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Young Adult Retreat (3/17/17)

From Friday, 3/17/2017 - Sunday, 3/19/2017 nearly 30 Young Adults ages 18-35 gathered at Camp Nazareth Retreat and Conference Center in Mercer, PA for a weekend Retreat. The event was co-sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. The weekend event was filled with learning, fun, fellowship, worship, and time for reflection and rejuvenation! Keynote addresses were delivered by Very Rev. Dr. Edward Pehanich and Mr. Nick Lionas. The theme of the Retreat was, "Navigating Life Using Your Spiritual Compass."

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The group registered and then had time to eat and relax after their trips.
The "Green Hour" buffet in honor of St. Patrick of Ireland.
St. Patrick's icon on the buffet table.
Some great food and fellowship at the beginning of the Retreat.
Time to just talk with their peers was a big part of the Retreat.
The Retreat Participant gathered in church on Friday night to celebrate an Akathist service and then hear a message from His Grace Bishop Gregory.
His Grace Bishop Gregory delivering his message to the young adults.
After the Akathist Sevice the Retreat participants played some get-to-know-you games.
Putting it together isn't as easy at it looks!
Just some great fellowship on Friday night! Skittles helped!!
Making paper airplanes was part of the Friday evening fun and fellowship. But paper airplanes with spiritual messages in them for those on whose table they landed.
Seriously! When's the last time you made a paper airplane?
After Morning Prayers and an All Souls' Saturday Panachida for the departed of the Participants' families, the group had breakfast in the Lodge.
Meals were a great time to continue to get to know each other.
The first keynote was given by Fr. Ed Pehanich.
After the keynote, the participants had smaller group conversations about topic in the keynote.
These smaller conversations were a great time for reflection and listening to each other's perspectives.
Each conversation group had a facilitator from the group.
Later, there was time for playing games and relaxing.
Or you could strike up a conversation with Bishop Gregory.
Or you could talk with one of the keynote speakers.
Or you could get a visit from a brother hierarch. His Grace Bishop Neofitos of Nyeri & Mount Kenya (in Kenya!!) came to the Camp for a visit.
It turns out that Bishop Gregory and Bishop Neofitos were classmates at Holy Cross Seminary in Boston.
The hierarchs were old friends, which was simply great to see.
Saturday afternoon lunch.
Some delicious Lenten food had been prepared by the Camp Staff.
After lunch on Saturday, His Grace Bishop Gregory introduced His Grace Bishop Neofitos to the Retreat Participants
You can see from the photos that these two were and ARE friends. It was simply very refreshing to see brother bishops enjoying being together!
At the podium together. Bishop Neofitos showed the group a slide show of the things happening in his Diocese in Kenya and also spoke to the group.
It was beautiful hearing about the spread of the Gospel in Kenya. There are over 1,000,000 Orthodox Christians in Kenya.
Later in the afternoon the second keynote speaker was introduced by Ted Cherpas.
Nick Lionas was the 2nd Keynote Speaker.
During the 2nd Keynote, the participants again formed conversation groups to reflect and think about the topic of the keynote.
Some deep thinking going on and some great smiles too!!
Clergy took the time to talk as well.
Sam had a chance to talk with Fr. Ed for part of the time.
Believe us, it's not a stare fight. The two bishops had the opportunity to talk together and took advantage of that blessing.
Again in conversation.
The conversation groups really enjoyed working together through some given tasks.
During the weekend everyone received some great "food for thought".
A game at the end of the 2nd Keynote to help drive the message home!
The Retreat Participants gather for a group photo.
During the Divine Liturgy.
Bishop Gregory with Kassi after she presented him with her sketch of the Camp Nazareth Church.
Kassi and her parents with Bishop Gregory.