Recognising that our youth and young adults play a vital role in the life of the Church, Saints’ Michael and Gabriel Youth and Young Adults (SMG OYYA) Ministry strives to integrate them into all aspects of parish life through worship, education, service, witness and fellowship.
Our youth and young adults are encouraged to serve and participate in the Sunday Liturgy through the choir, epistle reading and altar serving. SMG OYYA holds regular youth led Vespers and other prayer services to encourage our youth and young adults to participate and experience the richness of our Orthodox services. The youth lead the annual Vigil for the feast of St Demetrios (26 October), whose relics are kept in our Parish altar, and who the youth have adopted as the ministry’s patron saint because of his recognition as the protector of the young.
Our education initiatives include an ongoing fortnightly bible studies which aims to help youth develop a better understanding of scripture through the teachings of the Church fathers and other aspects of Orthodox traditions such as, liturgical hymns and iconography. We also deliver regular seminars with guest speakers on various Orthodox topics and contemporary issues. Our SMG OYYA Facebook page contains weekly reflections on the Gospel and liturgical themes for the upcoming Sundays and feasts. This also strives to connect our youth to other Orthodox resources, activities and teachings. We conduct retreats and other activities to encourage our youth to leave behind their usual distractions and find time to pray, contemplate and strengthen their relationship with God and others.
SERVICE & WITNESS
Living Christ’s message “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Matt 20:28) we emulate this through service to others within and outside our parish community. We provide hospitality to those who visit us, comfort to the sick and lonely, and prayer for those in need. When the opportunity arises we raise funds for various charities and regularly support St Raphael’s Mission by raising funds or feeding the homeless.
Our events and activities also serve as an opportunity for youth and young adults to build bonds of Christian friendship. We hold various fellowship activities including dinners, light refreshments and coffee, bush walks and other social activities.
SMG OYYA is a member of the Antiochian Christian Orthodox Youth (ACOY), a youth ministry for the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. As an ACOY member we participate and help organise retreats and events for all the youth and young adults in our Archdiocese. It serves as an opportunity to form closer ties with other youth in Archdiocese, and it provides a forum to shares ideas and to discuss challenges.
Our events and activities are planned well in advance so please join our database and check the calendar on the parish website or our Facebook page for more details. We hold regular monthly meetings and are open to receiving new members and their input. This encourages our youth to be involved in ways that nurture their individual gifts and talents. For more information please contact Fr Michal Zghaib or one of our youth representatives.