: 49th Annual Russian Orthodox Youth Syezd

syezd20139The 49th Annual Diocesan Youth Convention took place between Thursday 19th December and Tuesday 24th December at “Camp Manyung” (YMCA), near Mt Eliza on Port Phillip Bay.

Besides lectures, talks and discussions the program included daily prayers, vespers served at the camp, a visit to Melbourne on Sunday for liturgy served by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion with eight priests and three deacons, and a banquet, sight  seeing in Melbourne city, a visit to Dandenong Church, swimming at the nearby beach, singing and socialising around camp fire, etc.

There were nine  lectures and talks over the five days of the Syezd “Marriage and family” topic was covered in two talks by Fr Nicholas Karipoff and Fiona Polorotoff (Melbourne Parish) on Friday 20th.

Before dinner Reader Simon Bobko (Melbourne Parish) presented a lecture on “Atheism and apathy” in today’s spiritual landscape.

On Saturday 21st Subdeacon Gennady Baksheev (PhD in Psychology, Melbourne Parish) presented two talks and a film on the brain, perception and behaviour as part of the theme: “Conscience and morals.”

Fr Christopher (Vakhabov) conducted a talk on the challenges to our faith.

On the 22nd December the First Hierarch of Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Metropolitan Hilarion served a liturgy at the Holy Protection Cathedral. All members of the syezd attended. During the service Priest Simeon was elevated to the rank of Archpriest and Protodeacon Alexander was awarded the ‘kamilavka’.  Two lay members of the parish, Alexander Bielocerkovski and Inna Smith were presented a ‘gramota’ for their long and dedicated service within the parish.  Following the service the parish sisterhood prepared lunch for the members of the syezd and the parishioners who attended the service.

On Sunday evening the youth heard a talk by Fr Michael Protopopov on the historical roots of the Diocese as inspiration for our efforts  to retain the faith and prosper spiritually.

On Monday 23rd Fr Nicholas Dalinkiewicz gave two lectures: “Obstacles to salvation in 21st century” and “Why God allows/causes suffering.” In both lectures he used the language of science familiar to many young people to convey a Christian message.  The day finished with a fun-filled talent quest which featured acting, music, singing and dancing.  Vladika Hilarion and two of the clergy acted as the judges.

His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion was present at the camp from start to finish which was an inspiration to the clergy and the youth. Other clergy included Fr Michael Protopopov, Fr Nicholas Karipoff, Fr Nicholas Dalinkiewicz, Fr Vladimir Boikov, Fr Boris Ignatievsky, Fr Christopher Vakhabov, Fr Simeon Kichakov, Fr Kyril Garvas and Protodeacon Alexander Abramoff.

A total of 105 people took part in the Syezd.  A special thanks goes to five members of the Metlenko family, as well as Melbourne and Dandenong youth for their fundraising and organising efforts. In the discussions on the last day it was decided to celebrate (in 2014) the 50th anniversary of these youth conventions in Kentlyn, NSW where they began in 1964.

Archpriest Nicholas Karipoff