The Orthodox Church in America (OCA), in collaboration with their seminary St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York, has announced their first “YouTube Challenge.”
“This Challenge,” the announcement states, “exists to help you find your voice and give you a place to share it.” Its purpose is “that your skills can be sharpened and honed to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in your own life.”
This initiative, aimed at young people ages 14-28, was inspired by the Academy of Preachers and our mission “to identify, network, support, and inspire young people in their call to gospel preaching.” St. Vladimir’s Seminary is a Founding Partner with the Academy of Preachers and has had young preachers at all three of our National Festivals of Young Preachers.
“Challenge” organizer is Dr. Sergius Halvorsen, professor of homiletics and rhetoric at the seminary. He attended the National Festival last year and will be coming again in January of 2013 with two students (and leading a workshop on preaching).
The YouTube Challenge calls upon any individual or organization within the Orthodox Church of America to prepare, record, and submit a video recording of a creative response to one of two Challenge questions. The high school division calls for submissions inspired by the words of Jesus, “You are the light of the world.” It asks the question, “How do we share the light of Jesus with others today?” The college division takes the conversation between Jesus and Pilate about truth and asks the question, “How can we share the truth of Jesus with others today.”
“We expect about 50 submissions,” Dr. Halvorsen said. “I will lead a team of four people to evaluate the content and quality of these videos. The winner of the high school division receives from the seminary a no-cost spiritual retreat for their parish. But the winner of the college division receives a full-paid trip to the 2013 National Festival of Young Preachers in Atlanta.”
Another member of the video evaluation team is Jason Katz, AoP ’12, a recent graduate of SVOTS and a preacher at the 2012 National Festival of Young Preachers. He is now a Deacon at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Deadline for submissions is November 15. YouTube Challenge administrator is Andrew Boyd, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Orthodox Church in America. He also plans to be at the 2013 National Festival in Atlanta.
For more information consult the web site of the Orthodox Church of America.