Monday, August 1, 2011

Shreveport DOWAMA Parish Life Conference 2011: Revisited!

Much love and gratefulness goes out to the Parish Family of St Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Shreveport, Louisiana for hosting the DOWAMA Parish Life Conference this summer (June 15-18, 2011)!

2011 Antiochian Conference Theme
It was truly a blessed gathering, filled with lots of Christian love, fellowship, and fun! St George Houston was well represented with about 40 conference participants. As for myself, I was lucky enough to travel with a great group of teens and a very helpful female chaperone (Ms. Amanda Zabaneh). Our Teen SOYO joined in many of the activities provided by the hard-working folk hosting this Conference. Some highlights included numerous liturgical services, Bible Bowl Competition, Oratorical Festival, and Creative Arts Festival, as well as a SOYO General Assembly, Service Project to a local Nursing Home, and a fun afternoon in the sun at a neighborhood pool and games spot.

Congratulations to our own local chapter Teen SOYO President, Danielle S., who was elected to serve as President for the Diocese of Wichita & Mid-America Teen SOYO! Mabrouk!

A yearly highlight of the Conference is the Bible Bowl Competition, in front of a packed house of cheering fans, Teen & Adult teams competed in a fun and tightly contested event! Our St George Houston Teen (Kathrine S., Mariam K., Areen B.) & Adult teams courageously battled, and our Adult Team came in 2nd place among the other Adult teams, falling short by only a few points in the competition.

So, who took the "gold" you ask among the Adults? The DOWAMA SOYO Youth Directors (Ms. Erin Learned of St Elijah OKC, Ms. Andreea Balan of Ss Constantine & Helen Dallas, and myself)! After the victory, I learned that there was actually a trophy presented to the Adult team - its ridiculously large! We decided to rotate churches to house the trophy, so look for it soon in my office at St George probably this fall.

The competitions, elections, and awards aside, it was just wonderful to spend quality time with everyone in attendance! As a Youth Director, its awesome to see the teens gather with their friends and interact - yes, they even let us chaperones join in on the fun! Their smiles simply light up the room, and its a blessing to witness!

Don't forget to join us next year in Houston for the 2012 DOWAMA PLC hosted by St Joseph - enjoy a very funny intro video HERE.

Enjoy some pictures from the Shreveport PLC 2011 below:

St George Houston, TX family at the PLC
St George Houston Teen Bible Bowl Team
Border of TX & LA, Houston crew
Dallas crew with Fr Antony Bahou & Ms. Andreea Balan
Just swingin' away in the sun!
DOWAMA Youth Directors - 2011 Adult Bible Bowl Champions
Erin Learned, Paul Fuller, and Andreea Balan
Serious faces, except for the priest in the background, nicely done
Fr. Anthony Baba of St Anthony in Spring, TX
Championship pose!
- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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