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Saint Sergius Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Parma, Ohio
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With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, a Spring Young Adult Retreat was held on May 27-28, 2007. This Retreat was held at Holy Trinity Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Bishop Peter presided at the services in the evening of May 27, and Divine Liturgy on May 28, which is also the Feast Day of the Fort Wayne Parish. His Grace was joined by Fr. Daniel Marshall of Goshen, Indiana (also the rector of this parish in Fort Wayne); Fr. Gregory Joyce of Ann Arbor, MI; Fr. Ilia Marzev of Cleveland, OH; Fr. Michael Carney of Lake Odessa, MI; and Protodeacon Vadim Gan of Chicago, IL. The Choir sang under the direction of Reader Alexander Petrovsky of Cleveland. Following the Divine Liturgy, a molieben and Cross procession were held in honor of the Parish Feast day.

The Young Adult Retreat began on the evening of Sunday May 27. The youth gathered at the Church in the evening for a welcome BBQ, followed by Matins service. The following morning, the youth attended the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, and participated in the festivities of the Parish Feast by chanting, reading, serving in the altar, and assisting the Sisterhood with the festive meal. Following the Liturgy and meal, Fr. Daniel Marshal delivered the lecture for the retreat entitled " 'What, me a missionary?' - St. Innocent's Advice on Spreading the Word of God." In his lecture, Fr. Daniel talked about the life of St. Innocent and his missionary works. After this lecture, Bishop Peter sat down with the youth for an informal discussion on a number of topics. Following the Bishop's departure, the youth continued a lively discussion with the gathered clergy, focusing mainly on the struggles of Orthodox Christian youth in todays times. The Retreat ended with an outing to a local park and dinner.

Bishop Peter picked the Holy Trinity church as the place to hold the youth retreat because the parishioners there consist mainly of senior citizens, so it was a way to bring in a new generation to the parish, with a hope of reviving it altogether in the future. It was a memorable experience for the youth. The church has not had a group like ours visiting or attending in about 27 years, therefore they were very glad to have us join them for the weekend. God willing and with prayers, we hope that the youth left a positive mark on the parish that will be the beginning of a resurgence in growth of the parish family of Holy Trinity parish – the kind hosts of our spiritual gathering.

Reader Alexander Petrovsky & Ksenia Krivtsov

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click here to see more from the 2006 Fall Young Adult Retreat>

Here are some experiences from the 2006 Retreat:

"What a wonderful and heartwarming weekend! The food and hospitality were superb. The discussions were stimulating and enriching. The lectures were very interesting and informative. The divine services were beautiful and prayerful. Above all, it was the energizing feeling of a community of young Orthodox Christians coming together to support one another. At a time in my own life when I have been struggling to think for myself and develop my own values and beliefs, it’s been so easy to get lost and feel alone in an ever more secular society. Meeting and getting to know many others of the same age that are going through the same struggles has been very encouraging."

"I really liked the lectures. I felt as though this conference we really got to know the saint for whom we were hosting the conference and I was actually very much inspired by that. The lecture about marriage in the words of St. John of Chrysostom was also very inspirational! I feel that throughout all the years that I've been to the conferences, they've been discussing marriage every now and then but never as thoroughly as they did this time and I found it very helpful and touching as well. To look at marriage through the eyes of the church is truly a blessing."

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