UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
Orthodox Christian Fellowship: 2010 College Student Sunday!
Connecting students to Christ and providing a home away from home for the past fifty years!
Together we can continue to grow, strengthen and connect more college students to Christ and His Church.
COLLEGE STUDENTS AND THE CHURCH!
Studies indicate that 60% of Christian students leave for college and do not return to Church. What causes colleges students to fall away from the Church? It could be many things…
- Dealing with extremely busy work and school schedules
- Inability to get to church (no car, no ride, no idea where the nearest church is located, etc.)
- Feeling uncomfortable going to a new church
- Trying to understand if their faith
No matter what challenges they face, the college years are undeniably a very crucial time in the life of a young adult… It is a time of transition, curiosity, doubt, stress, and much more.
Colleges and universities are back in session… There are many young people who are new to your area or who have moved away. How do parishes help young people in college not only stay connected, but deepen their commitment to Christ?
OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship):
OCF is a campus ministry program dedicated “to support fellowships on college campuses, whose members experience and witness to the Orthodox Christian Church through community life, prayer, service to others and study of the Faith.” (www.ocf.net) OCF offers college students a community of peers to grow in their faith and help develop their commitment to Christ and His Church. There are approximately 300 chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada!
OCF offers a variety of resources and local, regional, and national events that parishes can promote within their communities.
COLLEGE STUDENT SUNDAY: Endorsed by the Episcopal Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in North America, this annual observance is designed to draw attention to the importance of ministering to our college age Orthodox Christian Students. COLLEGE STUDENT SUNDAY IS SEPTEMBER 19, 2010!
OCF COLLEGE CONFERENCE: Not every college or university has an OCF chapter. Therefore, OCF hosts an annual college conference. This event brings over 400 students together in fellowship, prayer, service, and education. The college conferences are a fantastic opportunity for students to meet others who are passionate about Christ and the message of the Gospel.
OCF REAL BREAK: OCF Real Break offers college students an alternative to the worldly ideas of “spring break.” Students travel around the world on a service-based program to learn more about other cultures, as well as about themselves and their faith. Past trips destinations include Constantinople, Greece, Dominican Republic, Jerusalem, Romania, Mexico, and Alaska. So for those students who are passionate about making a difference for our brothers and sisters around the globe, THIS IS PERFECT!
OCF CONNECT KIT: The OCF Connect Kit is great for new college students or even students that might have become disconnected with the local community. The Connect Kit, available in three different versions, offers students a few Orthodox Christian essentials. Kits include an Orthodox Study Bible, an icon, a prayer book, snacks, and other goodies.
TRANSITION – An OCF FILM PROJECT: (Taken from www.ocf.net) Recent studies show that 78% of Orthodox Christian Clergy and 84% of the Laity ranked youth and young adults leaving the Church as the number one issue facing us today. This fresh and exciting look at students' perspectives and experiences is the perfect primer for those preparing to go off to college. OCF students share their freshmen experiences ranging from excitement to loneliness and spiritual doubt. Watch the film, discuss the curriculum questions (included) and make your Transition! To watch the trailer visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma-lgrHxIX0
For more information about the OCF resources and events, please visit www.ocf.net.
Don’t forget PARISH INVOLVEMENT
Parishes, especially those near college and university campuses, can have a tremendous impact on the life of a young adult in college. Here are some ways that parishes can help:
- Welcome any new students and get to know them. Building relationships with these young adults is key!
- Coordinate shuttles to and from school for students to attend Divine Liturgy.
- Select a parish liaison who can work with the parish priest to keep in touch with the college students.
- Host a dinner for the local students or make sure they are invited to the parish social events.
- Invite them to offer their time and talents to some of the ministries of the Church.
- Collect contact information from the students in the area and make sure they receive flyers and bulletins from your parish. This will help them feel like part of the family!