Youth Program Letter from Fr. John Cox

Dear Brother Priests and Lay Delegates,

Christ is in our midst! Last year, at our Assembly in Wilmington, North Carolina,  the community of St. Basil, along with help from our seminarians and diocesan volunteers, put on a very robust and successful youth program. Based on the response from the children who participated, this was a great addition to our Diocesan Assembly and we are attempting to do it again this year. Our schedule for Chattanooga includes service projects, and I am especially pleased that Youth Equipped to Serve (YES) will be leading our teens again, an outing to a popular swimming hole, the world-famous Tennessee Aquarium, ice cream, an icon demonstration by our keynote speaker, pizza, and teaching time with me. As the person most responsible for planning and overseeing this year’s youth program I have also made every effort to make this a happy opportunity for the parents by syncing the youth schedule to the adult schedule and maximizing the meals we feed them in order to minimize the dining costs your family will incur.

As a father of four I appreciate the vitality that summer camps and youth programs such as this can breathe into the spiritual lives of our children. I want to strengthen their faith and their bonds with the Church and I know you do too. To that end, there are three things I need from you to help make that happen:

  1. Register your children for the assembly youth program right away. Good planning is critical to success and good planning requires accurate numbers. DO NOT fail to register your children and try to drop them off “at the door” so to speak. I cannot guarantee that it will be possible to make room for them at the last moment. On top of that, it is discourteous.
  2. Encourage parents with children 7-17 in your community to come as observers and bring their children with them.
  3. We need volunteer chaperones. If you or someone you know is able to help out as a chaperone for all or part of the youth program please have them contact me (Fr. John Cox:

If you have questions or concerns please feel free to reach me at the email address listed above. I look forward to seeing you all in Chattanooga.

in Christ,

Fr. John Cox

Dormition Orthodox Church

Norfolk, VA