Should I even apply for the SLB? The short answer is YES

Should I even apply for the SLB? The short answer is YES

SLB APPLICATIONS ARE OUT! If you’re an Orthodox Christian looking to give back and serve your peers to help them grow closer to Christ, you are in the right spot. The SLB is a team of servant leaders that works to grow OCF for the benefit of our peers. We care deeply about all of our members and we choose to volunteer our time and talents in the best ways that we can.

Maybe you’re good at writing – publications might be for you. Maybe you’re good at public speaking – public relations might be for you. Maybe you’re a social media king or queen – media might be for you. Maybe you like to talk – podcasts might be for you. Maybe you love your OCF friends – regional leadership might be for you? Maybe you’re passionate about college conference – HM MAYBE THERE’S A COLLEGE CONFERENCE STUDENT LEADER?

Point of the matter is: there are places for you to invest your talents no matter what they are. So, apply. But don’t take JUST my advice, take the advice of some of the SLB leaders that work hard to make OCF shine.

This was their answer to the question, “Why apply to the SLB?”

Zoe Kanakis – Southwest Student Leader

  1. You can serve Christ through leading others and providing resources to expand the faith.
  2. You make long-lasting relationships with students from all across America; some of my greatest friendships are people from the SLB!
  3. You can grow your own faith through serving others.
  4. You get to meet a lot of priests that will rock your socks off with their wisdom.
  5. As a regional leader, you are able to plan fun retreats and express your creativity in fellowship activities (ice breakers, bonfires, talent shows, etc).
  6. You are able to travel to places that you would never have thought of and learn about other cultures.

6.75. I cannot stress enough how strong my friendships are with members of the SLB. Bonds that cannot be broken. SO APPLY YO!

Elizabeth Buck – South Student Leader

I applied to the SLB because I wanted to give back to the organization that has given me so much during my college career. The SLB has given me the opportunity to cultivate my authentic leadership style, take on new and exciting challenges, and learn from so many inspiring Orthodox Christian college students around the country. Finally, being a part of the SLB has increased my network of Orthodox Christian friends and has given me the dearest friendships of my young adult life.

Alex Lountzis – Southeast Student Leader

Applying to the SLB is one of the BEST decisions you could ever make! Being on the SLB is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you will meet some of the most inspiring, amazing, and dedicated Orthodox Christians. At the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), you will be equipped with so many amazing tools that will allow you to lead others and fulfill your role for OCF to the best of your God-given ability.

The friendships and relationships built through this amazing ministry are a blessing truly beyond words, and I highly recommend not passing up this opportunity to dedicate your own time and talent to such an amazing organization that impacts and changes so many lives!

Kristina Anastasiades – Northeast Student Leader

The Student Leadership Board is a group of Orthodox Christians who bring out Christ in each other and those around them. They can see Him inside of you even when you can’t see Him yourself. We hold each other accountable and pick up our crosses together, as we head towards a life in Christ, not in the future, but today. We are a part of the body of Christ, so let’s bring that to our peers through our service on the SLB!

Caroline Retzios – Great Lakes Student Leader

College for me has been a time for spiritual growth, and thanks to my friends in my local OCF chapter, I am constantly surrounded by others who strive to grown in the faith together. As I became more involved in OCF programs outside of weekly chapter meetings (College Conference, Real Break, District Retreats), I decided I wanted to serve my fellow college students by helping connect them with opportunities to explore their faith.

Now that I am on the SLB, I love every moment about it. I loved everything about SLI, helping at College Conference, leading and attending my first Regional Retreat, and all the people I have met who inspire me to live a more Christ-centered life every day! As a member of the SLB, I have grown SO MUCH in my faith.

I think the biggest thing I have gotten out of this opportunity has been learning to be a servant leader. Hearing leadership expressed in this way at SLI was definitely the most impactful part of that week and has guided my service to this ministry.

OCF gives us so many opportunities to grow in our faith. If you desire to grow closer to Christ through service to your peers, build life-long friendships, and learn more about your faith, apply!

Don’t hesitate, apply now!

2019-2020 Student Leadership Board Applications are now open!

2019-2020 Student Leadership Board Applications are now open!

Every year, OCF selects a team of talented students to take on leadership positions in Orthodox campus ministry. The Student Leadership Board (SLB) works with staff and clergy volunteers to plan and implement the programs of OCF, advise and inspire their peers on campuses, and develop new resources and programs for Orthodox college students. OCF is currently seeking applicants for all positions for the 2019-2020 Student Leadership Board.

Serving on the SLB offers students a unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills while growing in their faith and giving back to the Church. Current Student Leadership Board Chairman, Caroline Mellekas, encourages any student who has been impacted by OCF to consider applying, “If you feel affected by the mission of OCF and called to carry it through offering your own gifts, then this is what’s next for you.”

