Skip to Navigation

NAC SOYO President's Message on Unity Sunday

by Christopher Shadeed

Your Eminence, Your Graces, Reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I pray this letter finds you all in good health. I am writing to let you all know about a new project NAC SOYO is doing this year. On the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 16, 2008, we will sponsor the first annual Orthodox Unity Sunday! As was mentioned numerous times in the past year, and along with the 2007 Conference Theme, SOYO recognizes the importance of being united as one true body of Christ, as Orthodox Christians in North America. We realize it is necessary to put aside our ethnic differences to unite as one holy Orthodox Church. Over the past two years, SOYO has realized that we can help push for Orthodox unity in North America on the grassroots level — with our youth, as we are the present and the future of the Church. During our meetings in the summer of 2006, we wrote a resolution pushing for Orthodox unity that was sent to SCOBA, and we are very proud of its effects. However, we desire action, and we pray that it happen now.

On the weekend of this coming Orthodox Unity Sunday, March 14-16, we ask that every SOYO chapter in North America plan a pan-Orthodox event in their local area, being sure to include the youth and parishes of all the Orthodox Christian jurisdictions. It is important to keep in mind, however, that it is not the goal of NAC SOYO to get every SOYO chapter to do one pan-Orthodox event per year, but rather to “get the ball rolling” so that ultimately most, if not all, SOYO events will be pan-Orthodox. Orthodox Unity Sunday will be a great way for our teens to meet and get to know other Orthodox teens around them. It is also very fitting to do it on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, as the name itself calls for the unity of the faith.

As NAC SOYO, we hope and pray you all take this important message to heart, and join us in our push for Orthodox unity in North America. Please join us in sponsoring pan-Orthodox events all over this continent the weekend of Orthodox Unity Sunday, March 14-16, 2008. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, comments, or feedback. Thank you and God bless!

What can you do to support and make “SOYO Unity Sunday” happen:


  1. Contact the Orthodox parishes in your area

    1. Speak to Their Pastors
    2. Their Teen Advisors
    3. Their Teen Leadership
  2. Arrange to hold an event specifically for teens and/or families on Orthodoxy Sunday

    1. This may best be done wherever this year’s Orthodoxy Sunday Liturgy or Vespers is taking place
    2. Arrange the event so the teens can attend the Orthodox Sunday service together as a group
  3. Events may be as simple as:
    1. An open discussion led by one of the priests
    2. An outreach event by the teens to the city where the Orthodoxy Sunday service is taking place
    3. A retreat
    4. Be creative: the idea is to get all of the Orthodox teens together!
  4. If you are not a teen but want to help, consider

    1. Providing funding for this event
    2. Acting as a chaperone
    3. Acting as an event coordinator
    4. Encouraging your parish teens and friends you have in other Orthodox parishes to make this event happen.



Francis Maria Antiochian Archdiocese Scholarship applications are now available online at www.antiochian. org/scholarships. At least five (5) $2,500 scholarships will be presented by his Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP this July. Scholarship application deadline is May 30, 2008.

The Francis Maria Scholarship is designed to award and encourage those teens that have been active in Teen SOYO, OCF, High School/ College and their Community. Those in their senior year of High School, or their freshman, sophomore or junior year of college, are encouraged to apply for this scholarship.

SOYO Youth Worker Fund

We thank the many people, parishes and SOYO youth groups that have contributed to the NAC SOYO Youth Worker Fund that has been established to help fund the education of parish youth workers. Your contributions to date have helped this fund grow to more than $135,000. Those wanting to make a special contribution to this fund may do so by sending their check made payable to “NAC SOYO Youth Worker Fund” to: NAC Youth Worker Fund Department of Youth Ministry PO Box 389 Westwood, MA 02090

2008 Bible Bowl Study Guides



This interactive site is specifically designed for teens and adults preparing for the 2008 Bible Bowl, which this year will focus on I Corinthians.

Special Olympics Awareness Day

NAC Teen SOYO thanks the many parishioners and parishes that donated to this past October’s Special Olym pics Awareness Day. Your generosity has helped NAC Teen SOYO raise nearly $40,000 towards the needed $46,000 for this summer’s upcoming Special Olympics Sports Camp sponsored by SOYO. Those wishing to help SOYO meet the remaining needed funds may send their check made payable to “NAC SOYO Special Olympics” to: SOYO Special Olympics Department of Youth Ministry PO Box 389 Westwood, MA 02090

SOYO Special Olympics Coach Applications

Applications are now available online at www.teen- for teens, ages 16 – 19, that are interested in serving as a SOYO Coach at this summer’s SOYO Special Olympics Sports Camp.

Where: Antiochian Village Camp Bolivar, Pennsylvania
When: August 8-17, 2008.
Application deadline: April 1, 2008.

Are you interested in the challenge of serving others? Then join this summer at SOYO Special Olympics Sports Camp. More information is available at

New SOYO web Presence

Check out our new SOYO web site located at: or A wealth of SOYO material is available on this site, including:


  1. SOYO Project information and materials
  2. SOYO podcasts
  3. Upcoming SOYO Great Friday Vigil Material
  4. Special Olympic SOYO Coach Applications
  5. Information on SOYO Orthodox Unity Sunday
  6. Diocesan and NAC Officer Nomination Forms


Visit us at

Courtesy of the

March 2008 issue of The Word magazine.

Return to The Word article listing.