Thursday, December 14, 2006
The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2006
Orthodox Christian Fellowship
Po Box 300249
Boston, MA 02130
OCF’s Next Big Direction: Board Takes Steps to Ensure the Longevity of the Ministry
Boston, MA - The Board of Directors of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), meeting at its regularly scheduled fall meeting, took important steps to insure that the vital ministry now being offered for college students will continue perpetually. The revitalized ministry is in its 5th year of operation, following a three-decade lapse as an organized Orthodox North American ministry to college students.
“Since beginning our renewed effort to support our young people on college campuses, we were very aware of the reasons the ministry stopped functioning in the early 1970s. Simply put, the funding just wasn’t there,” said the Rev. Mark Leondis, current Chairman of the OCF Board and Director of the Department of Youth for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The steps taken include expanding the Board of Directors, currently comprised of youth ministry leaders from various Orthodox jurisdictions, and bringing in leadership from other areas of Church leadership, especially those who can work toward the long-term financial viability of the inter-Orthodox ministry. Additional steps include increasing the budget to include new ways of serving our Orthodox students on campus and guiding the over 225 local OCF chapters. The Board plans to grow the ministry with increased funding budgeted to come from donations from individuals and parishes as a whole.
“As Orthodox, we pride ourselves on how we do everything we can for our children. When we go to our people and ask them to support what we’re trying to do for our kids who face such tremendous pressures on today’s college campuses, I know they’ll respond,” said the Rev. Kevin Scherer, who began his work as OCF’s full-time Executive Director in September 2006. Fr. Kevin made his first report to the Board at this meeting and shared many exciting developments from an ambitious resource curriculum that will be undertaken over the next few years to numerous parishes and organizations he has presented to and been received with great enthusiasm for the ministry.
The meeting concluded with the election of new board officers for 2007. They include the V. Rev. Peter Gillquist, Chairman; Rev. George Pyle, Vice-Chairman; Mrs. Natalie Kapeluck Nixon, Secretary; and the Rev. Dn. Paul Zaharas, Treasurer.
“I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to be back involved in campus ministry, and to be a part of what OCF is doing,” Fr. Peter shared following the election. “We just have to be there for our young folks out there struggling on campus, as well as increasing the Orthodox presence in the modern-day marketplace of ideas. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity.”
OCF humbly asks each Orthodox Christian to continue to offer prayers and support for this crucial and growing college ministry.
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 a Board of Directors and assisted by a Student Advisory Board. Additional information on the all OCF programs can be found on the OCF website at www.ocf.net, or by calling toll-free at 800-919-1623.