KURSK: July 20, 2010
The III “Concord of Orthodox Youth” Conference Begins in Russia
This year holds the third gathering of the “Concord of Orthodox Youth,” which gathers young men and women from all over the world. This year, the contingent from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia includes youth from the USA, Australia, Venezuela and Germany. In addition to young people from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, representatives from other fraternal Local Churches, the Serbian and Polish Orthodox Churches, were also invited to attend.
The delegates from the diaspora convened at Domodedovo Airport on the evening of Sunday, July 18, 2010, whence they departed by bus to the city of Kursk.
On Monday, July 19, the “Concord of Orthodox Youth” opened in the presence of representatives of the Kursk municipality and oblast. Protopriest Gabriel Makarov, a clergyman of ROCOR’s Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, read a greeting from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. After raising the COY’s own flag, the conferees went on a procession of the cross to Kursk-Root Hermitage, where a moleben was served “for the start of a good deed.” Descending to the wellspring, where in 1295, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora, was discovered, Hieromonk Seraphim, Prior of Kursk-Root Hermitage, told the conferees about the finding of the icon and the wellspring which burst from the site, and how it continues to flow for over seven centuries.
That evening, the Concord group headed for Kursk, where the Russian delegation performed a wonderful presentation on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 20th century at MS Shchepkin Cinema. They performed various numbers with songs and dance. This montage was very reminiscent of the “Tragedy of Russia,” which was a common event held in the diaspora for decades, where the terrible fate which befell the Russian Orthodox Church in Bolshevik times was recounted via audio-visual means. The difference now is that while then, hope was expressed that the faith and Church would be reborn, now we are witnessing this very renascence, as a result of which the event concluded on an inspiring note. Everyone was called upon to participate in the fledgling process of the return of the Russian people to God. The day ended at almost midnight with the reading of evening prayers.