HOPE-JOY (Lena Kovoros and Antigoni Michaels, Advisors): Children (ages 5-13) are welcome to participate in the spiritual, social, athletic and philanthropic events of this organization. Highlights of their activities include the Ice-cream ice breaker, movie nights, talent shows, costume parties, ice skating, dances, games, lectures, talks with the Pastor, Volleyball and Basketball as well as participating in the Archdiocesan Olympics and other sports. They also raise money for the Church and for worthy causes and they run a large booth during the Annual Parish Festival.
Friday, September 29: REGISTRATION and Meeting
Registration: $30 per child, $40 per family
JOY ages: 7-12 years old, HOPE: 5-6 years old
Siblings are welcome, party is free, but siblings pay entrance fee if they are not JOY members ($5)
Friday, October 6: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, October 13: Gym Night 7 pm (Lakeside)
Friday, October 20, 7 pm: COSTUME PARTY
Friday, November 10, 7 pm: Thanksgiving Gathering
Friday, November 17, 7-8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, December 1, 7 - 8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, December 8, 7 - 8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, January 12, 7 pm: Frozen Movie Night
Friday, January 19, 7 - 8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, January 26, 7 - 8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, February 2, 7 - 8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, April 13, 7 - 8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, April 20, 7 - 8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, April 27, 7 pm: JOY Meeting at the Church Hall
Friday, May 4, 7 - 8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
Friday, May 18, 7-8 pm: Gym Night (Lakeside)
MEMORIAL WEEKEND: Archdiocesan Olympics
July: Archdiocesan Camp Saint Paul
The kids are having an amazing time at the costume party!
George Rekkas (pictured with proud mom Elisavet) has won the pumkin contest. Michelle is helping with the arts and crafts.
The Mummies, sorry, Mommies, are also participating in the fun and games!
GOYA (Michelle Hatzizacharias and Silvenna Karantenislis, Advisors):Young Parishioners (ages 13-18) are invited to participate in the spiritual, social, athletic and philanthropic events of this organization. They meet the first Thursday of every month and they have their President, Executive Board and members comprised exclusively by the youth. Parents (the Advisor, the coaches, the members of the youth committee) monitor the growth of the organization together with the Parish Priest and they provide the necessary resources for all their events. Highlights of the group include visits to Ronald McDonald House, hospitals, elderly homes and assisting charities, as well as the following social and athletic events: Fridays at Friday's, dances, fundraising events, Ski trips, helping at the Festival, talents shows, Olympics, Volleyball and Basketball, retreats, Lenten dinner, attending the Pre-sanctified evening services and a pioneering program of tutoring younger students (in School subjects, Greek or music) to increase participation in the organization events and to help worthy causes. The Volleyball teams start practices on October and they meet every Wednesday at Charerton School (coaches are Nikos Poulikidis, Vassilis Zarboutis and Georgia Golding).
The GOYA are scheduled for the end of the year pool party; an amazing evening of fun and fellowship always follows. We wish every blessing to the new GOYA board, which will be officially inaugurated and announced in Church as they assume their responsibilities for the New Ecclesiastical Year. Many fun events and spiritually edifying programs will be offered to the Youth and please, stay connected to receive all news and updates from our Church GOYA.
October Food Drive
Breakfast October 11
Game Night October 16 at 7 pm
Harvest Dance @ Archangel Michael Church (October 23)
November 11 Meeting
November 15 Turkey raffle
Advent Retreat TBA
Christmas Party December 11
Plant Sale December 20
Game Night January 8
Sandwitches for Homeless Run January 16
Homeless Run January 17
Meeting February 1
Ice Skating February 5
Chocolate Lolipop February 14 after the service
R. McDonald House TBA
Bounce March 18
Parade April 10
Lenten Retreat TBA
Pins for Pauly May 7
Mother's Day Plant and Bake Sale May 8
End of the Year event June 4
The Youth of Saint Demetrios Church are outstanding volunteers and gifted members of the Parish.
