Tag Archive for: Youth Education

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – 12th Sunday of Matthew

Beheading of St. John the BaptistAugust 23, 2015

The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner; for thou hast proved to be truly even more venerable than the Prophets, since thou was granted to baptize in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. Wherefore, having contested for the truth, thou didst rejoice to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades: that God hath appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy.

Apolytikion of Beheading of the Forerunner in the Second Tone

Parish Council on duty:

John Ioannou, Jr. , Demetri Rapanos, John  Argiropoulos, Anna Merkel, Kathy Ziegler, Mark Zaden

Youth Appreciation Luncheon

Who: All youth volunteers

What: A Luncheon in honor and thanks to your help and time

Where: St Demetrios Hall

When: Saturday, April 25th @ 1:00pm


On this day we Celebrate YOU and show our appreciation by inviting you to a luncheon in YOUR honor. Please  RSVP by April 22, 2015.  We look forward to seeing you there!

2016-2017 Ministries

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)

Sunday School in April

Oratorical Festivals

Three students spoke at the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival on February 23.  Owen Cockrell, Stavros Taschioglou, and Athena Tsingelis presented enlightening speeches in which they shared their understanding of different spiritual topics.  Stavros and Athena will represent St. Demetrios at the district Festival on April 5 at 1:00 p.m.  All are invited to come hear them and students from all over our district present speeches about Orthodoxy. 

Our elementary Oratorical Festival will be held during Sunday school on March 16.  Children in grades three through six have prepared speeches about what they have learned this year.  Our kindergarten class will also make presentations about Lent. 

­­Epistle Reading

Boys and girls in grades 5 through 12 are invited to take a turn reading the epistle.  Any child who would like to do this should tell his or her Sunday school teacher.  Teachers will arrange for one child each Sunday to read the epistle.


Girls in grades kindergarten through 6 are invited to participate as Myrophores during the procession on Holy Friday night.  Girls must wear white dresses that are at least knee length and have covered shoulders, and white shoes.  Parents should call or email Effie Vasil, 954-366-4413, evasil1031@aol.com.

Lenten Passports

Students in grades K through 10 are using the Lenten Passports to keep track of their church attendance during Great Lent and to learn about the various services that are offered each week.  When your children attend the week night services, help them locate their Passport and stickers in the baskets on the table outside the offices in the south narthex.  Sunday school teachers will also help them to update their Passports on Sunday.

­New Staff Member

We welcome our new pre-K teacher, Mrs. Joanna Heil.  Ms. Joanna comes to us with teaching experience at the Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater.  She is a valuable addition to our staff.

St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival 2014

Introduced in 1983, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival provides Greek Orthodox teenagers the opportunity to write and talk about their faith. The Oratorical Festival Program begins at the parish level and is divided into three divisions:

  • Elementary Division (local festival only) for students in grades 4–6
  • Junior Division for students in grades 7–9
  • Senior Division for student in grades 10–12

The top speakers in the Junior and Senior Divisions advance to the district level. Two finalists in each district division represent the district at the Metropolis Oratorical Festival. The top speaker in each metropolis division is then selected to participate in the Archdiocese Finals, which is hosted by a different metropolis each year.

All eighteen finalists at the Archdiocese Finals participate in a weekend of activities, the highlight of which is the delivery of their speeches on Saturday morning. The Oratorical Festival Scholarship Fund provides college scholarships to the top speakers. In 2013, the top three speakers of each division received college scholarships of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. This year, each Honorable Mention speaker was awarded an iPad2.

Fr. John and Presvytera Margaret Orfanakos serve as the Archdiocese Festival Co-Chairs.

Dates to Remember

Local junior division: March 2
Local senior division: March 9
Local elementary division: March 16
District at St. George, Hollywood: April 2
Metropolis in Jacksonville, May 23-24
National: Cleveland, Ohio, June 13-15

National Festival

On June 13-15 2014, the 2014 National Oratorical Festival will be hosted by the Metropolis of Pittsburgh at the Annunciation Church in Cleveland, Ohio! Click here to read the Press Release.

The 30th National Oratorical Festival was hosted on June 7-9, 2013, by the Metropolis of Detroit at the Annunciation Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Click on the News Release to read about the weekend, and check out page 4 of the July 2013 issue of the Orthodox Observer to read the top speeches and see pictures from the festival.

The Chrysostom Scholarship for Hellenic College

Hellenic College offers The Chrysostom Scholarship to each parish’s top senior division participant of each category. The Chrysostom Scholarship provides 100% of tuition for the recipient’s first year of study, and, based on a GPA scale, up to 80% of tuition for three additional years. For more information visit hchc.edu.

Additional Information about the St. Demetrios Festival

  • We have held an Oratorical Festival for over 20 years
  • At least 3 of our students have spoken at the National Festival (Chris Nichols, Mary Kirifides, Elias Selimos)
  • The Festival is part of the Sunday school curriculum and teachers spend class time helping students prepare their speeches.

Our Oratorical Festival will be held on March 17th in the Church. For more information on how to participate please contact Paula Kirifides at paula.kirifides@gmail.com.

Sunday School in January

For the January Youth Newsletter from Sunday school


  • Hymn singing with Fr. John on Sunday, January 5
  • Kick-off event for the St. John Oratorical Festival on Sunday, January 19, for all students in grades 7-9.  This year’s Festival allows poetry and essays in addition to oration.

