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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.

Apply to CrossRoad 2019! 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, 2019.

For more information, visit our website!

10 Days

3 Sessions

2 Locations

1 Amazing Program

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2019 Special Olympics Volunteer and Coaching Applications Available

Special Olympics campers and staff at the VillageSpecial Olympics campers and staff at the VillageThe 2019 Special Olympics Sports Camp is scheduled to be held at the Antiochian Village August 9–18, 2019. 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 38th 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 2019 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 Form  is posted as well.

Download Coaches Application

Download Volunteer Form

Register Now! 21st Annual Midwest Diocese Basketball Tournament

The 20th Annual Midwest Diocese Basketball Tournament will be held in Canton, Ohio, on January 18–20, 2019. This year, His Grace Bishop Anthony and the faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest joyfully welcome participation from churches of the Mid-Atlantic Diocese, led by His Grace Bishop Thomas.

The host is St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, and accommodations are available via the Courtyard by Marriott in Canton at a group rate of $89.00 per night. 

DOWNLOAD 2019 Basketball Tournament Forms

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Diocese of Miami Hosts Successful First Annual SOYO Fall Retreat

The pink team during Glow in the Dark Capture the FlagThe pink team during Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag

As a teen of this current generation, it’s hard for me to find other people my age that I can connect to and understand on a spiritual level. There are very few places where I feel completely accepted and where I am surrounded by friends who I know will always understand me. These places are at camp, and at conventions and retreats. With these events, I am only able to see my friends who come from all over the southeastern region twice a year, which I think everyone would agree, is not enough.

This is why when Bishop Nicholas proposed the idea of an annual fall retreat to the SOYO board, our immediate response was "Yes!" Anyone who has talked to Bishop Nicholas knows that he loves Teen SOYO. Many would describe him as a teen himself, from the way he uses our slang and taps people on the opposite shoulder, to joking around with all of us. Bishop Nicholas, including many others, know that we teens are the future of the Church.

College Scholarship Awarded to Isaac Gabriel Abdalla of St. George, Charleston

The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS) is pleased to announce that a scholarship of $1000 has been awarded to Isaac Gabriel Abdalla. He was selected from a nationwide group of highly qualified applicants who had received both the highest award of their Scout organization (Eagle or Gold, for Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA, respectively) and the highest Orthodox Christian religious award, the Alpha Omega medal. Students were evaluated on how they demonstrated love of God and their Orthodox Christian Faith through scholarship, leadership, service, and practical citizenship in their church, school, Scouting unit, and community.

Isaac Gabriel Abdalla is a communicant of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Charleston, WV. He attended Capital High School, and his most recent Scout units are Troop 64 and Venturing Crew 64. Among his many distinctions are completion of every merit badge in the Boy Scout program, Brotherhood status in the Order of the Arrow, extensive community service, and a massive Eagle Scout project that resulted in over 12,000 food items being collected for a local food bank. He graduated in the top 3% of his class, has been very active in his parish, played varsity sports all high school years, and both participated in and led state championship chess teams. Isaac will attend West Virginia University this coming fall and plans to major in engineering.

Department of Youth News Archive

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