International seminar of orthodox youth
“THE MAIN COMMANDMENT – TO LOVE”
"Orthodox family – the basis of a society.
To defend the love – to save the mankind"
“ONLY COMMANDMENT – TO LOVE” – Syndesmos seminar with such a motto has been held in Uzhgorod 6-15 September 2000. Altogether 40 representatives from the youth fellowships from 10 countries were working mainly on theme of the youth leader training courses on the threshold of the 3-d millennium of Christianity. “The temple is not in the stones – but in the robes”, - such a words of St. John Chrysostom could describe an attitude which rose in the numerose hearts of this particulare part of the generose Orthodox Christian family named Syndesmos…
Among the key-speeches the cordial theme was inspiringly cherished up by the modest Hellenic nun from Leros island - Gavrilia. “Ascetic of Love”, - such a title of her genuine dialogue with the souls gathered in Carpatian mountains. This is also a title of her book about the gerontissa Gavrilia – Mother's Gavrilia teacher and spiritual guide who brought her in the blessed way of the true monasticism in the Christ. This spiritual dialogue which deeply involved everyone in the remembrance of the true meaning of the main word – “love”, understanding of the real way in which this meaning should be restored by the young Orthodox inside this contemporary society. “How could I disturb this world?” – everyone was answering this Mr.Gavrilia's question right there, during the seminar working sessions:
- youth work;
- social work in the Church;
- Orthodox Christian pedagogic.
Big part of the participants consisted by the young priests and seminarians. So the discussions and especially the training how to create a concrete projects were fruitful for most of the participants. Later see some materials on our web-sites: www.syndesmos.org.pl, www.compclub.lviv.ua/orthodox/, vik.null.ru - (# 5)
As a serious educational support on the seminar was a lecture of the Hellenic iconografer from USA deacon Dimirios Leosis. His narration about the rules of the icon-painting named “The icon in the daily life of the Christian family” gave to everybody a bright understanding of the living theology of Orthodox icons: “Icon is a window in the Heaven Kingdom” (Ioann Damaskin), because, the main icon in our life is a Divine Liturgy – the highest level it is – a Chelas and the Holy Gifts”.
We have discovered a real depth of the God's love during the trip to the Bedevlya Monastery where we have participate in the Divine liturgy with His Grace Ioann bishop of Hust and Vynohradiv. When we were coming back from the St. John the Baptist's monastery we have stopped near the ancient village – Iza. There in the St. Nicolas monastery we have prayed near the sacred relicts of archimandrite Olexiy Kabalyuk – one of the leaders of Orthodox renewal in the Trans-Carpathians during the Austro-Hungarial persecutions (1903 - 1907).
Great experience we have had while we have prayed with Mukachevo people and the youth in the St. Nicolas nunnery. With the blessing of His Grace Agapit bishop of Mukachevo and Uzhgorod we have been near the sacred relicts of St. Moses Ugryn, while igumen Vincent was leading us through the numerous dimensions of the ancient monastery (1349). So, thus every participant of the seminar have brought with himself a soft image of the historical interdependences of the different Orthodox Churches (Serbian, Slovak, Czech, Romanian, Rus'-Ukrainian) which presciently are explored by igumen Gabriel (Kryzyna) in his book (which everyone has took with himself). These and many others inner expressions were inspired by the prayer on the grave of the dead Mukachevan Vladyka Eufymij.
A real support for the seminar's work has been done by Rev.archpriest Dimitry Sydor. As a dean of the Cross-rising cathedral in Uzhgorod, he maintained our activities with the special warmness and care. Thanks to these bridges now we have a real cooperation by the prayers and the future mutual events.
THEMES OF THE SEMINAR:
- “God is love”(1.Jh.4,16 – 5,3).
- Love – is the God's gift. Old Testament and Sacred Gospel about the love.
- Saint Fathers, Holy Tradition of the Orthodoxy about the saving force of love.
- “Faith, hope and love, but love – the biggest one among them”(1 Kor.13,13)
- Role of the Christian marriage.
- Vocation to the self-devotion service in the marriage.
- Our house – our fortress. Graceful hardness – to create the family.
- Cherishing a children in the generosity of the ancient tradition. “Domostroj” of the Old Rus'.
- The consacrating force of love and numerous problems of a society.
- The subject “Christian ethics” in the secondary schools (public education). Cherishing the real family-man (family-woman).
- Army service. Using the precious time as the preparing period to the family life.
- How to cure the poisonous influence of the bad words (Godless talking, damned slang etc.) on the informational atmosphere of a society.
- Renewal the ancient traditions of the graceful family life in the best examples of the national literatures, cinematography, theatres…
- Our mass-media, international tendencies and ecology of the man's soul.
- Protection the economical rights of a young families (especially with many children or in catastrophically social-moral state) in the conditions of the working justice. Situation in Slavonic countries and the international experience.
- “School of the young family-makers”. Exchange by the experiences.
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