We call AC2019 the Unconventional Convention. Our goal is to be affordable, accessible, and all-inclusive as you Experience Grand Rapids: You’ll love it here! Let’s start at the beginning with our hospitality:

HOSPITALITY

Sunday July 21st – A light luncheon will be served following the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Nicholas Church in our newly renovated Cultural Center. All are welcome to attend the luncheon and kick off the 54th Biennial Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese Convention in our cool city of Grand Rapids.

Monday July 22nd – Clergy Family and Board of Trustees Members are invited to attend a dinner at Saint Nicholas church following Vespers. The dinner will be a Mediterranean buffet and will be held in the Saint Nicholas Cultural Center. Be our guests!

Breakfast Stations – A Grab-n-Go breakfast station will be setup in the Devos Place Secchia Lobby Tuesday through Saturday. Coffee and other beverages, muffins, boxed cereal, fruit cups, etc., will be available for purchase as you make your way from morning services to your first event.  Pay with a credit card or charge to your room, but don’t go hungry!

CONVENTION TOURS

Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 2:30 p.m. -Meyer May Frank Lloyd Wright House. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience a Prairie house exactly as Frank Lloyd Wright intended – join us for a tour of the Meyer May house. The house was designed in 1908, by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright for local businessman Meyer May. It is a fine example of Wright’s Prairie School era and is one of the most completely restored of Wright’s Prairie residences. It was renovated by the Steelcase company in 1986, and is fully furnished with a mixture of original pieces, reproductions of original pieces, and similar style items from the period.  Some highlights include art glass windows, carpets woven according to Wright’s designs and colors, and a Niedecken mural. The tour will include a 30-minute introductory film followed by a docent-led walk through the house. Meet in the Amway Hotel lobby, either at 2:15 p.m. to connect with a walking group, or at 2:30 p.m. to ride to the house. The Meyer May House is located in Grand Rapid’s historic Heritage Hill District, a 1.4 mile walk from the Amway Hotel. Heritage Hill is one of the largest urban historic districts in the United States.Its 1,300 homes date from 1843, and represent nearly every style of American nineteenth and early twentieth-century architecture. These were the homes of lumber barons, teachers, judges, and legislators who shaped the city’s future. Heritage Hill was designated by the American Planning Association as one of 2012’s Great Places in America. Transportation back to the hotel will leave the house at 4:30 p.m.

Cost: no charge for admission to the house; cost of transportation (TBD)

 Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 2:30 p.m.  – Gerald Ford Presidential Museum. An historical collection of the life and times of Gerald Ford, and resting place of the 38th President of the United States(1974–1977), and his wife Betty Ford. Your visit to Grand Rapids provides a unique opportunity to visit the presidential museum of this favorite som and experience a slice of American history from a unique perspective. Our country has very few presidential museums and this is one is only a block away from your hotel! Meet in the Amway Hotel lobby at 2:30 p.m. for a short (0.4 mile) walk across the Grand River to the museum. There your self-guided tour starts witha reflecting pool and fountain at the main entrance. The main floor of the museum includes a full-scale replica of the Oval Office furnished as it was during Ford’s presidency. Other exhibits enable visitors to travel by video with President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger to various hot-spots around the globe; take a holographic tour of the Ford White House; and experience a day in the Oval Office through a sound and light show. A Watergate gallery includes a six-minute, multi-screen history beginning with the June 1972 break-in and a display of the actual burglary tools. An interactive Cabinet Room allows visitors to take part in presidential decision-making. Visitors can see gifts presented by heads of state and other foreign dignitaries, as well as personal gifts to Ford from the American people. The award-winning film, “A Time To Heal,” is shown hourly in the museum auditorium.  A section of the Berlin Wall stands in the museum’s lobby.

Cost: $8 per person

Thursday, July 25, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. A 158-acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park.  It has been named one of the top “30 Must-See Museums” in the world, one of the most comprehensive collections of outdoor sculpture in the world and a worldwide cultural destination. The distinctive signature of the park and gardens, which emphasizes the equally important entities of sculpture and horticulture, unites the visual art of humankind with the visual art of nature.  At Meijer Gardens you will find a tropical conservatory, three indoor theme gardens, an 8-acre Japanese Garden, nature trails and a boardwalk, one of the largest children’s gardens in the country, sculpture galleries  featuring more than 200 pieces by world-renowned artists. You won’t want to miss visiting Meijer Gardens when you come to Grand Rapids.Our tour will leave the Amway Hotel at 1:00 p.m. driving to the Gardens by motor coach. We will start with a tram tour of the outdoor sculpture gardens followed by a docent-led walking tour of the Japanese Gardens. We will depart from the Gardens at 4:00 p.m. returning by bus to the Amway Hotel.

