Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Youth and Camp Workers Conference coming up

(OYDNA) - You can join virtually Thursday, January 28th and Friday, January 29th for our Annual Youth & Camp Workers Conference! Click here to register.

2021 Conference Speakers

Creation of Beauty: Using Our Talents to Create God-Pleasing Art

Dr. Peter Bouteneff teaches courses in ancient and modern theology and spirituality at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary (SVOTS), where he is professor of Systematic Theology. After taking a degree in music in 1983, he lived and worked in Japan and traveled widely in Asia and Greece. He has an M.Div. from St Vladimir’s Seminary and a doctorate from Oxford University, where he studied under Bishop Kallistos Ware​. He has broad interests in theology and is committed to exploring the connections between theology and culture. He is director of the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir's Seminary, an in-depth endeavor involving concerts, lectures, and publications. As of 2016 he also directs the Seminary's Sacred Arts Initiative. His most recent book, How to Be a Sinner, is an SVS Press bestseller, and Dr. Bouteneff has given dozens of talks and parish retreats on the subject.

True Beauty: Image of Christ or Self-Image?

Khouria Erin Kimmett is a graduate of Wichita State University, where she earned a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. She has designed and produced curriculum materials for the Orthodox Christian Education Commission as well as the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. A trained Byzantine iconographer, Kh. Erin writes icons for Orthodox churches across the country, and owns and manages The Annunciation Press. She also authored Hospitality & Joy, a cookbook about food and faith, cooking and ministering, and filled with "favorite recipes and cherished memories inspired by her grandmother's kitchen." Kh. Erin lives in New England with her husband, the Very Reverend Joseph Kimmett, pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, a small 100-year-old Byzantine church in Norwood, Massachusetts. They have two sons: Nicholas and Zachary.

Consecration of the Senses: Experiencing Beauty

The Very Rev. Dr. Sergius Halvorsen is Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and director of the Doctor of Ministry Program. He received his MDiv from St. Vladimir’s Seminary 1996 and his doctorate in liturgical studies and homiletics from Drew University in 2002. From 2000 to 2011 he taught at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell Connecticut.  Since 2011 he has taught at St. Vladimir's and his courses include Homiletics, Rhetoric, Christian Education, Orthodox Christian Apologetics and Faith and Science. He is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America and is attached at Christ the Savior Church in Southbury CT. Fr. Sergius is an accomplished liturgical musician, and has contributed to a number of "Archangel Voices" recordings.  He currently lives in New Haven CT with his family.

Seeing Yourself Through the Eyes of the Liturgy

The Rev. Jonathan Bannon grew up in Connecticut where he obtained an Associates degree in Fine Art with a focus in painting and a Bachelors Degree in Art Education K through 12 graduating from Central Connecticut State University. Continuing on to Seminary at Christ the Savior in Johnstown Pennsylvania he received a degree in Theology writing a thesis on Iconography. Father continued to study iconography in the Greek and Russian Russian styles with Marek Czanecki and Theodore Papadopoulos in the Egg Tempera medium and in acrylic at the Liturgical Arts Academy in Atlanta with Fr. Anthony Salzman. He has illustrated a children's book for a Serbian Orthodox publishing company and continues to explore how faith and art can be used to share the Gospel message. Serving a Belarusian founded Orthodox parish in Rockford, IL in the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church he has been asked to give lectures on iconography to Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Orthodox groups. Married to high school physics teacher Marianna Ruggerio they have two boys, a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old.

Collateral Damage of 2020 on Children

Presbytera Dr. Roxanne Louh, a native of Gainesville, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Jacksonville, Florida, where she uses her extensive training in private practice. She is in great demand both as a therapist and as a speaker with expertise in a variety of concerns, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, marriage and parenting issues, and eating disorders.

Best Practices for Difficult Conversations

Fr. Martin Johnson, Jr. converted to Eastern Orthodoxy after completing his service in the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps, was ordained to the Holy Diaconate in 2018, and began serving at St. Anthony Antiochian Orthodox Church in Butler, PA shortly thereafter. In 2020 he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood and became the rector of the same parish. He is the Chief Operating Officer of the Neighborhood Resilience Projects located in Pittsburgh, a Senior Consultant for Federal Occupational Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, and works as an Executive Coach for the Department of Homeland Security. He has extensive experience in public speaking, coaching, pastoral care, crisis counseling, and community outreach. Fr. Martin also serves on the Board of Trustees of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, and is the Dean of Formation for the Antiochian House of studies. Fr. Martin is married to prolific Orthodox author and editor Khouria Melinda Johnson with whom he is the proud father of their daughter, Majesta.

Ministering to Youth with Special Needs

Presbyeta Melanie DiStefano graduated from Youngstown State University (BChemE), and from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (MDiv). Married to Father Joseph DiStefano for 16 years, they have one son, Michael Seraphim. Michael has special needs that greatly impact his health and his level of independence. One of her goals is to reach out to other families who are facing similar parenting challenges in order to provide faith-based perspectives, resources, and overall encouragement in their unique walk with Christ.

Online Ministry that Works

Jennifer Morris and Kathryn Ashbahian, working together since October 2015, have grown in their ministry as a camp-planning, grammar-slamming, retreat-crafting, resource-developing team. Jennifer double-majored in Psychology and Elementary Education, and then earned her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University. She was an elementary school teacher before beginning her service to the Armenian Diocese in 2005. Kathryn double-majored in English and Women & Gender Studies from The College of New Jersey, and then earned her Master of Arts in Theology from St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. Though one works from Michigan and the other from New York, they collaborate daily through the technological wonder of Skype and Google Drive. Kathryn focuses her energies on St. Vartan Camp and the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) Juniors, while Jennifer focuses her attention on Hye Camp and ACYOA Seniors.

The Joy of Returning to Camp

Fr. Chris Shadid was appointed Camp Director at Antiochian Village Camp in May 2020 after spending the past thirteen years serving the Camp in a variety of positions, including the last seven as Assistant Camp Director. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Outside of his Camp Director responsibilities, Fr. Chris works as a Licensed Social Worker providing counseling to individuals, couples, and families of all ages and backgrounds who struggle with a variety of mental health issues.

Fr. Anthony Yazge has had an amazing career in Youth Ministry for the last four decades. The last 14 years he was the Camp Director of the Antiochian Village, he served the Antiochian Archdiocese as the Chairman of the Department of Camping, was the Chairman of the Department of Young Adult Ministry and the Antiochian Archdiocese representative on the OCF Board of Directors. He also served 21 years as the Spiritual Advisor of Teen SOYO and has overseen the Teen SOYO Special Olympics Camp. Fr. Anthony has been a priest for 32 years of which he spent 18 as the pastor of St. George Church in Terre Haute, IN and is currently the pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in Fishers, Indiana (just outside of Indianapolis). Fr. Anthony is widowed and a father of three: Matthew 31, Mark 30, and Alexis 26.

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