Committee for Youth 2013 Report


Summary Report to Assembly IV -- September 2012-August 2013

Activities & Status of Work

Meetings in 2013:

  • Youth workers meeting - January 23-26. Continued work on initiatives and work programs.
  • Committee meeting - January 24. Held concurrently with the meeting of youth leaders.
  • Quarterly conference calls of Jurisdictional Youth Directors.
  • Committee meeting – September 13. Continued Committee work/prepared for Assembly meeting.

Committee Work Projects:

a. Committee Vision Statement. A Vision statement for the committee was approved and included in the Committee’s Terms of Reference (see ‘Other’ below).

b. Database/catalogue of information identifying youth directors and youth programs is complete:

i. The Database/catalogue allows construction of a matrix of comparative characteristics of current youth programs for purpose, content and activities.

ii. Information on Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS) has been input into the database.

iii. As per the Assembly, the database will be updated annually.

c. Committee consultants and Youth Directors have begun work on a number of projects. These projects support the Committee’s objectives under the Terms of Reference.

i. Establish protocols and channels by which the committee’s work is done in each jurisdiction/agency.

a. The workgroup recommends a number of parameters to ensure that all forms of communications are done with respect and through proper channels approved by the Assembly of Bishops.

 ii. Gather information via surveys from parishes, priests, youth workers, parents, and youth to establish the needs of the faithful with regard to youth formation.

a. The Committee included this task in the Committee’s Terms of Reference (see ‘Other’ below).

b. The group recommends creating a brief questionnaire (with cover letter) to gather information to complete this initiative, to be distributed to all diocesan hierarchs. The questionnaire would cover:

i. Identifying existing programs and events for youth workers;

ii. Asking for recommendation of people who might volunteer to help with this work; and

iii. Requesting access to existing resources used for parish youth formation.

c. The Committee agreed to gather this information from appropriate Orthodox sources.

 iii. Research existing Orthodox Christian resources on youth formation, in order to begin work on developing new cohesive models for youth formation from birth to adulthood.

a. The Committee included this task in the Committee’s Terms of Reference (see ‘Other’ below).

b. A work group addressed this initiative in-depth. The Youth Leaders felt this initiative is important to ensure that relevant information /tools are identified, and that they are used appropriately.

 iv. Create models of cooperation and unification.

a. Four initiatives fall under this broad category:

i. Encourage cooperative events (local, regional, and national) allowing youth workers to know and learn from each other and learn;

ii. Encourage cooperative events (local, regional, and national) that brings together Orthodox Christian youth of all ages;

iii. Create a proposal for a future national youth gathering for all Orthodox Christian youth, and

iv. Gather/produce resources in order to facilitate the needs of Orthodox parish youth formation.

b. Several recommendations are being considered: develop an Orthodox Christian website for those seeking to live as Orthodox Christians in today’s world; create a network of youth workers capable of helping hosting regional events for youth workers, and develop a three cycle of events to tie local, regional, and national youth events together.

c. The Committee believes it must step carefully. The work groups understand that due to legal and insurance concerns, neither the Committee nor the Assembly will sponsor any youth event (except those specifically approved by the Assembly).

d. However, the Committee would like to encourage such events taking place.

e. As a result, the Committee will:

i. Present to the Assembly a conceptual proposal regarding a National (U.S. or U.S. and Canada) Youth Gathering;

ii. Propose through a Motion-for-Action that the Assembly be supportive of pan-Orthodox youth events; and

iii. Propose through a Motion-for-Action that the Assembly task the Committee for Youth to develop online resources targeted at North American Orthodox youth and youth workers (in concert with other committees of the Assembly, where needed and where beneficial).


Plans for Further Work

Future Committee meetings:

The Committee will continue to try to meet twice a year – in January and the day prior to the start of the Assembly meetings.

Meetings to Support Youth Work Programs:

Jurisdictional Youth Directors will meet via quarterly conference calls throughout 2013and 2014 to continue work on outstanding Committee work-programs. Jurisdictional Youth Directors have already met in person in January and by conference call in March and in June. They will meet again in the fall for their fourth meeting and possibly a fifth as we approach our January in-person meeting. The Committee will request that the Assembly, though a Motion-for-Action, encourage jurisdictional Youth Directors to meet 4 times a year, with at least one meeting in person.

Orthodox Jurisdictional youth directors and National Youth Ministry leaders may meet in Sept/Oct. Work will continue on developing options for the Committee’s consideration.

The next meeting of the 70+ Orthodox youth workers will be Jan 22-25, 2014. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the leaders annual Youth Worker and Camping Conference, endorsed in past years by this Assembly. The Committee, through a Motion-for-Action will ask the Assembly to endorse this meeting, as it has done the prior two years.

Major Issues

1. Providing financial assistance to key youth leaders for travel and lodging to planning meetings.

2. Ensuring key youth leaders have time to devote to committee initiatives.


Please note: The Committee has revised its Terms of Reference to more closely reflect the work the Committee has undertaken. Changes to the original Terms of reference include adding the Committee’s Vision Statement; adding tasks and accomplishments related to youth formation; and developing a model for youth formation.