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Diocese of the Midwest Teen SOYO Launches New Website

Teen SOYO of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest proudly announces the launch of its newly designed Website: www.midwestSOYO.org.

Diocese of Miami Teen SOYO Launches Web Site

Teen SOYO of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast has launched a new web site, www.miamisoyo.com. The new site features listings of projects and events, picture gelleries, a blog, resources for the Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals and more!

Antiochian Village Concludes Busy Winter Season

SOYO Mid-Winter MeetingSOYO Mid-Winter MeetingWrapping up a busy schedule of winter events, Antiochian Village served as the host for the "Men in Black" Clergy Appreciation Luncheon on February 22. The Village's first event was the January winter camp session. These two events bookmarked several key conferences and meetings which took place in the very busy month of February.

During the first weekend in February, the traditional mid-winter meetings were held for SOYO's leadership. Reports Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of the Department for Youth Ministry, "The February 4-6, 2011 Midwinter Meetings of SOYO brought over thirty teens and advisors from across the archdiocese. SOYO continued its work begun at the 2010 SOYO Leadership Conference. The SOYO Diocesan officers reported on their progress and shared ideas with one another. SOYO Officers continued the development of their leadership skills, as Fr. Fouad Saba explored the scripture and its relationship to leadership. Elizabeth Mamey, a past NAC SOYO Officer, came back to SOYO to share with our current group of officers the skills she learned through her SOYO and Leadership training experiences. It was a weekend rich in fellowship, spirituality and accomplishments for SOYO."

Then on February 8-12,  about two dozen OCF chaplains gathered for their three day conference to discuss the theme "Following Christ through Crisis."

2011 Special Olympics Coach Applications Now Available

Application forms for volunteer coaches at the 2011 NAC SOYO Special Olympics are now available. Members of Teen SOYO between 16 and 19 years of age may apply to serve as coaches at this year’s camp. The Special Olympics will be held from August 12-20, 2011 at Antiochian Village. The deadline for completed application forms is April 1, 2011.

Click here to download the Special Olympics Volunteer Coach Application Form (PDF).

For more information, applicants may contact Fr. Anthony Yazge at franthony@antiochianvillage.org.

CrossRoad Summer Institute Accepting Applications from High School Juniors and Seniors

Brookline, MA - High school juniors and seniors, before you decide what to do with the rest of your life, decide what to do with your summer! The Office of Vocation & Ministry (OVM) at Hellenic College is now accepting applications from high school juniors and seniors for its CrossRoad summer institute. Orthodox Christian students from the United States and Canada are invited to take part in an exciting summer vocations exploration program designed to help them discern their life callings and match their God-given gifts with the needs of the world. Each accepted applicant receives a full scholarship and is only responsible for travel costs to/from Boston.

Now in its eighth year, CrossRoad combines the greatest gifts of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (HC/HC) through faculty instruction and participation, an enthusiastic staff of graduate students, the beautiful campus overlooking Boston and of course the exciting city of Boston itself. Students participate in daily classes with Orthodox faculty from HC/HC and other institutions, and attend Vespers each evening at neighboring parishes in the Boston area. To accommodate the overwhelming interest, CrossRoad runs two sessions of 30 students each. This year’s sessions are June 18-28 and July 5-15, 2011.

OCMC Launches New Hunger Strike Program for Youth

By Carolyn Kouracos

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

Hunger Strike is a new youth ministry of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC). Launched this year on a national level, Hunger Strike is already becoming a growing youth movement. Started at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine, CA three years ago, this vibrant ministry has already raised more than $10,000 and has Orthodox Christian teens striving to make a difference in the world by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and giving to those in need.

Hunger Strike is coordinated by local parishes, where teens fast for 30 hours while they participate in activities which raise both awareness and money for the needs of those throughout the world who suffer the effects of poverty and who hunger for the hope found in Christ.

2012 Francis Maria Scholarship Applications Now Available

2012 Francis Maria Scholarship Application (PDF)

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 2012 Francis Maria Scholarship Application and all supporting documentation must be postmarked by May 15, 2012 and received by May 22.

Please note that you will need the free Adobe acrobat reader to open this file, if you do not already have it installed on your computer.

For more information on the Francis Maria Scholarship program, please visit www.antiochian.org/scholarships.