There is no doubt in our mind that the only way forward is through the concerted effort of our younger generations. ... ultimately, it is you that will oblige us to assume responsibility for the way we treat the earth and its resources.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Greek School (Tanya Laloudakis, Principal, Matrona Koutsouras, President): The purpose of the Greek School is to promote the Greek letters, language and civilization. The students are from Pre-K to Regents; they learn grammar, history, religion and dancing. The Greek School teachers attend seminars organized by the Greek Education Department of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. They are Greek language diploma teachers with proficiency in teaching the language and culture of the Greek people. The Board and the PTA collaborate to organize all events and activities of the School. They have monthly meetings and they volunteer for charities, for Church fundraising and for contributions to the cause of promoting the Greek letters. Significant yearly events include the Aghiasmos (Blessing) of each class in the beginning of the School year, the October 28th (OXI Day) event, the Christmas Party, the Three Hierarchs Day, the March 25th (Greek Independence Day) event, the Festival booth, the honoring of students who excel academically and the Graduation - Moving Up Ceremony. The Rev. Fr. Nikiforos Fakinos frequently visits the classrooms to speak with the students, especially during the anniversary of significant events in the history of the Greek Nation and the faith. The dance groups perform in the Parish Annual Festival and other events of the Community. History is also a significant part of the School curriculum and students receive awards and Scholarships for academic excellence in Greek language and history...
The Greek School website is: www.saintdemetrios-merrick.webs.com
You may visit is for any current news and updates.
September 26, 2015: Saint Demetrios Picnic
September 9 - 14, 2015: School Begins with Aghiasmos for every class.
September 14th - Beginners and Regents
First day of classes begins with Aghiasmos and blessing by Fr. Nikiforos. Father explains the importance of Greek education and learning the language, history, customs and faith of our people.
Greek Dancing classes are offered to the youth as part of Greek School's curriculum.
Three students read their essays on the theme of the Three Hierarchs on the occasion of the celebration of the Patron Saints of Greek Letters.
The Awards for Excellency in the Regents examinations and in Greek School academic achievements were presented immediately after the service
The Regents Class is anxiously preparing for yet another one of Kyria Tania's exciting examinations. We call this the Panic Room!
Become an active member of our PTA
We need volunteers who can contribute their time and also help us organise fund raising events. We appreciate that everyone is busy either working, running a home and taking care of children or other family members, HOWEVER, any time you have to help will be appreciated. It does not have to be a weekly nor a monthly commitment! A little bit of volunteering will bring joy to your heart and also to that of your children.
Our Board President, the Board Members and the PTA Presidents would also like to hear your ideas on fundraising and any matters concerning the school.
Any Monetary contributions are also much appreciated!
Bring your child ready to have fun & learn on their scheduled day.
September 21 - 25: Open School Night - Students have regular class. School will end 30 minutes early so that parents can attend. Child Care will be provided. Please be punctual.
Sunday November 1: “OXI Day 5th Grade Presentation” (Sunday) – all students to attend wearing school uniform. All students present songs in church. The 5th Grade will give a special presentation on OXI Day.
November 16 - 20: Progress reports.
December 12, 2015 : Christmas Party @ 6:30pm (Saturday). Wear your party clothes, children will entertain us with Kalanda, Greek Dance and Christmas Poems.
December 19-20, 2015: Kalanta - details to be provided closer to the time! This is a fun activity to continue our customs and traditions. The children and parents had a fabulous time last year. Dress warmly and have your singing voices ready. We will provide song sheets, triangles and bells to everyone who attends.
December 24, 2015 - January 1: Christmas Recess
January 4, 6, 7 & 8: Vassilopites and Blessing
January 18 - 22: Report Cards
January 31: Three Hierarchs 6th Grade (Sunday) – all students to attend wearing school uniform. The 6th Graders present their essays on the Three Hierarchs. We will provide more details closer to the time as we are hoping to get the children to participate during the church service. This is the Greek Letters day and we all attend in honor of this day. Cheese & Spinach Pie Sale
March 13th: Apokriatiko Glenti - Costumes/Masks and party dresses. Parents and children are invited to dress up and enjoy this fun evening.
April 2: Independence Day Celebration -
Headstart to 3rdGrade 3:00pm
4th Grade—6th Grade 4:15pm (Saturday)
Please wear your school uniform, traditional costume or whatever the teacher has requested.
INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE – NYC, Sunday, March 26
June 1: Moving Up Ceremony @ 6:30pm (Wednesday)
June 3: Graduation @ 6:30 pm (Friday)
Little Angels (Panagiota Roumbos, Stefanie Margaronis Advisors): Little Angels invites all mothers and their children under the age of 5 to participate in activities that assist, educate and entertain the youngest members of the Parish. Every Thursday (10 am to 12 noon) they meet and they transform the Church Hall into a play area with games, arts and crafts, songs, story time and prayer. They have snack and they also go to fun visits (zoos, circuses, ice-skating performances, theater, parks, amusement parks and summer time pool activities). The Little Angels also contribute to the Community and they are a mommy-and-me program that assists children with developing socialization skills, early School education, religious understanding of their faith and incorporating many fun events.
Church School (Cynthia Golding, Director): The Church School has the task to provide religious education to all the young members of the Parish, ages 4 to 18. The students are devided in classes according to age. Each class has a teacher and in some cases an assistant teacher. The Church School is organized under the auspicies of the School Board; the members of the Board (parents of the students and volunteers) work together with the Pastor and the Director to ensure the effecient enrichment of the School. The Church School follows the curriculum of the Religious Education Department of the Archdiocese. All teachers attend monthly meetings with the Priest and the Director as well as Bible Studies, seminars and religious services for their personal edification.
Church School events include participating in the Sunday Service, attending the dialectical sermon with the Pastor, receiving the sacraments of the Church (when properly prepared), assisting the needy (including the OCMC, Saint Basil's Academy, Christian missions and other chairities), participating in lectures, seminars and retreats, organizing the Christmas Pageant, the Youth Choir and volunteering for the Church. Significant events for the Church School include the Beginning of the Year Aghiasmos (Blessing), Registration and Breakfast, the Visit to Saint Basil's Academy, the Religious Education Conference, the Christmas Pageant, the Godparents' Sunday Breakfast, the Lenten Retreat, the Saturday of Lazarus Confessions, Breakfast and Palm Weaving, the Prosforon and Kolyva Workshops and the Graduation - Moving Up Ceremony. The Moving Up Ceremony took place on Sunday, June 5th, immediately after the Divine Liturgy. The graduates were presented as well as those who have aqcuired diplomas from academic institutions. The pins were also presented to students with exemplary attendance and perfect attendance. Diplomas were given to all Church School students and a party followed the event.
CHURCH SCHOOL EVENTS
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE AND COMMUNION
The season of Triodion, which is a book of the Greek Orthodox Church, contains hymns and prayers preparing the faithful for Great Lent and for Holy Week. The first Sunday of Triodion (February 5th) was dedicated to the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee. The fathers of the Church, in their wisdom, inspire us to prepare for the Passion of the Lord and the celebration of Easter with prayer, charity and fasting. However, our prayer, charity and fasting should always be guided by the spirit of humility, faith and repentance. The example of the Publican is an example of contrition of heart; he is not perfect, but neither does he pretend to be. He is not arrogant, self centered and egotistical like the Pharisee. The second Sunday of Triodion is dedicated to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Come to Church and listen to the wonderful Gospel readings. The sermons will explain the meaning of the Parables and after the service you are all invited downstairs to share in fellowship your thoughts and understanding of this truly inspiring season of the Church.
The Church School incorporated a variety of ministries and activities during Great Lent. In addition to the Sunday classes, the Lenten curriculum and Father's sermons and confessions in preparation for Easter, there are many sacred services and ministries that enrich our journey to Pascha. The Friday before the second Saturday of the Souls, our Church School held a very successful Kolyva Workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to educate us on how to prepare Kolyva for loved ones who have departed in Christ and to also explain the historical and theological meaning of the memorial traditions. The participation of the youth and their parents made the workshop a tremendous event, further enlightened by the evening memorial service during the Vespers of the Saturday of the Souls. Father Nikiforos keeps the names of our loved ones who have departed in the altar; these names are commemorated on Sundays, as well as during the yearly Saturdays of the Souls.
The second event of this Lenten season was the Oratorical Festival Workshop and Parish Oratorical Festival. They were both crowned with success. During the workshop, Father gave a "crash-course" on public speaking and delivering speeches. Thereafter, he also discussed the topics of this year's Oratorical Festival, answering questions of the participants, who were already working on their speeches. The four Finalists from Merrick will represent the Parish at the Long Island District Finals.
