Ready. Set. EXCLAIM!
Labor Day Weekend YAL Conference 2021 in Phoenix, AZ
Are you ready to Exclaim your faith? Then the Young Adult League (YAL) Conference over Labor Day Weekend 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona is where you need to be! This will be the third YAL Conference since 2019 hosted by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco and promises to bigger and better than ever!
Conference attendees will enjoy a weekend of events, workshops, worship and relaxation from September 2 – 6, 2021 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZ, a luxury property with a therapeutic spa, five pools, a lazy river, two golf courses, 17 pickleball courts, and much more! There will be plenty of free time to enjoy these amenities with your new YAL friends, and explore the beauty of the Sonoran desert.
Highlights of the weekend include engaging workshops, daily worship, dances, a Grand Banquet, and a special western-themed event “YeeHaw YAL” on Sunday evening. Diakonia is also an important part of the YAL ministry and will include a Rise Against Hunger challenge to package meals for undernourished people throughout the world.
“I am excited for this opportunity to once again gather with our young adults for this conference and to Exclaim the vibrancy of the YAL ministry,” shared His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “These young adults are at a crucial time in their lives, and this conference will help solidify them in their faith and provide direction and purpose for them as Orthodox Christians as they emerge into the work force and beyond.”
Online registration for the conference is now open. Take advantage of the discounted rate from now through June 30. Registration will continue through early August but don’t wait too long. The 2019 conference was nearly a sell-out, with participants from 43 states across the Archdiocese, so be sure to Exclaim your interest by registering today. You can also reserve your accommodations at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, that will be a great getaway for Labor Day Weekend. Visit www.sanfran.goarch.org/YAL for more details.
This year’s Keynote presenters are going to take you on a journey that promises to bring you spiritual, social and professional fulfillment. Friday afternoon’s presentation will be offered by Bill Marianes who will speak on “Why Love Light – Being a Disciple in Your Jerusalem and Beyond.” Bill will guide the participants on a discovery of their personal “Why” and how they, as agents of change, can impact their parish, the civic community, and our entire country as disciples and exclaimers of our faith. Bill lives in Gainesville, GA but he is a good friend to our Metropolis, and brings with him a wealth of experience as a sought-after guest speaker who engages his audiences, identifies practical ways for parish involvement, and provides important guidance and insight for emerging professionals as they chart their course through higher education and entering the job market.
On Saturday, the YAL Conference will welcome Rev. Dr. Nicholas and Presvytera Roxanne Louh, Ph.D., all the way from Jacksonville, FL. Participants will be inspired by their presentation on “Exclaiming By Renewing You, Your Relationship with Christ and Each Other”. The Louh’s are a power-couple who bring with them years of experience serving the church, as well as their professional backgrounds in ministry and counseling. They cohost “Healthy Minds Healthy Souls” on Ancient Faith Radio. The Louh’s are also the co-authors of Renewing You which combines principles of spiritual growth with psychological tools to help you become your best self, fully connected with God’s purpose for you. A special book signing will also be held at the YAL Conference.
YAL In Your Backyard
A new program will also be formally introduced during the Conference – YAL In Your Backyard – which aims to connect current and new members of local YAL communities in fellowship, faith and fun! This program is aimed to keep the excitement of the YAL ministry going and growing in between annual conferences. YAL In Your Backyard will rely upon the leadership of local YAL members to help organize periodic regional events, as well as a National Day of Service, where YAL members from all over mobilize to support a cause and make a positive impact on the greater community by serving those in need.
Chairman and YAL Executive Committee
George Anagnostopoulos from Highland, CA is once again serving as the Conference Chairman. He is leading an outstanding group of young adults on the Executive Committee including: Marissa Hondros (CA), Eva-Marie Kailas (CA), Christiana Konugres (WA), Penelope and Chris Kyriazi (CA), Tasia Matty (CA), Niko Panagiotakopoulos (AZ), Yianna Papadeas (CA), Christos Schwarz (NJ), Christine Scolinos (CA), Marina Settelmayer (CA), Costa Theodore (AZ), Stavroula Tsantilas (WA), and Jenny Walters (CA). They are being mentored by advisors Honorable Steven and Stacia Counelis, who have been involved in YAL since the 1980’s and have been instrumental in its resurgence in the Metropolis of San Francisco since 2019. Also supporting this planning effort are staff members from the Metropolis of San Francisco: Kristen Bruskas – Director of Development and Communications; Johanna Carter – Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries; Paul Gikas – Director of Ministries and Administration; and Rev. Father Gary Kyriacou – Pastor of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
“The talent and enthusiasm of this group of young adults is truly inspiring,” remarked His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos. “They are putting their heart and soul into planning this conference and are passionate about creating opportunities for young adults to live their faith and be empowered as Orthodox Christians and leaders for the church and society.”
For More Information
See you in Phoenix!