To the Reverend Clergy, Church School Teachers, and Youth Ministry Coordinators of the Orthodox Church in America
Dearly Beloved in the Lord:
I am pleased to inform you that, at its meeting last April, the Holy Synod of Bishops chose “Let Your Light So Shine” (Matt 5:16) as the 2003/2004 ecclesiastical year’s theme for the Orthodox Church in America Youth Movement.
As has been previously published in The Orthodox Church newspaper and communicated to you through various mailings, the Orthodox Church in America Youth Movement’s annual theme is part of a comprehensive and consistent approach to our Church’s ministry with youth. Each ecclesiastical year, every deanery is to hold three events for its youth:
A fellowship event;
An educational event; and
A service event.
Enclosed you will find resources on this year’s theme to be used in your parish and deanery. Developed through the combined efforts of the Department of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry and the Department of Christian Education, these resources include:
A poster highlighting the theme;
An overnight teen retreat outline, which can be used by deaneries for implementing the OCAY education activity this year;
Supplementary church school materials including:
Two church school lesson outlines that offer ideas for discussing the theme with children of all ages, and
A handout to take home and discuss with their families; and
A chat room schedule for youth and young adults to discuss various topics related to this theme with each other and members of the Department of Youth Young Adult and Campus Ministry.
Please display the poster in a visible place in your parish to serve as a reminder for youth to reflect on this theme and to encourage them to participate in the deanery events that should be taking place throughout the year. For more information please visit the Department of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry’s web site at http://yya.oca.org/ocay.
Invoking God’s blessing upon you and assuring you of my prayers, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada