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Youth Worker Conference to Feature the Theme of Gratitude

The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura, chairman of SOYO and the Department of Youth, encourages all parish and Archdiocese-wide youth leaders to attend the pan-Orthodox Youth Worker Conference in early 2018. Themed "The Place of Gratitude in Youth Ministry," the Conference is slated for February 1–3, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. More information is available here.

The Orthodox Youth Worker & Camping Conference is sponsored by the Jurisdictional Youth Departments of the Assembly of Bishops. The Youth and Camping Departments of the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese and Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA will host the 2018 conference.

 

Apply to CrossRoad 2018! Summer Program for High School Juniors and Seniors

Calling all Antiochian Youth! Are you an Orthodox Christian high school junior or senior interested in exploring your faith? Apply to the dynamic, life-changing program that is CrossRoad! The application deadline is February 1, 2018.

For more information, visit our website!

96 Youth

10 Days

2 Locations

1 Amazing Program

DOWNLOAD the POSTER

Antiochian Village Summer Camp Registration Opens Monday, December 11

The Antiochian Village Summer Camp Program serves young people ages 9–17 who come to attend one of four two-week sessions. A primary goal of the Village camp program is to present to young people a living experience of the Holy Orthodox Faith in their relationship with God and other campers in a natural environment.

Registrations are now open for the 2018 summer camp season. The sessions run June 17 through August 10; two special sessions are Byzantine Chant Camp held from June 17 – June 29, and Iconography Camp, which runs from July 15 – July 23.  Slots fill up very quickly for this incredibly popular program, so act now! Additionally, it's not too early to think about sending your child to your local diocesan camp; visit The Department of Camping for more information.

ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE CAMP REGISTRATION LINK

SOYO Special Olympics Awareness Day is Sunday, October 15

On October 15, 2017, the North American Council of Teen SOYO sponsors the 37th 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 36 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. All resources may be downloaded on SOYO's Special Olympics web page.

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 36 years of SOYO Special Olympics Camp. Over these 36 years, we have hosted more than 8,000 athletes and coaches, and over 1,150 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 2017: 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 "They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42)

Christian Education Department Kicks off Sunday School Year with New Resources

The Christian Education team of the Antiochian Archdiocese, headed by Director Carole Buleza, is passionate about transmitting the faith to the next generation, and the resource-rich Christian Education section on antiochian.org reflects this. An extensive upgrade to the Christian Education pages launched to coincide with the start of the Sunday School year includes an entirely new Creative Festivals 2018 section for 2017-2018.

Highlights of the new material available are:

In the main Christian Education section, the latest teacher training events are featured. 

Fr. George Shalhoub Addresses Suicide Prevention Awareness in University of Michigan Panel

In August 2017, Fr. George Shalhoub, pastor of The Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, MI participated in a panel discussion at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, on the pastoral issue of suicide prevention. After his presentation at the University, "Preventing Suicide in Middle Eastern Communities," Fr. George answered questions and said there is "the need to speak of this spiritual darkness that can affect all of us."


Q: Father George, what were you doing at the University of Michigan-Dearborn today?

A: The Middle Eastern Law Enforcement Officers Association invited me, along with religious leaders Rabbi Daniel Syme of Bethel Temple and Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni of the Islamic Center of America, for an interfaith perspective panel which addressed addiction and suicide in our communities. A panel discussion discussed the topic of suicide prevention and substance abuse in the Arab American community.

Q: How did you contribute to this discussion?

A: The Arab American community in this country suffers from drug abuse and faces cases of suicide and suicide attempts, just as many other communities do. The number one difficulty is to break the stigma or taboo associated with suicide. Most immigrants in the Arab American community do not realize that these crises do exist within one’s own church, mosque, or temple. This goes beyond ethnicity, economic status and religious background. Families, in particular, do not want to hear that they have children who are less than perfect or that their children are capable of taking drugs or contemplating suicide.

