OCF Executive Director Fr. Kevin Scherer Presents at Greek Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Clergy Laity Congress
Antiochian Archdiocese pastor and Orthodox Christian Fellowship Executive Director Fr. Kevin Scherer presented workshops on youth ministry at July's Greek Archdiocese national gathering, and the good work of OCF was specifically noted by Archbishop DEMETRIOS in his keynote address.
OCF released the following summary of the news. We encourage everyone in the Antiochian Archdiocese to support this great labor of our Church in America, under the leadership of all our canonical bishops via SCOBA. Learn more about OCF's college ministry on their recently redesigned website!
From OCF Headliner, Summer 2008:
In a recent survey released by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, 78% of the clergy and 84% of the Laity say that youth and young adults leaving the Orthodox Church is the number one issue facing us today.
The importance of ministering to our Orthodox youth was underscored at the The 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which took place from July 13 - 18, 2008, in Washington, D.C. In his keynote address, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America spoke glowingly about the ministry of OCF. "In recent years we have seen the beginning of a successful reaching out 'to gather to God's home' our university students by means of OCF, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. Today, by the grace of God, we have 270 OCF groups in an equal number of Colleges and Universities, a number steadily increasing. This is a work worth intensifying," he said.
"That's huge!" commented Chip Southworth, Director of Development and Communications for OCF, "The Archbishop talks about your ministry in his keynote address and says that it's work worth intensifying." Southworth continues, the recent study findings and obvious trends within the Church show... "This isn't just an issue, it's a mandate."
OCF Executive Director Fr. Kevin Scherer spoke about creating a safe context for our youth as they transition into college to a "standing room only" crowd at a workshop on youth ministries. Many of the Congress attendees showed their support for our young people by prominently wearing "save the youth! -ocf.net" buttons throughout the week.
Apparent everywhere was the obvious partnership and cooperation between OCF and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Fr. Mark Leonidis, OCF Board Chairman, presented a slide show of OCF's Real Break Constantinople trip to the entire congress at the Plenary Session on Thursday. He also announced a joint effort to produce a 24 hour online radio network with programming specifically aimed youth and young adults.
The National Philoptochos excitedly took up this important issue and made OCF a recipient of discretionary support. The success of OCF and its efforts to keep our youth connected to Christ and His Church depends on the support of donations from individuals and blessed organizations like Philoptochos.
Additionally, Fr. Chris Metropoulos of OCN interviewed Fr. Kevin Scherer and Chip Southworth for an upcoming program of Come Receive the Light. They discussed the incredible need and resulting success of OCF, and gave some insight into the future hopes and challenges of college ministry.
"The Clergy Laity Congress and events were a success for OCF" said Fr. Mark Leondis. "The faithful Orthodox Christians throughout the country are mature and ready to embrace and support our work. Now is the time for us to work together to reach every Orthodox college student in America for Christ and His Church."