More on the Western Diocesan St Herman's Youth Conference

The 6th annual St. Herman’s West Youth Conference was held in Seattle, WA, on December 23-26, 2013. The conference was hosted by St Nicholas Cathedral. All of the conference participants were blessed by the presence of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, which was in Seattle throughout the conference. Fifty-three young people from all over the Diocese, ranging in ages from 15 to 24, attended the conference.

The first day of St Herman’s Conference started out with morning prayers and breakfast, after which the participants headed to St Nicholas Cathedral, where a moleben was served in front of the Kursk Root Icon. The moleben was led by His Grace Bishop Theodosius, who, along with 11 priests and 3 deacons from parishes throughout the Diocese attended the conference. This first day included workshops of choir rehearsal, church service reading, and acolyte practice to prepare all the youth to participate in the church services through one of these disciplines. A lecture by Archpriest Alexander Krassovsky followed, entitled “The Historical and Canonical Status of ROCOR Prior to the Unification.” The afternoon was taken up by a tour to the famous Seattle Pikes Place Market, allowing for social time and a viewing of the waterfront attractions. The day concluded with a beautiful all-night vigil for the feast day of St Herman of Alaska, sung by the youth choir.

The second day began with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for the feast day. It was presided over by Bishop Theodosius, and blessed by the presence of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon. Co-serving were 11 priests and 3 deacons, while male participants of the conference served as acolytes in the altar. It was a joy to see that most of the conference participants received Holy Communion. Following a luncheon prepared by the sisterhood, two lectures were delivered, one by His Grace, Bishop Theodosius, on “The Church in the Soviet Union,” and the second, “Youth Organizations of ROCOR,” given by Archpriest Andrei Sommer. An informative panel discussion followed, allowing participants to ask various questions pertinent to Orthodox youth today. This full day ended with social time at the Seattle Russian Community Center.

The last day of the conference started with a pilgrimage to All-Merciful Savior Monastery on Vashon Island. The journey included a ferry ride to the monastery, nestled in a beautiful forested island landscape. A moleben was served in the church honoring the Kursk Root Icon, and afterwards a tour was given by Abbot Tryphon (Parsons). Back in Seattle, Archimandrite Irenei (Steenberg) delivered a lecture entitled, “The Next Generation in the Russian Church.” A social outing at the ice skating rink concluded this eventful and fulfilling conference for our youth of the Western American Diocese. For photo and video reports, please go to www.wadyouth.com or visit the WAD Youth Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wadyouth.


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