See Pictures from 2009 Dive
Youth and Education Programs and Activities
We have approximately 50 children enrolled in the youth programs at Annunciation. This includes Sunday School, Youth Groups and Greek School. We are truly blessed to have such a thriving Church community of youth. Our children are our gifts from God -- they are our inspiration and most importantly our future. Therefore, through Church attendance, religious and ethnic education, stewardship and youth activities, our children will embrace the meaning of "The Father, Son and Holy Spirit".
Our Youth Advisory Board acts as a communication forum where we bring all youth groups together including Hope/Joy, GOYA, Sunday School, Greek School and dance group advisors. The board works together to develop and monitor all youth activities. Anyone is welcome to join and help. This can be a fun way to get involved with the Church and its youth activities.
The Greek Orthodox Youth of America, or GOYA, is the ministry to teenagers of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Since GOYA is a church ministry, the orientation and implementation of the program reflects the Orthodox Christian Faith, Tradition and Life. Outside of meetings we have outings, retreats, camps, and basketball!
Junior Orthodox Youth (JOY)
JOY (Junior Orthodox Youth) is for children in 1st through 6th grade. It provides an opportunity for the youth to come together for worship, religious education, and fellowship. JOY meets once a month at the church.
Holy Friday Retreat
Youth Community Service - Throughout the year our youth is taught to reach out and help others. Some of the charitable organizations include Appetite for Life, Manna Food Bank.
Myrrh Bearers - Holy Week
On Great and Holy Friday, we remember the Myrrh bearing women by inviting the young ladies of our community to stand vigil at the Epitaphion and to be a part of the funeral procession of Jesus Christ. All girls in grades 3 to 6 are invited to participate in this very special part of the Holy Friday evening service on April 6. All young ladies will need to wear a white dress, white tights and white shoes. They will be given a basket of rose petals to carry. All interested girls should contact LeTay.
Cross Dive at Epiphany
Each year in early January, the Greek Orthodox churches representing the Western Conference gather in Ft. Walton to celebrate a Divine Liturgy together followed by a youth Cross Dive as part of the Epiphany celebrations. This event is usually hosted by the community of Saints Markella & Demetrios in Mary Esther. This year the Divine Liturgy was held in the new church. Rev. Father Anthony Stratis of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Orleans as Vicar of the Western Conference of the Atlanta Metropolis presided over the ceremony, along with the Rev. Father Michael Vastakis, and Rev. Father Panayiotis Papanikolau of Pensacola.
The traditional Cross Dive begins with a member of the military tossing a wreath into the waters and a prayer for active-duty military serving in harm's way and all over the world. The biblical account of Christ's baptism is read, the waters blessed and young girls dressed in white release three white doves. The dove symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit; the number three representing the Holy Trinity. Concluding the ceremony is the tossing of a white wooden cross into the water where youth from the area's Greek Orthodox Churches brave the cold waters to retrieve it. This year there were twelve youth representing Ft. Walton, Pensacola, Panama City and New Orleans parishes. Four teens from the Pensacola parish participated in the dive - Sandy Spraggins, Ange Kantrales, George Weisnicht and Deomi Polyzos. Congratulations to all of these young people!
See Pictures from 2009 Dive
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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 1720 W Garden St. Pensacola, FL 32501 850-433-2662
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