian desert at the beginning of the fourth century, they had few books and almost no learning. As they gained experience, they concentrated that experience in...

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October 2022 : Inviting Others into Eternity

Orthodox Awareness Month

Don’t miss our OAM Feature Panel: “Exploring Ancient Liturgies” via Zoom on October 25.

Chapters and Individuals are envited to participate in the OAM social media contest. Click here for details.

Guided Discussion: Inviting Others into Eternity

Guided Discussion: Inviting Others into Eternity

The Eternal vs The Temporal As Orthodox Christians, we’re used to the idea of the “eternal.” Our prayers repeat over and over, “now and ever and unto the ages of ages!” This idea of something being stable, being infinite, being timeless can sometimes feel foreign in...

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St. Nektarios of Aegina | There’s a Saint for That

St. Nektarios of Aegina | There’s a Saint for That

St. Nektarios of AeginaThe Life of St. NektariosAnastasios Kephalas was born on October 1st, 1846, in Eastern Selyvria of Thrace (now Turkey). He was one of six children and grew up very poor, but his parents taught him from a young age to be a pious Orthodox...

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Curated Content Discussion: Beauty

Curated Content Discussion: Beauty

Curated Discussion: Beauty  Begin your meeting with a minute of silence, a prayer, and by listening to or having already listened to “The Red Flower” on Dcn. Nicholas Kotar’s Podcast In a Certain Kingdom....

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Suggested Activity: Food Pantry

Suggested Activity: Food Pantry

…for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord,...

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Staff Pick: Resident Aliens

Staff Pick: Resident Aliens

Recommended by Joseph Bray, Communications Manager “In the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, all human history must be reviewed. The coming of Christ has cosmic implications. He has changed the course of things. So the theological (and I’d add, the...

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September 2022 : Building Christ-Centered Habits

Curated Discussion : Building Christ-Centered Habits

Curated Discussion : Building Christ-Centered Habits

Start your meeting by watching together the Be the Bee episode “Habits” by Steve Christoforou. Take some time to journal on your own: What habits (good or bad) are you currently growing in your life? What is one habit you’d like to uproot in your life? What is one...

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Guided Discussion: Building Christ-Centered Habits

Guided Discussion: Building Christ-Centered Habits

What does it mean to build habits that are truly Christ-centered? It means to invite Christ into our everyday lives, no matter how mundane. It means for us to call upon the Holy Spirit so that we grow in our awareness of His presence. A Christ-centered habit is a...

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Small Acts of Service: Building Christ-Centered Habits

Small Acts of Service: Building Christ-Centered Habits

This month, start building a habit of serving others by trying to do small acts of service throughout your week. Choose one small thing you could commit to doing at least once a week every week. Some suggestions we have: Check in with a friend you haven’t heard from...

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St. Seraphim of Sarov | There’s a Saint for That

St. Seraphim of Sarov | There’s a Saint for That

St. Seraphim of SarovPray to himHear our prayer, Saint Seraphim, from the innermost being of each one of us, from our greatest yearnings for truth and love, and from our deepest needs for intervention into our struggles in this temporal life. Proclaim to us, “Christ...

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August 2022 : Time & Eternity

Curated Discussion : Time & Eternity

Curated Discussion : Time & Eternity

Start your meeting by listening together to the episode “Why Time” of the podcast Time Eternal by Dr. Nicole Roccas. Then, as a group or in smaller groups, discuss the following questions…

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Guided Discussion : Time & Eternity

Guided Discussion : Time & Eternity

We live in a reality where we are caught between the eternal and the temporal. We live lives within the temporal: we mark the years, seasons, and feasts, and yet, we look to the eternal “and the life of the age to come.” At times, because we live in this tension, we...

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Staff Pick : The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Staff Pick : The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Recommended by Fr. Panagiotis Boznos,Spiritual Advisor to the Student Leadership Board Imagine getting your hands on the other team’s playbook. That is what The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is like. This book is a satirical collection of letters from a senior demon...

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St. John of the Ladder | There’s a Saint for That

St. John of the Ladder | There’s a Saint for That

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O John, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

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