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November 2007 Newsletter

Christ is in our midst! I pray that you are well and I remember you in my prayers.

College ministry for me is a burden and a blessing: I see and experience every week the struggles and turmoil that goes on in many of our college-aged student’s lives. By struggle I mean the fight within them to prioritize putting Christ and His holy Church first in their lives, to live in accordance with the Faith in striving to glorify God. It’s extremely difficult in college to learn humility, to thirst for God, to see one’s need for God. Most college students are at that age when they think they are ‘invincible.’ And invincibility does not usually lend itself toward realizing one’s need or thirst for God. I really feel for these students and prayerfully desire more than anything that they may humble themselves, discover their need for God in their lives, and come to ‘own’ their Orthodox Faith. There is a real crisis out there among our Orthodox youth in today’s secular culture. I have met very few Orthodox who actually come to college ‘owning’ their Orthodox Faith, i.e., desiring to apply the Faith to their daily lives. Instead, I find much apathy. This is the challenge: to help them understand the good gifts God has for them and their own need to become godly men and women.

And this is why Annapolis College Ministry (and, in the larger picture, OCF as a whole) is here for these students. They may not realize their need, but that doesn’t make the need any less real. College students today face so many challenges. Orthodoxy is not what you would call, in vogue or, by any means, easy. Rather, it’s easiest to go the other way, forget the faith of our fathers, and serve the desires of the flesh. But: that is the way of death!

Your support of this ministry means that I can be present throughout much of the week to meet with the students of St. John’s College and the U.S. Naval Academy when they are available. I strive to seek them out and encourage them in their faith and life struggles, I lead them in worship, Bible studies, and teach them in the Orthodox Faith.

Many parents and grandparents who support this ministry have told me, “If only this kind of ministry were there for my kids (or grand kids) when they went to school, perhaps they would have kept their Orthodox Faith.

There is no greater time of formation in a young person’s life than the college years, when one transitions from adolescent to adult in the short span of four years. We need to be there for them. The future of the next generation depends on it!

Thank you for your support of this vital ministry to the next generation. Your prayer and financial gifts make this ministry possible and show to the rest of the Church that full-time college ministry is possible in Orthodoxy. Praise God!

I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving and Nativity Fast as we prepare for the Incarnation in the flesh of our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ.