August 1, 2019                                                                                                                                                

To the beloved parish priests of the Orthodox Church in America:

Christ is in our midst!

On the closing day of the 19thAll-American Council in July 2018, two college students, Miriam Sheehan and Dimitrios Rentel, gave a brief yet impassioned presentation asking the Orthodox Church in America to reinvigorate its efforts in youth ministry. Within ten minutes, various attendees and online viewers spontaneously pledged over $80,000 toward the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry, with the goal in mind of hiring a director for this department. Such generosity sent a clear message – that our people see the need for better youth ministry in the Orthodox Church in America.

Yet certainly, the Orthodox Church in America already has many solid youth programs, and numerous devoted, hardworking laborers in this subdivision of the Lord’s Vineyard. Because of this, the necessary first step to be taken is not to rush to hire a national youth director, but to send out someone “to spy out the land” and “bring some of the fruit” produced by our diverse summer youth programs. (Numbers 13:16, 20).  So this summer, Dimitrios (my son) has been out on a listening tour, gathering data about the current state of youth ministry in the Orthodox Church in America. He is looking at how the Church can better serve both youth and young adults, and is doing so by hearing the concerns of both youth and youth workers. He is focusing on such questions as: “What challenges do our youth and youth workers face, and how can such challenges be overcome?” “How could a reinvigorated Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry help support and coordinate the existing local programs of the Orthodox Church in America?” “What connections exist, and can be made, with pan-Orthodox youth and young adult programs?” 

 

What I am asking of you, as parish priests of the Orthodox Church in America, is to fill out the survey (linked below) that was developed by Dimitrios and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, and also to explain the project and send out the survey to your parish communities. The survey is intended to gather the necessary data about our current efforts in youth ministry, and can be completed by clergy, those in church leadership positions, parents, the elderly, middle aged people, young adults, youth – in a word, by everyone and anyone associated with the Orthodox Church in America. Every voice should be heard in the survey, and for those who have information that they wish to convey in greater detail, they can contact Dimitrios directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

 

Please fill out the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OrthodoxYouthandYoungAdultSurvey

 

With gratitude and best wishes in the Lord Jesus Christ,



Archpriest Alexander Rentel

Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America

files/20190801_Chancellor_to_Parish_Priests___Dept_of_YYACM_Survey.pdf