We are living in a technological age. Luckily, ministry continues on the internet, and we can be connected to some of the greatest minds in our Church at the click of a button. Sometimes the amount of content out there can seem overwhelming. How do you know where to start? Don’t worry, your Publications Student Leader is here for you to create a curated and highly selective list for your consumption and understanding of Orthodox media. Take your learning outside of your meetings (or use one of these podcasts to get the conversation going at your next meeting), and grow spiritually on the go!
Here is my pick for 5 podcasts that can be found wherever you get your podcasts! for your learning and enjoyment!
We Are Orthodoxy
Christian Gonzales and Steven Christoforou have POWERFUL conversations with young adults and their relationship with the Orthodox Church. If you want to feel joy, sorrow, relief, caring, understanding, and empathy all within the span of an hour-long conversation this is the podcast for you. Hear people talk about real problems that they’re facing and how that has affected them spiritually.
“If you could describe your relationship with the church as a Facebook status, what would it be?
Pop Culture Coffee Hour
What do Star Wars, the Hunger Games, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before have to do with Orthodoxy? Hear critical analysis mixed with humor and spiritual advice within the context of pop culture. This podcast even features OCF’s own Christina Andresen and a previous SLB Chairman Emma Solak! This podcast is the perfect Orthodox pick-me-up and perfectly fits any commute or long trip that you are on.
“Here is our list of top 5”
Hank Unplugged: Essential Christian Conversations
Hank Hanegraaff, better known as the BIBLE ANSWER MAN. Grab your scuba gear, because Hank dives DEEP in these podcasts. Hear conversations between him and the other Orthodox Titans of our day. There are a lot of podcasts that discuss huge problems. You should definitely plug in to “Hank Unplugged.”
“Dedicated to bringing the most inspirational, influential and inspiring people on the planet directly to you”
Becoming a Healing Presence
Dr. Albert Rossi talks directly to your soul in this podcast. This podcast is more than Chicken Soup for the Soul, its chicken soup, an electric blanket, and a carton of Vick’s vapor-rub, a full spiritual workup. Learn a lot of practical advice too about living your Orthodox life on campus.
The defining quote is the musical interlude which is a recording of Dr. Rossi’s late wife.
The Second Liturgy
The second liturgy is a brand new podcast. It pairs exceptionally well if you have participated or heard about a YES College Day.
“St. John Chrysostom speaks about two tables: the table of the Lord and the table of the poor. There are two tables, one where the Lord is present in the Divine Liturgy, and the Lord has many servers at that table, but He finds very few at His table with the poor.” – Fr. Roberto Ubertino, St. John the Compassionate Mission
Grab some headphones, a cup of coffee, and get listening OCFers!
This month, we’d like you to get to know St. Anastasia the Greatmartyr! Check out our resource page for everything you need to meet this incredible saint at your next meeting!
Having a great conversation at your meetings is more than just having an interesting topic–it takes real leadership to facilitate discussion and make sure everyone’s voice’s are heard. Here are some pointers on leading discussion!
The Invisible Facilitator
Facilitators should not try to correct, teach, inform, and dominate in the discussion. The job of the facilitator is to invisibly direct the discussion to where it is fruitful and all participants are given the chance to speak. This takes some self-restraint (you may have something to say to correct someone…DON’T DO IT), humility (even if you know the “answer,” allow people to come to it on their own), patience (there might be some people who try to dominate, or who are long-winded; don’t cut them off immediately, they might just need a little time), discernment (on the same token, if people go on for too long, you need to discern whether it is harming the rest of the discussion, and find a positive, respectful, but abrupt and definitive way to end their commentary) and much more!
Silence Is Golden
It’s easy to be afraid of awkward silences after you have posed a question. You can surely restate the question in a different way if no one seems to connect, but also remember that silences are important in discussions. People need time to think about what was just posed, and asking them to respond immediately after you state a question is unrealistic. A silence, even up to ten seconds long, will enrich your discussion.
It’s All About the Question
Make sure when you ask a question, it is not leading. In other words don’t ask “So don’t you all think that talk/article/passage was all about…” This kind of question isn’t really a question. You want to broaden the possibilities for response. Often there is not just one right answer. Allow for different perspectives by asking something like, “What did you all think when [speaker] talked about…” or “How do you think [topic] relates to our everyday life?”
Specifically ask the quieter members what they think of the topic; and, as kindly as possible, rein in the unrelentingly verbal members who don’t let others speak. Make sure every participant has an opportunity to be heard.
Summarize as You Go
After discussing, for instance, different ways that a particular topic is applicable to our everyday life, stop and ask the group, “OK, what have we said so far?” Recap and allow time to breathe, to re-gather thoughts, and start thinking again. This is a very important role that the facilitator takes. In a sense you cannot engage in as much depth as the participants because you have to see a few steps ahead, and discern what the most fruitful avenue will be.
Tie It All Together
When the allotted time for the discussion is up (or when people are tired or ready to go), do a full summary of what you covered. “We said…We agreed that… But some of us disagreed with…and said that…” etc. etc. If you can’t remember everything, that’s OK. But it is good to re-cap most of the discussion in order to see the fruits of your labor.
Original by Mike Tishel, adapted by Christina Andresen
In case you didn’t know, OCF has a TON of great resources on the website you can use for your chapter. Here’s how to use the OCF blog.
Read an article and have a discussion.
Create discussion questions.
You don’t need us to do all the work! After you read the article come up with some questions you can talk about during your meeting.
- Pick a specific moment or statement that spoke to you and ask your group what it means to them.
- Select a section you were confused by and ask your group what they think it’s trying to say.
- Highlight a part that made you think of a personal experience and ask your group if they can think of a moment in their life where they saw a similar thing happening.
- If you struggle with anything said in the article, ask your group for advice.
- Ask your group if they see any practical applications.
Using this blog on the What-If Demon as an example, here are some sample discussion questions:
- “It seems he especially likes to pester young Orthodox Christians with all sorts of what-if’s about dating, relationships, marriage, and monasticism.” What sort of what-if questions are you faced with? How do you handle them?
- “The present moment is the place where time and eternity meet and where God enters into our lives.” Where have you seen God entered into your life?
- “But the nasty What-If demon twists this necessary and spiritual undertaking into an anxiety-ridden, paralyzing question filling us with guilt, worry, and fear.” Sometimes I worry about what is going to happen for me after graduation. What if I don’t get a job or into law school? It fills me with fear for the future. Does that happen to anyone else? What do you do?
- “We can’t confuse his what-if’s with repentance for the past or discernment about the future. Don’t let him convince you that his imaginary situations where he replays your past with anguishing regret are the same as contrition or the images he throws before you with terrorizing anxiety of futures that haven’t happened need to be addressed to find God’s will.” What do you think this section is trying to say?
Sometimes, the article even has questions built in for you!
- “Do you say “yes” to Christ in this moment with this breath? Are you listening for His call in your heart right now? Can you see Him in the person or situation that’s right in front of you?” These are perfectly easy questions to discuss with your chapter!
Have a Bible Study.
Never read the whole Bible? Confused by how it’s organized? Clueless as to where to begin? Never fear, OCF is here!
Help get your Bible Study going with the right texts and explanations from experts!
Here’s a great article from the OCF blog about the New Testament Canon to get you started!
Get advice on leading your chapter.
There’s also a whole section of posts on topics like getting more people to come to your meetings, managing chapter funds, working with other religious organizations, and more! Learn from others’ experience what works! Click on the tag Chapter Guide to access these articles!
Don’t see something you want or need?? Email us at email@example.com with your questions and comments, and we’ll do our best to help you out!