2011 Orthodox Camp and Youth Worker Conference

Equipping the Saints
January 27-29
Saint Seraphim Cathedral
Dallas, Texas

When

Thursday January 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM CST
-to-
Saturday January 29, 2011 at 1:00 PM CST

 

Cost

Before December 31  Early-Bird Registration:$95.00
After December 31   Normal Registration $115.00
Registration includes all lunch and dinner meals, conference materials and transport to and from the hotel.

For more information and online registration click here.

Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth Launches Website

OCCHY Members, ClevelandOCCHY Members, ClevelandThe Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY) has launched a website to make their resources more available to parents, youth workers and teens. As the website explains, "OCCHY is a national substance abuse prevention network established under the Department of Youth Ministry in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. We are an independent, non-profit, national organization of coalitions for healthy youth. We are a network of local Orthodox Communities across the United States dedicated to educating young people and their families to create living environments that are fun, safe and healthy for parents to raise their children.

OCCHY introduces strategies to reduce the devastating effects of drugs on our youth. The national OCCHY leaders developed a platform which offers the Orthodox Church communities an opportunity to heighten awareness of substance abuse issues, bullying, and premarital sex. OCCHY seeks to unite Orthodox Christian Church communities with public and private sector professionals and community advocates with the prospect of creating a healthier environment for our youth. Each coalition offers and promotes some aspect of substance abuse solutions, healthy sexuality and righteous living through awareness, education, and mentoring and prevention tactics."

Creative Festivals Material Available Online

Material for the 2011 Festivals is now available online. The 2011 Festivals theme is “Be mindful, O Lord of the priesthood, the diaconate and every priestly rank…” (The Anaphora of St. Basil). Please visit the festivals page to find the 2011 Bible Bowl & Oratorical Festival brochure, an array of Sunday School materials, "Using the Theme Throughout the Year" ideas, and several versions of this year's logo. All these materials may be downloaded for use in your own parish.

Memorable Camping Season Continues for Some, Winds Down for Others

Ah, sweet summer! Another eventful, fun-filled camping season is winding down in some dioceses, while the August Session is still to come in several camps.

Due to the generosity of the Order of St. Ignatius, $175,000.00 filled camp scholarship coffers, enabling children of all backgrounds and ages to attend sessions at Antiochian Village, Camp St. Nicholas in California, Camp St. Thekla in South Carolina, St. John Summer Camp in Alaska, St. Mary of Egypt Camp in Washington, Camp Transfiguration in Quebec, Canada, Camp St. George in Iowa, and Camp St. Raphael in Oklahoma.

At Camp St. Nicholas, August campers will enjoy this dance: "Week 3: Out Of This World--Get ready to reach for the stars and LAUNCH into a dance that is out-of-this-world. Dress up as your favorite outer space characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. Or come dressed as an astronaut, star, or planet! The possibilities are endless - just like outer space!" Meantime, in Quebec, Canadian Antiochian children will enjoy "...the Afternoon program, which includes sports, waterfront activities, carpentry, rock climbing, archery, riflery, and more....After dinner, the camp community comes together again for daily Vespers. Each night there is a different program such as a hafli, scavenger hunt, serenade night, campfire, or some activity that the whole camp participates in together."

To view a photo gallery of camper fun and fellowship, click here.

Department of Youth Ministry Forms Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth

Fr. Joseph Purpura and the Department of Youth MInistry have announced a major new initiative to help teens and their families. The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY) plans to form groups in each diocese to deal with the risky behaviors that threaten the health and safety of youth. A 2007-2008 Archdiocesan study revealed, for instance, that in the previous year, nearly half of the high school teens and even a quarter of the 13-15 year olds surveyed, had used alcohol.

The seven page action plan explains the approach: "The purpose of the coalition is to help educate pre-teens, teens, young adults and parents towards living healthy Orthodox Christian Lives and enabling our youth to live drug free. We will also include education and other efforts towards delaying the onset of sexual activity in youth with the intent of preparing young people for marriage or monasticism and work to assist parents in this endeavor. We seek to do this work in an Orthodox Christian manner and to develop an Orthodox model to be used by other Orthodox parishes and jurisdictions." 

In some cases, federal funding may be available to help further the efforts of coalitions. To date, four parishes in three dioceses have come forward as coalition hosts. Fr. Joseph hopes to establish a group in each diocese. For more information, email: FrJoseph@orthodoxyouth.com, or read the action plan here.

New Multimedia Series, "real life," Launched by Jason Barker and AFR

Beginning July 5, Orthodox Christians can access "real life," a series of free multimedia studies from Jason Barker and Ancient Faith Radio. The audio and written series examines the way in which life can be transformed through one's relationship with God and others.

