Who’s who of Orthodox Leaders Returns “For the Life of the World”

SVOTS – 28/9/19

Over the weekend a large, diverse group of Orthodox Christian leaders—from well-known authors and speakers Fr. Barnabas Powell and Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green to successful entrepreneurs Gabriel Otte and Calee Lee—gathered once again at St. Vladimir’s Seminary for the annual Orthodox Christian Leadership Initiative (OCLI) Conference. The title for this year was “For the Life of the World.”

How appropriate that theme was! I was particularly inspired by one of the talks I got to sit in on by Fr. Barnabas Powell of Faith Encouraged Ministries (I love how fired up he is!), and by a message he sent afterword to his Facebook followers: “I’m excited about…continued discussion about how we escape being irrelevant in this society and start being what normal Orthodoxy has always been: a society- and culture-shaping influence that makes men and women [become] like Jesus Christ by grace.”

That is the kind of stuff I love hearing that comes out of these OCLI gatherings every year. Click here to read more about the return of this unique conference in the Orthodox Christian world, sponsored by the Orthodox Vision Foundation.

In other news this week, I found myself reminiscing about Fr. John Behr’s incredible patristics courses I took as a seminarian here. Fr. John, our former dean, is departing the Seminary at the end of the school year in the spring to take up a new challenge at the University of Aberdeen. It is quite common to hear my former classmates, as well as alumni from before and after my time, bring up Fr. John and how much they learned from him. So I feel the same as Seminary President Fr. Chad Hatfield, who said, “…we will be forever grateful for the impact he has made in the education of so many clergy and lay leaders of the Church.” Thank you, Fr. John!

Finally, don’t forget about the Seminary’s special celebration October 11 on campus—which includes the annual Fr. John Meyendorff Memorial Lecture—commemorating 50 years of St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s collaboration with St. Nersess Seminary! A full rundown of events is here.