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The Canberra 40th Youth Syezd

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    Dear All, I had expected by now that our Synod site would have posted the below article but nonetheless I am posting it here for your information. Hopefully
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2005
      Dear All,

      I had expected by now that our Synod site would have posted the below
      article but nonetheless I am posting it here for your information.
      Hopefully our Synod will post it ASAP.

      The Syezd information is available on the Parish site (photos)
      http://www.rocor.org.au/stjohntheforerunnerchurch/index.html (at the moment
      of sending this it was being changed) & the Syezd site (some lectures).
      The Syezd organisation can also produce CDs in both plain audio and MP3
      formats if required, if you are interested in a full set please inform us
      either email Stephen via Stephen Shott <stephen.shott@...> or myself.
      The cost of CDs will be minimum but we will also need to cover any postage
      costs. Please let us know what format is required ie MP3?

      Hopefully before our Orthodox Easter 2 Videos will become available
      (currently in the production stage - one covering the church services & the
      other the Syezd(i)). The costs is still unknown but if you are interested
      in the set let us know your details please. The "40 Syezd Pamyatka" will
      be produced this year but not sure when as yet & Sasha P. with Misha K. are
      producing the Syezd info participant booklet with photos - hopefully this
      too will be ready soon.

      The above info can be passed to all young & all others who are interested
      in the positive & successful outcome of the 40th Youth Syezd in Canberra,


      protodeacon Basil from Canberra

      Australian & New Zealand Diocese:
      The 40th Annual Youth Conference is held in Canberra

      "Shelter us with Thy most precious Protection. Most holy Theotokos, help

      Between December 19th and December 25th, approximately 100 young people
      gathered in Canberra, Australia's capital city, for the 40th annual youth
      conference of the Australian & New Zealand Diocese. In attendance were
      Archbishop Hilarion, guest speaker Priest David Moser, rector of the church
      of Saint Seraphim in Boise, Idaho (USA), a number of the clergy of the
      diocese, and some matushki, bringing the total number of participants to
      over 120. Present throughout the conference was one of the spiritual
      treasures of the diocese, the wonderworking "Akhtyrskaya" Icon of the
      Mother of God.

      Registration commenced on Sunday 19th December, following which the
      Canberra clergy served a moleben at the parish church. After a settling-in
      period at the conference venue, Sundown Village, the first dinner of many
      was served. Participants then watched the film "The Passion of the
      Christ". Archbishop Hilarion, Archpriest Gabriel Makarov & some young
      participants arrived from Brisbane during the evening, and Father David
      Moser ? the syezd guest speaker ? arrived from Sydney.

      The next day the syezd schedule (see here
      http://www.rocor.org.au/syezd2004/schedule.html was followed with some
      rigor. His Grace Archbishop Hilarion greeted all participants and in
      officially opening the conference expressed the hope that it would be of
      spiritual benefit to all in attendance. Protodeacon Basil Yakimov then took
      the chair, introducing the speaker before each lecture.

      In the course of the week, Father David Moser gave three excellent lectures
      on the topics of the missionary witness of Saint John of Shanghai & San
      Francisco, "Identity and Intimacy", and "The Nature of the Soul" (these
      talks & others will be posted on the Syezd site ASAP). In each of his
      talks, Father David stressed the importance of a healthy relationship with
      God as the basis for all other relationships. Father David's talks were
      well received by the youth, and his warm and open manner, together with his
      evident pastoral and professional experience, were much appreciated by all.

      The theme of the conference was "Shelter us with thy most precious
      protection. Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!" Speaking to this theme on the
      first day of the conference, Priest James Carles surveyed historical
      instances of the intercession of the Mother of God in Byzantium, Russia,
      and the Diaspora, encouraging the young people to take confidence in her
      help now. Priest Boris Ignatievsky spoke about a number of miraculous
      icons of the Mother of God. Also on the first day, Reader Alexander
      Paramonov, a recent graduate of the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville,
      gave a lecture on the life and influence of the late ever-memorable
      Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose).

      On the second day of the conference, Priest George Robinson gave an
      interesting talk on his path to Orthodoxy and his missionary work.
      Formerly a protestant missionary in Russia, Father George was, whilst in
      Russia, himself led to embrace Orthodoxy. A lively discussion ensued, with
      Fathers George and David later leading a workshop on the topic of
      missionary work. Protodeacon Basil read a lecture entitled "Orthodox
      Latvia: St John of Riga". The life of Saint John of Riga was an inspiration
      to all in these unsettled and confused times.

      On the third day of the conference, Canberra resident, Kyrill Georgievitch
      Zviagintsev (Brent) gave a fascinating lecture on Russian culture and
      literature. Kyrill Georgievitch surveyed the historical experience of the
      Russian people, and encouraged the youth of the diocese to value and draw
      strength from their heritage. The same message was given later that day
      when his Excellency the Russian Ambassador to Australia, Leonid Petrovich
      Moiseev, received the participants of the conference. Welcoming the clergy
      and young people to lunch at his private residence, Leonid Petrovich
      explained to all present his work as ambassador and expressed his hope that
      Russian Australians would always value their heritage. Leonid Petrovich
      answered a number of questions from the young people. All appreciated the
      tasty Russian Lenten food that he and his wife, Leonida Petrovna,
      generously provided. That same day, participants in the conference visited
      the Australian War Memorial, the National Museum of Australia, and both the
      old and new Parliament House.

      On the evening of the third day, all journeyed to Canberra's beautiful
      church dedicated to the Nativity of Saint John the Forerunner. Built in
      traditional Russian style, this church was built as a memorial of the
      1000-year anniversary of the Baptism of Rus'. Of great interest to all was
      the newly frescoed church ceiling, the work of Archimandrite Alexis
      (Rosentool) and Mrs T Ganina and their assistants, work that is to be
      continued in the coming year. There, Archbishop Hilarion, together with 9
      priests & the Canberra protodeacon, served an akathist before the
      "Akhtyrskaya" Icon of the Mother of God. Praying in church on the right
      kliros were the Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Australia and New Zealand,
      Milutin, together with a number of the clergy of his diocese. Vladika
      Hilarion warmly welcomed Bishop Milutin, recalling the recent visit to
      Australia of His Holiness Patriarch Paul of Serbia. Bishop Milutin then
      addressed all present, speaking of his love for the Russian Church. This
      fraternal gathering was uplifting for all.

      Other talks given in the course of the week included Archpriest Nicholas
      Dalinkiewicz on the book, "The Da Vinci Code"; Archpriests George Lapardin
      and Gabriel Makarov on liturgical themes; and Professor Dimitri Conomos,
      Oxford Professor of Byzantine Studies, on education and on the Mother of
      God. Professor Conomos' role as adviser to Buckingham Palace on matters
      relating to the Orthodox Churches was of great interest to the
      participants, and a number of questions were asked about Prince Charles and
      Prince Phillip and their relationship to Orthodoxy. An inspiring talk was
      given by, an young man from the Gosford parish, George Karmadonoff, on
      God's help to him in overcoming struggles with alcohol and gambling. This
      talk made a particular impression on the youth, reinforcing to them the
      importance of making wise choices.

      A quiz on Tuesday night was a great success, as was a talent night on
      Thursday. Abbess Anna of the Presentation Skete led a well-attended
      workshop on death and other topics, and so contributed to the success of
      the syezd. Also present for part of the week were Archpriest Nikita
      Chemodakov and Hieromonk John (MacPherson), both of whom participated in
      question & answer sessions.

      Two talks were given that recalled ever-memorable clergymen of the
      Australia & New Zealand Diocese. The rector of the Canberra church,
      Archpriest Alexander Morozov, gave an overview of the life of Archbishop
      Theodosy (Putilin), ruling bishop of the diocese from 1970 until 1980.
      Father Alexander warmly recalled Vladika Theodosy's time as Bishop of
      Melbourne. Father Alexander's portrait of Vladika Theodosy was added to by
      the recollections of two syezd partcipants. Matushka Elizabeth
      Dalinkiewicz warmly recalled Vladika from the time when he, as Father
      Sergei Putilin, was the rector of the Sts Peter and Paul Church in Perth,
      Western Australia (1951-69), as did Protodeacon Basil Yakimov, who in 1976
      was cell attendant to Vladika and acting Diocesan Secretary.

