Family and Youth Conference 2013 Day 2

The 2013 Family Conference is now in full swing in Ellenville, New York, at the Honor’s Haven, a resort located among rolling hills with unparalleled scenic beauty. The Diocesan Metropolitan, HG Zachariah Mor Nicholovos, the Coordinator Rev. Fr. Sujit Thomas, the Members of Diocesan Council and other officials of the organizing Committees were all smiles because of their year-long tireless efforts were finally paying off. The fact that Registrations had to be closed very early due to an unexpected surge in the number of participants was good news to the organizers but proved bittersweet to those aspirants who were turned away due to lack of enough accommodation.

Surprisingly enough, the participants this year showed up early enough and all events planned for the evening went like clockwork. After a sumptuous dinner, all lined up for a colorful procession. Ladies clad in maroon sarees, men in black pants, white shirts and red ties, little girls with pony tails and boys in smart outfits, scores of priests arrayed in black cassocks, all carrying candle lights, and topping them all with multicolored ‘Muthukudas’, ‘Chendamelam’ and other accompanying paraphernalia – the Diocesan Metropolitan was given a grand and colorful welcome to the Atlantic Hall where the curtain of the 2013 Conference would be raised after evening prayers.

The Conference was inaugurated by HG Zachariah Mor Nicholovos who commended the organizers for the unprecedented earlier closure of registration, recognized that youngsters were coming forward to take the lead, noticed that even prayer structure was changing and was even worried about finding a large enough space in future years for all prospective participants.

His Grace stressed that our vision of liturgical experience centered on personal needs must change and give way to offering ourselves as a sacrifice before God without expecting anything in return, expressing the hope that the main speakers would “provoke the participants into a deeper thinking” on the theme of the conference. A six footer ‘Nilavilakku’ was ceremoniously lighted by HG Mor Nicholovos, the Diocesan Secretary, Conference Coordinator, main speakers, the Secretary and the Treasurer. Coordinator Rev. Fr. Sujit Thomas reminisced that Late HG Mar Barnabas lived the theme of the conference (Rom. 12:1) in his life. He introduced the main speakers, Rev. Fr. Dr. Baby Varghese, Professor at Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam and Rev. Fr. Robert Miclean, Rector of the Mission and Pastor to Holy Archangels Congregation in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Diocesan Secretary, Rev. Fr. M.K. Kuriakose, stated that Liturgy should lead us to unconditional sacrifice of ourselves to God. Secretary of the Conference, Dr. Philip George, welcomed the participants and thanked the different Media for the coverage provided by Asianet, Kairali, Orthodox TV, BOM TV/MCN, Visual Dreamz,, and all Malayalam Newspapers. Conference Treasurer, Thomas George, alerted the participants on the rules and regulations, cautioning them on safety and Security while on the Resort premises.

The inaugural meeting was followed by a Musical Feast led by the famous singer K.G. Markose who has recorded ten thousand songs to his credit and Shalini Rajendran with a live Orchestra. The singers electrified the audience and thunderous applauses from the audience were astounding recognition of their talents. The Christian Concert was a fitting conclusion to the opening day activities.

Read the second newsletter from Conference (PDF).

Tags: Family and Youth Conference

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