Recent events:

The “Christmas Path,” this year’s Sunday School Christmas pageant, was presented on December 20.  About 50 children told the story of the Nativity through a modern play that also illustrates how the timeless story of the Nativity affects us still today.  The Parish Council offered a delicious dinner and Sunday School parents provided dessert.  Santa even came to distribute small gifts to the children.

Sunday School children and parents donated 50 Boxes of Hope to the Children’s Home Society.  They collected empty shoe boxes then donated appropriate items for various ages.  Finally they filled the boxes, gift-wrapped them and delivered them to the Children’s Home Society.

To view pictures of the kids dropping off the Boxes of Hope see the gallery.

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – 9th Sunday of Matthew

The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner; for thou hast proved to be truly even more venerable than the Prophets, since thou was granted to baptize in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. Wherefore, having contested for the truth, thou didst rejoice to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades: that God hath appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy.

Apolytikion in the Second Tone – Beheading of St. John the Baptist – August 29

Parish Council on duty

John Ioannou, Jr., John Argiropoulos, James Carras, Anna Merkel, Demetri Rapanos, Peter Synoyannis, Kathy Ziegler, George Georgakakis

Youth Ministry Program Registration

August 2016

Dear Parishioners,

Our parish continues to serve hundreds of faithful each and every day of the year.  One of our most precious tasks is to educate and prepare the next generation of Orthodox Christians through our Youth Ministry Programs.

Recently, we conducted a survey of the parents of our children, both young and old, and asked some very specific questions about their ability to commit themselves to a program over the course of the year to educate and serve our youth.  Based on the information gathered and the decision of the Education Youth and Culture Committee and approved by the Parish Council, we are pleased to offer the following schedule.

First, we will continue to offer our parishioners the opportunity to volunteer to teach, advise or assist in one of our programs.  Everyone who volunteers is carefully screened and a background check is done before they can be officially appointed.  All appointments are for one year and are reviewed annually for progress.  It takes over 50 volunteers to properly staff all of our Youth Ministry programs.

Second, programs will meet each and every Sunday with few exceptions.  Please check the Church website for the schedule of dates.

Third, Sunday School classes will be visited by Fr. John the first Sunday of each month in order to teach students the hymns of the Faith in both Greek and English.  There will also be an effort created to put together some kind of orchestra or band from the youth of our parish.

Fourth, each Sunday a Children’s Sermonette will be given.  We ask all students to sit in the front left hand side pews so that they will be together.

We will offer Program Registration on August 28th in the Community Hall as well as on our website.  Program fees can also be found at our website.  www.stdemetrios.org

The schedule on Sunday will be as follows:

Orthros: 9:00 a.m.
Adult Study Class: 10:00 a.m.
Doxology: 10:20 a.m.
Divine Liturgy: 10:30 a.m.
Children’s Sermonette: Immediately after the Reading of the Gospel


Sunday School 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Sunday School will include projects such as making incense, prayer ropes, Prosforo, Kolyva, and other activities.  In order to participate in any other programs, students must attend Sunday School.

Lunch and Learn   12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Students who register for this Greek Language and Culture class will be offered Greek food and taught Greek    using some of the latest techniques in teaching a foreign language.  Older students will also learn Greek history and culture.

Students who do not register for Lunch and Learn are free until 1:30PM if attending Dance.

Greek Folk Dance   1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Students who register for this program will learn Greek ethnic dances.  As in the past, students will be divided into proper age and grade categories.

Students who elect only Greek Folk Dance are free until 1:30. Students who do not elect either program, may leave after Sunday School.

GOYA 12:30 – 1:30 –  Sundays  once a month and special events

GOYA (Greek Orthodox Youth of America) is for students in grades 7-12.  They will meet once a month instead of Lunch and Learn (if attending) and participate in a variety of social, spiritual and service events at other times.

For specific dates for all GOYA meetings and events please check the St. Demetrios Calendar on the Website.

Students who have not elected to take any other programs are free to leave for the day.

Summer Camp

Our parish will offer a summer camp for the youth of our parish June 9 – 13, 2014.  Please watch your mail for further exciting details of the program that will be offered.

Registration for the 2013 – 2014 year is offered online at www.stdemetrios.org

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

In His Service,

Fr. Christopher T. Metropulos
John Ioannou, Jr.
President Parish Council
Dr. Mantha Mehallis
Chairperson EYCC

Our Kids in Greece

The Odyssey Scholarship

The Odyssey Scholarship is a program in which a select group of young people who are active participants within the church as well as the Hellenic Dance Festival (HDF) program, who are granted scholarships which provide an opportunity to perform in Greece and participate in workshops while traveling throughout the country.

The objectives of the HDF Odyssey Scholarship program is as follows:

  1. To develop an awareness and appreciation for our Hellenic and Orthodox culture and tradition.
  2. To inspire our young people to embrace the concept that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.
  3. To establish the principles of this Diakonia utilizing the same spirit of Hellenism used during the original Olympic games.
  4. To be led by the comments of St. Paul in Romans 12:10 and the pursuit of excellence in God’s gifts to all.
  5. To give the dancers the opportunity to perform in Greece and participate in workshops while traveling through the country.
  6. To give deserving Hellenic Dancers the opportunity to experience traditional Greek folk dance in it’s natural setting: the Greek villages and islands.
  7. To help instill in these dancers the importance of our traditional Hellenic heritage and Orthodox Faith.

Our community is proud and blessed by Caitlin Hogan, Katie Merkel, Arielle Louvaris, Tony Foskolos, Lana Metropulos, and Victoria Angelakos who were chosen from our family and awarded this opportunity and life changing experience.