UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Bishop Daniel Visits Diocesan Church School Camp at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Camp in Emlenton, PA
The Camping Ministry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA began on Sunday. June 26, 2016. The first session, Diocesan Church School Camp - offers an amazing program for children between the ages of 9 and 13. Over 90 campers and staff are enjoying fun-filled and faithful days.
On June 27, 2016, the feast day of Holy Prophet Elisha, His Grace Bishop Daniel, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Vasyl Pasakas (Nativity of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish in South Plainfield, NJ) traveled to Emlenton, PA to visit the campers of the Diocesan Church School Camp at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Camp.
Mrs. Natalie Kapeluck-Nixon – the director of the Consistory Office of Youth and Adult Ministry along with the staff of the encampment prepared a two week long program for the campers. Very Rev. Fr. Taras Naumenko (St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral; Philadelphia, PA), who serves as a spiritual father of the encampment led numerous prayer services of the first two days of the encampment.
Upon arrival to All Saints Camp, Vladyka Daniel surprised everybody at the recreation area, where the campers entertained themselves playing volleyball, swimming, paying soccer, etc. Having giving blessing to the campers, the bishop watched several games played and was treated to a swimming talent show of the young men and women of the Camp.
Later in the day, the entire chapel of Holy Apostle Thomas was filled with the chanting of “Gad, grant you many years, Master!” It was beautifully done by all of the campers, under the leadership of the counselors and the staff of the Encampment. The evening hours of the day became even more special, once Very Rev. Fr. Steven Repa (Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Parish; Carnegie, PA) and Very Rev. Fr. Taras Naumenko carried out from the sanctuary of the chapel the icon of Holy Martyrs Christina and Julian – the new patron saints of the youth of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. Prior to the formal blessing and dedication of the icon, Vladyka Daniel spoke to children about the call to holiness, encouraging them to learn from the examples of Faith and dedication of both Holy Martyrs – St. Christina and St. Julian. Introducing Justina Mills, the coordinator of the Youth Patron Saints Selection Process Project, the bishop thanked Justina and the Youth Minister of the Church for their vision and desire to serve the needs of the young people of the Church. Moreover, the bishop spoke to the campers on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, relating the prayerful greetings of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, who was traveling back to the United States of America following a week long Holy and Great Council in Crete (Greece).
Surrounding their bishop, the campers chanted in unison the hymns and tropars prior to the blessing and once the prayers of dedication were pronounced the children in silence watched Vladyka Daniel raising the icon of Holy Martyrs and blessing them with it.
Following the dedication service, campers approached the sacred image and relics of Venerable Fathers of the Monastery of Kyiv Caves – St. Theodosius, St. Volodymyr (Metropolitan of Kyiv), and St. Arseniy for veneration. Approaching the bishop, each camper and counselor received a small neck cross as a gift in memory of Vladyka Daniel’s visit.
Dinner hour was extremely special, as the cooks of the Encampment – Chris Mills and her helpers prepared a feast for the “hungry” congregation. All children with gratitude in their eyes and on their lips approached the buffet style tables in order to get nourishment for their physical bodies.
Bidding farewell to the campers, Bishop Daniel gave a final blessing – and then he received the unexpected – a huge “group hug” which almost landed everyone on their knees.
Diocesan Church School Camp is a program of the Ukrainian Orthodox Camping Ministry and the Consistory’s Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for children between the ages of 9 and 13. Applications are always available in February of each year.
The second session of the camping ministry, Teenage Conference begins on July 10th for teenagers. The Mommy & Me/Daddy & Me session for parents and children ages 4 - 8 is still accepting applications. They may be downloaded at www.uocyouth.org. Family Fest will take place Labor Day Weekend.
We ask that you keep the remainder of our Church’s Camping programming in prayer for the rest of the summer!
To learn more about the Patron Saints of the Youth of the UOC of the USA, visit the web page of the Consistory Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at http://www.uocyouth.org/patronsaint.html