Ministries of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

As a way of honoring our Orthodox Christian roots, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Little Rock, AR constantly seeks ways to empower our parishioners and the rest of the community. We have several ministries in place that aim to worship Christ and follow in his footsteps through admirable, selfless deeds.

The Annunciation Parish Council

The Annunciation Parish Council is a body composed of parishioners who have been elected by their fellow parishioners to manage and oversee all operations of the parish under the guidance of the priest, who is the head of the community. This council is responsible for the parish priest, the parish assembly, and is the hierarch for conducting the affairs of the parish in a manner that assists the priest in the fulfillment of the Orthodox Church’s holy aims and purposes. 

Junior Orthodox Youth (JOY)

The Annunciation JOY ministry is designed to provide our parish’s very young people, in an age-appropriate manner, the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their Orthodox Christian faith as well as expand the bonds of love and fellowship within the bound of God’s Holy House. This ministry is open to boys and girls between the ages 7 and 10 whose parents are members of the Annunciation.

Greek Orthodox Youth of America (GOYA)

The Annunciation GOYA ministry is designed to provide our parish’s youth between the ages of 13 and 18 a means by which they may learn more about themselves, their life in Christ, as well as expand the bonds of love and fellowship in and through the parish. Following the guidelines of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Annunciation’s GOYA ministry is centered on four basic elements: liturgy, worship, service and witness. These core principles are the cornerstones of all GOYA ministry activities.

Youth Sunday School Program

The youth of the Annunciation are instructed in the teachings and traditions of Orthodox Christianity at an age-appropriate level in our Sunday school program. This vital ministry seeks to cultivate in our children an Orthodox Christian way of life along with Orthodox Christian spirituality. The classes offer opportunities for learning that supplement and complement the Holy Wisdom being offered in the Divine Liturgy. Each class follows a particular curriculum and participates in special projects that enhance the learning process. Preschool to high school classes begin in September and conclude in May.

The Annunciation Scholarship Foundation

Our Scholarship Foundation raises funds and maintains a spiritual scholarship for all the youth of the parish who are actively involved in the life of the Church. Youth who meet the requirements for attending Sunday school, participation in the GOYA ministry, and maintain appropriate academic grades, and plan to attend college or other higher education may receive a scholarship from the parish. The scholarship is made possible because of the Christian love of our parishioners for its youth with the hope of perpetuating their active participation in the life of the Orthodox Christian Church into adulthood.

Annunciation Ladies Philoptochos (Friends of the Poor) Society

This is an organization of Orthodox Christian women at the Annunciation dedicated to witnessing Christ by helping the parish, people, as well as groups in need. The Philoptochos works to aid the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the handicapped, and the victims of disasters through fundraising efforts.

This ministry also works to promote the charitable, benevolent, and philanthropic purposes of the parish, preserve and perpetuate the Orthodox Christian Family, as well as support and promote the Orthodox Faith. Much of the philanthropic and benevolent work associated with the parish falls under the umbrella of our Philoptochos chapter. The local chapter of the Philoptochos is part of the National Philoptochos Society which is one of the largest Christian associations of women in the United States today.

The Annunciation Choir

Our choir is an integral facet of the Orthodox worship service. Service in the choir is another very important way for Orthodox Christian men and women of all ages to contribute to the prayer and worship of the parish. The choir helps lead the parish in the singing of ancient hymns and praises to the Lord as well as enhances the overall beauty of the liturgical services of the Annunciation.

Young Adult League

The Young Adult League is a ministry of the Annunciation created to encourage fellowship and help young adults grow spiritually and socially. Members, both single and married, range from 18 to 35 years old. This ministry intends to educate and inspire young adults, build the bonds of friendship, and lead them to the fullness of the faith by integrating them into the life of the parish. 

The OPA Group

The OPA Group is a ministry geared to our more experienced and typically retired members of our church family that enables them to meet regularly and enjoy fellowship with one another. This ministry organizes gatherings and outings once a month. BY growing in Christ together, praying together, supporting one another, and exploring interesting topics and places throughout Arkansas, they build bonds of love as they stay forever young.

Friends of St. Stephen

It is the mission of the parish to better support one another and help extend God's mercies when an illness arises within our church family. With St. Stephen being one of the first saints to specialize in this kind of care, this group strives to emulate his special ministry. The Friends of St. Stephen make up a group of parishioners that helps coordinate prayers, visits, and even meals when illnesses strike our parish.

The Annunciation Bookstore and Gift Shop

To provide people with an exclusive resource for Orthodox Christian literature, icons, and gifts, our parish maintains a dedicated bookstore. The Annunciation Bookstore and Gift Shop is the best source for Orthodox Christian books, gifts, and icons in Central Arkansas. Managed by an ever-dedicated team of volunteers, the bookstore is open for all to explore and enjoy on Sundays after the service as well as during scheduled hours once a week. 

Orthodox Bible Study Class

This is an educational program intended to broaden our understanding of the Orthodox Christian faith and life. Classes are intended for young and old, those considering converting, and lifelong parishioners alike. Through the faithful study of scriptures, religious topics, and open discussion, the men and women of the Annunciation can enhance their understanding of their Orthodox Christian faith. Typically, the class utilizes a portion from scriptures as the basis of study, but questions and discussions are not limited and are as broad as those who are in attendance want it to be.

Introduction to Orthodox Christianity Program

Visitors and experienced members are provided with an opportunity to discover and further explore the Orthodox Christian faith through regular series of eight-week-long classes. Men and women are invited to prepare questions as well as hopefully better understand and appreciate the Orthodox Christian faith. This is a nice opportunity to meet, discuss, and enjoy fellowship while delving into the understanding, practice, and experience of Orthodox Christianity.

International Greek Food Festival

This is an annual festival of food, culture, and fellowship that serves as a major fundraising and outreach endeavor of the Annunciation. On top of serving as an important fundraiser for the parish to meet needs and pursue lofty goals, every year, parishioners select a number of local Little Rock charities that will be sponsored by the festival.

Parishioners of all ages who want to serve the needs of the parish as well as positively impact the local community support this major endeavor. For more than 30 years, our church family’s annual International Greek Food Festival has not only strengthened the parish, but has donated over one million dollars to Little Rock charities. The festival can be defined as a labor of love that shines when our church family members commit a portion of their time and talent to this worthwhile endeavor. 

Greek and Middle Eastern Folk Dance Troupes

Traditional folk dancing performances are some of the most beloved elements of the parish’s annual food festival. In preparation for the festival, folk dance troupes launch a series of practices for young people every year during spring. They get to learn traditional dances from Greece and the Middle East that they then perform in authentic costumes at the actual event.

The Pastry Baking Project

In order to strengthen and expand the financial abilities of the parish as well as enjoy fellowship together, a team of merry bakers come together to learn and or apply culinary talents in fruitful ways. Every year, volunteers from our parish come to learn how to bake wonderful traditional delicacies, enjoy some fellowship, and use their talents to help support the work of the parish and local charities.