14th Annual Orthodox Camp and Youth Workers' Conference Meets in Dallas
Over 80 clergy and lay youth and camp workers gathered in Dallas, TX for this year's Orthodox Camp and Youth Workers' Conference. This annual conference is sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Camp Association and the leaders of all the different jurisdiction's youth departments. The Orthodox Church in America hosted at their Saint Seraphim's Cathedral here in Dallas. There was a large delegation representing camping and youth ministry from the Antiochian Archdiocese led by His Grace Bishop Thomas.
The theme of the conference, "Feed My Sheep: Crisis, Trauma, and Everyday Life", was explored in two keynote addresses and various workshops. Fr. Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, led the keynotes focusing on mental health and development in youth and young adults, as well as burnout and self-care for pastors and youth workers. Workshops focused on ministry to young veterans, responding to crises at camp, building effective young adult ministries, youth ministry programs in smaller parishes, and on campus ministry.
"It was our joy to host this year in Dallas," commented Andrew Boyd, OCA Youth Director, "and a personal joy of mine to see so many come together to work to do better for our Youth."
In addition to the conference, His Grace Bishop Thomas of Oakland, Charleston, and The Mid-Atlantic (Antiochian Orthodox Church in North America), who chairs the Youth Committee for the Assembly of Bishops, presided over a meeting of that committees consultants, focusing on youth formation and opportunities for more pan-Orthodox cooperation among the youth.
Next year's conference will be hosted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese from January 26-28 at a location to be announced.