With #GivingTuesday just around the corner, we thought we’d help you learn more about some of the great Orthodox ministries that need our support as a Church to keep doing the great things they’re doing! Consider making a donation to one or more of them this year! Click on the logos to go directly to their online giving sites.
Ancient Faith Ministries
Ancient Faith Ministries started as an online radio program streaming Orthodox music and has grown to include a plethora of audio and video podcasts, blogs, a publishing house, a store, and a film production division. Ancient Faith provides a constantly growing and updated library of Orthodox resources on topics ranging from dogmatic theology, spiritual growth, marriage and family life, philosophy, ecumenical dialogue, fasting, saints lives, daily readings, and more. OCF is proud to host our own campus ministry podcast through AFR, and we are so appreciative of the support and guidance they have provided us in our own media outreach.
Many of you, I’m sure, are very familiar with Antiochian Village and its camping ministries. OCF houses our College Conference East there every year! We’re also proud to say that many of our OCF leaders give back to AV as counselors every year. Donations to AV help maintain its facilities as well as provide scholarships to campers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.
This ten-day academic institute is designed to help high school juniors and seniors connect Orthodox theology and spirituality to the big decisions they are preparing to face–like going off to college! We’re so proud to say that over the years, many, many of our OCF chapter presidents and Student Leadership Board members have been alumni of CrossRoad. We know they’re doing it right when it comes to preparing young people for the challenges of college and beyond!
FOCUS North America
FOCUS North America is a US-based charity that provides food, occupation, clothing, understanding, and shelter through a number of community-based FOCUS centers as well as programs like Operation: Lace Up which provides shoes to school-age children in need in various cities across the country. They also run a youth program (YES) to help youth and young adults better understand poverty and get involved in serving their communities. OCF partners with FOCUS North America to run Real Break Cleveland where we volunteer at their center there, St. Herman’s House (a men’s homeless shelter).
Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society
Philoptochos is the largest Christian women’s philanthropic organization in the US, providing services to local communities as well as through national initiatives to those in need. Their focus is charity to the poor, preservation of the family, and perpetuating and promoting Orthodoxy, and they support programs as broad as aid to Greece and Cyprus, Hellenic College/Holy Cross, health related organizations, IOCC, and a variety of local social service organizations. OCF has been blessed to receive Philoptochos support, especially in regards to the First Forty Days Initiative and the Summer Leadership Institute.
Hogar Rafael Ayau
Hogar Rafael Ayau (San Miguel del Lago) is an Orthodox orphanage outside of Guatemala City, Guatemala run by the nuns of the Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Trinity. The children are educated and cared for all within the context of the Orthodox life. OCF partners with the Hogar to run Real Break Guatemala where our students play with the children and work on repairs and other projects needed by the monastery.
International Orthodox Christian Charities
IOCC is perhaps the most well-known and respected Orthodox charity, providing communities around the world with immediate disaster relief as well as long-term sustainable, community-oriented solutions to poverty, housing, education, and health. IOCC provides assistance without discrimination in places as diverse as Syria, Greece, USA, Haiti, Camaroon, and Bosnia. OCF partners with IOCC to run Real Break New Orleans where we work with them and with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes.
Ionian Village offers young people an opportunity to not only attend a great summer camp, but to go on a spiritual pilgrimage to encounter the saints, deepen their faith, and experience the life of the Church in a way that is unique among camping programs. We’re so proud to say that many of our OCF leaders are IV alumni and often go back as staff to minister to the next generation of Orthodox young people.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship
Yep, that’s right. Did you know our own ministry is entirely supported by donations and grants? We’re blessed to be able to able to provide you with things like free retreats, the Summer Leadership Institute, all sorts of chapter resources, and College Conference scholarships thanks to the generosity of our supporters. And we’re always trying to come up with new ways to help your chapters grow, connect more college students to the Church, and give back to the student leaders who make OCF the amazing ministry that it is.
Orthodox Christian Mission Center
OCMC is an agency of the Assembly of Bishops that helps send missionaries around the world to share the message of the Gospel to those who have not heard it. They currently have long-term missionaries in Albania, Guatemala, Kenya, Mongolia, Romania, and the United States.
Orthodox Christian Network
OCN provides news, radio, blogs, and other resources for Orthodox Christians of all ages. They even have a live-stream Bible study on Wednesday evenings!
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry
A newer agency of the Assembly of Bishops, OCPM ministers to men and women, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike who are in prison or have been recently released. They provide spiritual guidance and catechism to those who are interested as well as train clergy and lay people on prison ministry. OCPM currently ministers to over 1,000 people in prison including five who have become monks and over 300 catechumens.
Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage
Located in Tijuana Mexico, Project Mexico helps build homes for families in need while St. Innocent Orphanage cares for and educates orphaned boys in a loving, spiritually-rich environment. OCF has partnered with Project Mexico in the past to run Real Break trips where students worked on home builds and served at the orphanage. In addition to giving, you can always sign up for a summer team with your family, friends, or parish to volunteer.
St. Basil’s Academy
Located in upstate New York, St. Basil’s Academy takes in orphaned and at-risk Orthodox children where they can live and be educated in a safe and nurturing environment that addresses all of their needs. In existence since 1944, they take in children from all Orthodox backgrounds and care for them with Christ’s healing love.
St. John the Compassionate Mission
St. John the Compassionate Mission offers a variety of social services to the needed of Toronto, Canada. Their work includes weekly community dinners, kids programs, a thrift store, a community house for those in need of subsidized housing, an organic bakery staffed by those who would otherwise find it difficult to find work, counselling services for individuals and families, an Orthodox mission parish, and a lived theology school. OCF has partnered with St. John the Compassionate in the past to run Real Break Toronto, and we encourage our students to check out the lived theology school.
ZOE for Life!
ZOE for Life! is a pan-Orthodox outreach ministry that provides services such as counseling, housing assistance, medical assistance, prenatal care, adoption assistance, and a variety of other services to women in crisis pregnancies.
1. Spend your spring break in service to others and worship to Christ instead of on the couch watching Netflix and scrolling through Facebook!
2. Meet other Orthodox Christians from around the world!
3. Travel somewhere you’ve never been before one of our eight trips!
4. Try new food, hear a new language, see new sites!
5. Converse with His All-Holiness in Constantinople!
6. Help out around the Pro Vita Orphanage in Romania!
7. Make pilgrimage to Holy Sites, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Jordan River in Jerusalem!
8. Build a house with IOCC and Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans!
9. Participate in service projects at the St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska!
10. Put Christ’s love into action by serving others with FOCUS in Cleveland!
11. Minister to children at Hogar Rafael Ayau in Guatemala!
12. Venerate numerous icons and relics at the churches in Thessaloniki!