The main goals of the new organization to integrate Russian youth abroad through the strengthening of national identity.


20 May, 2018

Meeting of American and Belarusian Orthodox Youth in the Minsk Theological Academy

Eleven young delegates from different states of Eastern America will be volunteering at the st. Elizabeth orphanage in Minsk, Belorussia. For almost all of the young men and women, of this group this will be their first-ever visit to Minsk or even to their historic homeland. During their visit to the Belarussian capital, they will join the Theological Academy and the youth department for a symposium on the preservation of their faith, traditions and culture. Our kids are preparing presentations to reveal to the youth of Belarus how their families preserved their traditions and culture for decades living in America. Of course, participating in the symposium and unofficial meetings will help the kids make new friends. In conjunction with our work as volunteers at the orphanage we are implementing our 3rd annual “School Piggybank” program.  This year’s proceeds of what our schoolchildren collected will go towards building a park at the orphanage.. The park will not only be open to the orphans themselves but other “special” children with developmental needs. These children don’t necessarily need swings or electronic games, they need love and support. The dynamic of their development depends to a great degree on contact with others. The nurses at the orphanage help the children by playing with them developmental games and go on nature trips. It will occupy five parcels of land, each devoted to a specific function: helping with taste, touch, smell, vision, hearing. The venue will include a petting zoo with domesticated animals. There will be a garden, multi-sensory trail consisting of alternating tree bark, sand, grains, gravel and other materials. Our volunteers will be learning the importance of community service and helping those in need.
16 February, 2018

Yale Russian Chorus, Spring Maslenitsa Concert

Come celebrate the last Friday before Orthodox Lent with the Yale Russian Chorus! In Russia, villagers will be lighting straw men on fire for "Maslenitsa," but here in New York City our chorus will light your heart on fire with music of the Slavic world. Proceeds will go towards the Prince Vladimir Youth Association. Poster Spring Maslenitsa Concert
20 October, 2017

The New Martyrs - 100 years and our future

The Prince Vladimir Youth Association gladly invites you to the upcoming symposium: "The New Martyrs - 100 years and our future".

The symposium is dedicated to the topic of the persecution of the Russian Church in the past century. What the story of those who died for their faith means to us, how it still affects Russian society, what connection the young Russian people of today have with this tragic chapter of their history? These are some of the important questions we want to ask ourselves.

The symposium will feature a lecture by professor Nadieszda Kizenko, followed by a discussion in which all attendees will be able to participate.

Light refreshments will be served at the end.

The event will take place in the Baker hall of the Synod of Bishops.

Looking forward into seeing You!

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On Sunday, May 20, 2018, Minsk Theological Academy in Belarus hosted a round table called “Preserving Orthodoxy in the Modern World.” The event brought together youth of Minsk and their counterparts from the Russian diaspora in the US, headed by V.Rev. Andrei Sommer. Fr Andrei talked about youth ministry in the USA, saying that characteristic of today’s “Generation Z” are a lack of church life and agnosticism. The post-Christian youth of the early 21st century, as a rule, might in fact acknowledge the existence of God or of a supernatural world, but they reject the Church, Her Mysteries and rituals. At the same time, this generation is active, dynamic, seeks to change the world and help people. Continuing on this topic, Fr Andrei said that today’s youth are “a separate nation,” with their own language and culture, and a missionary to this “nation” must master their forms of communication. The new generation communicates in soundbites, eschews reading long texts, uses photos, stickers and emojis to express their thoughts and feelings. A person working among the young must take this into account. Fr Andrei also stressed that young people rely on gadgets, that they “go to sleep and wake up with their smartphones.” In this light, it is important to awaken within young hearts an interest in real life and socialization without the use of “virtual” intermediaries. He emphasized that the foundation of youth ministry must be love, and that a forceful effort to lead young people to church will fail. “Better to bring love into the world than to become a crusader,” he said. The floor was then ceded to the youth from the USA. Each of them talked about themselves and their paths in life. These young men and women are descendants of Russian emigres from various generations, speaking Russian with different levels of fluency, but all remembering their roots, studying Russian culture and traditions. A great many words of fondness were spoken of Camp NORR (the Association of Russian Explorers Outside of Russia), a summer youth organization established in 1928. The speeches then gave way to a lively discussion. The delegates answered questions from their Belarussian counterparts, learning about the life of young people in Belarus in the process. The round-table discussion concluded in an atmosphere of joy and mutual understanding.
This year The Prince Vladimir Youth Association is hosting the 3rd “School piggy bank” program to help the St. Elizabeth special needs orphanage in Minsk, Belorussia. Most of the children never had a home and do not know parental warmth. Many of them have complex diagnosis but are given loving attention by the sisters of the St. Elizabeth convent. During Great Lent, this good deed will reach out to children’s and youth of parish schools to collect their assistance to help other children in need. We appeal to help support these poor orphans. Every penny donated by your children will mean a great deal. Collected funds will be of great us and support to these parentless children. They will especially happy to know that children their age provided the needed assistance. Love is expressed in actions and teaching the importance of sacrifice helping the needy is an important lesson to encourage in our communities. We hope that during Great Lent your children will express their love for God and their neighbor by helping the needy children of Minsk, which will also be a stimulus to the children collecting. Checks should be written out to The Prince Vladimir Youth Association and sent c/o Archpriest Andrei Sommer 75E 93rd st, NY, NY 10128 no later than April 20, 2018. All parish schools will be provided with a report on how their collected donations were used.

