Have you ever wanted to let people know what it is like to be a young adult attempting to live their faith in the 21st Century? The Consistory Offices of Young Adult Ministry and Public Relations are hoping to give you a chance to do just that. Beginning in February we will be featuring a new section on the website for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA entitled - "My Faith, My Church, My Generation". We are looking for articles, reflections, poems, short stories, video, etc... written/produced by young adults concerning their faith, their struggles, their joys, and their perspectives on all topics.

If you are interested in participating in this new endeavor, submissions may be sent to uocyouth@aol.com at any time. You will be notified if your submission will be utilized. We will strive to publish as many submissions as possible. In addition to web publication, six submissions will be chosen to be printed in the Ukrainian Orthodox Word.

We pray that you take this unique opportunity to bring your fellow young adults and all who may read your material closer to Christ.

An interview on Christian Service with Student Lesia Mahlay
St. Vladimir - Parma, OH

*Lesia was interviewed the for a lesson used with the 2012 Great Lent Giveaway supporting the UOC High School Mission Trips. She was interviewed by Jr UOL board member Justina Mills.

Justina - Why did you choose to go on the trip?

Lesia - The first time I went on a HSMT, I was going because I needed to fulfill a service requirement for my school. I knew where I was going and the type of work I would be doing, but I thought, "How much can I really do in one week?" I cannot stress enough how much I really did and experienced in that one week. In that short time frame, I feel that everything I did - whether it was the smallest act - was showing what it was that Christ had been preaching his whole ministry. I learned so much about those around me, and even a lot about myself. Everything that I had experienced resonated so much with me that the next summer I knew I wanted to go on another trip.

Justina - What did you experience on the trip?

Lesia - Going on the mission trip allowed me to take time out of my summer and to focus on the needs of others, not myself. The experience opened my eyes to how much it is our duty to serve the needs of others. I worked with the marginalized of society - the poor, the homeless, the jobless, the ones without family, the drug addicts, the mentally sick. I have seen what it looks like to have little to nothing.

Justina - What did you do on the trip?

Lesia - On the literal level, I was able to "feed the hungry" at the soup kitchen, preparing meals and serving meals. But I was also able to sit and talk and build relationships with those who frequented the mission. On a deeper level, I was able to "visit those in prison", not the prison we initially think of, but maybe something that they have been struggling with. I also worked on physical improvements at the mission.

Justina - Did going on the trip help you in anyway?

Lesia - I realized how important service is and how important it is to integrate it into my life somehow. Oftentimes I think, "What can I really do? I have nothing to offer." But there is so much that everyone can offer and I cannot even begin to explain the feeling that you get when something inside of you just clicks and you realize why we do what we do as Orthodox Christians. Oftentimes it is hard to put Christ's words into actions, and going on the mission trip helped me see how I can be a disciple. And it is not always something tangible or quantifiable - but that's okay; you realize that the important things in life are not always so.

There are many opportunities for you to serve as Christ instructs:

College Mission Trips to Ukraine
Orthodox Christian Mission Center
International Orthodox Christian Charities
FOCUS North America

Would you like the opportunity to sit and speak with your bishops about issuses of life that concern you? Well, you just may have that opportunity!

The heirarchs of our church will be participating in Coffee with the Bishops gatherings in cities across the country.

If you are interested in hosting one of these events in your parish/city - contact the Office of Young Adult Ministry at uocyouth@aol.com.

A list of upcoming "coffees" will be listed in the near Future
Past Articles

Expect the Unexpected

A Reflection on Faith

Reflection on Great Lent

OCF Reflection
Quiet Revolution
Blog by Demetra Perlegas of
St. Nicholas - Charlottesville, VA
Articles for Young Adults written by
Fr. Bohdan Hladio
Equality and Fairness