Faithtree Resources Releases "13 Reasons: Why We Must Engage with Our Teens"

Van Nuys, California. (August 4, 2017)  Faithtree Resources, a teaching ministry of St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Van Nuys, CA, has released their latest resource for clergy and families, a free eBook entitled: 13 Reasons: Why We Must Engage with Our Teens. (Download a free copy) 

The 20+ page resource is Faithtree’s response to the popular Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," a teen-oriented drama about a high school student who takes her own life. The series aired this year and has not only caused a national stir, but as new research indicates, may have significantly increased the number of teens now researching and contemplating their own suicides. In an article in The Atlantic, Google reported queries about suicide rose by almost 20 percent in the 19 days following the wake of the show’s release. This represents between 900,000-1.5 million more searches than usual regarding the subject.

For College Graduates: Parishes Seeking Full-time Youth Directors

The V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministry reports that several parishes in the United States and in Canada are seeking to hire full-time youth directors for our Antiochian Orthodox parishes. If you are an Orthodox Christian young man or young woman who has graduated college and is looking to work full-time in youth ministry, please send your resume and complete contact information to: frjoseph@orthodoxyouth.com.

Register Now! Sacred Music Institute and Youth Music Ministry, July 12-16

Metropolitan Joseph's letter for SMI
Register here
Download the flyer
Youth Music Ministry (YMM) application
View the YMM Agenda

The Department of Sacred Music joyfully announces the themes for the next two Sacred Music Institutes (SMI), in which we will more deeply examine our mission: guiding chanters, choirs, and congregations to musical excellence in worship for the glory of God. There is much to learn from these topics! This summer's Institute on July 12–16, 2017, hosted by Antiochian Village, is titled "Music as Ministry: Looking Outward through Orthodox Hymnody." The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, President of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, will be the keynote speaker.

Next summer's SMI (July 11–15, 2018) will continue the topic with the theme "Music as Vocation: Looking Inward through Orthodox Hymnody." 

"Let us strive this year for every parish to send people to make this Institute an even greater experience for all," urges His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph in his 2017 SMI letter. 

The Christopher Elias Memorial Scholarship Now Available to High School Seniors

Applications for a new Antiochian scholarship, The Christopher Elias Memorial Scholarship, are now available to qualified applicants. To qualify for consideration, the applicant must:
1) be a graduating high school senior
2) a member of an Antiochian Orthodox parish in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America  
3) accepted by an accredited institution of higher learning and
4) entering as a freshman in the fall of 2017.

To request an application, email Dr. Anthony Bashir at: anthony_bashir@emerson.edu, and an electronic copy of the application will be sent. The completed application is due by June 15, 2017 in hard copy, and sent by regular post. Recipients will be announced and awards made during the 53rd Antiochian Archdiocesan Convention in Miami, Florida, on July 23–30, 2017.

Save the Date! 2017 Sacred Music Institute and Youth Music Ministry are July 12-16




 

 

 

SAVE THE DATE!

  • Summer Sacred Music Institute  (SMI) and Youth Music Ministry, ages 14-18 (YMM)
  • July 12-16, 2017
  • Antiochian Village

For more information, please contact Paul Jabara for the SMI, at sacredmusic@antiochian.org; or Chris Farha for the YMM, at chrisfarha@cox.netLook for preliminary schedules and registration forms after Pascha.

Read about the 2016 SMI and YMM at Antiochian Village

Keeping the Vigil at the Tomb of Christ on Holy Friday

The Archdiocese's Department of Youth Ministry announces that resources are available for the beloved tradition of keeping vigil at Christ's tomb from the end of Holy Friday Vespers until the Rush Liturgy of Pascha. This year's dates will be April 14 and 15, 2017, and teens and the faithful from our parishes from across North America will be signing up for times of meditation and Scripture reading. Participants will read from the book of Psalms in front of the tomb of Christ after Great Friday Vespers until the Liturgy of Holy Saturday morning, after which service they will read from the Book of Acts until the start of the Rush Service held on Saturday night for Pascha.

Great Friday Vigil Pamphlet as well as one sheet flyer, can be downloaded for use in parish communities. Please encourage your teens and faithful members to host and attend the Great Friday Vigil!

SOYO Day of Service is Saturday, March 18

On Saturday, March 18, 2017, the Department of Youth will observe the annual SOYO Day of Service. SOYO Day of Service is a day when teens across the Archdiocese will come together with their Teen SOYO group to serve in their parishes and communities. Even though this is a Lenten emphasis for the entire month of March, SOYO groups are especially encouraged to do their service projects on March 18 in solidarity with one another.

