The Department of Youth and Parish Ministries supports and integrates the whole spectrum of archdiocesan programs for youth, including the Camping Program, Teen SOYO, and Campus Ministry. This department also works closely with the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, whose mission-while not directed solely at youth-resonates closely with the objectives of this department. Although all of these programs together encompass a broad range of activity and age groups, all share the same goal: to encourage full participation in the life of the Church through worship, witness, service, and fellowship. This department trains youth leaders, organizes events, provides consultation for youth leaders and pastors across the archdiocese, maintains youth-related data and a cache of ministry resources, and oversees programs such as the Bible Bowl and the Oratorical Festival.
The Department of Youth and Parish Ministries webpage has information and links that are intended to be broadly informative for young people, youth leaders, pastors, and parents. Visitors looking for more specific information on the Camping Program, Teen SOYO, Campus Ministry, or the Fellowship of St. John the Divine are encouraged to visit their respective web pages for a complete picture of what each has to offer. Go HERE to sign up for the Department's email list server.
On Saturday, March 18, 2017, the Department of Youth will observe the annual SOYO Day of Service. SOYO Day of Service is a day when teens across the Archdiocese will come together with their Teen SOYO group to serve in their parishes and communities. Even though this is a Lenten emphasis for the entire month of March, SOYO groups are especially encouraged to do their service projects on March 18 in solidarity with one another.
Teens are encouraged to take pictures of each service effort and tag the SOYO leadership on instagram (@nacsoyo) with the hashtag #SOYOdayofservice. All instagram contributions will be entered in a drawing, and the winning SOYO will receive $100 for a pizza party and an opportunity to be featured in The Word magazine!
SOYO Day of Service Flyer
Attention, youth leaders, parents, and Sunday School teachers: a new Bible Bowl and Oratorical website is up and running, at orthodoxyouth.org!
The following resources are available now:
+Team Registration for Bible Bowl Teams
+Registration for Oratorical Contestants
+Bible Bowl Practice Questions
+Rules and Manuals for both the Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals
Special Olympics campers and staff at the VillageThe 2017 Special Olympics Sports Camp is scheduled to be held at the Antiochian Village August 11–20, 2017. This ministry is sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO, and is the second longest running program of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, serving over 340 Special Olympics athletes, coaches, and staff each season. It is the premier SOYO outreach program, now in its 36th year of service. Each year SOYO teens raise the funds on Special Olympics Awareness Day.
In addition to the funds raised, SOYO teens provide at least half the coaching staff, and many adult volunteers participate as well. The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, chair of the Department of Youth Ministry, has announced that the 2017 Special Olympic Coaches Application is now available for those youth who are interested in working at the Sports Camp. Additionally, for adults over twenty years of age, the Special Olympics Volunteer application is posted as well.
SOYO, the youth movement of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, has launched a new and redesigned website at https://TeenSOYO.org.
Check out the new offerings under:
Shop for SOYO apparel, key chains, and other items
Instagram and news feeds
Department of Youth News Archive
You may make credit card donations through our "JustGive" Donation site