Friday, March 09, 2012
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America (Assembly) Committee for Youth Annual Report January 31, 2012
Description of Committee Work as given by Assembly:
The Committee for Youth is charged with i) identifying and cataloging all jurisdictional youth programs (camps, age specific groups, etc.); ii) identifying and cataloging all joint youth programs (e.g. OCF); and iii) developing models for coordinating youth-oriented activities and programs that both minimize duplication and maximize the participation of young people in the life of the Church.
Outputs requested by the Assembly:
- Produce a list of all Orthodox youth and college-age programs (diocesan and national) in the United States, with reference to their program descriptions
- Define characteristics to describe and compare the different programs (camps, retreats, youth groups, college groups, mission outreach, church schools and educational materials, etc.)
All members of the Assembly were requested to provide, using a survey question and answer format, information pertaining to the Orthodox youth and college-age programs within their jurisdictions, whether diocesan or national. The survey was distributed to hierarchs in early 2011, and included requests for identifying characteristics for each diocesan and national youth and college-age program.
We await only a small number of responses before our data gathering efforts are complete. The responses received to date have been entered into a database that will allow flexible analysis and reporting, allowing for comparisons of programs and their characteristics. The Committee will be soon sending to each Assembly bishop a listing of the youth programs within their jurisdiction and a request to review and verify data about their programs. Once the data has been reviewed/verified, the Committee expects to provide the Assembly a report of all youth programs at its September 2012 meeting.
The initial listing of Orthodox Christian Schools & Orthodox Camping programs is complete. Follow- up will be done to keep the database as current as possible.
- Produce and document a comparison of the youth and college-age programs with respect to the above pre-defined comparative characteristics
Once all of the database?s data has been collected, entered, reviewed and verified, reports that compare youth and college-age programs with pre-defined comparative characteristics can be easily produced. Youth consultants have completed defining the characteristics that will be used to produce these comparisons. Draft report formats also have been developed and discussed with Committee members.
- Develop models for coordinating among programs that fall within the same pre-defined comparative characteristics
- Consider models for possible amalgamation of redundant programs to minimize duplication
The Committee has sponsored three meetings to date with key youth consultants from most jurisdictions. Discussion of models for coordinating comparative programs has been discussed in broad terms at these meetings. Consensus on possible coordination models will continue throughout 2012. We expect that alternative models of cooperation will be provided to the Committee for its consideration later this year.
Identification of models for possible amalgamation of redundant programs will begin once other objectives of the Committee are farther along in terms of completion.
How it is to be accomplished:
- Determine at the outset, and update regularly, the timetable for accomplishment of the Committee?s objectives
- Contact individuals within the jurisdictions responsible for youth and college-age programs as also well-known national programs (e.g. OCF) and request pertinent information
The Committee has prioritized it work, with the first objective in 2011 to request information about youth and college-age youth programs at the diocesan and national level. All individuals within the jurisdictions responsible for youth and college-age programs as well as well-known national programs (e.g. OCF) have been contacted to provide information on the programs they oversee. This work is largely done, but as noted above, we await a small number of responses before data collection is fully complete. Another priority in 2011 was the construction of a data base to store youth program information, and provide for flexible and comparative reporting. This too is largely complete. The Committee is currently reviewing draft report formats.
Priorities for 2012 included reporting to the Assembly on youth programs that will begin later this year (see above). Youth consultants are also at work on developing the matrix of comparative characteristics for youth programs that the Committee expects to complete by year-end.
- Construct a matrix of comparative characteristics for youth and college-age programs
- Complete the matrix, and catalog and compare the programs and their purposes, content and activities
- Review and confirm the matrix with the jurisdictions and national programs to ensure agreement upon the results
- Publish the results for the Assembly and Church at large
Construction of a matrix of comparative characteristics, which allows for cataloging and comparisons of youth program, is the Committee?s priority for 2012. The matrix will be developed by key youth leader consultants at their meetings this year. Committee review is expected late this year. The Committee will provide results to the Assembly for its review and disposition when this process is complete, most likely sometime in early 2013.
With whom it is to be accomplished:
- The responsible parties for youth and college-age programs within each jurisdiction
- The responsible parties for national programs
All individuals within the jurisdictions responsible for youth and college-age programs as also well- known national programs (e.g. OCF) have been requested to provide information on the programs they oversee.
Activities and Meetings:
1. Conference Call Meeting February 22, 2011 to organize committee and discuss initial work projects.
2. Committee met May 24, 2011 to discuss work projects and prepare for May 25-27 Assembly meeting.
3. Committee met on January 25, 2012 at Antiochian Village concurrent with the meeting of youth leaders.
Youth Consultant Meetings to Support Committee Work Initiatives:
1. May 3-5, 2011 ? informal meeting of key youth leaders to help prepare Committee members for their first meeting.
2. October 19-21, 2011 at the Metropolis of Atlanta?s Diakonia Center. Key youth leaders from most of the jurisdictions met in South Carolina to discuss the work programs of the committee and to prepare for a broader meeting of Committee members and youth leaders scheduled for January 2012. Participants identified a number of initiatives that will be discussed further during the January 2012 Committee meeting and the January 2012 meeting of youth consultants.
3. January 24-28, 2012 at Antiochian Village. Purpose: a one day meeting of Orthodox youth workers to work on initiatives identified by youth directors at their October 2011 meeting.
Activities and meetings planned for the future:
1. September 9, 2012 at a location to be determined. The Committee will meet the day prior to the start of the next Assembly meeting.
2. December 26, 2012 (tentative) in Atlanta, GA. The Committee will meet the day prior to the start of the Metropolis of Atlanta?s Winter Rally.
Youth Consultant Meetings to Support Committee Work Initiatives:
1. Youth consultants will continue to meet via conference calls throughout 2012 to continue work on identifying youth program characteristics, creating a comparative matrix of orthodox youth programs, continuing work on Committee initiatives, and developing models of cooperation among programs and models for possible amalgamation of redundant programs
2. December 27-30, 2012 in Atlanta, GA. The Committee may request a handful of consultants go to this event to meet and observe what it takes to host a rally. The youth consultant? fact finding will assist future discussions regarding the feasibility of hosting a broader pan- Orthodox youth rally sometime in the near future.
3. 2013 - the next meeting of the 70+ Orthodox youth workers, with the date to be announced,. We are working to secure a location; hopefully at a seminary ? perhaps St. Vladimir?s.