COVID -19 Are we coping?
We are trying to do everything we can during our given current situation. As some people are slowly returning to pre-COVID conditions we are all facing challenges of a “new norm”.
Recently I met up with the President of the Synodal Youth department of R.O.C.O.R. Metropolitan Hilarion and the Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Bishop Nicholas to discuss and brainstorm ideas for youth ministry programs during this pandemic and post pandemic age.
Many of our annual programs have been postponed or cancelled. Even our annual Thanksgiving food drive that is extremely needed during these hard times this year had been cancelled because of staffing restrictions.
Every year during December a winter st.Herman’s conference is organized in different parts of the U.S. but this year it is under question and restrictions. Youth from different parts of America and Canada gather during their winter break to discuss moral and spiritual issues but this year large gatherings are prohibited.
There are ongoing plans to arrange virtual satellite gatherings. Most students unfortunately have been studying via Zoom since last spring and are experiencing a form of virtual burnout. Success in youth programs and conferences are attributed to the important value of personal contact and interaction.
An option is being worked out to gather small groups of youth in many different locations and including a virtual element using multiple platforms.
Our Prince Vladimir Youth Association board of directors met via Zoom recently to discuss current and future youth programs. We are still going forward with our intentions to host an All-Diaspora youth conference for a scheduled date of 2022.
We expect to proceed with our volunteer orphanage program in Siberia previously scheduled but now postponed to spring 2021. In the meantime, during this ban on international travel will be focusing on a “grass roots” approach of small town hall meetings in different parts of the U.S. with hopes of opening up P.V.Y.A. affiliate branches.
V.Rev. Andrei Sommer
Board Chairman Prince Vladimir Youth Association