On October 8th through the 10th, the parish of Saint Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Cathedral of Boston and New England hosted this year’s Youth and Family Conference. Many of the faithful from Chicago to Virginia participated in the event. On the first day of the Conference a good group of the participants visited the Museum of Russian Icons. It was a blessing to have Mother Justina of the St. Elizabeth Convent in Etna, California, who teaches iconography, lead the tour of the museum.
On Saturday the 9th, the Conference schedule was filled with talks and workshops helping instruct the families and youth with the traditions and practices of our liturgical life. His Eminence gave a talk to the young children on Sacred Tradition. Fathers George Kamberidis and Christos Constantinou from St. Mark, spoke on the same topic to the adolescents and adults.
Later, His Eminence gave a talk on the Divine Liturgy, explaining that is within the Divine Liturgy that a person comes into unity with Christ, with all the other faithful, and experiences in its fulness Sacred Tradition. Mother Justina gave a talk to the young children on iconography. Archimandrite Gregory, from St. Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna California gave a talk on fasting.
After lunch, the workshops began. Fr Christos gave an introductory lesson on Byzantine Chant. Proto-chanters Spyridon Antonopoulos and Peter George from St. Mark gave a more advanced lesson on Byzantine Chant. There were workshops, lead by parishioners of St. Mark, on prosphora making (with Mother Justina giving a spiritual talk), koliva and phanouropita making (with Fr George giving the spiritual instruction). His Eminence gave a workshop on how to vest a hierarch.
The young children who did not participate in the workshops were given spiritual talks on prayer by Fr John Somers of the St John of Damascus Orthodox Education Initiative and on the lives of children saints by Fr Nicholas Chernjavsky from Holy Ascension in Rochester, NY. After dinner many of the kids played games and cooked smores by a campfire.
On Sunday all of the faithful participated in the culmination of the weekend by partaking in the Hierarchical Liturgy.
It truly was a blessed weekend, to have so many of the clergy and faithful sharing in the Eucharist, giving thanks to our Lord, for our Sacred Traditions, and our faith. May the Lord grant all of us the strength and wisdom to preserve, protect, and pass down the Sacred Traditions handed down to us.
Pictures of the Conference can be seen here (note: link will take you off of our site): https://dchatzis.smugmug.com/Youth-Conference-2021/
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