1. Never thought to go to an Archdiocese Convention

2.  Been there, done that

3.  Why go to Grand Rapids

4. Too hard to get to Grand Rapids

5.  Too hot & muggy in mid July

6.  Save Money

7.  Catch up on facebook

8.  Don’t know enough people

9.  Don’t know how to dabke

10. Don’t want workshop lectures

11. Can hang by my own pool

12.  Never went to Camp or SOYO

13.  Kids want to play video games

14.  Like my own lumpy bed

15.  Tune into favorite re-runs

16.  Can worship here as usual

17.  Can talk with my priest anytime

18. Don’t want to drive everywhere

19. Content with my same old food

20. Watch grass grow


1.  Come to this one, the Unconventional Convention

2.  Now’s the time to come back

3.  #1 U.S. Travel Destination

4.  120+ direct flights or a tank of gas

5.  In Pure Michigan: clear, cool, sunny skies

6.  It’ll be your best investment all year

7.  Catch up face-to-face

8.  Will meet more people than you know

9.  Free dabke lessons

10. Won’t be lectured, will be engaged

11. Hang out at unsalted, shark-free Lake MI

12. It’ll feel like you went to Camp and SOYO

13. Play at Kids’ Club & Family Street Fair

14. Luxurious 4-Star Hotels at discounted $$$

15. Tune into the Greatest Story Ever Told

16. Worship with 8 Bishops & 250 Priests

17. How about a Chat with Sayidna this time

18. Just walk, it’s that close to everything

19. Not once you get a Taste of Grand Rapids

20. Watch faith grow


The time has come at last.

July 21st-28th, our Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese will hold its 54th Biennial Convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Your host church, St. Nicholas, has been planning for your arrival the past four years. We are so ready to welcome you!

Our city of Grand Rapids, nestled on the banks of the Grand River, in Pure Michigan, had been a best-kept secret for years, but no longer. Once known as the Furniture Capital of the World and Home of President Gerald Ford, we’re now known as the COOL CITY, BEER CITY USA, and the Leading Place to Visit, Live, Work, and Raise a Family. We’re a mid-size community with all the attributes of a big city and none of the negatives. We’re family friendly, safe, affordable, and hassle-free, congestion-free, smog-free. Ask anyone. We love it here!

Metropolitan JOSEPH visited us recently, to put his stamp of approval on our convention plans. He told us, “In Grand Rapids, we are making history. Because of this convention, Orthodoxy will be heard.” He went on to proclaim, “I need the people. The people need the Hierarchs. The clergy and people together, that’s why we need this convention.”  Sayidna affirmed why it’s important we all attend AC2019. “We go to the convention to please God and to bring more unity in our life and in our society. All of us are one group, one family, one Archdiocese.” We belong together.

We’ve been having the time of our life preparing for AC2019. The hotel rooms are top notch (4-Star 4-Diamond) at hugely discounted prices. The Grand River runs alongside the hotels and convention center and the cafés, pubs, boutiques, museums, urban market are all within walking distance.

We’re maintaining all the spiritual traditions of the convention like Bible Study and Services, Bible Bowl & Oratorical Festival, but we added something new: Nightly Chats with Sayidna and Ask Abouna. There is a workshop or event for every single person to take part. For the first time, we have a special workshop for Priests, put on by Faithtree.

At Kids’ Club, young children will learn how to worship through their five senses and tour the Children’s and Public Museums. To celebrate 50 years of SOYO, there will be an All-Teen Dance. The Young Adults will tour nationally-renowned breweries in Grand Rapids. At the Family Riverwalk Street Fair, we’ll serve up tacos and sliders, beer kegs and jugglers, balloon and face artists, and stilt walkers. There will be a wonderful Archdiocese Women’s Lunch and Order of St. Ignatius Dinner. We’ll be going ‘From Broadway to Grand Rapids’ with a high caliber musical production featuring some of the best talent in our Archdiocese. At the Hafli – Yallah…Let’s Dance, there will be a Moroccan theme with Henna artists, Arabic music for our dabke, and mazza. Then, instead of the typical banquet, we’ll Light the Night with a Dinner-Dance Gala with few speeches, exquisite food, and an emotional look back at 40 years of memories of the Antiochian Village.

We have excursions to the Ford Presidential Museum, to an original Frank Lloyd Wright Home, and a tour of Grand Rapids Heritage Hill District. We’ll take you to the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, among the top 30 must-see in the world. And you can’t leave Grand Rapids without experiencing unsalted, shark-free Lake Michigan, with the longest freshwater shoreline anywhere. We’re stealing you away to the beaches and bringing a custom towel for you. If you can’t go, extend your trip to Michigan and visit one resort town after another, minutes from each other, up and down the Michigan Coast. You won’t believe how stunning, breathtaking…a summer place like no other.

AC2019 is about all of us Antiochian Orthodox being together: to meet new friends and rekindle old friendships; to get to know our beloved Hierarchs and Clergy; to worship, learn, grow in our faith, compete, and have great fun with each other. If you’re not here in Grand Rapids with us, it just won’t be the same without you. YOU’LL LOVE IT HERE!  Go to for all things convention: register, book hotel, purchase event package and other tickets, and get ready to roll.

Grand Rapids is a hidden jewel on the banks of the Grand River. There are so many reasons why you’ll love it here. See why it’s such a COOL CITY

  • Grand Rapids: You’ll Love It Here!

    Family Friendly, Affordable, Walkable

  • Grand Rapids: You’ll Love It Here!

    #1 U.S. Travel Destination

    – Lonely Planet

  • Grand Rapids: You’ll Love It Here!

    #1 Place for Millennials to Work/Live 

    – Business Insider

  • Grand Rapids: You’ll Love It Here!

    Top 21 Super Cool Cities

    – Expedia

  • Grand Rapids: You’ll Love It Here!

    Top 52 Places to Go Worldwide 

    – New York Times

  • Grand Rapids: You’ll Love It Here!

    Beer City USA

    – National Poll Winner

  • Grand Rapids: You’ll Love It Here!

    Unsalted Lake Michigan-

    Longest Freshwater Shoreline

When you come to Grand Rapids, it won’t take you but a moment to see why we Love It Here!