The first study is "Joy," focusing on what joy is and how it can be developed. There will be three new podcasts associated with "real life:" "real life" and "real life for teens," which provide podcast versions of the material covered in the units for each study; and "real life minute," a daily one-minute podcast with advice from a saint or Orthodox teacher on daily life. All of the studies will be available in two versions: one for adults, another for teens. The series is similar in concept to the studies, Worship & You.

Jason Barker creates resources for AFR, the Department of Youth Ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese, OCN and other Orthodox groups. His emphasis is on how we can live and grow as Orthodox Christians in the modern world. Jason has an M.A. in Applied Orthodox Theology from the University of Balamand / Antiochian House of Studies, and a B.A. in Communication from Washington State University.

St. Katherine, Orthodox Liberal Arts College, Founded in San Diego

In the fall of 2011, a new institution will open its doors to the Orthodox community. St. Katherine College in San Diego, California, will commence the first year of classes, offering an emphasis in Composition, English Language and Literature, Foreign Language, U.S. Government and History, Economics, Mathematics, and the Sciences. As to affiliation, the website explains that "The College community is independent, but it is closely associated with the Orthodox Christian community." Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dr. Scott Cairns, and Dr. Vladimir Morosan are all listed as faculty, among several other Orthodox academic luminaries.

Recently, Antiochian.org interviewed Vicki Brannock, St. Katherine College's Executive Director for Communications and Recruitment.

1. Tell us about your academic approach.

Of course the academic emphasis is important to us. We are selecting staff that represents the best in Orthodox academia and are working to strike a balance between the well established (Fr. Thomas Hopko, Scott Cairns) visiting professors and mid-level and younger faculty that we believe will make significant impact on the future.

McMurry University Welcomes Orthodox Students

Fr. Philip LeMasters, pastor of St. Luke Orthodox Church, has taught Religion at McMurry University in Abilene, TX, for fifteen years and will soon become the Interim Dean of Social Sciences and Religion. He has been very pleased with the openness of the United Methodist-related school to Orthodox believers. Fr. Philip says, “McMurry allowed our parish to worship for our first five years free of charge in the college chapel.” A small group of faculty and students join him for an on-campus Akathist on Thursday afternoons, and his Orthodox Theology class has a healthy enrollment. An Orthodox student is currently doing an “Internship in Christian Ministry” at St. Luke for McMurry course credit.

Click here to read more

Youth Events in Oklahoma City

YES in OKC

Following Bright Week, 30 Orthodox teens and chaperones gathered in Oklahoma City at St. Elijah to participate in the YES program. (YES stands for Youth Equipped to Serve and is a program sponsored by FOCUS North America that gives Orthodox youth the opportunity to participate in hands on ministry in cities across the United States.) Facilitated by Katrina Bitar, Director of the YES program, and Christina Saad, YES intern, this weekend gave teens from St. Eljah and St. George Cathedral a chance to see a different side of Oklahoma City.

Experience Great Friday Vigil with Teen SOYO

In order to fully appreciate the wonder of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead, it is important that we understand the significance of his sufferings that we may behold His glorious Resurrection.

An ancient tradition in the Orthodox Church, which NAC Teen SOYO has committed itself to honor, is the Vigil at the Tomb of Christ. After our Lord died on the Cross, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus, bound it in linen cloths with spices and buried it in a new tomb. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sat opposite the tomb watching as their Lord was buried. The Church over the centuries has joined with these two women in keeping watch over Jesus’ tomb. The Holy Friday Vigil at Christ’s tomb is our opportunity to help keep watch over our Lord’s body as He descends in to Hell to loosen the bonds of death. What better way to understand the death and resurrection of Jesus than to participate in the Vigil by His tomb?

For more information and materials to assist in organizing a vigil in your own church, please visit www.antiochian.org/great_friday_vigil.

The Church has given us this opportunity to watch and wait with the countless saints and myriads of angels as our Lord conquers death.

Erin Elizabeth Learned Appointed DOWAMA Youth Director

Bishop BASIL writes:

May it be blessed! Erin Elizabeth Learned, a daughter of St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas, employed as full-time Youth Director at St. Elijah in Oklahoma City, has been appointed Diocesan Youth Director for DOWAMA to succeed Fr. Anthony Baba.

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: Purity, Virginity, Chastity

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