St. Vladimir's and St. Tikhon's Seminarians Head to Christian Music Fest: Help Wanted!

29–30 June 2011 • Off-campus event

Students and alumni from St. Vladimir's and St. Tikhon's seminaries are stepping out boldly to spread the gospel within the context of the Orthodox Church. Under the auspices of and funded by the Orthodox Church in America's (OCA) Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry, they'll be setting up a booth at the Cornerstone Music & Arts Festival, the largest Christian—but for the most part, non-Orthodox Christian—music extravaganza on the planet. The event will be held June 29–July 3 in Bushnell Illnois and will feature more than 120 bands, dozens of speakers, and hundreds of vendors, artists, and other performers.

The Orthodox "evangelists" include Fr. Christopher Foley (SVOTS alumnus), Dn. James Bozeman (SVOTS 3rd-year student), and Fr. Joel Weir and Christopher Patton (STOTS alumni). Along with Subdeacon Luke (Seraphim) Beecham, director of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry for the OCA, they will be distributing as much Orthodox Christian material as they can to festival goers.

Both Fr. Christopher, who is now rector at Holy Cross Orthodox Mission in High Point, North Carolina, and Dn. James were once members of the Christian rock band "Luxury," so they will understand the mind-set of many who will attend the festival. The idea to have an "Orthodox" presence at the festival arose this past year in a Missiology course at St. Vladimir's and was the brainchild of Dn. James; his fellow seminarian Andrew Boyd helped push the project forward.

Archpriest Chad Hatfield, who taught that course, noted, "The presentation made in the Missiology class this past fall and the ideas floated to find a way to make Orthodoxy present at the Cornerstone Music and Arts Festival were very exciting and bold. It may even expand in future years if this first attempt is a good experience."

"This is an incredible opportunity for us to witness to Orthodox Christianity in a highly visible venue," said Subdeacon Luke. "The festival director has been gracious enough to allow us the opportunity to celebrate daily Matins and Vespers, as well as the Divine Liturgy on Saturday at the event. They’ve even given us space in one of the main tents and put us in the program!"

Subdeacon Luke is looking for several young adults, age 18 or over, to assist the team that is organizing the department's booth. "If five days of music, art, fellowship, and witnessing to the fullness of the faith sparks your interest, please contact me at 317-460-8574 or lsb@oca.org," said SDn. Luke. "While our primary team has been assembled, we'd very much like to have some college students and others join us."