I am a lifelong Central Illinois resident and a parishioner of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Peoria. My wife's parents are immigrants from a small village outside Athens. My wife (Maria) and I have two young sons, Christian age 4 and Dimitrios age 3. I am also a member of Chicago Metropolitan Council.
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Chapter of the University of Illinois, located in Urbana-Champaign, ushered in the beginning of the new academic year. Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the official collegiate campus ministry program under the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
On Sunday afternoon, August 21, the officers of the OCF Chapter manned an OCF Informational Booth as part of the university’s Quad Day.
All the clubs and organizations on campus take part in this event to inform the students of what their groups have to offer to them. Students who visited the OCF Booth were invited to a Welcome BBQ at NIKA House, the Orthodox Christian Student Living Center located in the midst of the campus.
New and returning students gathered there that evening for a dinner of BBQ pork and hot dogs. Live music was provided by the band the Sax Pistols, which is made up of residents of NIKA House. Father Michael Condos and members from Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox church were on hand to welcome the students.
On the following Tuesday evening, the OCF had its first weekly meeting at NIKA House. The students gathered for fellowship and a supper provided by a family from Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church in Champaign. Father Michael Condos was present to lead a study of the Bible and the teachings of the Orthodox faith.
The OCF organizes rides for the students to get to church on Sundays. Many of the OCF members actively participate at Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, teaching Sunday School, Greek School, and serving as acolytes and chanters.
ABOUT NIKA HOUSE
NIKA House, the only Orthodox student living center in the United States, is owned and operated by the Orthodox Christian Alumni in Action (OCAA) on the campus of the University of Illinois. NIKA House has been in existence for 11 years. It is a member of Private Certified Housing of the university, and therefore, is certified to have residents who are freshmen. NIKA House also serves as a meeting place for the OCF, where students can gather for fellowship and social activities.
For more information about the University of Illinois OCF Chapter and NIKA House, visit their websites and Facebook pages; www.NikaHouse.com or www.OCFIllinois.weebly.com and NIKA House or OCF Illinois on Facebook.
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