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The Department of Youth and Parish Ministries supports and integrates the whole spectrum of archdiocesan programs for youth, including the Camping Program, Teen SOYO, and Campus Ministry. This department also works closely with the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, whose mission-while not directed solely at youth-resonates closely with the objectives of this department. Although all of these programs together encompass a broad range of activity and age groups, all share the same goal: to encourage full participation in the life of the Church through worship, witness, service, and fellowship. This department trains youth leaders, organizes events, provides consultation for youth leaders and pastors across the archdiocese, maintains youth-related data and a cache of ministry resources, and oversees programs such as the Bible Bowl and the Oratorical Festival.

The Department of Youth and Parish Ministries webpage has information and links that are intended to be broadly informative for young people, youth leaders, pastors, and parents. Visitors looking for more specific information on the Camping Program, Teen SOYO, Campus Ministry, or the Fellowship of St. John the Divine are encouraged to visit their respective web pages for a complete picture of what each has to offer. Go HERE to sign up for the Department's email list server.

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.

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.

OYPC 2016: Antiochian Young Adult Ministry Hosts Second National Conference on August 18-21

The Orthodox Young Professionals Conference is a four day conference hosted by the Young Adult Ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Young Orthodox Christians from across the country and all jurisdictions are invited to join together in fellowship and fun. The conference committee has been working since 2015 to plan an amazing opportunity for spiritual growth, future friendships, lasting memories and more. The gathering will be held in New Orleans at the Drury Inn and Suites, from August 18-21, 2016.

What is a Young Professional?
A young adult who is beyond the college years navigating through the daily struggles of life as an Orthodox Christian in their mid-twenties through thirties. You are a Young Professional if you want to:

-Grow Spiritually
-Meet other young Orthodox Christians
-Learn practical ways to connect your daily work with Christ and His Church
-Explore your vocation, or
-Find Inspiration from the witness of speakers and other young adults

Visit the Conference website

Vocations Day for East Coast Teens and Young Adults + May 14

from OCA.org:

“Exploring Ministry: A Day in NYC to Discover How You Can Serve the Church” will be the focus of a gathering for Orthodox Christian teens and young adults interested in exploring the many opportunities available to serve the Church at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, 59 East Second Street, New York, NY on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

Sponsored by the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of New York and New Jersey and funded by a grant from the Forum for Theological Education, the day will begin at 10:00 a.m. with prayers and opening remarks by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer session on vocations.  Panelists who will share their stories and field questions include men and women currently serving the Church in a variety of ways as hospital and military chaplains, parish priests, deacons, choir directors, and theology professors.

Department of Youth News Archive

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