College Perspectives: Pan-Orthodoxy in Action

The following is the next installment in a series written from the perspective of Orthodox college students. This contribution is by Mary Anna Roden, the current President of UGA’s local OCF chapter, and a future graduate of the class of 2016:

As a cradle-born Orthodox Christian I am blessed to have been brought up in the Church. When I started school at the University of Georgia I was fortunate enough to be close to an Orthodox parish with an active OCF chapter and a wonderful priest. However, it took some readjusting to get used to my new home, because I was raised in an OCA church (Orthodox Church of America for those who don’t know) and this new church was under the Greek Archdiocese.

At first it was difficult for me because I felt like an outsider (not through any fault of the church itself, but because the parishioners were Greek, the members of OCF were all Greek, and I was the only one who wasn’t). I would often get very frustrated because I felt that people were too focused on ethnic pride and every conversation seemed to center around Greek culture. It seemed to me that people were using the Church as a way to keep their heritage alive rather than grow as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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