The third workshop of the Lenten season was the Prosforon workshop. The students and their parents were taught who to bake prosforon and how to prepare spiritually for such a significant task. Church School Director Cynthia Golding explained the symbolism of the seal and the importance of the prosforon. Father Nikiforos described in detail the Prothesis (Preparation) service that takes place before the liturgy and the meaning of the prayers. The names of the students' families were given to father for commemoration in the weekly services. The prosforons were baked with the assistance of Katerina Matzouranis and they were brought to Church by each student early Sunday morning.
The Church School is currently preparing for the Lenten retreat on Saturday of Lazarus, which involves confessions for students and parents as well as the preparation of palm crosses for Palm Sunday and a Lenten breakfast after the service. Father will address all students about the sacrament of confession and the proper manner of preparing for the sacrament, which is also called, the shower of the souls.
The Long Island District Finals of the Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival were held and the event was crowned with great success as all participants impressed the judges and the audience with the eloquence and the theological merit of the speeches. We congratulate Georgia Golding, from our Parish, who advances to the next level, as well as the Parish Finalists who participated and represented the Community with high distinction: Sofia Koukoulis, Nicole Mallios and Andrianna Xenophon. We thank the Chairladies of the event, Irene Georgiou and (hostess and presenter) Theoni Anagnostou. We also extend heartfelt appreciation to the judges, Steven Christoforou (Fordham, Yale, Holy Cross), Nicole Tsapelas (NYC, Queens College) and Helen Christoforou (NYU) as well as the time keeper Argiris Katos (Fordham) for their exemplary service in this great youth ministry.
The president of the Parish Council, Peter Skenteris, distributed presents to the participants (Holy Week and prayer books, Holy Cross T-shirts) and gave flowers to the judges and the chairladies, thanking them for the time and effort they committed to the Festival. Father Nikiforos congratulated all participants for the eloquence of their speech delivery and exemplified the significance of the ministry for participants, who later return to serve the Church as volunteers and in leadership positions. He concluded that public speaking is an art that is used for every aspect of our social, academic and career development and he announced that the Certificates the participants receive can be used towards College applications as well as job offers in the future. Hellenic College offers up to a full scholarship to all participants who will study in Brookline, Massachusetts, regardless of what degree they decide to follow. We wish all young participants every blessing and success to those who advance to the Orange, Connecticut Direct Archdiocesan District Finals.
The Church School celebrated Godparents' Sunday. The service was attended by the faithful and the Church was again full to capacity. Father Nikiforos spoke about Saint Photios and he drew an analogy between his treatises and letters and the theological treasures that we also need to preserve and cultivate. For this reason, we have the institution of Godparents, who are responsible to inspire and instill a deep sense of faith and love for the Church. The service was followed by breakfast that was prepared by Church School volunteers.
Thursday, January 6 is the day of Epiphany. Epiphany is a day of religious observance for all Orthodox Christians. Students who attend the service on that day, receive an official letter from our Pastor to present it to their teachers and principals so that they can have an excused absence from School. The Holy Water is to be kept next to the icons and used during the year whenever there is need (sickness, trips, tests and other significant occasions); the Pastor blesses all the homes in our Parish. An appointment has to be made through the Church office for the blessing of houses and businesses. After the Epiphany service, all faithful were invited to come to Wantagh Park to attend the service of the Universal Blessing of the Waters at the Ocean. Yiannis Hillas retrieved the Cross from the frigid waters; the service is one of the most memorable religious experiences for Parishioners of all ages.
Church School Religious Educators
The Rev. Economos Nikiforos Fakinos, Pastor
Mrs. Cynthia Golding, Director
Nursery Eleni Zarboutis Pre-K Marika Vogel Kalle Hilas K Athina Karadimas
1st Eleni Frasiolas 2nd Panagiota Perlegis 3rd Ria and Sophia Koukoulis
4th Ronnie Koukoulis 5th George Aivaliotis - Georgia Dimoulas 6th Cynthia Golding
7th Jim Golding 8th Vasilios Zarboutis 9th/10th Helen McFarlane
11th/12th Tom Arianas
Substitute Teacher: Jim Kardiasmenos
Church School Board
Rev. Economos Nikiforos Fakinos, Pastor Director Cynthia Golding Treasurer Bill Gatsiadis Betty Parisis
Chocolate fundraiser coordinator Nicole Katehis