GOYA is the Ascension of Our Lord's high school youth group.  The primary focus of this ministry is to educate our youth about our Greek Orthodox Christian Faith and teach them to incorporate those teachings into their daily lives.  Through discussions, Diakonia (Service) projects, activities and spending time together, Goyans learn "how" to live our Greek Orthodox Faith.   

In the 2021/22 Ecclesiastical year, Ascension's GOYA program will focus on a nationally renowned program developed by Faithtree Resources called "The Relationship Project."  Using "The Relationship Project" as a guide, supplemented by many fun activities planned throughout the year, Fr. Sotiri will deliver a truly special year of content that will present the life-giving road map to Christ through the lens of a teenager.

GOYA begins September 20th and meets weekly at the church on Monday evening from 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. from September through May.  If you are in High School please come and join us

  Click HERE to view the 2021-22 Schedule!  

Here are a few highlights of “The Relationship Project”

  • Materials that are uniquely Orthodox, rooted in the faith traditions of our Church yet focused on how we live and learn in the twenty-first century
  • Relevant, and highly engaging content offered around 3 themes: Understanding Our Identity with God, family and friends; Understanding Intimacy with God and our heart; Understanding Mental Health as we discuss anxiety and depression
  • Meets teens at their level and helps them explore difficult issues facing them today in a safe space while forming lifelong friendships along the way
  • High-quality, professional material that has been developed and vetted by more than 50 theologians, hierarchs, priests, educational professionals, laity and youth
  • Successfully implemented by more than 200 Orthodox churches around the world
  • Heralded by many as one of the best programs to come to the Orthodox faith in a long time!

    Learn more about “The Relationship Project” HERE
    Learn more about Faithtree HERE
    Purchase Supporting Materials for the 2021/22 Program HERE




  • Monday, January 31: COLLEGE CARE PACKAGES
    GOYANs and Jr. GOYANs will meet together at 6 p.m. to assemble college care packages for 11 college freshmen from our parish. This long-standing tradition at Ascension lets our freshmen know we're thinking of them when they're away from home!  If possible, please bring your items to church prior to Monday so we can set everything up. (GOYAN's please note the time change for your meeting next Monday, Jan. 31st is from 6 - 7:30).

  • Sunday, February 6: YOUTH SUNDAY
    Another much loved tradition in our Parish is our annual Youth Sunday celebration, a day to honor our youth. On Sunday, Feb. 6th, our youth will serve during Liturgy as ushers, greeters and the Epistle Reader. Following Liturgy we invite youth and parents to a youth ministry gathering in our Fellowship Hall to continue to celebrate and honor the important role our children play in this parish. Click HERE to view flyer.

  • Sunday, February 6:  PADDLE BALL
    On the evening of Youth Sunday Jr. GOYANs & GOYANs are invited from 6 - 8:30 p.m. to the Winter Club to play Paddle Ball! Pizza and drinks will be served and a Padde-Pro will be on hand to assist us in mastering the game. No experience necessary! Youth should wear cold-weather athletic attire as the paddle courts are outside. Food and beverages will be served inside the heated paddle hut. The Winter Club is located at 956 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Forest. See THIS FLYER  for more information and please RSVP to Rae Anne Alvarez by February 3rd: rkalvarez5@gmail.com.

  • Sunday, February 27: DIVE FOR THE CROSS
    Dive for the Cross was rescheduled and will now be held on February 27th from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Rec Center of Highland Park. Visit THIS WEBSITE for all the details and to register. Registration is required by February 25th.

    Express Your Faith! Represent your Parish! Do you like to write? Draw? Chant? Present your point in front of an audience? Don’t miss the opportunity to show your God-given talents as a writer, speaker, artist and vocalist by participating in the 2022 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. If you are in 4th – 12th grade, you are encouraged to participate in this program, which gives you the opportunity to reflect upon and express what your faith means to you. CLICK HERE for all the information!  
  • FANARI WINTER CAMP  Offered by the Metropolis of Chicago, Fanari Winter Camp brings all of the fun of Fanari Summer Camp to the winter months. The camp takes place at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI  for 5th - 12th graders and activities include: Worship, Orthodox Life, Winter Olympics, tubing at Wilmot, and much more! 2022 Fanari Winter Camp sessions are as follows:  January 14-17, 2022 [MLK Weekend]: Senior GOYA (High School); March 4-7, 2022 [Pulaski Weekend]: Junior GOYA (5th-8th Graders).  Registration opens Friday, December 3 @ noon | Only 75 spots open per session.  Click HERE for more information.


    Fanari Camp is open to rising 6th grade through rising 12th grade campers. The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago will open registration for the summer 2022 Fanari came on March 7, 2022, at noon.   The 2022 Summer camp dates are:

    Session 1: Sunday, June 19 – Saturday, June 25, 2022
    Session 2: Sunday, June 26 – Saturday, July 2, 2022
    Session 3: Sunday, July 3 – Saturday, July 9, 2022
    Session 4: Sunday, July 10 – Saturday, July 16, 2022
    Session 5: Sunday, July 17 – Saturday, July 23, 2022
  • LIGHTHOUSE FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: Lighthouse is a summer camp ministry for Orthodox high school seniors offered by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, administered by Orthodox clergy and laypeople who work with campers to prepare them in a Christ-centered way for the social, emotional, practical, and spiritual challenges they will face in college.  In the summer of 2022, Lighthouse will offer be a week-long summer camp that will help high school seniors build a stronger sense of their identity and allow them to form relationships they need to transition into the next phase of their life - adulthood.  Campers will stay at Carroll University located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to gain experience in a college setting that respects our campers and will signal that Lighthouse treats them as the growing young adults that they are.

    2022 Camp Dates: Saturday, June 25, 2022 - Saturday, July 2, 2022.
    Registration Information: Opens in February 2022.   Visit THIS WEBPAGE for more information.  

  • IONIAN VILLAGE The Office of Ionian Village announces the dates for its Summer 2022 programs. Ionian Village is the international camping ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with campgrounds located in Peloponnesus, Greece.   Registration for the Summer Sessions will open on March 1, 2022, at 12 noon Eastern Standard (that is 9:00am Pacific Standard) time.

    CrossRoad is a ten-day academic summer institute that prepares high school juniors and seniors to make big life decisions and invites them to connect with the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition. Historically, CrossRoad has been hosted solely on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross; however in recent years, it has also been offered in Chicago on the campus of North Park University.  Application Deadline is typically in February.  For more information, visit www.crossroadinstitute.org; or, or call 617-850-1310.    Note:  The 2022 application is open and due February 22, 2022.   Session 1: June 11-June 21 (Boston)

    Session 2: July 2-July 12 (San Francisco); Session 3: July 19-July 29 (Chicago)



The 2021 St. John Chrysostom Ascension Oratorical Festival took place in mid April.  We thank our participants for sharing their God-given talents with us, and we appreciate all the time and dedication they put forth for their submissions. Their speeches, essays, poetry, chanting, and iconography were truly inspiring! A recording of this year's Oratorical program is available HERE and photos from this joyous event are posted in our website gallery HERE. Great job!   The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese along with our Metropolis typically announces the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival in February of March each year.  Don’t miss the opportunity to show your God-given talents as a writer, speaker, artist and vocalist by participating in next year's program.  Details will be posted when available.