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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (email@example.com).