Committee for Youth 2014 Annual Report

Activities & Status of Work:
1. Meetings:

a. 2012:
i. Youth workers meeting - January 24-28. Continued work on committee initiatives.
ii. Committee meeting - January 25. Held concurrently with the meeting of youth leaders.
iii. Committee meeting - September 9. Discussed on-going projects and work programs.

b. 2013
i. Youth workers meeting - January 23-26. Continued work on initiatives and work programs.
ii. Committee meeting - January 24. Held concurrently with the meeting of youth leaders.
iii. Quarterly conference calls of Jurisdictional Youth Directors.
iv. Committee meeting – September 13. Continued Committee work/prepared for Assembly meeting.

c. 2014
i. Youth Directors meeting – Jan 22- 23. Focus on 3yr youth gathering cycle. A follow-up conference call was held in Jun.

v. Committee meeting – September 15. Prepared for Assembly meeting.

2. Committee Work Projects:

a. Database/catalogue of information identifying youth directors and youth programs:
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.

b. 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 will recommend 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, now a part of the Committee’s Terms of Reference.
a. 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.
b. The Committee agreed to gather this information from appropriate Orthodox sources, with further definition of the process to be used needed.
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. 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.
b. Further work is needed to better clarify how best to proceed.
iv. Create models of cooperation and unification; specifically develop a three-year cycle of youth meetings.
a. The 3 year cycle of youth meetings would:
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 to address these broad 4 initiatives: 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, etc.

c. Youth Directors have begun to discuss:
i. A methodology to move the process forward.
ii. 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).
iii. The Committee will present to the Assembly a conceptual proposal regarding a National Youth Gathering;

Plans for Further Work:
1. Future Committee meetings.
a. 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.

b. Meetings to Support Youth Work Programs:
Jurisdictional Youth Directors will meet via quarterly conference calls to continue work on outstanding Committee work-programs, with at least one meeting in person.

The next meeting or the 70+ Orthodox youth workers will be in Jan 2015. 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 three 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.