Thursday, September 22, 2005
College Student Sunday
18 September 2005
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. (Psalm 71:17)
To all the Clergy and the Laity of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The psalmist proclaims the wisdom of God, and praises the result of His work, having learned that guidance and protection comes only from Him who is the source of all blessings. We join the psalmist in giving thanks for the wondrous works that have been bestowed upon our faithful in America, and especially for the rich blessings bestowed upon the work of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the campus ministry agency of our Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).
Having its' roots in the mid 1960’s, the OCF restarted its activities only a few years ago. Much growth has been recorded. Students studying on college campuses across the country now have an immediate support system, either through the over 200 local OCF chapters or directly from the national OCF office. This fall, the OCF office, once again, anticipates numerous calls requesting assistance in establishing OCF chapters. Helping to fulfill the spiritual needs of our college students, brings great satisfaction to all the clergy and laity who are able to assist us in this ministry.
We give glory to our Lord as we see our college students graduating and becoming strong Orthodox Christians in parishes across the country. We realize, however that our work is not finished. There are tens of thousands of Orthodox college students, and it is imperative that we reach as many as possible.
This academic year the National OCF will launch new programs: an online discussion venue, training for campus ministers, and a kit of resources to keep students connected to their Orthodox Christian faith. The already successful programs of College Student Conferences, Real Break, the Basil Leaf newsletter, and others will continue with new energy. We are pleased that our National OCF staff will be expanded, with the addition of a third person to serve our students and assist our clergy.
As we praise our Lord for the blessings we have already experienced, we ask Him to continue to bestow His care upon the OCF ministry. On this College Student Sunday, we encourage our parishes, clergy and laity, to prayerfully support the ministry of the OCF through their financial stewardship to this worthy endeavor.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you always.
+Archbishop DEMETRIOS, Chairman
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Orthodox Church in America
+Metropolitan PHILIP, Vice Chairman
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America & Canada
+Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER, Secretary
Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church
+Metropolitan NICHOLAS of Amissos, Treasurer
Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA
+Bishop ILIA of Philomelion
Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America