Dear St. Demetrios Family,
We are excited for this year’s offering of youth and adult ministries for our St. Demetrios Community! St. Demetrios provides many opportunities for our families to participate in our Parish Ministries and we invite you to go to our new and improved parish website (Stdemetrios.org) to discover which programs your family will enjoy. Our ministries include something for all ages. Ministries that are offered at St. Demetrios are:
- Sunday School: By attending Sunday School, our youth will grow in their love for and knowledge of Jesus Christ through our curriculum theme: The Liturgical Year. Students will also participate in the Annual Christmas Pageant, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, and exciting monthly projects. The classes are divided by age groups: Preschool, Kindergarten, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-4, Grades 5-6, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-10, Grades 9-10, Grades 11-12.
- Greek Dance: St. Demetrios offers Greek folk dance classes to students from kindergarten to adults. Joining this ministry gives you the opportunity to learn about the culture and regions of Greece through dance and songs. Our program is divided into five groups: Junior Palazakia – kindergarten to second grade, Palazakia – third grade to fifth grade, Senior Palazakia – sixth grade to eighth grade, and Kamaria – high school students, and this year we will offer an Adult Class. We also have two levels of competitive HDF (Hellenic Dance Festival) groups that practice weekly and take part in the annual HDF competition hosted by the Metropolis of Atlanta.
- Language & Culture: Adult Classes will be offered on Monday evenings. Greek School for beginners will be offered based on those who register during the month of August. Further announcements will be forthcoming.
- Little Lambs: A ministry for all Mommies, Daddies, Yayas and Papous with children under 5 (including infants) who want to begin their child’s relationship to the church at an early age through activities like fellowship walks in the park, gatherings to learn about the faith and attending Liturgy together.
- HOPE/JOY: We are seeking a volunteer to be the Coordinator for this ministry as well as volunteers to assist St. Demetrios in offering a program for our young parishioners. Similar to GOYA, this ministry allows the children of our St. Demetrios Family to experience the Orthodox Faith by becoming active at a younger age so that we may guide them in their spiritual journey. Holy Orthodox Primary Education (HOPE) ministers to children in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade and Junior Orthodox Youth (JOY) ministers to children from the 3rd through 6th grade.
- Summer Camp: This week-long ministry is offered as a way for our youth to further engage their faith and build relationships with others. There are many activities and workshops that will imprint the christian ethos on their minds and hearts. This is a wonderful and unique opportunity for our youth to experience Christ and our Orthodox faith alongside their friends, peers, and mentors. This year camp will be during the week of June 15-19th, 2015. To be a camper at the St. Demetrios Summer Camp, the youth must be between 5-11 years of age. To be a junior counselor, the youth must be in High School and counselors have to be older than 18 years of age. More information on St. Demetrios Summer Camp will be given out at a later date!
- Acolytes/Altar Boys: This ministry is for our young men from age 7 and above to learn to care for and serve God’s Holy Altar. They will also learn the meaning of the vessels and vestments used in the Divine Liturgy. In addition to attending church services, these young gentlemen will also participate in retreats and fellowship activities.
- Greek Orthodox Youth of America (GOYA): This ministry was created to lead our young people (for grades 7th to 12th) into experiencing the Orthodox Faith by becoming active sacramental members of the living Church. Our young people will be equipped with tools necessary to assist them in their spiritual journey. There are meetings monthly (On the first Sunday of each month) as well as monthly fellowship activities. GOYAns are recommended to participate in our Youth Stewardship Program. There are also retreats that GOYAns can participate in at St. Demetrios as well as retreats hosted by other parishes in the Southeast Florida District.
- Youth Stewardship: Our mission is to strengthen the relationship of our youth with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by helping them identify their role and responsibility as stewards of our church and faith as they integrate Spiritual, Service and Fellowship elements into their everyday Orthodox Christian Life. With this in mind, students are responsible for documenting their participation in projects/activities that are spiritual, service and fellowship in nature, in order to qualify for privileges and rewards offered by our church, youth programs and Metropolis.
- REAL: Superseding the YAL model, Representing Emerging Adult Leaders (REAL) is foundationally an initiative based on service and fellowship. It is here to reach our young adults (ages 18 and above) where they are and fulfill the needs that these emerging leaders have today. There will be events organized so that our young adults may come together to continue strengthening their faith. We are looking for volunteers to help establish a REAL ministry for the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.
- Adult Bible Study: This will occur on Sunday morning at 10:00 am between the Orthros and the Divine Liturgy. You may download study guides and video archives on our parish website and the website of the Orthodox Christian Network (www.myocn.net).
- Orthodox Parent Association (OPA): This is a support group that will work to assist all the youth ministries. All parents should sign-up on the website and indicate if they are interested in volunteering for any of our ministries in any way that they can.
We are pleased to announce that in addition to the variety of ministries we offer our youth, the EYCC and all of our ministries now have the support of a Youth Coordinator. We welcome Sampson Kasapakis, a recent graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology, for fulfilling this vital role and we look forward to a tremendous year working together.
As you can see there are many ministries that will be offered this year at St. Demetrios and there are important dates and updates we would like to share with you:
- August 14th, 2016: Online Registration for all of our Youth Ministries will be open. In an effort to continue to provide quality ministries for our families, there will be an increase in the registration fee for our programs and the fee will apply to everyone.
- August 28th, 2016: We will have a Youth Ministry Orientation where you will be able to meet with the coordinators of each program and learn more about each ministry.
- September 7th, 2016: All our ministries will begin on this date! At the end of the year, there will be a special event during which each ministry will make a presentation. More information for this event will follow.
We are on the way to offering some of the finest Youth and Adult Ministries in the area and to do this we need your participation. We are excited about the great and fulfilling year that awaits us all!
With Love in the Lord,
Clergy, Parish Council and
The Education Youth and Culture Committee (EYCC)