The third Sunday of October, October 18, 2009 is Special Olympics Awareness Day (SOAD) across our Archdiocese. On Sunday, October 18th, your teen group, or if you have none, your designated representatives, are asked to seek the financial help of your parishioners in funding the 2010 Special Olympics Sports Camp to be held at the Antiochian Village August 13-22, 2010. Next summer we will be celebrating our 30th Annual Special Olympics Sports Camp. This ministry is sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO. Our teens work very hard for this ministry and rely on the generosity and support of the faithful of our Archdiocese and the Order of St. Ignatius.
Please use the following downloads to promote Special Olympics Awareness Day:
2009 Clergy Letter (Word format)
ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
“Keeping our College Students Connected to the Church”
OCF COLLEGE STUDENT SUNDAY 2009
Fishers, IN – September 16, 2009
Since 2003, the Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) have designated the Sunday following the Elevation of the Holy Cross as OCF College Student Sunday. They ask all faithful Orthodox Christians in North America to call to mind and prayer our college students. We invite you to read the 2009 SCOBA College Student Sunday Encyclical at www.ocf.net/css.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship is Our Campus Ministry. It exists to come alongside families and parishes to provide solutions. OCF provides curricula, educational DVDs, service learning encounters and an interactive website that help our students apply their faith in their daily lives. On a program level, OCF offers large-scale, transformative opportunities annually, such as College Conference and Real Break.
Currently, we have 270 local college/university chapters in the United States and Canada. Together these individual chapters represent the backbone of the OCF ministry and Our Future of the Orthodox Church in North America.
September 4, 2009– Kansas City, MO This past weekend, August 28-30, 2009, the Orthodox Youth Outreach Program (OYO), now called the YES Program of FOCUS North America (Youth Equipped to Serve), took its first trip as a ministry of FOCUS North America. A group of 16 eager teens and leaders said yes to the “cry of the poor” (Proverbs 21:13) and gave their time in service to the people of Philadelphia, PA.
The weekend began with orientation, led by Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director. The rest of Friday evening was spent in prayer, the team’s first ministry to Philadelphia. The group traveled around the city and prayed for it and its people. This prayer tour kicks off all YES trips, orienting the team to the past and present of the community they will serve and opening their eyes to the real struggles of its people.
At the 2009 Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, attendees were treated to the excellent speeches prepared by the diocesan oratorical festival winners. An expert panel of judges deliberated before choosing the grand prize winner for the Senior Division, Joel Schaefer.
The Oratorical Festival is a program sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. It was designed to serve as an avenue for our youth to learn, enhance and share the knowledge of their faith based on a given topic by giving an oration. For some youth, it is a door into the life of the Church, and for others, it is an expression of their continuing experience of Christ and His Church.
FOCUS North America is excited to announce the extension of its domestic outreach to the poor by receiving the highly acclaimed “Orthodox Youth Outreach” (OYO) program from the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry and Teen SOYO. Added to FOCUS North America’s diverse ongoing operations and partner ministries, the addition of the OYO program strengthens its domestic ministry to the homeless and hopeless by involving youth in urban service learning opportunities and social action leadership training.
“FOCUS North America, its Board of Directors and Staff are honored to receive OYO as part of its ongoing operations, extending and maximizing our programs to minister to the poor and raise up the next generation of Orthodox Christian servant-leaders in North America,” said Fr. Justin Mathews, Executive Director and CEO of FOCUS North America.
Fr. Joseph Purpura, Archdiocese Youth Director, has released via YouTube this special Teen SOYO 40th Anniversary video commemorating the forty years of raising up generations of disciples and leaders for the Holy Orthodox Church in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Click here to go to the YouTube page for this video, and click here for Fr. Joseph's article from The Word commemorating this important occasion.
Fr. Joseph Purpura, Youth Director of the Antiochian Archdiocese, has provided the following PDF presentation for the edification of youth and youth workers of the Archdiocese. It covers:
- The Why, What, and How of Orthodox Youth Ministry
- Youth Ministry Programs (as found in the Antiochian Archdiocese as an example)
- Dynamics of Group Ministry
Katrina Bitar, a past SOYO member, SOYO officer, Parish Youth Director, and recent graduate of St. Vladimir's Seminary, was appointed, with the blessing of Metropolitan PHILIP, by the Department of Youth Ministry, effective May 17, 2009, as the new Executive Director of OYO - Orthodox Youth Outreach. OYO is a ministry of NAC Teen SOYO. Katrina comes to this ministry with much youth and OYO experience. Katrina writes:
"I believe in the power of this ministry because I, myself, am a product of this program. I participated in the very first OYO trip. I plan to continue to serve Orthodox Christian young people through not only leading short-term mission trips, but also helping parishes to establish consistent commitments to serving the poor and needy in their local communities.
by Fr. Anthony Yazge
For three years the teens of the Antiochian Archdiocese have formally given their prayers, time, talent and voices to stand up for Orthodox Church teaching on the sacred gift of life. Previously, many of our Orthodox Christian teens witnessed as individuals to these truths in their living of the Gospel. They have been and are still committed to conveying to others the understanding that life begins at conception and continues into eternity. The members of Teen SOYO have dedicated themselves specifically to witness before the world to the value of life by observing the Sacred Gift of Life Sunday in January, the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the disastrous Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. But for our faithful young men and women this isn’t enough.
Last summer, at the meetings of the North American Council of Teen SOYO, our teens decided to go a step further. They recognize that the issue we face with unwanted pregnancy is symptomatic of a greater problem – the lack of purity, chastity and holiness in our society. In fact, a recent study by researchers at the Rand Corporation concluded that teenagers who watch television shows that contain sexual content are twice as likely to be involved in teenage pregnancies. Did we really need a study to confirm what most of us already knew? Even our teens had this concept well within their grasp, before any study results, when they took the initiative this summer to focus on educating others about the godliness of living a virginal life until marriage.
SUPPORT THE ANTIOCHIAN ARCHDIOCESE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH MINISTRY WHILE SEARCHING THE WEB: The Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry has partnered with GoodSearch.com, a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results. To use GoodSearch.com and support youth ministry in Archdiocese, simply go to:
Consider donating your car and benefiting Youth Ministry
Go to: http://www.donationline.com/newvehicle_donation_form.shtml and select "Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry as the charity - it is that simple and they will handle the rest.