BALTIMORE, MD – International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) announced on January 15 that it has opened the application period for its popular youth leadership conference, Serv-X-Treme. Two week-long conferences are scheduled for July, with spots available for at-large applications and bishop-nominated participants.
Now in its eighth year, Serv-X-Treme is IOCC’s signature youth program, designed to explore the Orthodox idea of diakonia (service) and to foster a heart for service in rising high-school seniors. Youth from across Orthodox jurisdictions gather for workshops, worship, and hands-on learning through service.
Part of IOCC’s US Program, which focuses on disaster preparedness and response, Serv-X-Treme offers a unique opportunity for participants to forge new friendships, deepen their understanding of the role of service in living the Orthodox faith, and acquire leadership skills that will benefit both the Church and local, national, and global communities.
The conferences also connect participants with the volunteer opportunities available through IOCC’s US disaster response programming, offering ways for youth to get engaged—and stay engaged—in Orthodox humanitarian work.
Conferences are scheduled to take place in Minneapolis July 17–23 and July 24–30, 2021, and applications are now open. Learn more and apply at iocc.org/servX.
In addition, one spot is reserved for each hierarch of the Assembly of Bishops to nominate a participant from his diocese; bishops may do so online: https://bit.ly/3svSIXp.
“I am so grateful to have attended this conference,” one 2020 participant told staff. “I feel that I am able to serve in a more meaningful way and see Christ in all people, be it my peers at this conference or the people I will be serving. The conference gave me hope and a renewed sense of spirituality.”
Parents have likewise shared positive responses after their young adults complete Serv-X-Treme. Last year, one parent shared, “He is so pumped up about service because of your time together. You have inspired my child! What more could I ask for?”
Advisors age 21+ to help lead the conference are also needed; those interested can learn details and apply online: https://iocc.org/take-action/serv-x-treme/serv-x-treme-advisors.
IOCC is committed to following safety regulations related to COVID-19 in the U.S. and is prepared to adjust activities as needed—including shifting to a virtual format if required. In 2020, the conference was held virtually, and participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive. IOCC’s goal is to offer Serv-X-Treme in the safest and most effective format possible.
In any format, Serv-X-Treme conferences provide Orthodox Christian youth with a rich chance for learning and spiritual growth. Supporters are invited to share this opportunity with young adults in their families and parishes.
All information about applications and nomination can be found online: iocc.org/servX or by contacting IOCC’s US Program staff at 612-454-9452.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has provided more than $715 million in humanitarian relief and sustainable development programs in over 60 countries worldwide. Today, IOCC applies its expertise in humanitarian response to natural and manmade crises in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, offering assistance based solely on need.