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Michigan Parish Administers Successful Summer Programs

Richard Ajalat, Assistant Youth Director, Basilica of St. Mary, reports:

The Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of Saint Mary in Livonia, MI, praises God for all His blessings, as the Lord provides us with multiple opportunities to serve our beloved children—God's inheritance. They are our greatest gift from the Lord.

Every summer, the Basilica of St. Mary hosts both a weekly "Camp St. Mary" ministry program for our children 13-17 years of age, and a one- week Vacation Bible School ministry program for children 3-12 years of age. The goal of the summer programs is to teach the children the meaning of Christ's two greatest commandments: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. All the activities are designed to instill these spiritual truths into the lives of our children by teaching them how to be strong in their faith, and how to represent Christ to the world. Both of these programs are designed to especially help our children feel like they are a part of the worshiping community, by helping them integrate with their peers, and by allowing them to enjoy fellowship and prayer together.

Every year, our Camp St. Mary ministry program has a different theme, and this year it has been "Christ the Good Shepherd." Each week, the staff has worked to teach the children what it means to be a good shepherd for the church and a disciple of Christ.

Our annual group photo taken of the dedicated volunteer staff and the children who participate in these important summer ministry programs pictures the 120 teens and children who have attended this year. We thank the Lord for His great inheritance!