Encyclical of the Holy Eparchial Synod in America Regarding the 2012 Youth and Family Conference
- ENCYCLICALTo all the clergy and laity of the Church in North and South AmericaMarch 6/19, 2012Forty-two martyrs of AmoriosBeloved children in the Lord,Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.It is often said that the youth are the future of the Church. Yet, the other side of that statement is that the only real future that leads to eternity in Christ for the youth is the Church. This is true, and we must also bear in mind that past, present, and future are always simultaneously present within the Church. It is the responsibility of each consecutive generation to bequeath the deposit of Orthodoxy to the following generation. In the Orthodox cultures of Europe, the family unit was a given, usually with three generations all living under one roof. This naturally facilitated the process of passing on Orthodox Tradition.Here in North America, we are faced with a unique challenge because the culture and ethos of North America is foreign to Orthodoxy. The very idea of marriage and family is being challenged. Our youth face a tremendous challenge when confronted with the allurements of popular culture because we are so few and far between. Many of us feel that we are all alone.Bearing this in mind we began, with the Grace of God, to organize annual Youth Conferences in 2005, with the aim of establishing our youth in the Orthodox faith, to let them know that there are others just like them who share the same faith and face the same struggles. We have seen that through these Youth Conferences connections have been made among the youth from all parts of the country, and that they keep in touch with each other throughout the year.This year the Youth and Family Conference will be hosted by the Toronto Parishes of St. Nektarios, Mother of God of Proussa, St. Joseph of Arimathea and St. Theodore of Canterbury Mission on October 5-8, 2012 not only for the young people of our Church but for their parents as well. Separate programs will run concurrently for the different age groups of the conferees.We bless this year’s Youth and Family Conference and we encourage all the faithful of our Church, clergy and laity to support this worthy endeavor. And may the God of our fathers, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ preserve our children close to His Holy Church.THE HOLY EPARCHIAL SYNODPRESIDENT+ PAVLOS of AmericaMEMBERS+ MOSES of Portland and the western United States+ PHOTIOS of Marathon+ CHRISTODOULOS of Theoupolis+ SERGIOS of Loch Lomond_______________________________
The full Conference program and registration information will be available after Pascha.
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