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Bishop Anthony Speaks to Teens at Miami PLC

The teens of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast ended up their recent Parish Life Conference saying, "Thank you Bishop Anthony!"

The Diocese teens were blessed to have His Grace Bishop Anthony from the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest visit them in Fort Lauderdale during their Parish Life Conference starting June 13. Members of teen SOYO joined His Grace for a Teen Workshop on Saturday (6/16). SOYO captured the audio and key points from this workshop as well as the audio and key points from his keynote during the Grand Banquet Saturday evening, and audio from his sermon during Sunday's liturgy.

His Grace's words of wisdom included these thoughts:

Find pleasure in your purpose. If you pursue pleasure without purpose, your pleasure will become your pain. "Pursue your purpose, and you'll find your person."

Attach yourself to the church so you will be attracted to the right people and the right things.

Do your best at everything so you can find the one thing you are really good at. "That's how you find your balance and your bliss."

Read about, and listen to, all the workshops.

Fr. Joseph Purpura Highlights New Scholarship Program

Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries for the Antiochian Archdiocese, is alerting high school students to the launching of a new scholarship program sponsored by The Reagan Foundation. The Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series, which will award $35,000 in scholarship funds to outstanding high school debate students across the nation, will begin in June. The Series is designed to provide an avenue for high school students across the country to develop their civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions as they research, discuss, and engage in public debate. This program is designed to align with and leverage the energy of Election 2012.

The competition will consist of three distinct rounds. First, local debates will take place on high school campuses nationwide between June and September of 2012. School champions will advance to regional championships held in September and October of 2012. Regional championships will be held at university campuses from east to west. Those champions will then be flown to the National Championship at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on October 27, 2012 and compete for $35,000 in scholarship awards.

For more information, visit the Antiochian Archdiocese's Scholarship page.

Nomination Forms Available for Upcoming SOYO Elections

Each year SOYO elects new officers for each of its diocesan SOYO Youth Movements.  Those wishing to run for Diocesan SOYO office must be present at their Diocesan Parish Life Conference Teen SOYO Meeting, as well as have properly filled out and have signed by themselves, their pastor and one of their parents the SOYO Nomination form.  Teens do not need to be nominated by others, they simply need to make known their intent to run and have properly filled out a SOYO Nomination form and to have turned in their nomination form to the Diocesan Spiritual Advisor prior to the Teen SOYO meeting at the Parish Life Conference. 

 Teens wishing to run for Office are encouraged to do so and are encouraged to make their intention known to the Diocesan Spiritual Advisor as early as possible. Please see the list of Spiritual Advisors below.  Please carefully read the nomination form to see that you are willing to meet the requirements for running for office.

Bishop John Hosts Youth Day Event

Bishop John hosts Youth Day kids and teensBishop John hosts Youth Day kids and teensBy Caitlin Rose

On March 3, 2012, many young people from the Diocese Of Worcester and New England (self-proclaimed DOWNE) gathered for a Youth Day celebration at His Grace Bishop John's house. Those who attended sat with His Grace to learn the purpose of Orthodoxy, including the three points that make us Orthodox Christians: We partake of the same Communion, we all believe the words of the Nicene Creed, and we all submit to a bishop.

His Grace also informed the youth that his job is to keep his diocese united and to keep it Orthodox. By submitting to him, the members of the Diocese of Worcester are united to one another, and the Diocese is connected to others in the Archdiocese through Metropolitan Philip, to whom all Antiochian Orthodox bishops in America have submitted. His Grace then emphasized the importance of reaching out to American Orthodox Churches outside the Antiochian Archdiocese. The Greeks, the Russians, and all others hold the exact same beliefs as we do. We can commune in their churches as they can in ours. In today's society, it is important that we remain united with our sister churches and do not allow cultural differences to hold us back from mingling. If we visit other churches and socialize outside the Antiochian Archdiocese, we will strengthen the bonds between the Orthodox Churches in America and throughout the world.

