Recreation and Christian Youth Ministries: The Ottawa Chapter of the Greek Orthodox Youth of America
George Karlis, Kostas Karadakis, Pinelopi Makrodimitris
Year: 2014 Volume: 14 Issue: b
Abstract: The Ottawa (Canada) Chapter of the Greek Orthodox Youth of America (GOYA) has existed since the mid 1900s. At that time, GOYA was viewed as an organization pertinent not only for the practice and maintenance of a religious minority (Greek Orthodoxy) in mainstream Canada, but also as a social recreational organization for interaction of the limited few Greeks that dwelled in Ottawa. Today, the primary purpose of the Ottawa Chapter of GOYA remains the same and consistent to the original mission as established by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOAA) – that is – a youth ministry based on Liturgia (worship), Koinonia (fellowship), Diakonia (service), and Martyria (witness). Historically, recreation activities in the form of retreats and cultural/religious seminars have traditional been used to address the mission of GOYA and to recruit new members in GOYA. Administrators of GOYA and the HCO have acknowledged recreation as a useful means to not only endorse the mission of GOYA, but to also solicit membership through activities such as cultural dances, basketball tournaments, and ice skating outings. This paper depicts the relationship between recreation and Christian youth ministries for the implementation of the mission of the Ottawa Chapter of GOYA. A model has been constructed to depict the relationship between recreation and Christian youth ministries from an organizational context. This paper concludes with suggestions for administrators of GOYA and other Christian Youth Ministries for the use of recreation to help implement their mission and ministry, as well as suggestions for the potential use of recreation to aid in membership growth.