2010 Francis Maria Scholarship Applications Now Available

Through a generous gift of the Francis Maria Foundation for Justice and Peace, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America will once again grant several scholarships in the amount of $2,500 to students attending an accredited College.

Scholarships will be granted each July. Completed 2010 Francis Maria Scholarship Application and all supporting documentation must be postmarked by May 15, 2010.

For more information, please visit www.antiochian.org/scholarships. Click here to download an application (PDF).

SOYO Currently Accepting Teen Applicants for Special Olympics Sports Camp

NAC Teen SOYO is currently accepting teen applicants as Special Olympic Coaches for this summer’s NAC SOYO Special Olympics Sports Camp.  Applications must be completed and mailed by April 1, 2010.

Click here to download an application.

Please mail completed application by April 1, 2010 to:

V. Rev. Anthony G. Yazge
201 St. Ignatius Trail
Bolivar, PA 15923
Phone: (724) 238-9565 FAX: (724) 238-6415 Email: FrYazge@antiochian.org

AFR and Jason Barker Produce WORSHIP & YOU

WORSHIP & YOU, the new multimedia study for Orthodox Christian adults and teens from Jason Barker and Ancient Faith Radio, aims to help Christians deepen their worship of God, and take the transforming power of that experience into their daily lives.

Focusing on the main services of the Orthodox Church and personal prayer, Worship & You looks at the meaning of what takes place during liturgical worship, and how this applies outside of the church in the everyday world.

Good Samaritan Humanitarian Project

From the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast NAC Teen SOYO, the Good Samaritan Humanitarian Project is now available here for the use of all. Click here to download (PDF).

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself…” (Luke 10:27)

Who is my neighbor?

It was in answer to this question that Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. With that question still on our minds, SOYO introduces a brand new program: The Good Samaritan Project. Through this new program SOYO chapters are given the opportunity to minister to their neighbor; whether it is a member of their local Church community, someone in a nursing home, a person who is homeless or just about anyone that they meet. It is through these projects that we learn about the love of God through serving our neighbor. The Good Samaritan Project is a great way to learn to live up to the great command and to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

SOYO Education Month 2011: Purity, Virginity, Chastity

Purity, Virginity, Chastity Educational Packet: click image to download.Purity, Virginity, Chastity Educational Packet: click image to download.Download 2011 PVC Packet (Hi-Res)
Download 2011 PVC Packet (Low-Res)

from NAC Teen SOYO:

Dear Fathers, Parents, Teen Advisors, and Teens:

Greetings in the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ!

I pray this message finds everyone in good health. As Vice President of the North American Council of SOYO and on behalf of the NAC Purity, Virginity, Chastity Committee, (also known as PVC), it is with pleasure that I present to you the official Purity, Virginity, Chastity Educational Packet.

Since late July 2008, the Purity, Virginity, Chastity Committee has been working diligently to formulate this packet you hold today. The NAC has collectively agreed that it is extremely necessary to reach out to our SOYO chapters across the Archdiocese and provide them with an interactive packet addressing these important topics.

Sacred Gift of Life Sunday

January 20, 2013, is the Sunday that precedes the 40th anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court Decision of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States. This Supreme Court decision overturned all moral and logical reasoning that most citizens of our society held and practiced. Since 1973, over 43 million lives have been aborted. Approximately 93% of the women who have had abortions cited they did so for social reasons (i.e. unready for responsibility, can’t afford the baby, concern over how baby would change her life, etc) as opposed to issues regarding the mother’s health, the baby’s health, rape or incest. These few facts are very alarming for us as Orthodox Christians who hold all life as sacred and holy.

The teens of our archdiocese are very concerned about this issue and desire to do whatever is in their ability to help bring about change that leads to godliness and holiness. The members of the North American Council (NAC) of SOYO, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, are leading our Archdiocese in observing the “Sacred Gift of Life Sunday: Protecting the Life of the Unborn”. Our teens, as part of the celebration of January as Orthodox Education Month, are furthering their education, understanding and commitment regarding the Orthodox Church’s teaching on the sacred gift of life and abortion. In turn, they are helping to bring a greater awareness to the faithful of our parishes and throughout their local communities.

The teens are mailing to every Antiochian Archdiocese parish a packet of resource materials linked below.

Youth Worker Fund

NAC Teen SOYO
St John Chrysostom Youth Worker Fund

 

Resources

What are we doing to educate our Parish Youth Workers?

