DIOCESE OF BERLIN AND GERMANY: November 4, 2008
Cologne Hosts an Orthodox Youth Conference
On October 31-November 2, 2008, an Orthodox Youth Conference was held in the city of Cologne. It took the form of an open seminar hosted by the local parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Church of Great Holy Martyr Panteleimon.
Over 70 young people participated from the two dioceses of Germany, those of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate, reports Sedmitza.ru.
The participants of the youth forum discussed several lectures on love, which, it was decided, comprises one of the three fundamental Christian virtues.
Some of the speeches read by the young participants themselves were heard by His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, who had come from Munich to attend the event. In his keynote address, Vladyka discussed the history of the Orthodox youth conferences in Germany, and, after morning service, delivered a sermon on the theology of love and especially of Divine love, as one of the basic and most important aspects of Christianity.
The forum participants and the Rector of the Cologne church, Fr Andrej Ostapchuk, also made a pilgrimage to the old city and venerated many Christian relics.
The young men and women expressed unanimity in their opinion that such theological youth conferences also promote friendship, prayerful communion and the exchange of spiritual and daily experiences among the members of the two dioceses. They agreed that this is becoming crucial for young people in contemporary society.