October is Orthodox Awareness Month. Orthodox Christian Fellowship, a leading Eastern Orthodox student organization, dedicated the month to raise awareness of OCF in the Orthodox community and among non-Orthodox students on college campuses nationwide.
OCF is holding virtual events, in-person gatherings and prayer services on college campuses across the country. OCF encourages Orthodox Christians to invite their friends to local churches.
While less than 1% of Americans identify as an Orthodox Christian, we have witnessed increased interest among Americans for this ancient faith. Many Americans from all corners of the country encounter Orthodox Christianity through the internet. Some of them live in small towns without the Orthodox Christian community and parish, which makes them feel isolated.
While Orthodox Awareness Month aims to serve as a reminder of the long and rich history of Orthodox Christianity, it reminds us of the importance of the community. Facebook groups are some of the fastest ways to connect to people regardless of the geographical distance.
Here are five Facebook groups to join to delve deeper into the Orthodox Christian faith, receive book recommendations and discover valuable homeschooling resources. If none of these pique your interest, you can still enjoy yourself at the Orthodox Christian Online Pub.
There are dozens of Orthodox Christian groups on Facebook offering answers about the faith and discussing Orthodox teachings. Many of these groups might be misleading. Ask an Orthodox Priest is not one of them.
The group’s administrator and moderators are canonical Orthodox priests and trained theologians. This brings an unquestionable credibility to the group. Questions about faith, morality, doctrine, theology and Orthodox Christian values are answered timely and thoroughly.
Unlike other Orthodox Christian Facebook groups that are ethnocentric, representing only one jurisdiction, Ask an Orthodox Priest has a pan-Orthodox outreach, attracting Orthodox Christians from all jurisdictions.
It is part of the group’s mission to promote harmony between different jurisdictions, through peaceful dialogue. In the time of the Orthodox rift between Constantinople and Moscow, the group’s mission to promote dialogue is timely and necessary.
Although group administrators are clear that participation should not be used as a substitute for pastoral care and spiritual guidance, Ask an Orthodox Priest is a perfect forum for inquirers and catechumens as well as cradle Orthodox to learn more about the faith and gain an insight into the Orthodox Church teachings.
Orthodox Christian Book Club is the forum of the Orthodox Christian community on Facebook. In this group, Orthodox Christians, inquirers and catechumen book lovers will feel right at home.
Members of the group share book reviews, seek book recommendations and actively participate in the monthly book club. Orthodox Christian Book Club is the place for lively and intellectually enriching discussions.
Newcomers to the group might be initially overwhelmed by the endless posts, comments and pictures of book covers. However, group administrator Kathryn Reetzke, an author and college educator, has created various book lists for children, inquirers and catechumens written by Orthodox authors. Orthodox Christian Book Club also offers the “Author’s Corner,” providing a platform for published Orthodox writers to showcase their work.
Reetzke’s tireless effort to manage the group and members’ willingness to engage in fruitful conversations have positioned this group as the agora of Orthodox Christian Facebook community.
The shortest way to describe the Orthodox Book Buy/Sell/Trade group is eBay for Orthodox books. This group is one of a kind on Facebook.
Group members offer new and used books for reasonable prices or trade books with each other. All listed books must be authored by an Orthodox Christian or related to Orthodox Christianity. Nonfiction books by Orthodox Christian authors are also welcome. In addition to books, the group members sell prayer ropes, icons and other Orthodox items. The group administrators provide clear rules and guidance, making the shopping experience easy and reliable.
Orthodox Book Buy/Sell/Trade is a well-supplied book bazaar for Orthodox Christian bibliophiles!
Home-schooling has been popular among evangelical Christians and traditional Catholics for decades. With an increasing number of converts to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, home-schooling is gaining momentum among those parents. Due to the relatively small number of Orthodox Christian home-schooling parents in comparison to Catholics and evangelicals, Eastern Orthodox Christian home-schooling resources are limited.
This situation prompted parents to explore various avenues in search of suitable textbooks, interactive materials and valuable advice. The Facebook group Eastern Orthodox Homeschoolers appears to be the go-to place for Orthodox Christian home-schooling parents.
Eastern Orthodox Homeschoolers is a vibrant and very responsive forum of Orthodox Christian home-schooling parents who are willing to share their experiences, practices, books and resource recommendations.
Questions, ideas and even difficult math problems are posted daily, followed instantly by helpful responses and solutions. Diverse educational backgrounds and a variety of home-schooling practices among group members might be the secret sauce for the success of Eastern Orthodox Homeschoolers group.
This group is a valuable resource for all Orthodox Christian parents, regardless if their children are home-schooled or not. It can enrich their academic experience either way.
If none of the groups mentioned above are of interest, you can”’walk in” and enjoy yourself at The Pipe and Pint: an Orthodox Christian Online Pub.
The Pipe and Pint is an elegant virtual venue where Orthodox Christians can get together over a pint of beer or a dram of fine liquor, smoke a cigar or pipe and enjoy some good conversation. The group embodies the refined ambiance of a 19th century British gentleman’s club. Members enthusiastically share recommendations about their favorite cigars, alcoholic beverages, coffees and teas.
Pipe and Pint regulars post pictures from personal sanctuaries, indulging in fine tobacco or liquor, while contemplating Orthodox Theology. Non-Orthodox Christians are also welcome to visit and ask questions about the Orthodox faith. The Pipe and Pint is an exquisite social club to talk theology, tobacco and fine liquor. A must try!
As you can see, joining a group is a fingertip away. It doesn’t matter if you are an inquirer, catechumen, Orthodox Christian or not. Everyone is welcome. What is your favorite Orthodox Christian Facebook group? Tell us in the comments below.