Tag Archive for: Youth Newsletter

Goya in April

we had a great time…. THANK YOU FOR COMING!!!

Our upcoming project is the “GOYA Palm Sunday Luncheon” – We will be serving fish after church services. 

We look forward to seeing all of you and your families on this wonderful day, when we celebrate the entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem.

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.

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.

Dance in January

The Metropolis HDF will be held January 17, 18, and 19 in Orlando, Holy Trinity.

All dancers are requested to make every effort to attend all of the practices from now until the festival.  There are only SIX MORE PRACTICES! With many students missing multiple days each month, it is difficult for them to be truly learn each dance as we prepare to welcome so many people to our festival.  We will be holding a parent meeting – date TBA, and will begin fitting our dancers for costumes as well.  It is essential for all dancers to be present!

Our two HDF groups have been showing an amazing level of dedication, and we appreciate all of the support from the families and parishioners who have encouraged and supported us through all of our practices.

We wishing you all health and happiness in 2014, and look forward to an amazing year of fellowship in our dance program..

The Metropolis HDF will be held January 17, 18, and 19 in Orlando, Holy Trinity.

Language & Culture in January

In the month of December, the students and their teachers continued to delve into the study of the Greek language. The children had a busy month rehearsing the Christmas Pageant under the auspices of Sunday School. The Community attended the play “Christmas Path” on Friday, December 20th and applauded the children for a wonderful performance. As we say in Greek “καμαρώσαμε τα παιδιά μας.”

The EYCC has accepted the Language and Culture Program proposal to organize a group of parishioners to help shepherd the children every Sunday from Sunday School to Language and Culture to Dance classes. This new group is called “Κηδεμόνες” [kithemo’nes] and is led by Mrs. Jamie Makris. The Kithemones will start their most needed activities in the new year. If anyone is interested in helping, please call Mrs. Pauline Loupasakis at the church office 954-467-1515.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Χαρούμενα Χριστούγεννα και Ευτυχισμένος ο Καινούργιος Χρονος!!!

Goya in January


  • District GOYA “Burning Bush” overnight retreat:  Located in Boca on Nov. 23 & 24. Total Goyans at this event was 93 and of those, 13 was from our community. Overall, great turnout….  I attach some pictures for the newsletter.
  • Thanksgiving Turkey Raffle: On Sunday, November 24th GOYA raffled 5 Turkeys that weighed an average of 20-22lbs each. This was a great fundraiser. Publix had donated a $200 gift card in order for us to purchase the turkeys. Please make a nice story in the Newsletter and make sure “Publix” is mentioned, I would like to forward a copy to the individual an Publix.


  • Christmas Caroling: There were three days which the Goyans went caroling, one of which was last Wednesday, we collected $450 that evening. Our next two dates is this Wednesday the 11th and this Friday the 13th. On Wednesday we caroled at the Philoptochos Party.
  • GOYA BAKING/SOCIAL: Saturday, December 14th we gathered to bake Greek cookies and a few chocolate chip of course for our Bake Sale that was scheduled Sunday the 15th.

To view pictures of these events visit our photo gallery.

Sunday School in December

We discovered that the monks and nuns who make prayer ropes have an intricate task.  On October 27 all the classes made prayer ropes and learned about the Jesus Prayer.  Father John reinforced the lesson with a Children’s Sermon about prayer.  The younger children used beads to make their prayer ropes and the middle and high school students learned to tie the traditional knots.  By now your children should have incense, a prayer rope and a copy of the Jesus prayer to help then with their own rule of prayer.  As a family, you may want to use these items to cense your home and pray together on Saturday evenings.

Make plans to attend and enjoy the Christmas Pageant on December 20.  The parish council will offer a supper, the children will present a lively new production of the Nativity Story and Sunday school parents will offer dessert. All children are expected to participate in the Pageant and some of the children have speaking parts.

It’s not too soon to think ahead to the St. John Oratorical Festival.  We will begin preparations in January.  This year the Festival has added categories for poetry and written essays, so all children in grades 3-12 will participate in one of our three Festival dates. Go to the Archdiocese website to take a peak that these topics.

Please bring in a shoebox of stuff!!!  For more information view stdemetrios.org


Upcoming Dates

  • Pageant costume fitting and speaking parts practice, Nov. 24
  • No Sunday school, Thanksgiving break, Dec. 1
  • Pageant Practice, all students, Dec. 8, 15
  • Christmas Pageant and Family Night, December 20. For more information and the Script visit stdemetrios.org
  • Oratorical Festival Kick-Off, grades 7-12, January 19

Dance in December

The Kamaria Dancers have been diligently working on extending the basic Greek dances, like “sta tria, and syrto” and applying them to the more challenging dances from the regions of Thrace, Florina and the island of Crete. 

Over the years, the Kamaria Dancers have prided themselves in performing suites of dances from areas in Greece that otherwise would go unseen. They have earned a well deserved reputation of excellence. I pray this is achievable by the 2014 Festival; however, I honestly question if it will happen. Attendance and commitment are very low.  Based on these challenges, for first time in over 25 years of teaching Greek dance, we may have to consider changing the format and lowering our standard of performance at the Festival.

Although we are enjoying a wonderful space where we can focus and dedicate undisturbed time to practicing, the lack of consistent attendance makes it almost impossible to move forward. I am teaching and re-teaching the same dances over and over again, trying to catch up those who missed, and then having to review instead of progress.

Senior Palazakia is currently working on two suites of dances.  The first is a mixed suite of dances from the region of Northern Greece, including Syrtos, Serres, Sfarlis, Bana, Baiduska, Thrace, Zonaradiko, Thrace, and Ksesyrtos, Thrace.  The second suite of dances are from Kefalonia. 

Palazakia is working on ten different dances that represent five different regions throughout Greece.  Some of the dances include Pendozali, Syrto, Esios, Zorba and Hassapiko.

The Junior Palazakia are practicing the Kalamatiano and Sta Tria. We are looking to teach them the Hassaposerviko and the Tsamikos. Our dancers are a wonderful group of young learners who are learning coordination and structure and to follow along as they learn different dances within our wonderful culture.

Language and Culture in December

The Language and Culture Program celebrated OXI Day on October 25th. Following the Vesper services for the feast of Saint Demetrios, many members of our Community and several visitors from other churches attended a reception graciously offered by the Philoptochos Ladies Society in the large Hall. There, they listened to poetry recitation by two very young students and a lecture by Petros Tsingelis who gave a detailed and moving overview of the fateful events on October 28, 1940 and their aftermath.

Natalia Cerna, Xenya Currie, Nikita Legakis, Dimitri Selimos and Athena Tsingelis continue to practice the Prayer to the Theotokos and the Prayer to the Lord. We are looking forward to hear them offer these beautiful prayers during the Heretismoi in the Spring.

Grades 6-12 have been merged with the Adult Sunday class taught by Petros Tsingelis. This was done in order to expose the Junior High School and High School students to a series of lectures on the history of Greece that complement their studies in their daily schools. It has proved to be a welcome arrangement whereby mature students, some over 90 years old, became role models to the young ones, some of whom are just entering their teenage years. This is a testament that learning is a lifelong process and that different generations can and do share common interests.