Thursday, October 28, 2010

We're going going, back back, to OKC

St. George Teen SOYO @ OKC Basketball Tournament & Retreat

During the weekend of October 15-17, 2010 our St. George Teen SOYO participated in the 4th Annual DOWAMA SOYO Basketball Tournament & Retreat graciously hosted by St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City, OK.  It was a wonderful weekend filled with tough competition, fun with friends, and most importantly, spiritual renewal.  The teen participants enjoyed their discussion sessions led by Very Rev. Fr. Antony Bahou, pastor of Sts Constantine & Helen Antiochian Orthodox Church in Dallas, TX & Spiritual Advisor of DOWAMA SOYO.  The discussions focused on "making time for God in our lives;" although it seems like a pretty straight forward idea, we learned a great deal about time management, the ability to re-focus our priorities, and giving thanks for all things to our Lord.

The weekend also featured a great deal of basketball featuring teams from DOWAMA parishes including St. George Houston, St. Elijah OKC, Sts Constantine & Helen Dallas, St. Elias Austin, St. Peter Fort Worth, St. George El Paso, St. George Wichita, St. Anthony Tulsa, and ... a very formidable "Youth Director squad."

Many thanks to the Parish Community of St. Elijah, their priests, Very Rev. Fr. Constantine Nasr & Hieromonk Jeremy Davis, and DOWAMA & Parish Youth Director, Ms. Erin Learned for their gracious hospitality.  Great job by our players: Michael F., Sliman S., Ronnie S., Paul S., and our MVP Kathrine S., who played every minute of every game. Many thanks to our dedicated and caring chaperones, George Katrib & Mazie Zaid.

Although St. George Houston took home the Championship in 2008 & 2009, we fell short in the final game, placing 2nd to St. Elijah OKC.  A funny story, just to show that Youth Directors are human too:  There is a traveling plaque that gets presented to the Champion to be displayed in the home parish for the year.  Having spent two years dusting and polishing the name tags on the plaque, I assumed the plaque would continue to find a home in my office at St. George Houston.  Hence, I left it in Houston and was unable to present the plague to the much deserved winners, St. Elijah OKC.  Since their parish was hosting the DOWAMA Fall Gathering the following weekend, I asked our Khouria Valerie Salem if she would be so kind to take the plague with her and present it. 
My apologies y'all!    

It was truly a blessed weekend and many thanks to God for our safe travels to OKC; we look forward to attending and competing again in 2011.

Enjoy some photos from the weekend thanks to Mazie Zaid:

St. George Houston SOYO

St. George Houston vs St. George Wichita

Teens just hanging out

The Bahou clan

St. George SOYO chaperones

St. George El Paso Youth Director, PJ Ferris &
St. George Houston Youth Director Paul Fuller
aka the "PFF's"

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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