Melinda Bentz, President of the Antiochian Women Diocese of Los Angeles, and the Diocese of Eagle River, reminds the faithful that this is the time of year to remember the Orthodox students who have settled into their studies at colleges all around the country. The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) observes College Student Sunday  on September 16, and this year the faithful in parishes are encouraged to make an extra effort to reach out to their collegians in their first forty days of school.
Melinda writes, "As mothers, sisters, wives, and God-mothers, we have been asked to help the OCF personally reach our incoming college freshmen. While at the summer meeting, we as Antiochian Women were presented with a request to help the OCF reach out to each Orthodox college freshman and invite them to their local parish, connect with the local OCF priest and solidify their commitment to their Orthodox faith during their college years."Adds Melinda, "It is interesting to note that whatever habits a college freshman creates within the first 40 days is the habits that stay with them through their college years. This is why we have been enlisted to help the OCF collect names, addresses, emails and colleges of our Orthodox Freshmen."
OCF began gathering the contact information for incoming freshmen students over the summer. "We are asking that each parish provide us with some basic information concerning their high school graduates who will be attending college in the fall," noted OCF's Brookline office in August. Though most school years have started, people can still download the New Student Contact Form . Once it is filled out, it can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"OCF is on college campuses to make sure our children have a safe and reliable 'home away from home,' " says OCF President Jennifer Nahas.
Download bulletin inserts and flyers, and read additional information on OCF's website.