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The Archdiocesan Organizations for the Antiochian Women, Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Teen SOYO and Christian Education all met at the Antiochian Village February 3-5, 2006 for their Mid-Winter Meetings.  Each Organization of the Diocese sends either their officers and/or delegates on their behalf to represent their Diocese and then brings the information back to their respective Diocese.  Here is a little information on what each Organization talked about during the weekend:

Department of Christian Education – Linda Funk, Coordinator
As Christian Education Co-coordinator for the Pacific Northwest and Prairie Deaneries, I met with our Director, Carole Buleza, and the other staff members. Together we assessed the Orthodox Institute we conducted at the Antiochian Village last November, reported on our work in the various dioceses, and made plans for the upcoming year. It was a blessed weekend of work and worship.

Fellowship of St. John the Divine – Kyra Pelachik, President
During the Fellowship Meeting, each Diocese and/or Coordinator gave a report as to what their Diocese was doing and/or planning for. On a national level, we discussed various ways to help with a potential fundraiser in which Metropolitan PHILIP has asked us to help contribute to a charitable cause of his choice. We also talked about the upcoming OCMC Fellowship Mission Trip to Alaska in August in which we hope to have a team of “Fellowship” participate.  All in all, it was a productive meeting.

Antiochian Women – Kathy Johnstone, Vice President
Our contingent of Antiochian Women from the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West, the largest at the women's meetings, consisted of Samia Habib, President, Jean Beyer, Membership Coordinator, Mary Patty Holly, Humanitarian Coordinator, Bonnie Carver, Recording Secretary, and myself, Kathy Johnstone, Vice-President.  We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each other better as we traveled together.  During our meetings on Friday night and Saturday, we listened to informative and encouraging reports from the NAB members and our dioceses' presidents.  Each diocese is doing what it can to serve Christ in its parishes and in its communities, for example a parish in the south works with Angel Food Ministries to distribute a week's worth of food in a box for $25 to needy people nearby.  Several other parishes in the Midwest distribute "Gifts of the Heart"--care packages with basic layette items, school supplies, or toiletry items--to the poor in hospitals, shelters, or agencies.  Additionally, His Grace, Bishop THOMAS told us a story about the financial desperation of a (now-deceased) retired priest, which increased our determination to build up the Clergy Retirement Fund.  Fr. John Abdalah, our NAB Spiritual Advisor, urged us reflect on our leadership that is be "fruitful and deliberate." Indeed, as we listened to each one speak, we were encouraged to "stir up love and good works" within our spheres of influence (Heb. 10:24).

Teen SOYO – Amanda Haddad, President
At the Teen SOYO Meeting, we discussed a lot about the ongoing projects we have such as the Youth Worker Fund, The Sacred Gift of Life Sunday (which was 2 weeks ago), Special Olympics, and OYO.  We also talked about what the other Dioceses were doing, and the upcoming Leadership Training during the Summer Meetings at the Antiochian Village.  Over all, it was a very successful meeting.

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