Bishop Paul visits Athens, OH’s St. Ephraim Community, Ohio University OCF
ATHENS, OH [OU-OCF/Cami Jones] — What a blessing it was to spend the weekend of November 4-5, 2017 with His Grace, Bishop Paul, during his visit to Saint Ephraim Community, Athens, OH and the members of Ohio University’s Orthodox Christian Fellowship [OCF]!
On Saturday evening, the community came together to provide a great meal, and even better conversation — we were blessed to have a wonderful turnout for this event and the Great Vespers service that followed. Bishop Paul also led a fruitful conversation with OCF members about our strengths (we are sustaining membership and have an incredibly supportive community backing us) while providing some suggestions for our continued growth.
Two of the biggest “takeaways” concerned serving our Athens community in meaningful ways and being prepared and willing to openly live our faith in the midst of the temptations that surround us. While both of these can be difficult for us as college students, with time constraints and peer pressure ever present, by God’s grace we have been given our OCF group and the Saint Ephraim community as supports whenever we need them.
We are very thankful for the support of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd for graciously allowing us to use their space for these events.
On Sunday morning, we formally greeted Bishop Paul as he arrived for the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Father Stephen Frase, our priest and OCF Spiritual Advisor. After the Liturgy, our community hosted a catered lunch in Bishop Paul’s honor, affording us an opportunity to grow as a community.
I pray that we always remember that struggling in our faith reminds us that it is a living faith.