OCN Partners With Fellow SCOBA Agencies To Address Virginia Tech Tragedy

Friday, April 27, 2007


The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021


Press Release
For more information contact:
Chuck Powell, Development Director

Ft. Lauderdale (April 26) -- Orthodox Christian Network partnering with fellow SCOBA agencies OCF and IOCC, will present special programming all next week (April 30-May 5) concerning our Orthodox Christian response to the tragic events at Virginia Tech on April 16 of this year.

Fr. Chris Metropulos, founder and Executive Director of OCN, spoke to many Orthodox Christians who are on the front line of serving the students and faculty there at Virginia Tech as they seek to heal from the horrible shooting that took 33 lives.

"Our Orthodox faith has something unique to offer those who suffer from this tragic loss of life. Especially during this Paschal season, the message of the risen Christ provides both hope and peace even in the face of such evil" said Fr. Chris.

OCN will produce a special Come Receive The Light radio program, preempting regular scheduled programming, to air this weekend in over 150 communities across the nation. This program will be excerpts from the many interviews we recorded to present our Orthodox Christian response to these events and to showcase the work of our fellow SCOBA agencies in serving the hurting and seeking.

The Ark, OCN's 24 hour internet radio ministry, will air these interviews in their entirety the following week on the schedule below:

Monday (April 30)
Rev. Aristotle Damaskos - Holy Trinity Cathedral, Toledo, Ohio
Fr. Damaskos delivered a sermon at his church on the air which was widely distributed in print form around the Orthodox world.

Dr. Albert Rossi - Director of Field Education at St. Vladimir's Seminary, Licensed Clinical Psychologist in New York State. A frequent guest on OCN programs will examine the tragedy and our ability as human beings to fully comprehend the message not only of the disaster but how our faith in Jesus Christ brings healing.

Tuesday (May 1)
Rev. Kevin Scherer - Executive Director of OCF
Interviewed on the campus of VT which he visited with others to assist the students during the crisis

Wednesday (May 2)
Three first responders participated in a Conference call having just arrived on the campus several days prior. IOCC working along side of another SCOBA agency sent three clergymen trained in responding to disasters to assist Fr. Kevin, Fr. Dean Nastos the local OCF Chaplain and others. They have also had experience in responding to other catastrophes such as 9/11 and hurricane Katrina.

Rev. Angelo Pappas - Pastor of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Portsmouth, NH
Rev. Peter Preble - Pastor of St. Michael Romanian Orthodox Church, Southbridge, Mass.
Deacon Rafael Barberg - serving the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Niagara Falls, NY and a Policeman in Buffalo, NY

Rev. Dean Nastos - Pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Roanoke, Virginia, Chaplain of the OCF Chapter on the campus of VT.

Anna Furry - President of the local OCF Chapter on the campus of VT.

Thursday (May 3)
Anthoula Katsimatides - Former Aide to Governor Pataki of New York State. Worked with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation an agency created by the Governor to rebuild Lower Manhattan and a proper memorial for the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Anthoula will speak of her personal experience offering assistance to those who lost loved ones as probably only few can. Anthoula lost her brother John on 9/11. She speaks about recovering from the hurt as it relates to the tragedy at VT.

Friday (May 4)
Rod Dreher - Columnist and Editorial writer at the Dallas Morning News.
A recent convert from Roman Catholicism and author of "Crunchy Con" on Beliefnet.com. Reflects on the tragedy from the perspective of having to cover the disaster himself in the light of his faith.

Saturday (May 5)
Eleni Alexiou - LCSW Director of Outreach and Groups, Counselor Specialist at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida. Eleni reflects on the issue of the tragedy as a counselor dealing with students, though they were not on the VT campus, but affected none the less.

Visit www.receive.org and find out about times these special podcasts will be available on The Ark. Learn more about how the Orthodox Christian churches are reaching out and offering the life-changing message of the Orthodox Christian faith to a hurting world.

Visit our web site at www.receive.org and listen to The Ark to hear these new teaching program resources and podcasts. And keep watching our site for our third radio ministry - the Rudder - that will feature Orthodox liturgical music from all over the world.

OCN is a commissioned agency of SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, and our Orthodox hierarchs have directed OCN to find effective ways to use modern media to raise awareness of our Orthodox faith in the minds of the general population and to be an "assistant" to local parish priests in keeping our faithful attached to the Church between worship services.