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Register now for FOCA Convention “Youth Council” July 22-25

ROSEMONT, IL [OCA-YOUTH] — Now is the time to register for the first “Youth Council” to be held at the 90th National Convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA] July 22-25, 2016.

Register now for FOCA Convention Youth Council July 22 25The deadline for hotel reservations at the convention site — Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, 5300 North River Road, Rosemont, IL — is June 29.  Reservations may be made by calling 877-868-9134 or on-line.  In both instances, mention the FOCA 2016 Convention Group to obtain the special convention/council rate.  Youth Council registration is available on-line on the web site of the Orthodox Church in America.  Detailed convention information is available on the FOCA web site.

Youth entering grades 6 through twelve will gather for four days of fellowship, outings, and working with our hierarchs and Church leaders to “expand the mission” of the Church during the gathering, which is being cosponsored by the FOCA, the OCA Department of Youth, Youth Adult and Campus Ministry, and the Diocese of the Midwest.

According to Andrew Boyd, OCA Youth Director, there are many reasons why youth won’t want to miss participating in the Youth Council.

“Our youth will meet their peers from all over the US and form lasting friendships while worshiping, learning, and simply being together,” said Andrew.  “They’ll experience the ‘greater Church’ in prayer, worship and — most importantly — in the Divine Liturgy, at which His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and other members of our Holy Synod of Bishops will serve.  They’ll also have the opportunity to sing, read, serve, complete a service project, and begin to find their place in the life of the Church.

“Sometimes it’s hard to be the only Orthodox Christian kid in your school, in your town, or even in your parish,” Andrew observed.  “The Council will offer a chance to see how big the Church is, and participants will return home filled with missionary zeal, ready to use their new knowledge, experiences, and relationships to build up the Church.”

Finally, Andrew adds, “youth will also have an opportunity to enjoy some great outings to Chicago’s Navy Pier, a local water park, and historic Holy Trinity Cathedral.”

The registration fee for the Council [excluding lodging] is only $120.00, which includes all events, outings, meals, Council materials, etc.  Limited financial assistance may be available through the Peter the Aleut Grant Program.

The schedule of Youth Council events and activities appears below.


Draft Schedule for Youth Council

FOCA Convention, Chicago, Illinois

July 22 – 25, 2016

Friday, July 22
2:00 – 5:00 PM — Registration (t-shirts, bags, water bottles, youth council schedule/supplies)
4:00 PM — Staff Orientation in youth crash room
4:30 PM — Parent/Chaperone Orientation in youth crash room
7:00 PM — Evening Activity with FOCA Open House
9 PM — Icebreakers, Kick-off talk about why we are here and what we plan to accomplish
Crash room social time
10:30 PM — Compline
COMMUTERS: Parents may pick up their youth by 10:30 PM

Saturday, July 23
COMMUTERS: Parents may drop off and pick up their youth at the hotel.  Make sure youth arrive in the morning before departure for Navy Pier.
8:30 AM — Morning Prayer
9:00 AM — Youth Council Session and Presentation by OCCHY
11:00 AM — Off to Navy Pier (takes about an hour to get there).  Youth will break up into groups with a map and an idea of what to go see and do.  Chaperones will have pre-paid visa cards to purchase lunch.
1:30 PM — We will meet in a designated area for a surprise fun activity in an open area called Knocker Ball.
4:00 PM — Vespers at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago
5:30 PM — Dinner, Feed My Starving Children Event
8:00 PM — Back to hotel, Crash Room Social
10:30 PM — Compline
COMMUTERS: Parents may pick up their youth by 10:30 PM

Sunday, July 24
COMMUTERS: Youth may be dropped off at the site of the Divine Liturgy — either the hotel or Holy Trinity OCA Cathedral.  Venue to be determined and will be announced at the opening of the Youth Council.
9:00 AM — Divine Liturgy
10:30 AM — Brunch
11:30 AM — Off to the water park or other suitable activity
2:00 PM — Back to hotel
3:00 PM — Youth Council Part 2 (prep for presentations to FOCA)
6:00 PM — Banquet and Dance with FOCA
9:00 PM — Crash Room open
10:30 PM — Compline
COMMUTERS: Parents may pick up their youth by 10:30 PM

Monday, July 25
COMMUTERS:  Please note that it is a short day.
8:30 AM — Morning Prayer
9:00 AM — Youth Council Presentations to FOCA
COMMUTERS: Parents may pick up their youth by 11:00 AM

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