Youth and young adults from across the Orthodox Church in America are encouraged to attend the 18th All-American Council in Atlanta, GA July 20 – 24, 2015.
“Youth and volunteers will experience the fullness of our Church in a way that can’t be described in words,” said Priest Benjamin Tucci, who is overseeing the AAC youth program. “The entire Synod of bishops, its clergy, and faithful will be in attendance, bringing joy and glory to God. There will be an entire hotel full of Orthodox faithful worshiping, participating in council events, and celebrating the faith. Together we will learn ‘How to Expand the Mission’—the theme for the week.”
The hotel itself sits in the midst of Atlanta’s downtown Peachtree Center, just minutes from the airport by a low cost tram system called Marta. Youth and volunteers will explore the area during the daytime hours, when AAC meetings are in session. They will visit the Georgia Aquarium which boasts one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, large enough to host a few large whale sharks. They will see the famous World of Coca-Cola, where youth will be able to make their own soda pop and sample different soda pops from all over the world.
“And together, we will explore the CNN Studio,” Father Benjamin added. “Lunch will be provided daily, and transportation will be available to and from activities that are not within walking distance.”
Each morning, youth ages three to 18 will enjoy age-appropriate educational sessions.
- Children in PK through second grade will meet for a play group, which will be organized in a similar manner to a Vacation Church School program. In the afternoon, the children and their parents will participate in additional activities.
- For third through 12th graders, a similar format will be used, with parents picking up their children and teens after the afternoon activities. Volunteers that are trained and screened will chaperone the afternoon activities.
“Youth and volunteers are needed,” Father Benjamin emphasized. “The youth will give a presentation at the end of the week to the entire body of the Council.”
Volunteers may register on-line. An on-line training, screening and background check will be provided to volunteers at no cost before the Council begins. Meals and fees associated with the activities will be covered by the OCA. Room costs and meals outside of the activities are not covered, however.
Youth also may register on-line at our AAC web site and will be charged a participation fee for the youth programming events. Transportation to the AAC, hotel fees, and meals outside of activities are the responsibility of the youth. Chaperones and parents should be aware that the youth will need to be chaperoned and watched over during times that they are not at the scheduled events.
Fundraising Ideas are available on-line at oca.org/the-hub/20-something/ideas-for-fundraising.
In related news, the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA] will begin their annual national convention on Saturday, July 18. Those interested in attending the FOCA’s meetings and sessions or to find out more about them may visit the FOCA web site at www.orthodoxfellowship.org.
“The FOCA also plans to have youth activities and activities for all age groups,” Father Benjamin added. “Youth and adults are encouraged to come to the Council early and find out more about the FOCA, which encourages stewardship and parish growth through participation in local and national events, including the annual FOCA basketball tournaments, the married student housing project at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, and a variety of other events and activities.”