Cost: $15 per person plus the cost of the bus (TBD)

Friday, July 26, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – Grand Rapids Art Museum and ArtPrize Afterglow. Meet in the Amway Hotel lobby at 1:00 p.m. for a two block walk (0.2 mile) to the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM). There we will be taken on a 60-minute docent-led tour focusing on Michigan artists, including exceptional furniture pieces made from area lumber and the wonders of the Great Lakes. Following the GRAM tour, we will move outside for a 60-minute walking tour of ArtPrize entries.  ArtPrize is an international art competition that has been held in Grand Rapids every fall for the past ten years. Artists from all over the world have entered their creations hoping to win hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes. This one hour tour will show us more than 25 past-competition entries that permanently reside in Grand Rapids and will reveal the stories behind them.

Cost: $22 per person

Saturday, July 27, 2019 – TBD

SPEAKER

During Vespers, Tuesday through Friday, Paul Karos will be our featured speaker. Mr. Karos had a successful 35 + year career on Wall Street. He ran hedge fund portfolios for 13 years, at his own firm Aplos Advisors, Whitebox Advisors, and Millennium Partners.  He was President of Piper Jaffray’s Investment Banking and Equities Division where he led the firm to become a national investment banking player. Earlier in his career, he was Managing Director of CS First Boston, where he was named the number one-ranked airline analyst in the world for five straight years.

As of June 2018, Mr. Karos founded Matrona Ministries, a lay Orthodox Christian ministry which performs coaching one-on-one, parish retreats, and Orthodox Christian life assessments. He’s been involved in a variety of ministries in the Orthodox Church: Retreat Leader for several men’s, youth, and family camp retreats across the country; a bible study leader for the Minnesota Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Team; pre-marital counselling with and on behalf of priests as a trained ‘Prepare and Enrich’ counselor. Mr. Karos earned his Master of Arts in Applied Orthodox Theology through the University of Balamand, Lebanon, and a BS of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota. He gives numerous motivational presentations to business and school groups as well.

Mr. Karos is married to Cindy and has three children. He has been legally blind since his teen years, and is now 98% blind.

Ask Abouna

Every night, from Monday through Saturday, at 11:30pm, you can chat with Sayidna or Abouna. Our Bishops and priests will take turns sitting with you in an informal setting so you can ask the questions you always wondered about.

WORKSHOP

For the first time ever at an Antiochian Archdiocese Convention there will be a workshop for priests. Every member of our clergy is invited to attend. Provided by Faithtree Resources, our priests will learn the steps for ‘Building an Effective Parish Ministry Team.’ The priests will become equipped to identify parishioners who can serve as co-laborers in collaborative ministry to help their churches thrive in community.

 

BIBLE STUDY AND WORSHIP

A tradition of our convention is to begin the morning with Bible Study. We will have Matins, Divine Liturgy, and Vespers as we worship together as one body.

KIDS’ CLUB

Kids age 4-12, join us for a week of fun in the Kids’ Club! We’ll spend our mornings doing games, lessons, and activities to learn how we as Orthodox Christians experience Christ in worship using our five senses. After lunch, we’ll head out on the town to visit Grand Rapids’ favorite hot spot for kids including the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, John Ball Zoo, and more!

TEENS

At AC2019, we will be celebrating generations of teenagers. Our Uncoventional Convention marks the 50th Anniversary of NAC Teen SOYO and the 40th Anniversary of the Antiochian Village. We will have a Teen SOYO Anniversary Dance, an Antiochian Alumni Reunion, a Grand Rapids Scavenger Hunt, and a service project. There will be steep competition during Bible Bowl and the Oratorical Festival and an excursion to Unsalted, Shark-free Lake Michigan.

YAMS

The Young Adults of our parishes love to get together. They’ll dine out with one another, take brewery tours and sample Grand Rapids’ award winning craft beers, and hit the Urban Market for a taste of locally grown and prepared specialty foods.

ORDER OF ST. IGNATIUS DINNER

This dinner is open to all St. Ignatius members as well as inquirers. As the philanthropic arm of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, the Order of St. Ignatius will be celebrating the Spirit of Giving throughout North America. Tuesday night at 7pm at the Amway Ambassador Ballroom East $100 per ticket (July 23rd, 2019).

NAB WOMEN BRUNCH

Every woman from every church in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese is invited to attend this brunch. We celebrate the women of the parishes in North America who have been working together to build a thriving and welcoming community in their home churches and across the Archdiocese. Wednesday, July 24th at 10:30 in the Amway Pantlind Ballroom – $50 per ticket