An opportunity to do some wonderful Christian work: Be an adult counselor at The Diocese of New England Youth Rally!
This coming August, the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of New England Youth Rally is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Youth Rally is a week-long residential camp for Orthodox Christian young people associated with the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of New England (OCA DNE). This summer Youth Rally is taking place from Sunday evening, August 7, to midday on Saturday, August 13, 2016.
Since summer 1999, OCA DNE Youth Rally has taken place at the Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center, a wonderful camp in rural Contoocook, New Hampshire, owned and operated by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. In recent summers, we have averaged about forty “Rallyers” accompanied by an adult staff of about dozen laypeople and three clergymen. Since summer 2004, Fr. John Hopko has been the Youth Rally Rector and Director.
According to the OCA DNE Guidelines for Youth Rally, all diocesan youth who have completed fifth grade and have not yet celebrated their 18th birthday are eligible to attend Youth Rally. Adult volunteers serve as pastoral and health staff, and as cabin and activity counselors. Staff members must be Orthodox Christians of at least 18 years of age and, if a given staff member has previously participated in Rally as a “Rallyer,” he or she must take a year off from Rally participation before returning to Rally as a staff member.
This is a volunteer opportunity, but over the years very few staff members have expressed any regret at all about giving a week to this wonderful work and enjoying excellent Orthodox Christian worship and fellowship in a truly beautiful setting, while doing good and rewarding Christian work.
To get a sense of Youth Rally, you may view a slideshow of images from Youth Rally ’15 on the Diocese of New England website at www.dneoca.org. (Scroll down on the home page of the website until you see the picture of the Rally youth getting on the big yellow school bus for our annual, awesome field trip to Canobie Lake Amusement Park!)
Again, this is a volunteer opportunity. However, if you apply and are chosen to participate as an adult leader, the Diocese of New England Youth Department will endeavor to provide you with a modest honorarium, which should serve to cover your travel costs to and from Rally. Obviously, all the costs of your week at Rally will be covered by the Diocese of New England. We hope that for those of you who are students in applicable fields, this experience might count for you as valuable field work.
For further information, please contact Fr. John Hopko, Rally Rector and Director, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 860-582-3631.
Thanks for your consideration, and may God richly bless all your good and worthy endeavors on behalf of His Holy Church.
Video Highlights from the Diocesan Youth Rally
Video for the All-American Council
52nd Diocesan Assembly
The Diocese of New England of the OCA is holding it's 52nd Annual Assembly on October 23-24 at Holy Trinity, Willimantic, CT. The reports from the Assembly are now available.
The Diocesan Grant program awarded three grants to the Southbury, Clinton, and Ansonia parishes in 2014.
Christ the Savior (Southbury) received a grantfor the third year to support and expand the Connecticut Bible Lecture Series (CBLS) which they have sponsored for several years. The mission of CBLS is to educate, inspire, and challenge participants of all backgrounds'to hear and understand the Word of God. Twice ayear, Fr. Paul Tarazi (lecturer at St. Vladimir's Seminary, Holy Cross Seminary, and Balamand, Lebanon) presents a day long course on one book of the Bible, equivalent to one of Fr. Paul's seminary classes.
St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre (Clinton) received a grant for the second year to expand the "Clinton Garden for All". The Clinton parish partners with a neighboring parish, Holy Advent, on this project. This year's Grant helped to expdnd the two acre community garden near the Holy Advent parish and increase and improve the irrigation system for the garden. All the produce is donated to the local Food Pantry. Members of St. Alexis are actively involved in the gardening and in managing the plot of land. This has included donations to build needed structures and a water source.
Three Saints (Ansonia) received a grant for second year to support their week-long summer Vacation Church School (VCS). The grant money allowed them to keep the registration fee at a minimum and to provide needed materials for the theme-based activities during the week. The summer program continues to expand in size with participants ranging in age from 5 - 13, mostly Orthodox and some non-Orthodox. The coordinators of the VCS continue to reach out in the local community and invite more non-Orthodox as a way to introduce them to the Orthodox Faith.
51st Diocesan Assembly
The Diocese of New England of the OCA concluded it's 51st Annual Assembly on October 25th. The reports from the Assembly are now available.
The pictures present in this gallery are just a few from the visits of His Eminence Nikon to the parishes of Berlin, NH (celebrating their 100th anniversary), Springfield, VT and New Haven, CT (also celebrating their 100th anniversary).
At the 2011 Diocesan Assembly, a "Parish Grant Initiative" was approved. Parishes in the New England Diocese can apply for financial grants to support outreach and charity programs in their communities. The diocese has budgeted up to $10,000 in grant monies to help support parishes in these efforts. Check the Diocesan website at www.dneoca.org for the grant guidelines and an application. Applications will be reviewed as received. The files are available in MS Word format.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America approved and issued a revised Policy, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct at their Fall 2013 Holy Synod meeting. This policy is now in force in the Church. It is the goal of the entire Church to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America. The Church laments the sin of sexual misconduct, and will not tolerate sexual misconduct by its clergy or any layperson.
At the March 2014 meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, revisions to the Policies, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct [PSP] were approved.
To confidentially report a case of misconduct please use the toll-free number 855-398-2600. All calls will be confidential.
Guidelines on background checks now available
At the spring session of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, held at the Chancery March 18-21, 2014, “Guidelines on Background Checks” were issued. [See related article.] The Guidelines, which offer detailed information on how and for whom “basic background checks” are required, are available in PDF format. Included in the Guidelines are recommended sources for conducting checks and information on on-line sexual abuse prevention training.