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HOPE & JOY Ministries Mission & Calendar of Events

The mission and goal of the HOPE & JOY junior youth group and ministry is to lead our children (ages 5-12) to experience the Holy Orthodox Faith. Each HOPE & JOY meeting promotes the children's learning and development as Orthodox Christians, as well as bonding and fellowship with their peers. By laying a foundation of faith at this age, our children will have something that will guide and strengthen them through life.

We meet monthly at the church, usually the first Friday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. As a group, we enjoy either a snack or supper, and do a hands-on craft, game, or other activity that's meaningful and educational.

      For example, to celebrate the Epiphany, we read from a children's book the story of Saint John the Baptist, colored icons, and showed the children the Saint's icon in our church hall, answering their questions.

      Another time we met just before His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos visited our church, and so we learned about the traditions associated with his visit; took a group photo and created a custom photo frame for him as a gift; and beautified the church by planting new flowers in the planters at the front door.

We also usually meet once a month outside of church to do good works in the community.

      For example, around Christmas, we visit the Loudoun County Youth Shelter: we bring Christmas gifts to the youth there, and together with them sing Christmas carols, prepare a traditional Greek dish, and play games.

      We also regularly visit the seniors at a local assisted living center, bringing our cheer and blessings into their lives.

Finally, we are always eager to:

      Take part in important church events (example: participating in the Salutations services),
      Partner with other ministries in their charitable efforts (example: collecting food items for Philoptochos and GOYA sponsored food drive), and
      Lead our own initiatives (examples: creating and selling Valentine's Day cards to parishioners after liturgy, and donating the proceeds back to the church; participating in a community walk as a group).

All children ages 5-12 are encouraged to join HOPE & JOY - they'll have fun, make friends, and explore the faith!

HOPE & JOY, 2017-2018

September 29
Activity: "You Are Special" 
By Max Lucado; Cross Craft

We were pleased to kick off our 2017-2018 season with a meeting at the church in September. Over 20 children attended the meeting and learned about the centrality of the cross in our lives from our very special guest, Father George. They also did a cross craft and listened to the story "You Are Special" by Max Lucado, which teaches that everyone is special in God's eyes

October 20

Activity: "The Crippled Lamb" By Max Lucado

At our October meeting, we did activities centered around the parable of the lost sheep: the children made a lamb craft, and played a hide-and-seekgame. We also read "The Crippled Lamb", another book by Max Lucado, whichis an **inspiring story that has encouraged thousands of children who havefelt left out or who have special needs. Also at our October meeting, weaccepted donations on behalf of one of the Philoptocos charitable efforts:the Loudoun Hunger Relief Thanksgiving Bag Drive.

November 17
Activity: Christmas Cards
Make Christmas cards for our parish's Yia Yias and Papous as part of a PAREA-led program. Also, be sure to bring a donation to contribute to the Philoptocos' charitable effort: Loudoun Relief Thanksgiving Bag Drive.

December 1
Activity: TBD

January 12
Activity: TBD

February 9
Activity: Easter Cards

Make Easter cards for the Sunday School's outreach and ministry to prisoners

March 9
Activity: Salutations

Participate in the church's Salutations services

April 20
Activity: TBD

Be sure to bring a donation to contribute to the Philoptocos' charitable effort: Loudoun Relief Cereal Drive.

May 4
Activity: TBD

June 1
Activity: TBD


For more information, please contact Ava Walter (703) 919-8801 avamwalter@gmail.com