Off to the Village

I am leaving in a few hours for an 8 hour drive to the Antiochian Village where I will be taking part in a conference called “The Road to Unity – From Vision to Action” sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Laity. Should be a good conference as long as we leave with some plans and not just another time for people to talk and do nothing.

I am presenting on Youth but more specifically using Social Media in the Church to keep in touch with the youth in the Church. I heard, some years back, that less than 17% of our college age people return to the church after graduation. For the most part it is because there was no Orthodox presence on campus or the closest Orthodox Church was too far away to get too. So they stop going or they start to attend another church. In the end we loose them and they lose their faith.

Metr. Jonah of the OCA spoke some months back about his vision for Orthodoxy in America. He laid out a plan that included Orthodox houses on major college campuses around the country. This is extremely important I think. A recent census of Orthodox students in Boston pegs the number somewhere around 10,000 and i am sure the other big cities are the same. We need to fix this problem. We need houses and churches near major universities to begin and then work form there.

If you are an Orthodox Priest and reading this, or a lay person in leadership in your church, as yourself this question. Is there a college campus near the church? If yes, what are you doing to reach out to the campus? Do you know if there is a chaplain on campus of any faith? If not become that chaplain. Reach out to the students you just might be surprised.

1 Comment

  1. Fr. Peter, as for the Orthodox youth at our colleges having access to Orthodoxy, I believe there is a national Orthodox organization called the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) which has "branches" at most American colleges. It also has an OCF website which describes its function, schedule of events, etc. I believe OCF is similar to Hillel which is the Jewish fellowship organization on most college campuses.

    On the topic of Orthodox unity, I hope that the Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) conference makes significant progress on this goal. I would like to see the OCL write a constitution or some by-laws that would actually work in American Orthodox unity. In any event, the OCL has exhausted discussions on this topic for over 20 years. It is now time for ACTION in implementing American Orthodox unity.

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