The Canberra 40th Youth Syezd
- 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