Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orthodox Christian Fellowship
June 2, 2006
P.O. Box 300249
Boston, MA 02130
OCF Holds First-ever Chaplains Conference
Boston, MA - Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) held its first-ever Chaplains Conference for clergy and lay leaders May 2-4, 2006 at the Antiochian Village Conference Center in Ligonier, PA. This fantastic retreat brought together twenty clergy and lay OCF chaplains from throughout North America.
The conference hosted OCF Chaplains from schools including Pennsylvania State University, University of Arizona - Tucson and as far away as the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. The conference focused on establishing a dialogue with this ministry group with each chaplain sharing their approach, successes, and obstacles. With an estimated 40,000 Orthodox College students on campus each year, the conference was an essential time to allow chaplains to network together to learn how to more effectively minister to the students.
The three-day event included round-table discussions, break-out sessions, daily worship services and team building activities on a ropes course. The morning spent on the ropes course quickly became a highlight of the conference with chaplains bonding together to effectively overcome challenges put forth before them and relating the immediate challenge to those they encounter in campus ministry.
The conference will continue OCF’s vital growth, particularly resulting in sustenance and growth of the 200+ established OCF chapters, thus breaking the current pattern of making an OCF vulnerable when a motivated student leader graduates or an effective chaplain is relocated. Rev. George Pyle, National OCF Chaplain, shared, "This conference served as a great blessing, networking our chaplains for the first time, to help them shepherd our flock on college campuses. We are setting the course to continue and expand this conference to work towards OCF’s goal of not leaving one student behind."
The closing activities of the conference concluded with strategizing for future growth and setting goals for the 2007 conference. This energizing and crucial conference was made possible by an extremely generous grant from The Order of St. Ignatius of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Plans for next year's conference are underway and information will be available in early 2007.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship is the official campus ministry program of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). It is a Pan-Orthodox effort which is overseen by an Executive Committee and assisted by a Student Advisory Board. Additional information on the Chaplains Conference and all OCF programs can be found on the OCF website at www.ocf.net, or by calling toll-free at 800-919-1623.
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