      Deacon Alexander Abramoff, of the Holy Protection Cathedral in Melbourne,
      later spoke of the life of Priest Vladimir Evsukoff, tragically killed in a
      motor vehicle accident in 1981. Father Alexander recalled Father
      Vladimir's contributions in both the Melbourne and Geelong parishes,
      particularly his zeal and his love for the youth. Father Vladimir indeed
      left a wonderful legacy. A number of the clergy present at the syezd were
      the spiritual children of Father Vladimir, or influenced by him to serve
      the Church. It was furthermore noted that Father Vladimir was perhaps one
      of the first clergymen in the diocese to take advantage of fluency in
      English when reaching out to those around him.

      On the final evening of the conference, vigil was served at the Canberra
      church by Archpriest Gabriel Makarov, Protodeacon Basil Yakimov, and Deacon
      Alexander Abramoff. Archbishop Hilarion and all the clergy present emerged
      from the altar during the polyeleos to sing the magnification of the
      Theotokos & Saint Herman of Alaska and for the reading of the Holy Gospel.
      The next day, Archbishop Hilarion presided at Divine Liturgy,
      concelebrating with Archpriests Alexander Morozov, Gabriel Makarov, and
      Nicholas Dalinckiewicz, Priests David Moser, Simon Kichakov, and George
      Robinson, Protodeacon Basil Yakimov, and Deacons Alexander Abramoff and
      Vadim Gan. An inspiring sermon was given by Priest David Moser on Saint
      Herman's words: "From this day, from this hour, from this minute, let us
      strive to love God above all and to fulfil His holy will". The youth choir
      was at all services lead by the talented choir leader from Saint Vladimir's
      Church in Sydney, Elizabeth Lescheva. The choir of the youth & in the Altar
      the voices of the clergy made the services very moving & spiritually
      uplifting. At these final services, many of the conference participants
      took the opportunity to confess their sins and receive the Holy Mysteries.

      Following the Divine Liturgy, a festive Lenten meal was served by the
      parish sisterhood and visiting helpers under the able direction of Mrs
      Alevtina G Kargin. For many, this was the first opportunity to see the new
      parish hall, a well-designed and spacious building. At the farewell
      luncheon many of the clergy (including Stavrophore Archpriest Ilya
      Dragosavljevic of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Savva) gave a brief
      speech, and gifts were given to lecturers & helpers alike. It was
      mentioned that the meals were excellent at all times & that the
      accommodation at this syezd had been second to none. On behalf of the
      organising committee, Protodeacon Basil Yakimov thanked all who had made
      the first syezd in Canberra possible and a great success. The President of
      the Canberra Russian Youth Committee, Adrian Windle, the Secretary, Monica
      Yakimov, together with members Victor Rodionov and Dionisy Kargin joined
      Father Protodeacon in thanking the guests & workers.

      Now an important event in the life of the Australia & New Zealand Diocese,
      the annual youth conferences were first convened with the blessing of the
      ever-memorable Archbishop Savva (Raevsky) in 1964. The initiative for the
      first conference came from the late Anatole Zakroczymski, an energetic
      participant in many community organisations over the years. It was he who
      founded the Saint Vladimir's Youth Organisation in 1955 and the Vitiaz
      Organisation in 1960, leading the latter until his death in 1999. Held in
      a different location each year, the conferences are a source of spiritual
      strength for the youth, providing in addition the opportunity for young
      people to meet and enjoy a range of social activities together. God
      willing, the 2005 (Syezd) Conference will be held in Geelong, Victoria,
      under the auspices of the "Joy of All Who Sorrow" parish.

      The Syezd organising committee plans to produce two videos of the 40th
      Jubilee Syezd and, at some time in 2005, a "Syezd Pamyatka" book. It is
      hoped that such worthy endeavours will be supported.

      Priest James Carles
      29 December 2004
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