Our Department serves several important ministries of our church, including HOPE, JOY, GOYA, Altar Boys, Young Adults, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Scouting, and Camping Ministries. Our mission is to strengthen the relationship of young Orthodox Christians with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, encouraging them to become active sacramental participants in the life of the Body of Christ. The ministries below offer them the opportunity to experience the Faith, ultimately leading them to Salvation. These ministries are not "organizations" or "clubs," but rather a ministry of the Church--a gathering of the faithful who share the same ages and common interests.
HOPE Ministry (Holy Orthodox Primary Education)
Holy Orthodox Primary Education, or HOPE, ministers to children in Kindergarten through 2nd grade. In smaller parishes, it is sometimes necessary to combine HOPE and JOY groups. If this is the case, it is important to plan age appropriate activities based on the needs of your specific group of young people. Want to learn more about creating a HOPE Ministry? Download our HOPE Guidelines or order a print copy at Orthodox Marketplace.
JOY Ministry (Junior Orthodox Youth)
Junior Orthodox Youth, or JOY, ministers to children in 3rd through 6th grade. The span from 3rd to 6th grade is a large one, and within it there are great variances in maturity. A well balanced JOY Ministry program will provide activities that meet the needs of all children in the ministry. Want to learn more about creating a JOY Ministry? Download our JOY Guidelines or order a print copy at Orthodox Marketplace.
GOYA Ministry (Greek Orthodox Youth of America)
The Greek Orthodox Youth of America, or GOYA, ministers to young people ages 13-18. Teenagers should be in sixth/seventh through twelfth grades to participate, depending on the how junior high/middle school is structured within your area. It is recommended that GOYA ministry be divided into two distinct groups, the middle school GOYA ministry and the high school GOYA ministry. Since GOYA is ministry of the church, the orientation and implementation of the program should reflect the Orthodox Christian Faith, Tradition and Life. Want to learn more about creating a GOYA Ministry? Download our GOYA Guidelines or order a print copy at Orthodox Marketplace.
The role of the altar Boy remains a genuine and vital one in the Eucharistic Assembly of the faithful, as well as in other services. He stands ready to serve God in this capacity. It is a stewardship of young men; a service that they offer to God as their regular Sunday offering of talent and ability.
Young Adult Ministry
Young Adult Ministry ministers to young adults of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, ages 18 to 35 years old. There are many groups that fall within this category, including college-aged students, young professionals, young couples, etc. Each individual Young Adult Ministry should strive to minister to all young adults in the community as they transition through different life stages. Depending on the demographics of the community, it may be appropriate to provide ministry in separate groups (OCF, young professionals, etc.). For information about our National Young Adult ministries, visit www.youngadult.goarch.org. If you would like to learn more about creating a Young Adult Ministry in your parish, download our Young Adult Ministry Guidelines or order a print copy at Orthodox Marketplace.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship (Campus Ministries) www.ocf.net
Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the official campus ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. OCF assists thousands of Orthodox college students each year to experience their faith through the annual College Conference, Real Break Service Trips, their advanced and innovative website, and the Witness, the official campus ministry newsletter. Click here to visit www.ocf.net.
Eastern Orthodox Comittee on Scouting (EOCS)
The EOCS was founded in 1960 under the auspices of the Standing Conference of Eastern Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and is the officially recognized Eastern Orthodox religious committee for the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts USA, and Camp Fire Boys and Girls programs. EOCS provides support, programs, and recognition to the scouts and scouters of Eastern Orthodox faith whether in units in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, or registered in units sponsored by other institutions, via the religious youth recognitions, adult recognitions for volunteer scouters and clergy, retreats, camp-o-rees, associated events and activities. For more information, please visit their website at www.eocs.org.
The purpose of the Office of Camping Ministries is to provide direction and unity for camping programs under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Whether an Archdiocesan, Metropolitan or Parish level camp, the Office of Camping Ministries is responsible for providing resources and training for camp staff, as well as for setting appropriate standards for camp operation. The Office of Camping Ministries works directly with the Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries to create, implement and produce camp standards for Orthodox camping. Click here for our Camping Ministries Page. For more information about camp standards and the Youth Protection Manual, please visit our Child and Youth Protection Page. For information about the Orthodox Christian Camp Association, additional camp resources, and our annual Orthodox Christian Camp and Youth Worker Conference, please visit www.orthodoxcamps.org.
Syndesmos, the World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth, is a federation of Orthodox youth movements and theological schools around the world, working under the blessing of all the local canonical Churches, to serve the Church, Her unity, witness and renewal. The aim of Syndesmos is to develop cooperation and communication among Orthodox youth movements and theological schools around the world, and to promote within them a deeper understanding and vision of their common faith. For more information, visit their website: http://syndesmostemporary.blogspot.com/.
Crossroad is an engaging 10-day summer institute for Orthodox Christian high school juniors and seniors of all jurisdictions that takes place every summer on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross in Brookline, MA. Students are invited to take part in an exciting summer vocations exploration program designed to help them discern their life callings and match their God-given gifts with the needs of the world. For more information, visit their website: www.crossroad.hchc.edu
Orthodox Camp and Youth Worker Conference
The Department works closely with the youth offices of the Antiochian Christian Orthodox Archdiocese, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Ukranian Orthodox Church of the United States of America to coordinate the Orthodox Camping and Youth Worker Conference. Visit www.orthodoxcamps.org for information about the upcoming conference in January 2013.