Lenten Retreat with Bishop John Inspires SOYO Youth

By Nadia Oleinik

My name is Nadia, and I am a thirteen year old Orthodox Christian. I have attended the St. George Norwood parish ever since I remember. This is my first year in Teen SOYO and the first year I traveled to New Hampshire for the annual Lenten Retreat. It was one of the most enlightening experiences I have had as an Orthodox Christian.

The retreat is an event that occurs each year during the Lenten season. Teens from parishes all over New England come together to bond with each other, listen to the speaker, reflect upon their faith, and strengthen themselves through worship and communion. This year we had the honor of having His Grace Bishop John amongst us throughout the weekend to guide us and answer our questions. This year’s speaker was Katrina Bitar, past SOYO member and director of the YES program speaking on the theme of “Heroes of the Old Testament.”

Donate U.S. Airways Miles to Antiochian Youth Ministry

Donate your U.S. Airways Miles to the Department of Youth Ministry! Donated miles facilitate travel for our Archdiocese youth workers, Teen SOYO officers and others. The cost to donate miles is your miles plus $0.01 per mile donated and a processing fee. Or you can donate money towards travel using the donate button located at the top right of our Department of Youth and Teen SOYO pages. If you want the miles to go towards Teen SOYO officers, Advisors, or Youth Director Travel, simply state so in the personal massage field of your donation.

Donate your miles at www1.usairwaysgiftregistry.com/deptofyouth. To learn other ways you can support Antiochian youth ministry, please visit our Youth Ministry Donations page.

Season of YES Trips Continues in St. Louis March 30-April 1

Youth Equipped to Serve (YES), a ministry of FOCUS North America, hosted a YES Weekend in Oklahoma City on March 9-11, and now is kicking off another weekend of service in the city of St. Louis starting March 30. As the website explains, the YES program "provides opportunities for junior high and high school students to participate in formative weekends of service, with the ultimate purpose being to raise up a generation of Orthodox Christians who lead others in living out the true mission of the church- to love and serve our most needy neighbors."

The St. Louis weekend is a good example of a typical YES trip. Teens will meet at the local FOCUS Center--Gateway City/St. Michael’s--on Friday, stay overnight at Huckleberry Finn Youth Hostel, participate in service events throughout the weekend, and finish the trip by serving a meal for the homeless back at the FOCUS location.

Upcoming events include YES Atlanta on April 20-22, YES Grand Rapids on May 11-13, and YES Leadership Training on June 13-18 in Los Angeles' Skid Row.

View a video about YES St. Louis.

To sign up for a trip, visit the website.

 

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.

Spotlight: Special Olympics Needs Your Help!

Special Olympics Coaches at Antiochian VillageSpecial Olympics Coaches at Antiochian VillageA January 12, 2012 Special Olympics update for 2011 Donations reveals that many parishes have contributed to NAC SOYO's 2012 ministry.

The first table in the Special Olympics 2011 Donations pdf shows those parishes and individuals that have contributed to NAC SOYO’s 2012 Special Olympics Ministry through the October 16, 2011 collection. We thank all of you for your generosity. Is your parish among them? Refer to this list to find out.

The second table shows those parishes that have yet to send in their contributions and we ask that you help us meet our $2,000 shortfall by sending in your contribution for the money collected, or if you did not take the requested collection, please consider a donation to help this ministry.

Do you know a young person in your parish who you think would be a particularly effective and dynamic Special Olympics Coach? Please refer them to the following application, or have them contact:

V. Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura

Department of Youth Ministry

Office: 1-781-255-1757

Cell: 1-617-803-5567

e-mail: frjoseph@orthodoxyouth.com

jpurpura@aya.yale.edu

Special Olympics Fund Raising Goal Reached

Fr. Joseph Purpura, Antiochian Archdiocese Youth Director reports, "We have reached our fund raising goal--thank you!" The Special Olympics Awareness Day goal of $50,000 has been superceded, with the amount currently standing at $50,165.03.

"We thank all of you for the contributions that will make the August 2012 SOYO/SOPA Special Olympics Camp possible," notes Fr. Joseph.

View the complete list of parishes and donation amounts here.