Guest Blogger: Reaching out to our Orthodox college students

We are pleased to publish a blog written by Anna Kostopoulos, who helped to create a College Outreach Committee in her parish, the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Atlanta (their Twitter account can be viewed here).

Sending our oldest son to college all the way in Los Angeles in 2008, my husband and I made sure to attend church with him before the start of his freshman year. During coffee hour at Saint Sophia, we met several people who became very good friends to Nick over his next four years, giving him rides to church on Sundays, during Holy Week, and to the Greek festival.

In March of 2010 I decided to organize a College Outreach Committee here in Atlanta, in the hopes of paying the gesture forward to those Orthodox students who are studying from out of state.

Our outreach committee arranges transportation for students from their Atlanta area campuses (Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Emory and Agnes Scott) to the Cathedral.

We also host a “college luncheon” once a month for students immediately following the Divine Liturgy. In recent years our ministry has become so popular that we have had upwards of thirty students at many of our luncheons. In addition, we provide host families for students who are not going home for the holidays.

The goal of the Atlanta college outreach program is to welcome students to their “home away from home” and ensure that they know the Church cares, and she is waiting for them with open arms.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-In an effort to provide material on the importance of college outreach, we offer two articles from the perspective of college students, previously published on the site  (click here and here to read more), as well as a link to an OCN editorial published by Bishop Gregory, imploring churches to reach out to students early in the beginning of the school year.

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