Teens are encouraged to take pictures of each service effort and tag the SOYO leadership on instagram (@nacsoyo) with the hashtag #SOYOdayofservice. All instagram contributions will be entered in a drawing, and the winning SOYO will receive $100 for a pizza party and an opportunity to be featured in The Word magazine!

SOYO Day of Service Flyer

From the Department of Youth: Bible Bowl and Oratorical Website Launched

Attention, youth leaders, parents, and Sunday School teachers: a new Bible Bowl and Oratorical website is up and running, at orthodoxyouth.org!

The following resources are available now:
+Team Registration for Bible Bowl Teams
+Registration for Oratorical Contestants
+Bible Bowl Practice Questions
+Rules and Manuals for both the Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals

2017 Special Olympics Volunteer and Coaching Applications Available

Special Olympics campers and staff at the VillageSpecial Olympics campers and staff at the VillageThe 2017 Special Olympics Sports Camp is scheduled to be held at the Antiochian Village August 11–20, 2017. This ministry is sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO, and is the second longest running program of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, serving over 340 Special Olympics athletes, coaches, and staff each season. It is the premier SOYO outreach program, now in its 36th year of service. Each year SOYO teens raise the funds on Special Olympics Awareness Day.

In addition to the funds raised, SOYO teens provide at least half the coaching staff, and many adult volunteers participate as well. The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, chair of the Department of Youth Ministry, has announced that the 2017 Special Olympic Coaches Application is now available for those youth who are interested in working at the Sports Camp. Additionally, for adults over twenty years of age, the Special Olympics Volunteer application is posted as well.

New Music CD Released by SOYO and the Department of Sacred Music: Digital Download Available

A beautiful new music CD, Grace Shining Forth, has just been released in time for holiday gift giving! The CD is a collaborative effort of SOYO, the Department of Sacred Music, and the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries. Discounts are available for quantities of five or more. Shop now, and receive your order in time for Christmas. More information is available on the Teen SOYO website.

 
Download digital version
Order your Grace Shining Forth Music CD

 

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 https://TeenSOYO.org.

Check out the new offerings under:
Programs
Resources
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.

Youth Ministry: Connecting Learning with Living in the Kingdom

by V. Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura, from the October 2016 issue of The Word:

In this article, we will look at what we are trying to accomplish in youth ministry, especially as we make the connection between what youth learn in the classroom and how they live out their lives as members of the kingdom of God here and now. We will look at youth ministry in terms of spiritual formation and the development of their identity as children of God. In doing so, we will reflect upon the holy scriptures and the divine services of the Church, examine the wisdom of the fathers, and, just as importantly, reach into layers of experience and practical expression to generate dialogue on what spiritual formation looks like in the classroom and beyond.

Today, the Church needs well-trained and well-equipped youth workers for the long term. Too often, we see youth ministry as a stepping stone to "real ministry," as a time of waiting for ordination or a secular job. We must be serious about raising and forming young people by training youth workers who commit their lives to youth ministry. America needs educators and youth workers who know the faith, who know Orthodox theology, who have diverse talents, who are of varying ages, and who are models of committed servants of Christ. In addition, it is with years of experience working with young people that we as clergy and youth workers can begin to understand fully the immense task before us. With many years of ministering to young people in Christ, and with them, clergy and youth workers develop the eyes, the ears, and the heart that are so essential to participating with God in youth formation.

Who Is the Enemy?

by His Grace Bishop John, from The Word Magazine, October 2016

October is Youth Month in the Antiochian Archdiocese. We make special efforts to remind the youth that they are not the future of the church, but part of the present. Baptized into Christ, they already have gifts of God's grace and the responsibility to live and share the Faith of the Apostles that has been delivered to them. They were baptized to gather as the Church, allowing them to grow, respond to God, pray for the world and witness to the truths that God has revealed to them and us. The God who has revealed himself allows them and us to encounter him and engage ourselves with him. These are their Christian vocations, and ours from our youth up, along with God's call to resist those "many passions that war against us."

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.