8th Annual Winter Service Retreat
This December, we will host our Seventh Annual Winter Service Retreat for Older Teens and Young Adults. Each year, we schedule this during the week after Nativity, when students are out of school for their winter break in studies. Our parish of St. George Orthodox Church (OCA) is located right on the Texas border with Mexico. In year's past, the week included a visit and work project in an orphanage for girls just across the border in Mexico. However, because of increased border violence in recent years, we no longer cross into Mexico. Thanks be to God, this year, we will have a Brand New Church Hall to help accommodate both our Retreat Participants and our Service Projects!
Some retreat highlights include:
* A Speaker/Retreat Master Sharing Talks on Topics the Participants Themselves Have Requested
* Hands-On Orthodox Service Projects, including Preparing For and Staffing a special Nativity Season Distribution at our St. George Food Pantry - which has fed over 60,000 people in the last few years.
* Working as Teams to Actively Help with Retreat Functions
* Praying Together: Actively Participating in Reading, Singing, Praying & Participating in Liturgical Services
* Time for Fun, Christian Fellowship, including a South Padre Island Beach Trip and Talent Show
Who: Geared for Older Teens, College Students & Young Adults plus Adult Chaperones & Orthodox Clergy. Orthodox Christians, Catechumins, Inquirers and their Friends from All Jurisdictions are WELCOME
Retreat Master: To Be Announced SOON!
SPIRITUAL TOPIC: Why Become (or Remain) Orthodox? How Do We Stand Up for & Live the Faith?
Expanded Version: Why become or remain Orthodox rather than simply following the "easier" more populated versions of Christianity practiced by friends and society in general? Why would/should we choose or continue on the more narrow path, which often includes isolation since most parishes are smaller and within which we have few if any peers? How are we to become knowledgeable "apologists" and stand on a firm foundation in the faith? In everyday life? In times when we face special challenges and/or temptations? How do we stand with our heads held high knowing that our beliefs are right and true? How do we do this without being prideful or thinking "low" of our brothers and sisters in Christ outside of the Orthodox Church? What are the real dividing lines which separate our Orthodox beliefs from those held by other Christians?
Dates: This year's retreat begins the EVENING of Friday, December 28th and ends AFTER DIVINE LITURGY on Thursday, January 3rd.
Cost: $225.00 Per Participant - Includes all Food, Lodging, Local Transportation and Fees. Note: If Adult Chaperones prefer an on-site Motel-type room, we can reserve one for an additional fee.We try to keep our registration fees as low as possible so as many students and other young people (who often are financially challenged and/or do not have wealthy parents) can attend. To help with this, we even cook most of the food and the retreat staff do not receive salaries. We do this for the love of Christ and in hopes that this experience will touch the lives of the young people who attend.
Where: St. George Orthodox Church; Pharr, Texas - Rio Grande Valley of South Texas near the Texas-Mexico Border. See Driving Directions: http://www.stgeorgetx.org/directions.html
The church is located at 704 W. Sam Houston in Pharr, Texas and overnight lodgings will be at the Valley Baptist Retreat Center in Mission, Texas. See the retreat center's website at: http://www.valleybaptistretreat.org/
What: A week of hands-on Service Work, Spiritual Talks & Sessions & Prayers, Christian Fellowship, & Fun. Reunite with your friends and make new friends in a wholesome and spirtually-profitable atmoshere.
Special Dietary Needs: We do make and have available vegetarian and vegan food for our retreat participants, especially those who are still observing the OC Nativity Fast. Let us know if you have additional special dietary requirements or needs!
To learn more or to see photos from previous year's Winter Service Retreats, see links at:
Please let me know if you have additional questions at mateliza@...
or by phone at 956-781-2388.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]