Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She is the owner, designer and photographer of V’s Cardbox, In Service and Love. a greeting card company featuring cards with an Orthodox voice. She strongly feels that experiencing the Orthodox Faith through the church’s cyclical calendar of feasts and fasts is a gift that is too often overlooked.
There are a few times that I can remember where my life was truly imprinted upon. One of those times was during an OCF Winter Retreat. I had spent too many months in college filling my brain with facts and figures that I had forgotten to pray, go out of my way to do good, or attend church regularly. When winter break came, my sister begged me to go with her to the OCF retreat held through the Metropolis of Pittsburgh. Her husband was a deacon and she wasn’t going to be able to make it home for Christmas. This would be a good chance for us to spend time with each other. How could I say no?
I had a blast! We hung out, talked, sang at a campfire, had serious discussions, and walked around the beautiful property. It was good to discuss the faith in the context of a young adult. I had outgrown what I learned in Sunday School and needed a “New” perspective that fit my current situation. I needed a faith that was my size.
Recently the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official collegiate campus ministry program under the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, announced that both of their College Conferences were open for registration. This year’s theme, Modern Martyrs: Witnesses of the World, are beyond doubt mature enough for the average college student who is preparing to live on their own.
This College Conference theme will address our calling to be martyrs for Christ by being witnesses of the Faith. As college students living in a secularized world, there are numerous opportunities for us as Orthodox Christians to be witnesses/martyrs for Christ on college campuses: in the dorm room, on social media, and in every aspect of our lives.
This theme will also address the current-day persecution of Christians and provide some insights into how we can best aid our Christian brothers and sisters across the globe.
Option 1: EAST- Antiochian Village, Ligonier, PA
Keynote Speaker: Sr. Vassa Larin, Professor of Liturgical Studies, Catholic Faculty of the University of Vienna – Vienna, Austra
Workshop Speakers: All will be announced in September 2015!
- 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
- V. Rev. Fr. Timothy Hojnicki – Rector of Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission in Mechanicsburg, PA.
- V. Rev. Fr. Stephen Loposky – Director of Camp Nazareth and Pastor of Saints Cyril and Methodius Church in Mercer, PA.
- Fr. Alexandros Petrides and Pres. Stephanie Petrides
- Dr. Timothy Patitsas – Assistant Professor of Ethics at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
Option 2: WEST- St. Nicholas Ranch, Dunlap, CA
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Fr. Apostolos Hill, Priest at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral – Phoenix, AZ
- Abbot Tryphon – Abbot of the All Merciful Saviour Monastery in Vashon Island, Washington.
- Mother Melania – Superior of the Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga, California. Ph.D., Theology, University of Durham, Durham, UK, 2012. M.A., Applied Orthodox Theology, University of Balamand and St. John of Damascus Institute, Balamand, Lebanon, 2005.
- Mr. and Mrs. Daniel and Christina Andresen – Christina currently serves as the Manager of Chapter Relations for OCF, was a former Student Leadership Board member, and served as the OCF Chapter President at Texas A&M University. Daniel was a former OCF Chapter President at Penn State and a College Conference and Real Break Participant. They met while serving on Real Break Guatemala 2008 and are now married and have two little girls, Ksenia, 3, and Juliana, 18 months.
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