19th AAC Youth Program registration now open

Youth from across the Orthodox Church in America are encouraged to attend the 19th All-American Council [AAC] in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018.

Registration for the Youth Program is now available online.

During the week-long program for youth ages 5-18, participants will explore their faith, meet Orthodox Christian youth from across North America, and experience the sights and sounds of Saint Louis.

“The All-American Council provides a unique experience for our youth,” said His Grace, Bishop David of Alaska, Episcopal Liaison for the OCA Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry in giving his blessing for the AAC youth program. “It provides them with an opportunity to combine their talents with many other Orthodox young people to make a stronger Church in North America.”

Each day, education programs and workshop activities will explore the lives of saints and the Council’s theme, “For the Life of the World,” with lessons in age appropriate groups. This Council’s youth program will also feature a teaching liturgy.

“We’re going to help young people understand the meaning behind the beauty of the Divine Liturgy, from the Proskemedia to the final Amen,” said Priest Benjamin Tucci, who is overseeing the program. “We want to equip the youth with knowledge and experiences they can share with their friends when they return home.”

As at past All-American Councils, youth participants will also share a brief presentation of their activities with AAC delegates and observers during a plenary session.

A draft of the youth program also is available online.

Cast Your Vote. A survey has been set-up for young people to vote before Wednesday, February 7, 2018 on their preferred daily outings in and around St. Louis.

Registration. Youth interested in attending the AAC Youth Program must register in advance. An early-bird discounted registration rate of $200.00 is available through Friday, March 2, 2018. After March 1, the registration rate will be $250.00, with the final deadline for registration Friday, May 4, 2018.

Scholarships. For those youth who need financial assistance to attend the program at the 19th AAC, scholarships are available in the following categories.

  • Youth in Kindergarten through grade two: Scholarship applicants should submit an original drawing showing how they live as Orthodox Christians.
  • Youth in grades three through five: Scholarship applicants should submit an original 200-word statement and a drawing showing how they live as Orthodox Christians.
  • Youth in grades six through twelve: Scholarship applicants should submit a 500-word essay on the theme, “I Am Orthodox, because…,” shraring their thoughts and beliefs as to why being an Orthodox Christian is important in their lives.

All scholarship entries (.jpg images of drawings and/or essays), along with the applicant’s full name, age, city, state and parish name should be emailed to aacyouth@oca.org no later than Friday, March 2, 2018. Youth who have been selected to receive scholarships will be notified in April. Winning essays and drawings will be published on the OCA’s Youth and Young Adult website.

Getting to St. Louis. Transportation to and from Saint Louis, including hotel fees, and meals outside of the Youth Program are the responsibility of participants. Travel arrangements can be organized for individuals, families or youth groups from parishes or deaneries.

Chaperones. Youth participants need to be chaperoned when not participating in scheduled program events.

Fundraising. Ideas for raising funds to offset AAC participation fees may be found online.

Questions? More information? Additional details about the Youth Program will be posted to the 19th AAC website as it becomes available. For specific questions, please contact Father Benjamin Tucci at aacyouth@oca.org.

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