In solidarity with the Orthodox Student Union in Finland

September 5th, 2017 5:34 pm

WSCF Europe would like to express their solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Student Union in Finland (OOL), who have recently been caught in a struggle to continue their activity, as a sizeable proportion of the funds that they are receiving threaten to be cut.

The OOL has been serving since 1948, having now 73 members, the same amount of “hang-arounds”, and is run by 5 volunteers (the board) annually with 2 part-time staff members. The organisation is part of World Student Christian Federation since ages and is part of Syndesmos and soon Finnish Ecumenical Council. It used to be supported financially by Finnish Orthodox Church, its parishes and individual donors. Former OOL members are people active not only within Orthodox Church but state administration, education sector and NGOs alike.

We believe that a possible closing of the movement would affect the hundreds of students and members who have wholeheartedly dedicated their time to making the movement grow, flourish and spread the word and joy of God.

We invite you to read Nico’s, the Executive Director of OOL, call for solidarity and to join us in prayer.

Dear bro’s & sisters in Christ,

 

Please receive my warmest greetings on the beginning of the Orthodox church year. As the nature slowly paves way for the awakening to come, we see the aim of human life. Just as the nature renews itself, so must we constantly put aside the old me and ware us a new – for the Resurrection to come.

Even though, I wish my festive message could be happier. Instead of being able to renew itself, the Orthodox Student Union (OOL) is on way to perish, since our own church proposed a decrease of 75% of its yearly grant. It’s half of the union’s total budget of ~11000 €, so practically, this means shutting down all Orthodox activities within universities.

I am not so much worried about our organization itself. I’m deeply concerned about the herd that truly forms the union. A few hundred young adults will lose a platform of pier discussion, support and/or pastoral conversation. Let alone a community united in presence and prayer.

Therefore, I ask for your support and compassion. All fraternal aid is welcome, but the most important are the prayers. Please do pray for us. Last but definitely not the least:

 

Lord, have mercy on all students.

Enstrenghten them and console.

Illness and weakness heal.

Those in uncertainty encourage.

Let no one be forsaken,

those in loneliness comfort.

To them an angel address,

a guardian and companion.

And through their forprayers

have mercy on me sinner.

 

BR,

Nico Lamminparras

Executive Director

Ortodoksinen opiskelijaliitto – Ortodoxa studentförbundet r.y.

Malminkatu 22 D 81 00100 HELSINKI

Suomi – Finland

+358 337 39 34

 

If you wish to learn more about the situation of the organisation, contact Zuzana Babicova, WSCF-Europe Chairperson, who can facilitate the contact with the OOL leaders.

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