  • NAC Teen SOYO has established the St John Chrysostom Youth Worker Fund to meet the needs of better educating Parish Youth Workers.
  • NAC Teen SOYO asks for your help in reaching their goal of raising $250,000.
  • Give today to help Educate a parish Youth Worker
  • Your contribution will provide scholarship help to educate a parish Youth Worker.

Key Milestones:

  • NAC Teen SOYO has raised $150,000

How will we educate our Parish Youth Workers?

FOCUS Launches Youth Equipped to Serve Website

FOCUS North America has announced the launch of a new website and video for its youth-based domestic outreach program “Youth Equipped to Serve” (YES). The website can be found at http://www.yesnorthamerica.org/  The video can be found at www.yesnorthamerica.org/yesvideo.

"We are so excited for you to get to know the YES Program through our new website and YES video! Read testimonies from students, view videos that they made and hear firsthand how God is working in the lives of the youth that become His hands and feet in service to the poor," said Katrina Bitar, FOCUS North America YES Program Director.

Feedback from student participants has been enthusiastic.

“The website is fantastic and lively. The new YES video does an excellent job showing the many encounters that happen on a YES trip.” - Peyton Powers

“The website is awesome! The bright colors are great and show how fun these trips are. The video perfectly captured our trip!” - Grace Farha

FOCUS North America believes that engaging all of the faithful, especially our youth, in the Gospel work of serving the poor in our own communities is essential in keeping the youth faithful to Christ and active in the Church for a lifetime. The YES Program has dramatically influenced the spiritual lives of its hundreds of participants. For more information on the YES program or to schedule a trip, visit: www.FOCUSNorthAmerica.org/YES.

FOCUS North America and its programs are committed to serve those in need, support Orthodox Christian social action ministries and supply parishes and others with the education, resources and training to initiate social action ministries in their own communities. In all of this, FOCUS North America continues its work in Restoring Living Icons.

FOCUS North America Launches New Website and Video for Youth Equipped to Serve Program

November 3th, 2009– Kansas City, MO

FOCUS North America is excited to announce the launch of a new website and video for its youth-based domestic outreach program “Youth Equipped to Serve” (YES). The website can be found at www.YESNorthAmerica.org. The video can be found at www.yesnorthamerica.org/yesvideo.

"We are so excited for you to get to know the YES Program through our new website and YES video! Read testimonies from students, view videos that they made and hear firsthand how God is working in the lives of the youth that become His hands and feet in service to the poor," said Katrina Bitar, FOCUS North America YES Program Director.

Feedback from student participants has been enthusiastic:

NAC SOYO Special Olympics Awareness Day

NAC SOYO Special Olympics Awareness Day was this past Sunday (October 18)

This is the day that teens raise awareness of SOYO's ministry to the Special Olympics Athletes.  Please remind your parish teen SOYO and or Church treasurer to send in all of the money collected this past Sunday as soon as possible to:

NAC SOYO Special Olympics
Department Of Youth Ministry
PO Box 389
Westwood, MA 02090

Checks should be made payable to "NAC SOYO Special Olympics."

The Department of Youth Ministry will record the donation into the Archdiocese Database and deposit the money into the SOYO Special Olympics Bank Account from which the SOYO Treasurer will pay the bills incurred at the Antiochian Village for the SOYO Special Olympics Program.  Please note this is a SOYO program not an Antiochian Village program – which means that SOYO rents the camp from the Village and SOYO pays the bills for this program, so please be sure the funds are sent to the Youth Department and not the camp.

All donations from Special Olympics Awareness Day, as has been done in the past, will be published in a future issue of the WORD Magazine, so parishes can verify their donations.

OCF Launches Improved Podcast

SYOSSET, NY [OCA-Youth] -- Jonathan Bush of Saint Anne Mission, Knoxville, TN, a student at the University of Tennessee, and Andrew Boyd, a first year student at Saint Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY and a member of Saint Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Church, Clinton, CT, were the driving force behind a revamped ministry of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship -- the OCF podcast.


Featuring music, interviews, and other recorded presentations, the OCF podcast helps keep Orthodox Christian students connected to the Church.


The first episode of the podcast discusses the transition to college life and features clips of an interview with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah and an excerpt from a sermon by the Rev. Stephen Freeman, rector of Saint Anne's.