As part of their training, SLB members will attend OCF’s Summer Leadership Institute free of charge! Additionally, SLB members will receive priority registration for College Conference and Real Break. Recommendations for applicants and questions can be directed at studentleadership@ocf.netApplications are due MARCH 29, 2019.

Learning to Be an Orthodox Leader

Learning to Be an Orthodox Leader

Hello, my name is Danielle Hines! I’m from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (the Johnstown area to be specific). I’m here to talk to you all about SLI, and my experience there this past August!

How did you hear about SLI, and how you decide to come?

I heard about SLI from college conference 2017 and further from Caroline Mellekas (SLB Chairman). I was interested in going, but when summer came around I went to camp at the Antiochian Village for PLC, I was still on the fence about it. I was nervous that I wouldn’t know anyone there. Luckily, I met Peter Karos (College Confrence Midwest Leader), and he and Caroline, convinced me to attend saying I would love it and I would have an amazing time.

What did you want to get out of SLI, did you end up getting that?

I wanted to learn to be a better Orthodox leader and to learn more about my faith in a different way then I have before. Yes, I did get these things out of SLI and even more. I learned that working alone is sometimes the most difficult thing to do, and it’s ok to ask for help. I learned so much about praying and got a different perspective on generosity in the church.

What was your favorite session, what did you learn, and why did you like it?

My favorite session from SLI was Fr Stephen Vernak’s (SLI Spiritual Advisor) on Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom. I learned a new perspective on being still and prayer isn’t a big gesture we need to do all the time, and praying can be as simple as just crossing ourselves or saying morning prayers. One of his quotes that stuck with me and was, “We should try live in such a way that if the Gospels were lost, they could rewritten by looking us.” Another point from the book he focused on was our relationship with the Lord starts with each other. He also gave us two Bible verses on stillness. Those were Exodus 14:13 and Psalm 45:11. The biggest thing I took from this talk was to find your stillness and keep calm with prayers. The reason I liked this session was it help me in an area I was really struggling as a Orthodox Christian.

Describe your favorite moment from the institute.

My favorite moment of the institute was sitting at night and talking to everyone. At one point after dinner I noticed we were all sitting, talking to each other scattered all around the retreat center, some people upstairs some people down stairs and some cooking marshmallows by the fire that was outside. And at one point, we all looked at each other and said, “Let’s go up stairs and dance!” So we danced to Arabic music, Greek music, and even learned some Russian dances as well. We all had come together, and no matter what jurisdiction we were, we all came together that night.

My second favorite moment is from the first night, when all the participants had arrived we all went into the the chapel and chanted Paraklesis after evening prayers in celebration of the Dormition of the Theotokos. It was the most beautiful thing I had heard and seen in a long time. All the students and jurisdictions worshiping together, singing the service.

What are the things that you are going to take with you as an Orthodox Leader?

The things i’m going to take with me as an Orthodox Leader is to show others the teachings of the Church through my actions, guided by my love for God. Every person is different, and might not understand them one way or the other. I’m also going to take with me being a better listener and listening to people’s thoughts and problems making sure I listen before I react.

This is my reflection on SLI I hope this gives your a perspective of what SLI is and about I hope many of you come and participate. I will definitely be coming back next year to SLI and I hope you’ll join me!

+In Christ,

Danielle Hines

 

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Opens Registration for Its 2018 Summer Leadership Institute

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Opens Registration for Its 2018 Summer Leadership Institute

BROOKLINE, MA — With its annual Summer Leadership Institute, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF)—the official college ministry for all twelve (12) jurisdictions of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops—continues its mission to develop Orthodox leaders to serve their local communities and the Church at large. OCF is pleased to announce that registration is now open for this year’s conference, which will be held from August 15-18, 2018 at St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI. Details and registration information can be found at www.ocf.net/sli.

Made possible in part by a generous grant from Leadership 100, the Summer Leadership Institute is a four-day training program focused on developing in students the knowledge, skills, and practices of good Orthodox leaders. Students will participate in workshops led by OCF staff and student leaders as well as experts in Orthodox theology, spirituality, and pastoral ministry to help prepare them to be Christ-centered servant leaders.

Parishes and OCF advisors are encouraged to promote this program and to sponsor a student to attend the 2018 Summer Leadership Institute, helping to cultivate a new generation of leaders for local campuses, parishes, and the greater Church. Please email us at studentleadership@ocf.net with questions regarding the Summer Leadership Institute.

OCF encourages you to learn more and to support the ongoing work of this vital ministry by visiting its website or emailing the OCF National Office (info@ocf.net).