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Youth Organization (YO) Annual Report January 2007

Prepared by Maria Kopulos & Lauren Dandeles

"YO is an organization consisting of high school aged kids coming together once a month. These kids are all of similar age and probably experiencing similar obstacles and achievements in their lives. YO is to be a place for them to share their experiences and learn from each other so that they may have a Christian solution to societal pressures. Since these students are enrolled in Sunday school they will be well equipped with basic Christian principles and can use YO as an outlet to apply these lessons to their own lives. The students will also be involved in choosing fundraising activities and recipients throughout the year to see that even though they are not yet adults their help is needed and appreciated within the church and the larger society. Hopefully by the time they leave for college the bonds they will have built within the church will be strong enough to guide them while away and give them a place to feel at home." - Lauren Dandeles

Very well stated by Lauren who has graciously given her time to be involved with St. Luke’s YO mid year 2006. The beginning of 2006 YO had been involved in a few measures; Cosmic Bowling and a Lenten Retreat.

* February 4, 2006 was the YO Cosmic Bowling Night It began with Vespers at St. Luke’s and ended with bowling at Orland Bowl. The evening was also filled with YO members (and parents) playing games and enjoying worship together and competitive and fun bowling!

* Saturday, April 8, 2006 from 12:00-9:00 p.m. was the YO Lenten Retreat at St. Luke’s. Those involved in organizing the event were; Maria Kopulos, Clark Wilson, Andrew Lukashonak. The goal of the retreat was to build the bonds of YO relationships during the Lenten season. This is proposed by using a session from Rev. Terry Deffenbaugh’s book "Come, Watch With Me" (1991, educational ministries). This session was designed to bring some understanding to the entering of Jesus to Jerusalem "his triumphant entrance and what we can learn from it in our own faith life. In addition, how he really came into the public eye, by this act he set into motion the final stage of his saving act. In the same way we can go public with our faith. To be Christian is to be very public in our following of Jesus." Lastly, to give back to those in need, as our kids love to be involved in this. They had a project to bake bread and make fresh soups to serve to the parish the following day as a fundraiser for OCMC.

Once the summer of 2006 wound down, Lauren Dandeles offered to transition into the YO coordinator. Lauren has been able to teach this class once a month and begin to understand the new dynamic of this small, yet group of kids. So far they have given their time to St. Luke’s by putting up and decorating the Christmas tree. Which might I add was one of the most beautiful ever! Lauren has reported that YO plans on having a few social events in 2007 and to spend their time on at least one local charity event, i.e.; breast cancer walk. As this group dynamic changes and evolves, attendance and numbers is always the challenge, but alas never stops those that enjoy being involved in anything that is related to Christ’s church and its relationships.