2016 Orthodox Youth Day.
On Thursday, August 25th, Six Flags Great Adventure was overtaken by 60 Orthodox Christians from across our diocese for a day of fun and fellowship!
The day began at Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church in Jackson, NJ where the parish graciously hosted breakfast. A Moleben of Thanksgiving was then served by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, and a "Stump the Archbishop" question and answer session followed. Then it was time to board the bus and head to the park.
Despite the heat, kids and parents alike braved the roller coasters, conquered their fear of heights on the ferris wheel, and enjoyed reuniting with old friends and making new ones!
As the day went on, we met at the main water fountain for our traditional group picture afterwhich meal vouchers were passed out to each youth participant. "Seeing the youth of our diocese coming together for prayer, education, and fellowship allows them and all of us the opportunity of strengthening our faith in Christ and our relationships with one another," said Rev. Jason Vansuch (Chairperson for Department of Youth Ministry).
There were many highlights of the day but one that stood out amongst the children was the phone call from His Eminence making sure we were all having a great time.
We express our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to His Eminence Archbishop MICHAEL for being with us and leading us in our Annual Diocesan Youth Day, and are grateful to the clergy and chaperones who assisted us with making it another successful event in our diocese. We also extend our appreciation to Fr. John and Matushka Ludmilla Prokopiuk for their generous hospitality in preparing a delicious breakfast for us, as well as for opening up their Parish Hall for us to use a our 'home base.'
The children and adults are already looking forward to next year's Diocesan Youth Day! In the meantime, please continue to visit the The Department of Youth Ministry's website for upcoming events. We are looking forward to the Diocesan Girls Retreat (November 11-13, 2016) at St. Basil Academy located in Garrison, NY!
As we continue the good work of ministering to the Youth of our Church, let us always remember that the youth are not only the future of our church, but they are also the present!