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International Youth Conference 2007 Day 3

DAILY COMMENTARY FOR FRIDAY JULY 13, 2007

By Reader Matthew Stagon

Constantinople for me thus far has been an amazing experience. The day begins with a Turkish breakfast consisting of some new and interesting cultural foods (and some scrambled egss for us Americans). This morning's talks consisted of the importance of a strong family structure in properly raising children, which as young adults we will be facing in the future. The speaker tied in both sociological and theological backing for developing a strong family situation. Early in the afternoon we took a walk into a new portion of town and were amazed at the similarities between Constantinople and any other city in the United States. My favorite lecture topic for the day was about the Church and Ecology. The speaker did a wonderful job of tying the Sacraments of the Church into his discussion. He used the Holy Mystery of Ordination to show us that we are all members of the Royal Priesthood who are ordained to serve the world. Thus far, Constantinople has been an eye opening experience for me, with the best still to come.
A lighter moment between sessions.
Very Rev. Archimandrite Dr. Georgios Roussakis spoke on the topic "Sexuality and Health"
Attorney Xanthi Morfi gave an inspiring presentation on the topic "Entertainment and Enjoyment: Forms and Limits"
Rev. Deacon Dr. John Chryssavgis spoke on the topic of the Church and Ecology.
His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew surprised the assembly by coming to hear the presentation on Orthodox Ecology.
Before departing for the restaurant our delegation was pleased to meet two seminarians from The Orthodox Theological Seminary of Presov, Slovakia
Our delegation with the Presov Seminarians.
Father Jonathan Tobias, and daughter Marisa, dined with the delegation from Estonia.
The restaurant was filled to capacity.
Our delegation also dined with some members of the Greek Archdiocese of America.
All conference participants were guests of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at a special dinner at the Galston Restaurant, which overlooks the Bosphorus.