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SOYO Launches New Website

SOYO, the youth movement of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, has launched a new and redesigned website at

Check out the new offerings under:
Shop for SOYO apparel, key chains, and other items
"Ask Abouna"
Instagram and news feeds

Visit today!

Special Olympics Sunday 2016

On October 16th, 2016, the North American Council of Teen SOYO sponsors the 36th Annual Special Olympics Awareness Day. Every August, Teen SOYO hosts and funds an annual week‐long camp for Special Olympics Athletes at the Antiochian Village. Over the past 35 years, Teen SOYO has fostered a camping experience like no other. Our camp demonstrates a unified environment where teen SOYO members from across the Archdiocese come together with coaches from Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) and enthusiastic athletes for an intense week of sports training and witness to Christ.

Through your generous donations, SOYO Special Olympics Sports Camp has grown immensely through the years. This year, we experienced a record number of athletes in attendance, and have accomplished an astounding 35 years of SOYO Special Olympics Camp. Over these 35 years, we have hosted more than 7,700 athletes and coaches, and over 1,050 of our teens have been blessed by working as SOYO Coaches or Volunteers. It is our pleasure to have the opportunity to serve, pray, and play with these Special Olympics Athletes, and we look forward, with your help, to continuing this important ministry.

October 2016: Archdiocese Youth Month

October is the month when the Archdiocese introduces teens to the many opportunities to minister in the Church. The youth "are encouraged to read the Epistle, chant and sing in the choir, assist in church school, and give sermons approved by the priest," explains Department of Youth Chairman The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura. 

Another way teens can get involved in their parishes is to participate in the Creative Arts, Bible Bowl, and Oratorical Festivals. This year’s theme, selected by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, is "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Mark 11:17)

2016 SOYO Metropolitan Philip Youth Worker Scholarship is Available

With the blessing of Metropolitan Joseph, NAC SOYO announces that the application for the 2016 SOYO Metropolitan Philip Youth Worker Scholarship is now available.

Download 2016 Application Form (PDF)
Due Date: October 31, 2016

Requirements for Eligibility

The following are the requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for the Youth Worker Scholarship.

  • The applicant must have been an active member of an Antiochian parish for at least the last five years.
  • The applicant must be active in youth work.
  • The applicant agrees to enroll in a recognized Orthodox Christian program with a youth ministry focus or component; programs such as the St. Stephen's Youth Ministry Concentration of the Antiochian House of Studies.
  • The recipient will seek direction from the Chairman of the Archdiocese Department of Youth as to which institution is available for training.
  • The applicant is willing to make a minimum three year commitment to parish youth work in the Antiochian Archdiocese either as a volunteer or on a paid basis, but only following completion of the program [EC1] .

Bishop Thomas Shares Schedule of Upcoming "Be the Bee" Retreats

Bishop Thomas writes: "Be the Bee is a pan-Orthodox endeavor, reaching out to young people with videos on living the Christian Life. Here is the list of planned Be the Bee Retreats. Please promote the one in your area. Thank you."

BeeTreats are open to all area Orthodox parishes, regardless of jurisdiction. As a pan-Orthodox project, it's a chance for us all to come together in fellowship, service, and worship for a great day in Christ!

· August 27th, 2016
Saint Michael's Orthodox Church - Binghamton, NY
Click here to register!

· September 17th, 2016
Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral - Richmond, VA
Click here to register!

News from Our Youth: SOYO Members Record CD, Scholarships Awarded to Students

The V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, Department of Youth and Parish Ministry, notes that the 32 Teen SOYO members attending the Youth Music Institute at Antiochian Village from July 13–17 recorded many beautiful Orthodox hymns for their upcoming SOYO/SMI Music CD. The CD is a joint project of Teen SOYO and the Department of Sacred Music: watch this fall for more details!

In other youth news, the following young people were awarded a Francis Maria Scholarship in the amount of $2,500, on July 23, 2016 at the Archdiocese Convention Oratorical Festival in Bolivar Pennsylvania.

Important Updates: Read the June 2016 Midwest SOYO Newsletter!

Download the newsletter

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! The Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest would like to wish everyone a most joyous and blessed period after Pascha! As June has now arrived, most of us are preparing for an amazing summer! With summer’s arrival, this also brings the 2016 Parish Life Conference, our summer camps, SOYO Special Olympics, but most importantly, a relaxed and blessed time to devote to God.

In less than 15 days, we will all be gathered for the 2016 Parish Life Conference! With this coming up, be sure to make sure you are registered for the convention! St. Mary of Livonia, Michigan has planned an amazing conference, so be sure to get a taste of as much as you can! If you are interested in running for a position on the Midwest SOYO Board, be sure to attend the meeting. You must notify Amal or Father Mousa if you are interested in running by June 15th. Your nomination forms, however, may be turned in at the meeting. Additionally, to be eligible for our Chapter awards, make sure you fill out the chapter reports and submit them to Amal Michael by June 15th. Nomination forms as well as Chapter Report forms can be found online at

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.

Save the Date! Annual SOYO Meeetings

The Annual SOYO Summer Meetings and SOYO Leadership Training at Antiochian Village are scheduled for Friday July 22-27, 2016.

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.