Generation Z

Modern Methods of Youth Service Lecture by V.Rev. Andrei Sommer at the International Conference “Voice of Apostle Andrew the First-Called in Today’s World” November 18-19, 2017 Patra, Greece

  The science of sociology calls today’s youth “Generation Z,” that is, adhering to no denomination, living in a post-Christian era. We see this in America, where 23% consider themselves “former Christians,” and in Great Britain, were 66% of the population consider themselves unattached to any official church, canonical or not. Who are these members of Generation Z? These are kids born from 1995-2010, that is, those under 25 years of age. They don’t remember a time without personal computers, without the internet. They were born with cell phones, and emails are a formal means of communication, though they prefer instant messaging. They don’t know of a world without instant and convenient access to the web. They go to sleep holding their cell phones and turn them on as soon as they waken. The main form of socializing is through social media: Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. They have a strongly-developed sense of entrepreneurship and independence. They want to change the world, help people, and don’t accept boundaries and limitations. They have a desire to help the poor and needy and to volunteer their time. Most members of Generation Z believe in the existence of God as before, but being the first post-Christian generation, they don’t believe in the necessity of participating in official divine services in church. They consider themselves spiritual, but not religious. They have no desire to rail against the Church, but they have no idea of the good that Church can bring, moreover of the benefit of the Mysteries the Church offers. These young people fall into the “churchless” category who at best will go to Church only on Pascha. At the same time, we need to ensure that we don’t lose the “churched” youth reared in our parish schools, who graduate with a spiritual compass but not yet prepared for the temptations of this world who are in need of our attention. Generation Z lives in a world of visual information. The knowledge they need in their lives is obtained from YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. They express words and emotions with images, symbols and “smilies” called emojis. We need to learn the means of communication that youth employs and which they are comfortable with. But the time has passed when young people can spend entire days sitting in on lectures. One of the newer approaches in youth ministry was developed at the 12thAll-Diaspora Youth Conference held in Paris in 2011.  Participating were 150 young delegates from the diaspora plus kids from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Workshops were employed. The youth would listen to lectures and then immediately turn to practical work with a specific goal. It is important to take advantage of their energy towards doing good. The youth were divided into 11 groups of 10. Their first goal was to find a common language and resolve the challenges set before them. Each group had to develop a mission project which could serve as a model for their community. Their projects were then submitted to a committee, who then acted as directors and sponsors. Over 200 youth from 11 different nations participated in the 13th All-Diaspora Youth Conference held on June 27-July 4, 2014, in San Francisco, CA. New ideas and forms of work were expanded greatly at this event.This event included lectures, discussions and workshops which developed social projects. Educational trips and excursions were organized, including a soup kitchen and a nursing home. The best program of the conference was the “Friends and Family” project, which seeks to improve contacts between volunteers and families that need help; home care for the sick, helping the aged perform daily tasks such as grocery shopping, home repair, and tutoring. Among those we can help are:
  • Single-parent families
  • Families with many children
  • Low-income families
  • Seniors
Who can help?
  • Energetic parish-level youth
  • Volunteers
  • Talented youth of today
How can volunteers and those needing help be linked?
    • A data base of volunteers and families
    • Information from needy families
    • Organizing and uniting volunteers
      • Connecting volunteers with families
      • Set up a dispatching system
      • Marketing
Social events
  • Monthly events to help unite volunteers:
    • Joint dinners
    • Collections for charitable organizations
    • Spiritual discussions
    • Picnics
    • Seminars
A smart-phone app could bring this project into life. Many other organizations use this method. Volunteers could register and when they have some free time, find those in need, with time, need and place indicated. The app should provide a way of vetting volunteers and the needy. Of course, a sponsoring organization is needed to financially support the development of the app and professional services needed. Such 21st century methods will attract the younger generation and help them fulfill their desire to help others. Meanwhile, attracting young people sometimes requires not burdensome obligations but the spirit of brotherly love.The desire to help others is instilled by our Creator in each person. Through works of love we can draw others closer.
Prince Vladimir Youth Association
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Prince Vladimir Youth Association
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About us
Keeping with the traditions established in youth work starting in the 1950's this youth association dedicated to the memory of Prince Vladimir will create opportunities for those interested in helping their local communities.
The Youth Association of Prince Vladimir is working with the department on work with youth at the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
75 E 93rd St, New York, NY 10128, USA Google Maps
Prince Vladimir
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