Holy Trinity held its annual Welcome Back College Student Sunday this morning. What started as an effort to establish a deeper bond between the University of Connecticut Orthodox Christian Fellowship to Holy Trinity back in 2005, has continued to grow over the past seven years.
Welcome Back College Student Sunday welcomes the return of the UConn OCF as they begin a new academic year. At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy the students come forth and introduce themselves or speak of their summer activities. The students enjoy this opportunity to speak in front of the community, and over the years some have often been quite glib. They are then presented gift bags which parishioners fill with snacks, candy, school supplies, and a gift card.
On behalf of a grateful community, Fr Marc Vranes also presented the OCF with check for $250 to help the students with their outreach on the Storrs campus.
The students in attendance today included former UConn graduates and current graduate students, Chris Adams (Class of 2011) and Eddie Ryan (Class of 2012); juniors Natasha (Tashi) Leva and Solomon Yniguez; first year student Sara Luft (St Alexis Church, Clintol, CT), and freshman Ben Burger from Massachusetts. Also presented with gifts and given the opportunity to speak were Ricketta Johnson, a junior at nearby Eastern Connecticut State University, Emily Roberts, a junior at West Springfield College (MA) and friend of Ms Leva, and our own Rachel Geeza, who recently began her studies at the Paul Mitchell School of Cosmotology in Rhode Island.
"This is my first time in your church, and look, already I walk out with a bag full of good stuff," Ben Burger acknowledged. "How cool is that? I seems like you all have a pretty good thing going on here in this church."
The gift bags were presented to the college students by our parish's children, Catie Zak, Juliana Carmon, and her twin sisters, Elizabeth and Catherine, with assistance from Rachel.
During the Fellowship Hour, many from HTOC stayed and helped make a third batch of pierogis in preparation for our Harvest Fall Festival on October 20. A total of 52 dozen sauerkraut pierogis were made this morning. Earlier this summer, 101 dozen cheese and potatoe pierogis were made. A special thanks to all those who stayed and helped this morning, including Denise and Jason Geeza, Festival coordinators, and our Patrick Dolan who provided a bit of comic relief. We also thank Eddie Ryan who took all the pictures today, excluding, quite obviously, the ones of himself.
Please visit our new webpage dedicated to the: UConn OCF