The Greek Orthodox Youth of America, or GOYA, is the ministry to teenagers of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Since GOYA is ministry, the orientation and implementation of the program should reflect the Orthodox Christian Faith, Tradition and Life.
GOYA is ministry to middle and high school grade Orthodox Christian teenagers. Teenagers should be in sixth through twelfth grades to participate. It is recommended that GOYA ministry be divided into two distinct groups, the junior high GOYA ministry and the high school GOYA ministry.
The mission and goal of GOYA ministry is to lead our young people into experiencing the Holy Orthodox Faith. By developing a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and becoming active sacramental members of the living Church, our young people will be equipped with tools necessary to assist them in their journey toward salvation.
By developing a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ through becoming active sacramental members of the living Church, our teenagers will experience for themselves wisdom and grace in God.
Adolescence is an exciting time for young people, but also a difficult period in their lives. Adolescents have many forces pulling them in different directions. They are developing at a rapid pace—physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. They are making life-long decisions about who they are and what they will become.
The major developmental task of a teenager is to achieve or form a sense of identity - "who they are" in relationship to others, the world, and God. It has been said that adolescence is a time of exploration, after which young people emerge with a committment to certain values, goals, bahaviors and beliefs. If the Church is missing from this process, there is a serious gap in the development of the young person.
GOYA works to edify our youth through a variety of activities that fall into four categories: (1) Worship (Leiturgia), (2) Fellowship (Koinonia), (3) Service (Diakonia), and (4) Witness (Martyria.) These elements not only are four separate entities, but are also four interlocking circles that overlap and build on each other. A healthy GOYA ministry keeps these four aspects of Christian life in balance. This is why this year, Jr. and Sr. GOYA will be more tightly organized to live out these four circles. Instead of a GOYA Presdent, Vice-President, etc, our officers will be GOYA Leitourgia, GOYA Koinonia, GOYA Diakonia and GOYA Martyria. The officers will be mentored with adult volunteers under the guidance of Father Demetrios.
To read more about the Four Circles or four characteristics of GOYA, please click here.
For more information about parish youth groups please contact us.