Diocese of Charleston Service Organizations


There are four service organizations organized on Archdiocesan, Diocesan and
Local levels:

1. THE ORDER OF ST IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH is an organization of men and women
who are committed and active members of their local parishes, and who are also pledged to
providing the Archdiocese with a substantial amount of annual income in order to spearhead new
projects, supplement income for existing but under-budgeted Archdiocesan programs, provide
grants for charitable endeavors, etc. On a Diocesan level the Order is directed by its Spiritual
Advisor (a priest of the Diocese appointed to this position by the Bishop) and its officers (who
are elected to year long terms by members from throughout the Diocese during the Order’s
general assembly at the annual Parish Life Conference). *Membership applications* and other
information on the Order of St Ignatius of Antioch may be had by contacting the Order’s
Diocesan Chairman or the Archdiocesan Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey.

2. THE FELLOWSHIP OF ST JOHN THE DIVINE is the adult spiritual movement and
fellowship organization. In our Diocese its primary purpose is to function as a fellowship of all
Diocesan congregations (each represented at meetings by the Priest, Parish Council Chair and a
third lay delegate – the President of the parish’s Fellowship organization, if one exists, or, if no
local Fellowship organization exists, by another person appointed by the Priest and Parish
Council Chair). The purpose of the Fellowship is to advance Christian education, spirituality and
outreach, and to coordinate the many activities and programs offered on the Archdiocesan and
Diocesan levels. It is directed by its Spiritual Advisor (a priest of the Diocese appointed to this
position by the Bishop) and its officers (who are elected to year long terms by the clergy and lay
delegates from each community during the Fellowship’s Diocesan Assembly at the annual Parish
Life Conference). This executive committee and the various program and committee chairs help
the local communities in such areas as Christian education, liturgical music, humanitarian
projects, evangelism, etc. Vital parts of this are the St Philip Prayer Discipline and the Parish
Ministry Teams. The Prayer Discipline is an excellent way to unite your prayer with those of
people in other communities and support the whole archdiocesan effort. The Parish Ministry
Teams reach out on the local level to put into practice the physical and spiritual works of mercy.
Each community has an opportunity to be creative in doing this and we learn from each other in
sharing our successes and failures. On an Archdiocesan level, the Fellowship coordinates the
annual “Food for Hungry People” campaign during the Great Fast to collect funds to feed the
hungry poor throughout the world Each community in the Diocese (except those specially
dispensed) is expected to pay annual dues to the Fellowship. *Information on the Fellowship*,
the annual Parish Life Conference, and the numerous creative festivals sponsored by the
Fellowship for your Church School children and teens may be had by contacting the Fellowship’s
Diocesan President. *The Festivals Manual* with annual updates is available upon request
from the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries.

3. Every adult woman in every community is considered a member of THE
ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN
. On the Diocesan level it is directed by its Spiritual Advisor (a priest of the
Diocese appointed to this position by the Bishop) and its officers (who are elected to year long
terms by delegates from each local women’s group during their general assembly at the annual
Parish Life Conference). This organization has a varied program of spirituality and humanitarian
projects which it supports. Each local women’s group has its own personality and modus
operandi in accomplishing its program. On an Archdiocesan level, the Antiochian Women select
a charity each year to be the beneficiary of its combined fund raising efforts. Each local
women’s organization (except those specially dispensed) is expected to pay annual dues to the
Antiochian Women. *Information on the Antiochian Women* and their current year’s
charitable project may be had by contacting the Antiochian Women’s Diocesan President.

4. Eastern Dioceses SOYO (Society of Orthodox Youth Organizations) is our Diocesan youth
movement. It is under the oversight of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries. It
includes teens aged 12 to 18, and is directed by its Spiritual Advisor (a priest of the Diocese
appointed to this position by the Bishop), lay Youth Director (appointed by the Bishop and the
chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries), and its officers (who are elected to
year long terms by the delegates from each local SOYO chapter during their general assembly at
the annual Parish Life Conference). On an Archdiocesan level Teen SOYO sponsors an annual
Special Olympics Sports Camp for physically and mentally challenged children at our Antiochian
Village Camp. The Teens make a special appeal each October to help underwrite the Special
Olympics Sports Camp, and each January to support acquisitions for the library at the Antiochian
Village’s Heritage and Learning Center. The Diocesan Youth Director, assisted by each
Deanery’s Youth Director, is a ready resource for parishes and missions to assist in youth work.
Locally, you need a dedicated and dynamic advisor, or advisors, for your SOYO. Each local
SOYO chapter (except those specially dispensed) is expected to pay dues to Teen SOYO.
*Information on SOYO* may be had by contacting SOYO’s Diocesan President.
The Archdiocese has designated the Sunday nearest the feast of St John the Divine
on September 26 as Fellowship Sunday; the month of October is Youth Month and is dedicated
to SOYO; the first Sunday in December is designated as Choir and Chanter Appreciation Day;
the month of March is Women’s Month and is dedicated to the Antiochian Women whose feast
day is the Annunciation on March 25; and the Sunday before Christmas is Order of St Ignatius
Sunday. During these special months/days members of the highlighted organizations are invited
to participate in the Divine Liturgy as epistle reader and ushers. The priest may also invite a
member of the highlighted organization to address the congregation with a brief message
(prepared under the priest’s supervision) after the Dismissal of the Divine Liturgy.