LIGONIER, PA and DUNLAP, CA (OCF) – From December 28, 2015 to December 31, 2015 hundreds of college students gathered for Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s 2015 College Conference. The theme of the conference this year was “Modern Martyrs: Witnesses of the Word” where students discussed how they can be witnesses to Christ on their college campuses and in the secular world. Students also participated in worship, service, and fellowship activities.
Three hundred and twenty students students attended College Conference East, which was held at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA. Sister Vassa, nun of ROCOR and liturgist for the University of Vienna was the keynote speaker. Workshops were led by V. Rev. Fr. Timothy Hojnicki (OCA); Fr. Alexandros and Pres. Stephanie Petrides (GOA); V. Rev. Fr. Stephen Loposky (ACROD); Dr. Tim Patitsas from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology; Louis Zagami, Development Officer for IOCC; and Steven Christoforou, Director of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the Office of Camping Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. His Grace Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, Ecumenical Liaison for OCF to the Assembly of Bishops and Fr. Joel Gillam (Antiochian), spiritual advisor for College Conference East, were also present. Anna Valliant, a senior at Pitt and College Conference East Student Leader said, “There is something so beautiful about 300 Orthodox students gathering together in prayer and fellowship to grow closer to Christ. OCF’s College Conference gave us an opportunity to broaden our knowledge about being a witness for our faith, while allowing us to create and strengthen our friendships with those at the conference.”
A little over sixty students attended College Conference West, which was held at St. Nicholas’s Ranch in Dunlap, CA. Rev. Fr. Apostolos Hill of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Phoenix, AZ was the keynote speaker and served as spiritual advisor. Workshops were led by Abbot Tryphon of the All Merciful Saviour Monastery and author/podcaster of The Morning Offering (ROCOR); Mother Melania, of Holy Assumption Monastery (OCA); Fr. Michael Gillis (Antiochian) author/podcaster of Praying in the Rain; Mrs. Christina Andresen, Manager of Chapter Relations of OCF and her husband, Mr. Daniel Andresen. Nora Haddad, a junior at Sacramento City College and College Conference West Student Leader said, “The College Conference experience this year was unparalleled in that the love of Christ flourished through the union and companionship of all who attended! Glory to God, through prayer, education on martyrdom and saintliness, the sharing of our hearts with one another, and allowing love to conquer over all that arose in any given circumstance, we were able to witness transformation together from beginning to end; everyone left OCF’s College Conference West with their hearts elated and eyes glimmering with inspiration!”