- Youth Ministries -
Society of Orthodox Youth Organizations (SOYO)
Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church SOYO is a group of teenagers, ranging in ages between twelve and eighteen, who gather for a few events each month to focus on community involvement, volunteerism in the Church, fellowship and Spiritual Development to grow emotionally, morally, physically and spiritually together as a Body of Christ. It is a must that teens of the Orthodox Church, and all teens, are able to experience the work of being involved with communities.
At Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, we believe that the SOYO Movement integrates each young person fully into the total life of the Church. SOYO brings its members to a deeper devotion to the Orthodox Church, its faith, canons and worship. Teen SOYO creates and fosters ministries to encourge members to commit themselves to living the Orthodox Faith daily. The combination of Worship, Witness, Service and Fellowship are the natural expressions of that committment.
The four principle points SOYO has established since its inception have been Worship, Witness, Fellowship, and Service.
-- We WORSHIP God the Father, His Only-begotten Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His All-Holy Good and Life Giving Holy Spirit - the Holy Trinity!
-- We WITNESS our faith of Holy Orthodoxy by striving to live out our faith by being true examples of who Christ really is – loving, merciful, forgiving, compassionate!
-- FELLOWSHIP is our way of being! Being together at camp during the summer, the various retreats throughout the school year, and the events within our local chapters are just a couple of ways in which we come together.
-- SERVICE is our way of doing! “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required…” Lk 12:48. Because we have been given much, much is required from us as Teen SOYO to do what we are called to do: SERVE.
While we are still growing and learning, we are so proud of the Teen SOYO. We are always welcoming new teens and friends to our SOYO. We invite you and your families to our group.
For more information, visit teensoyo.org.
Church School religious education is held for children from 3 years old through high school on Sundays immediately following Communion in the St. Paul Education Center. Church School is held from September through May, and recesses during the summer months.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF)
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the official collegiate campus ministry program under SCOBA (the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas). Our mission is to support fellowships on college campuses, whose members experience and witness to the Orthodox Christian Church through community life, prayer, service to others and study of the Faith.
Our headquarters is located in Brookline, Mass and supports over 300 local university chapter across the U.S. and Canada. In addition, we provide a variety of thoughtful and innovative programming, including regional training, annual conferences, and domestic and international service learning projects.
OCF is not a new phenomenon. Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) has a rich history in North America that spans over 50 years. Following WWII, an Orthodox college student movement began to emerge. Individual campus groups were formed at various universities, including Columbia, McGill, and Penn State.
Despite the momentum of this growing movement, there was virtually no interaction between the groups. Then, in the spring of 1965, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) created its first national ministry, the Campus Commission. The purpose of this ministry was to oversee and coordinate these developing local fellowships.
James Couchell (now Bishop DIMITRIOS of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese) was appointed as the first Executive Director of the Campus Commission. He visited hundreds of campuses, helping to establish and grow local campus chapters. Over 100 chapters developed coast-to-coast during this time. The national programs included a quarterly magazine entitled Concern as well as annual retreats, which gathered at St. Vladimir's and Holy Cross seminaries. These nationwide retreats were the predecessors of our present day College Conferences.
In 1971, the exciting growth of campus ministry came to a virtual halt with the reassignment of James Couchell. Shortly after a new director was appointed, funding from the archdioceses discontinued, and in 1973, the Campus Commission was forced to close its ministry. It's estimated that campus groups dwindled to less than 50 nationwide. Without any coordinated effort, successful campus ministry was inconsistent and sporadic at best.
Although, the national organization of OCF ceased to exist, the spirit and mission of OCF was kept alive by individual chapters across the country.
In 1997, three former seminarian classmates responsible for their respective jurisdictional campus ministry programs, pledged to work together towards the resurgence of a pan-Orthodox Campus ministry. In 2000, Fr. Michael Nasser of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, Fr. Mark Leondis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Fr. Michael Andersen of the Orthodox Church in America went before SCOBA and asked for the formal reestablishment of a North American campus ministry. Each jurisdiction was petitioned for appointments. The three initiating members were joined by Natalie Kapeluck, appointed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
The first official meeting of the new Campus Commission of SCOBA was held in South Bound Brook, NJ at the Archdiocesan Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. OCF began a partnership with The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute based at the University of Berkeley. The PAOI provided OCF with space for its first office, as well as aiding in providing a part-time employee.
Over the next two years, the members of the Board worked diligently to establish the framework of what is now called Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), shedding its name of Campus Commission. They created a website, an online directory, the Real Break, short-term missions program, a student newsletter, expanding the College Conference to two sites and a variety of other local resources for campus chapters.
Looking to take the ministry to the next step, the Board hired a full-time administrator during the summer of 2002 and moved the North American office to the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross in Brookline, MA. At the same time, OCF received a portion of a Lilly Endowment grant awarded to Hellenic College for the Theological Exploration of Vocation. This five-year scaling grant enabled OCF to build an infrastructure, hire staff, and expand its programs. In 2008, OCF moved its headquarters to Indianapolis, IN, and hired additional staff to oversee the three-year sustainability grant awarded by Lilly to explore Christian vocation in the context of service to the poor.
In 2010, OCF celebrates its tenth anniversary of being reinstated. In ten short years, the number of OCF chapters has exploded from 50 to over 300, eight of the ten SCOBA jurisdictions are represented on the Board of Directors, Real Break travels to ten locations domestic and international, College Conference has expanded to include four sites, a National Chaplain was developed and consequently a regional chaplains network has been instituted. These are only a few of the many achievements OCF has been blessed to realize in such a short time.
Most importantly, through OCF a haven for Orthodoxy is available to any student who resides on each of those campuses housing an OCF chapter- upholding the vision of Bishop Dimitrios and the mission established in 2000. With more chapters developing, the future of OCF is bright in its continued journey to Glorify God by supporting His students.
For more information, visit www.ocf.net.