Sunday, October 7th is College Student Sunday. This Sunday is designated by the Assembly of Bishops for parishes to support the work of Orthodox Christian Fellowship. Our Student Leadership Board members will be present at parishes across the US to share their OCF stories and answer your questions. If you are in the area, we’d love to see you at one of these parishes.
St. George (GOA), Eugene, OR: Sophia Fraser, Northwest Student Leader
St. Andrew (GOA), San Luis Obispo, CA: Zoe Kanakis, Southwest Student Leader
A wonderfully wise woman gave me some advice: “Please consider when you write/speak/think about Orthodoxy: are you writing/saying/thinking “the faith” “Orthodoxy” “the Church” when you should be writing/saying/thinking “Jesus Christ.”
OCF sponsors October as Orthodox Awareness Month and during this time, we encourage college students, spiritual advisors, lay advisors, and the like to spread the word about Orthodoxy and OCF. Change your profile picture on Facebook to the OCF logo! Participate in our #ShareAThon and flood your newsfeed with Orthodox related articles, videos, podcasts, and pictures! Take the Come & See Challenge to win points and prizes for your chapter while bringing others to the Church! Speak at your church on College Student Sunday (Oct. 2) to inform your parish about the work of OCF!
OAM is a wonderful opportunity to bring attention to the Orthodox Church to a lot of people who might never have heard of it. I encourage each of you to take this to month to do so. But it’s important to remember that OAM isn’t just about celebrating and spreading awareness of Orthodoxy. It’s about bringing people to know Jesus Christ and His Church. Yeah, it’s cool to tell people about all the crazy awesome saints we have or to explain how icons are windows to heaven or to blast beautiful Byzantine chant and bellow the ison from the bottom of your lungs, but ask yourself – am I bringing people to the nuances of Orthodoxy or am I bringing people to a life devoted to Jesus Christ?
Nathanael tells Philip, “Come and see.”
The theme for OCF this year is Come & See, which fits perfectly into the theme of OAM. This means that during October, we are doubly responsible for spreading Orthodoxy! Make a true effort this month to share the good news of Jesus Christ to the people in your life. Let it come to them through the way you live your life – by going to church, fasting, praying, loving your neighbor. Take time to talk with them about the teachings of Christ and his Church. Show them the way, the life, and the truth that they then may experience through the beauty of Orthodoxy.
The Assembly of Bishops has designated the first Sunday of October, in conjunction with OCF’s Orthodox Awareness Month, as the date for College Student Sunday. For 2016, this falls on Sunday, October 2nd.
On this Sunday, we ask that your parish recognizes its college students by allowing a student share their experiences in OCF. We also ask that you take a collection to continue supporting the vital ministry of Orthodox Christian Fellowship.
Checks may be sent to: Orthodox Christian Fellowship, 50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445 or donations can be made online at ocf.net/donate.
The Assembly of Bishops has designated October 25, 2015 as College Student Sunday. Parishes are asked on this day to recognize their college students by allowing students to share their experiences in Orthodox Christian Fellowship. Parishes are also asked to pass a second tray to support the ongoing and essential work of Orthodox Christian Fellowship as the official campus ministry organization of the Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada.
Bulletin inserts and donation information can be found on our website here.
I am thankful every time we get a call or an email from a parent, priest, Philoptochos chapter, or parish council asking what they can do to help our young people get connected to an OCF chapter, reach out to their local campus, or assist in the growth of the National, pan-Orthodox ministry of OCF. It reassures me that we as a Church are committed to seeing our students succeed and grow as Orthodox Christians.
Well, everyone, here’s your chance.
Students offer prayers for passersby on campus as part of Day of Light.
College Student Sunday is the day designated by the Assembly of Bishops for every parish to recognize their college students, raise awareness about Orthodox campus ministry, and contribute to Orthodox Christian Fellowship. The date now falls during OCF’s Orthodox Awareness Month. So while our students are loving striving to spread the word about Orthodoxy on their campuses and in their lives, the rest of us have the opportunity to loving spread the word about and support their good work and the ministry of OCF.
So what can your parish do this year to make College Student Sunday a success?
Give a presentation. Invite your local OCF chapter or a student from your parish to give a short testimonial to the impact OCF has had on their lives.
Do something to recognize your college students. Host a lunch, make care packages, or even just mention OCF and Orthodox Awareness Month from the pulpit.
Designate a Parish Liaison. This year, we would like parishes to designate one person–a Sunday School teacher, a secretary, a parish council member, any willing volunteer–to be the OCF parish liaison. Through the Parish Liaison Program, we will be able to keep your community informed about all that we do and collaborate with you on initiatives such as the First Forty Days. If you are interested in learning more, click here.
Make a donation. We ask that you pass a tray on behalf of OCF this year and send your collection to the National Office. You can also direct your parishioners to ocf.net/donate to set up both one-time and recurring donations.
Become a Parish Partner. For those parishes that would like to make the strongest commitment to Orthodox campus ministry and our Church’s young people, we encourage you to become a Parish Partner. In addition to designating a Parish Liaison to keep your community informed and prepared as advocates for Orthodox campus ministry, your parish would make an annual financial commitment to OCF to ensure its continued success and growth for generations of Orthodox college students to come. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about Parish Partnerships.
Whatever you do for College Student Sunday this year, we ask that you keep our students–your students–in your prayers as they hold fast to the Tradition of our Orthodox Faith in the face of the many challenges which campus life presents. Your love and support make possible so many beautiful opportunities for these students to encounter Christ and deepen their faith.
A recent testimonial from a student on their OCF experience.