2012 Family & Youth Conference held on July 11, 2012 to July 14, 2012

The Northeast American Diocese had its conference in the foothills of Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York at the Honors Haven Resort and Spa. The conference was fully booked a week before the event and we had to turn away more than few last minute requests. The team of Tenny Thomas and Rev. Fr. Aju Philip Mathews scripted the curriculum by the hour and it was meticulously executed by such super session leaders as His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, Rev. Fr. Dr. George Koshy, Rev. Fr. Dr. Varghese M. Daniel, Rev. Fr. Thomas Karingattil, Rev. Fr. Aju Philip Mathews, Rev. Dn. Philip Mathew, Dr. Dolly Geevarghese, Tenny Thomas, and Abraham Joshua. The subject ranged from one of the most troublesome topics in child rearing- Bullying and Internet Safety to Death and the Life After. In between there were some fascinating topics such as: Protestant and Latin Influences in the Malankara Orthodox Liturgical practices, Ethics of Marriage: Conflict Resolution, Hermeneutics Sermon 1.0, Liturgical Music in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Tradition and the Keynote presentation by Mrs. Elizabeth Joy, from London, the first lady presenter in the history of the combined American Diocese Family Conferences. The devotionals were led by Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Yohannan Sankarathil Chor Episcopos , Very Rev. Fr. Paulose Adai Chor Episcopos and Rev. Fr. Paulose T. Peter.

Elizabeth Joy Kochamma, wife of Rev. Fr Niravil George Joy, is the member of the St Thomas' Orthodox Church, North London, UK. The general consensus was that she was dynamic, humble and gave the audience a sense of pride in being an orthodox believer. Rev. Fr. Thomas Karingattil, professor of Ortodox Seminary, Kottayam, was wonderful in his presentation of Hermeneutics and his retreat sermon was thought provoking. The conference entertainment night was guided by Ms. Anu Joseph and provided the audience with a glimpse of the talents of the participants - songs, kathaprasangam, a lively dialogue between two ladies, and a variety of expressive dances and some wonderful songs.

The conference was guided by His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, and led by Very Rev. Fr. C. J. Johnson Chor Episcopos and Rev. Fr. Sujit Thomas. The committee included Varghese Pothanicad, Raju Varghese, Rev. Fr. M. K. Kuriakose, Jamie Joshua, Gina Joshua, Anu Joseph, Ansa Thomas, Rev. Fr. T. A. Thomas (Chaplain), Raju Philip, Rev. Fr. Thomas Johnson (Choir), Saroja Varghese, Paul Mathai, Roy Ennacheril (Treasurer). Many young people took charge of the daily program and made the few days in the heart of Catskill mountains a memorable one.

The 2013 conference was kicked-off on the final day with the appointment of Rev. Fr. Sujit Thomas as the Coordinator. According to the pre-registration that was conducted, more than 120 families paid $50 deposit and registered for the next year’s conference.

A newspaper was published each day by the participants coached by Rev. Fr. Babu (Shebaly) Varghese - Orthodox Herald, Rev. Fr. Thomas Karingattil, and Rev. Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew. Rev. Fr. Johnson Punchakonam taped the conference for posterity and it can be seen on Orthodox TV on July 20, 2012.

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Tags: Family and Youth Conference

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