Source: Orthodox Church in America
SYOSSET, NY – On March 27-28, 2013, several leaders of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship [OCF], the official campus ministry agency of theAssembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, met at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America here.
Jennifer Nahas, OCF Executive Director. met with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Archpriests John Jillions and Eric G. Tosi, and OCA Youth Director Andrew Boyd on March 27. She spoke of OCF’s growth on the grassroots level, the challenges brought about by growth, current and future programs, and ways the OCA can specifically aid in OCF’s campus ministry efforts. “We work for you”, said Ms. Nahas. “We work to keep your youth engaged in the Church during college, so that they can return to your parishes not simply as nominal parishioners, but as active and equipped leaders.”
Following the meeting, Ms. Nahas joined Metropolitan Tikhon and the Chancery staff for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in the Chancery’s Saint Sergius of Radonezh Chapel.
The following day, the OCA’s Department of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry and Department of Institutional Chaplains hosted several OCF leaders for a discussion on developing OCF’s chaplains, volunteers, and lay leaders. Archpriest Steven Voytovich of the OCA’s Department of Institutional Chaplains shared his professional experience training and supervising hospital, nursing home and prison chaplains. He demonstrated ways the tools and models used by professional chaplains in institutional settings could be adapted to campus ministry. Participants worked with Father Steven to establish a plan for implementing chaplain training and support in all levels of OCF’s ministry this summer.
Metropolitan Tikhon and the Chancery officers and staff joined the participants for lunch, during which the Metropolitan led a discussion on campus ministry in the Assembly of Bishops and shared his experience of OCF as a diocesan hierarch. Later in the day, Father Jillions and Cindy Davis, Coordinator of the OCA Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations, led a discussion about healthy pastoral boundaries, policies, procedures, and best practices for handling misconduct in campus ministry settings.
“This day is the culmination of months of planning and preparation on the part of participants and presenters,” said Mr. Boyd. “But it is only the beginning of the process of transforming OCF from a loosely affiliated group of student clubs into a well-organized and effective witness of Christ’s Gospel on our campuses.”
“We are extraordinarily grateful to the Orthodox Church in America for their constant financial, material, and moral support,” said Ms. Nahas. “Not only has your Church dedicated $10,000.00 a year out of your budget for OCF, but we always feel supported by your continuous offers of your precious time and talent. At the conclusion of our meeting, His Beatitude presented us with a generous personal donation. It is our hope and prayer that your whole Church would follow his example and support us financially, prayerfully, and materially.”
Others participating in the meeting were Priest Michael Ellis [Greek Orthodox Archdiocese], OCF National Chaplain; Archpriest Peter Paproski [American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese], OCF Northeast Region Chaplain; Priest John Diamantis [Holy Trinity Church OCA, East Meadow, NY], New York/New Jersey District Chaplain; and Deacon Alexander Cadman [Holy Trinity Church OCA, State College, PA], Chaplain at Penn State University and OCA representative on the OCF Board of Directors.
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