Glory to God, the 2009 Diocese College Convention concluded as a great success. This year, our featured speakers were His Grace Bishop Serapion, His Grace Bishop Suriel of the Diocese of Melbourne, Australia, and former Los Angeles Lakers player A.C. Green. The single topic for all of the lectures was "The New Martyrdom," which relates to maintaining purity in a society that constantly reinforces the opposite message.
The convention commenced with registration and an introduction by our beloved bishop on Friday, followed by a lecture by His Grace Bishop Suriel introducing the theme of the retreat. Early the next day, the youth congregated for prayer with Their Graces and the first of two lectures by His Grace Bishop Suriel on purity. This lecture provided the youth with a comprehensive understanding of the issues surrounding sexual activity in the postmodern world, including the issue of homosexuality, drawing on the Holy Scriptures, real-life statistics, and the wisdom of the fathers of the church. After lunch, the youth attended a lecture by A.C. Green on his life experiences as a Christian in the NBA and his struggle in preserving his purity in a difficult environment. The third lecture from His Grace Bishop Suriel addressed the topics of pornography, sexual bombardment in the media, and practical ways to overcome temptations against purity. Again, His Grace’s lecture drew heavily on the Holy Scriptures, the teachings of the Orthodox Church, and facts taken from society.
Throughout the convention, the 210+ youth broke into groups with servants from many parishes throughout the DIocese to discuss specific questions in an open, relaxed environment. These discussions proved to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the convention for the youth and servants alike.
On Sunday, the convention concluded with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy with Their Graces and several priests from the Diocese, including Fr. Gregory Bishay, Fr. Mina Girgis, Fr. Youhanna Ibrahim, and Fr. Kyrollos Ibrahim. Other clergy who attended the convention included Fr. Daniel Habib, Fr. Lazarus Yassa, Fr. Antony Atallah, and Fr. Abraam Megally.
We thank God for the wonderful experience from this convention, which was brought about through the tireless efforts of His Grace Bishop Serapion and the planning committee. We ask the Lord to continue blessing this service in future years.
The Love of God versus the Love of the World by Bishop Suriel
The Gift of Sexuality under God and the World by Bishop Suriel
Bishop Suriel’s Powerpoint – Lecture 1
Bishop Suriel’s Powerpoint – Lecture 2
Bishop Suriel’s Powerpoint – Lecture 3
|Purity and the New Martyrdom Lecture 1
|Purity and the New Martyrdom Lecture 2
|Purity and the New Martyrdom Lecture 3