The podcast may be downloaded here.  http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ocf/transitions_and_new_beginnings


The revamped podcast is the product of the recent New Media in College Ministry workshop hosted in Chicago in August 2009 by the Orthodox Church in America's Department of Youth, Young Adults and Campus Ministry, which cooperates closely with OCF. [Read about the workshop here.]


The OCF podcast is a free ministry of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, the official campus ministry of the Standing conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas [SCOBA]. For more information please contact Jonathan Bush at ocfpodcaster@gmail.com or Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak at jmatusiak@oca.org.

Special Olympics Awareness Day + October 18, 2009

The third Sunday of October, October 18, 2009 is Special Olympics Awareness Day (SOAD) across our Archdiocese.  On Sunday, October 18th, your teen group, or if you have none, your designated representatives, are asked to seek the financial help of your parishioners in funding the 2010 Special Olympics Sports Camp to be held at the Antiochian Village August 13-22, 2010.  Next summer we will be celebrating our 30th Annual Special Olympics Sports Camp.  This ministry is sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO.  Our teens work very hard for this ministry and rely on the generosity and support of the faithful of our Archdiocese and the Order of St. Ignatius.

Please use the following downloads to promote Special Olympics Awareness Day:

2009 Clergy Letter (Word format)

Bulletin Insert for October 11, 2009 (PDF)

Bulletin Insert for October 18, 2009 (PDF)

2010 Special Olympics Application (PDF)

 

College Student Sunday + September 20, 2009

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
“Keeping our College Students Connected to the Church”
OCF COLLEGE STUDENT SUNDAY 2009

 

A discussion of College Student Sunday on the OCN Now podcast

Fishers, IN – September 16, 2009

Since 2003, the Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) have designated the Sunday following the Elevation of the Holy Cross as OCF College Student Sunday. They ask all faithful Orthodox Christians in North America to call to mind and prayer our college students. We invite you to read the 2009 SCOBA College Student Sunday Encyclical at www.ocf.net/css.

OCF’s mission is to help Our Youth discover that it is communion with God, through life in the Church, which gives real meaning and significance to life.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship is Our Campus Ministry. It exists to come alongside families and parishes to provide solutions. OCF provides curricula, educational DVDs, service learning encounters and an interactive website that help our students apply their faith in their daily lives. On a program level, OCF offers large-scale, transformative opportunities annually, such as College Conference and Real Break.

Currently, we have 270 local college/university chapters in the United States and Canada. Together these individual chapters represent the backbone of the OCF ministry and Our Future of the Orthodox Church in North America.

FOCUS North America Serving the Poor of Philadelphia

16 Teens and Youth Leaders Served the Poor of Philadelphia and Initiated FOCUS North America's Newest Program

September 4, 2009– Kansas City, MO This past weekend, August 28-30, 2009, the Orthodox Youth Outreach Program (OYO), now called the YES Program of FOCUS North America (Youth Equipped to Serve), took its first trip as a ministry of FOCUS North America. A group of 16 eager teens and leaders said yes to the “cry of the poor” (Proverbs 21:13) and gave their time in service to the people of Philadelphia, PA.

The weekend began with orientation, led by Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director. The rest of Friday evening was spent in prayer, the team’s first ministry to Philadelphia. The group traveled around the city and prayed for it and its people. This prayer tour kicks off all YES trips, orienting the team to the past and present of the community they will serve and opening their eyes to the real struggles of its people.

Oratorical Festival Winners

At the 2009 Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, attendees were treated to the excellent speeches prepared by the diocesan oratorical festival winners. An expert panel of judges deliberated before choosing the grand prize winner for the Senior Division, Joel Schaefer.

Click here to read or hear Joel Schaefer's winning speech.

Click here for an interview with Joel Schaefer. For more audio from the 2009 Oratorical Festival, please visit Ancient Faith Radio.

The Oratorical Festival is a program sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. It was designed to serve as an avenue for our youth to learn, enhance and share the knowledge of their faith based on a given topic by giving an oration. For some youth, it is a door into the life of the Church, and for others, it is an expression of their continuing experience of Christ and His Church.

FOCUS North America Extends Domestic Aid with Hundreds of Orthodox Youth Outreach Volunteers

August 6, 2009– Kansas City, MO

FOCUS North America is excited to announce the extension of its domestic outreach to the poor by receiving the highly acclaimed “Orthodox Youth Outreach” (OYO) program from the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry and Teen SOYO. Added to FOCUS North America’s diverse ongoing operations and partner ministries, the addition of the OYO program strengthens its domestic ministry to the homeless and hopeless by involving youth in urban service learning opportunities and social action leadership training.

