UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSSITORY OFFICE OF YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
2010 Teenage Conference Begins Its Ministry!
Life is tough enough being a teenager in today’s world - let alone being an Orthodox Christian teenager trying to live in Christ’s Image. With this in mind, the Teenage Conference, a program of the Consistory Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry entered into yet another year of ministry at All Saints Camp of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
Youth ages 13-18 and staff of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church from California to Maryland gathered at All Saints Camp from July 11-24 for Teenage Conference. The encampment led by Spiritual Director Fr. John Harvey, a pastor of Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Youngstown, OH and encampment acting director Natalie Kapeluck Nixon, witnessed one of its best years to date!
The program revolved around the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry theme for 2010-2011 "Go Forth, Make Disciples of All Nations." Matthew 28:20. Throughout the encampment the campers and staff to participate in daily church school classes during which the campers will learn about our missionary commission and lives of many of our missionary saints.
Teenage Conference provides a safe haven for Orthodox teenagers to ask tough questions concerning their faith, meet fellow teens with similar struggles and feel comfortable living their faith amongst friends.
The two-week TC Program focuses on the following:
Daily Prayers, Liturgical Services, lectures, discussion groups(with anonymous question box), guest speakers, liturgical singing and Day of Service.
Ukrainian Cultural Program
Embroidery, Ukrainian Dancing, Singing, Cooking, and Music Appreciation to name a few.
Sporting Program: Ukie Olympics
A full scale program with events in track, field, volleyball, basketball, diving, archery, and tennis. Open
free sports are also available during the day including swimming and canoeing.
Campfires, Dances, Game Nights, Swimming, Movies, Annual FoosBall Tournament.
The theme was also woven throughout other aspects of the encampment programming. Some special highlights of the encampment included a special visit by His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine and His Grace Bishop Daniel. Both hierarchs visited with the youth of the Church, interacting with them, being honorary judges at the swimming-diving competition as well as participated in Q/A session during which the campers had a chance to ask their spiritual fathers questions relating to their Faith, daily Orthodox life, teenage issues.
This year "Go Forth" Lecture Series included guest speakers OCMC Missionary, Fr. Michael Kochis, Fr. Stephen Hutnick – our Church’s Vocations director and Fr. Paisus McGrath. Among other activities, the campers so far had a chance to participate in the walk through the Hill of Crosses - Cross for Missions; had a chance to reflect upon and hear a presentation on Orthodox Christian Mission Center’s ministry - OCMC Walk for the Tarkana (www.ocmc.org for more information); Camper's Choice Night; New Ukie Olympic Event; Sacred Music Chanting and Candle Making. Fr. Bohdan Hladio led several workshops, instructing the youth of the Church to live their lives based on Christian virtues and kindness to the world around us. Utilizing his musical skills, Fr. Bohdan sang with the campers several Ukrainian folk songs as well as chanted with them sacred hymns of the Church.
Two special projects were jointly being worked upon with Teenage Conference. The first was to prepare School Kits for children without means in countries around the world, through the programming of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC – www.iocc.org). The second was a participants in a Walk for the Tarkana – a program of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center(OCMC – www.ocmc.org).
One of the special highlights of the program was a concert of Ukrainian Folk Music by Nadia Tarnawsky on the Camp grounds.
Our camping season continues as Teenage Conference encampment is in progress. Please keep the campers and staff in your prayers through July 24th. Mommy & Me/Daddy and Me camp is still accepting application for its August 2nd start date.