The National YAL Conference - Culmination of a Grassroots Resurgence

The resurgent National YAL Conference was born from a shared vision to recreate a space for young adults within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to unite in faith and fellowship and positively impact their communities.

Despite limited resources, the resurgence began with grassroots efforts. Laypeople at the Metropolis level worked tirelessly to revive the Young Adult League (YAL) after nearly 20 years of absence. The establishment of YAL Conferences in the Metropolises of Denver (2018), San Francisco (2019), Chicago (2020), and Pittsburgh (2021) reignited this young adult movement grounded in the pillars of Faith, Fellowship, Worship, and Witness. As word spread about the powerful work being done, the reputation of these Conferences grew, drawing participants from across the U.S. and Canada.

Through the support and dedication of young adult leaders at the Metropolis level, what began as a grassroots effort became a platform for sharing ideas, fostering collaboration, and inspiring change on a larger scale. These Conferences now unite young adults with Christ and one another, igniting more young adult ministry initiatives across the U.S. and ensuring the future of the Church.

With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, the National YAL Conference was reestablished in 2022 and hosted in New York City, coinciding with the 46th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress and National Philoptochos Biennial Convention.

Following the success of the 2022 National YAL Conference in New York City, young adult leaders considered how the YAL movement could continue to grow at the national level. In December 2022, the first YAL Leadership Summit was hosted by the Archdiocese under the guidance of National Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Eva Konstantakos. Passionate young adult leaders from each Metropolis and District came together from across the Archdiocese. It was collectively decided that a new National YAL Board was needed to support the National YAL Conference and Ministry.

Eva Konstantakos, in reflecting on the resurgence of YAL, shared the following remarks: "Throughout our Archdiocese, I've witnessed the extraordinary rise of impactful young adult conferences, transformative retreats, and other beautiful opportunities to grow closer to Christ and one another. It's truly inspiring to see so many Orthodox Christian young adults across the United States gathering in faith, fellowship, witness, and service to deepen their relationship with Christ. The re-establishment of the National YAL Board is a direct result of the tireless efforts that have flourished at local, regional, and now national levels. This milestone stands as a testament to the eagerness, enthusiasm, and leadership of these remarkable young adults, driven by their love for Christ and His Church. I look forward to working with these exceptional young adults and the great work ahead of us in the Lord's vineyard.”

With the establishment of this Board, young adults will have a platform to actively engage and shape the future of the YAL Ministry nationally and locally. It will also provide leaders with the resources, support, and guidance needed to thrive, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community united by a shared vision of keeping Christ at the center of their lives.

George Anagnostopoulos, the 2024 National YAL Conference Chairman, states, “The YAL Conference has been a rich and rewarding experience for me as a participant and executive committee member. Once you experience the YAL Conference, you will always want to attend the next one. Meeting new friends, growing in faith, and propelling your career - there is no other ministry like this. This ministry by young adults for young adults keeps our generation engaged in the Church through young adulthood.”

Graciously hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, this year's Conference offers numerous opportunities to build lasting connections with fellow Orthodox Christian young adults and Church leaders. The event features captivating speakers and workshops, as well as participation in select segments of the Clergy Laity Congress. Attendees will also enjoy an exclusive Young Adult Q&A with His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, the breathtaking San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show, and a variety of exciting social events. The Conference will conclude with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros on Sunday, July 7, 2024.

As His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos eloquently states, “Join the YAL family!” Join this engaged community of young people actively championing the engagement and connection of young adults to the Church and each other. Register today for the second National YAL Conference in San Diego, California, July 3-7, 2024. To register, please visit the Conference official website - The YAL hotel room block will close on May 31, 2024. Register and book your room today. Don’t miss this opportunity to join this ministry on a national level.

To explore YAL Sponsorship Opportunities, contribute to the National YAL Ministry efforts, and to enable the provision of scholarships for young adults to participate in the Conference, kindly visit the Clergy-Laity/YAL Sponsorships page to offer a donation today. Your contribution will play a crucial role in impacting and empowering young adults within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Follow us on social media for news and updates - @yalnationalconference.

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