“FOCUS North America, its Board of Directors and Staff are honored to receive OYO as part of its ongoing operations, extending and maximizing our programs to minister to the poor and raise up the next generation of Orthodox Christian servant-leaders in North America,” said Fr. Justin Mathews, Executive Director and CEO of FOCUS North America.

Audio Available of Department of Youth and Parish Ministries Presentation at Archdiocese Convention

Click here to listen to the presentation from Dept. Chair V. Rev. Joseph Purpura and Teen SOYO President Amanda June Sahawneh at the general assembly of the 2009 Archdiocese Convention.

More audio from the 2009 Convention is available from Ancient Faith Radio.

Teen SOYO 40th Anniversary Video Released on YouTube

Fr. Joseph Purpura, Archdiocese Youth Director, has released via YouTube this special Teen SOYO 40th Anniversary video commemorating the forty years of raising up generations of disciples and leaders for the Holy Orthodox Church in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Click here to go to the YouTube page for this video, and click here for Fr. Joseph's article from The Word commemorating this important occasion.

Raising Up a Generation of Disciples and Leaders: A Leadership Training Presentation

Fr. Joseph Purpura, Youth Director of the Antiochian Archdiocese, has provided the following PDF presentation for the edification of youth and youth workers of the Archdiocese. It covers:

  • The Why, What, and How of Orthodox Youth Ministry
  • Youth Ministry Programs (as found in the Antiochian Archdiocese as an example)
  • Dynamics of Group Ministry

Katrina Bitar Appointed New Executive Director of OYO

Katrina Bitar, a past SOYO member, SOYO officer, Parish Youth Director, and recent graduate of St. Vladimir's Seminary, was appointed, with the blessing of Metropolitan PHILIP, by the Department of Youth Ministry, effective May 17, 2009, as the new Executive Director of OYO - Orthodox Youth Outreach. OYO is a ministry of NAC Teen SOYO. Katrina comes to this ministry with much youth and OYO experience. Katrina writes:

"I believe in the power of this ministry because I, myself, am a product of this program. I participated in the very first OYO trip. I plan to continue to serve Orthodox Christian young people through not only leading short-term mission trips, but also helping parishes to establish consistent commitments to serving the poor and needy in their local communities.

Where Do You Stand?

by Fr. Anthony Yazge

Sacred Gift of Life Sunday For three years the teens of the Antiochian Archdiocese have formally given their prayers, time, talent and voices to stand up for Orthodox Church teaching on the sacred gift of life. Previously, many of our Orthodox Christian teens witnessed as individuals to these truths in their living of the Gospel. They have been and are still committed to conveying to others the understanding that life begins at conception and continues into eternity. The members of Teen SOYO have dedicated themselves specifically to witness before the world to the value of life by observing the Sacred Gift of Life Sunday in January, the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the disastrous Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. But for our faithful young men and women this isn’t enough.

Last summer, at the meetings of the North American Council of Teen SOYO, our teens decided to go a step further. They recognize that the issue we face with unwanted pregnancy is symptomatic of a greater problem – the lack of purity, chastity and holiness in our society. In fact, a recent study by researchers at the Rand Corporation concluded that teenagers who watch television shows that contain sexual content are twice as likely to be involved in teenage pregnancies. Did we really need a study to confirm what most of us already knew? Even our teens had this concept well within their grasp, before any study results, when they took the initiative this summer to focus on educating others about the godliness of living a virginal life until marriage.

Search the Web and Support Youth Ministry - Powered by Yahoo!

SUPPORT THE ANTIOCHIAN ARCHDIOCESE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH MINISTRY WHILE SEARCHING THE WEB:    The Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry has partnered with GoodSearch.com, a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results. To use GoodSearch.com and support youth ministry in Archdiocese, simply go to:

http://www.goodsearch.com/?charityid=850287


Search the Internet and help the Department of Youth Ministry

 

Do you have an old vehicle you are looking to get rid of?

Consider donating your car and benefiting Youth Ministry

Go to: http://www.donationline.com/newvehicle_donation_form.shtml and select "Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry as the charity - it is that simple and they will handle the rest.