CHICAGO: The Youth Group of St. Gregorios Cathedral (Chicago) conducted its third annual retreat at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp & Retreat Center in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin from October 9-11, 2009.
The main theme for the retreat was ‘Know Your Faith, Love Your Church’ 1Timothy (4:16). Dn. Abey George (New York), graduate of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, was the main speaker for the retreat.
The retreat commenced on Friday with evening prayer at the Church. Upon arrival, the group had a time of fellowship over a bonfire. Introduction to the theme and main speaker for the retreat was followed by the Compline prayer.
On Saturday, Dn. Abey George talked on the theme. Emphasizing the importance of truth, he emphasized the fullness of faith found in the Orthodox Church. Beginning with the spread of the Gospel to the nations through Christ and His apostles, he also highlighted the importance of the ecumenical councils as well as the major differences between Orthodoxy and the various faith denominations. He stressed the importance of knowing our roots and taking hold of our doctrine so that youth can come to love their faith and defend it in a world that challenges and confronts them with varying beliefs and practices.
During the afternoon, the youth took part in a low ropes course that was led by the retreat facility coordinators. The activities stressed the importance of team building and leadership through active listening, communication, and trust.
A workshop was also conducted by Dn. Abey George for the high school and college students on life after death and the Orthodox view of salvation. Simultaneously, for the middle school students outlining the Sacraments of the Church, Diju Skariah, from St. Tikhon’s Seminary led the workshop. Question and answer session made the retreat more interactive.
Retreat message was delivered by Fr. Daniel George, Vicar of the parish. Thereafter confession was heard.
On Sunday, October 11th, the Holy Qurbana was celebrated by Fr. Daniel George at the retreat center. Christy Ann Kuriakose was the retreat convener. A group of 45 youth attended the retreat.