Youth and Family Conference Encyclical 2012

Protocol no. 19

ENCYCLICAL

To all the clergy and laity of the Church in North and South America

March 6/19, 2012

Forty-two martyrs of Amorios

Beloved children in the Lord,

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is often said that the youth are the future of the Church. Yet, the other side of that statement is that the only real future that leads to eternity in Christ for the youth is the Church. This is true, and we must also bear in mind that past, present, and future are always simultaneously present within the Church. It is the responsibility of each consecutive generation to bequeath the deposit of Orthodoxy to the following generation. In the Orthodox cultures of Europe, the family unit was a given, usually with three generations all living under one roof. This naturally facilitated the process of passing on Orthodox Tradition.

Here in North America, we are faced with a unique challenge because the culture and ethos of North America are foreign to Orthodoxy. The very idea of marriage and family is being challenged. Our youth face a tremendous challenge when confronted with the allurements of popular culture because we are so few and far between. Many of us feel that we are all alone.

Bearing this in mind we began, with the Grace of God, to organize annual Youth Conferences in 2005, with the aim of establishing our youth in the Orthodox faith, to let them know that there are others just like them who share the same faith and face the same struggles. We have seen that through these Youth Conferences connections have been made among the youth from all parts of the country, and that they keep in touch with each other throughout the year.

This year the Youth and Family Conference will be hosted by the Toronto Parishes of St. Nektarios, Mother of God of Proussa, St. Joseph of Arimathea and St. Theodore of Canterbury Mission on October 5-8, 2012 not only for the young people of our Church but for their parents as well. Separate programs will run concurrently for the different age groups of the conferees.

We bless this year’s Youth and Family Conference and we encourage all the faithful of our Church, clergy and laity to support this worthy endeavor. And may the God of our Fathers, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ preserve our children close to His Holy Church.

THE HOLY EPARCHIAL SYNOD

PRESIDENT

+ PAVLOS of America

MEMBERS

+ MOSES of Portland and the western United States

+ PHOTIOS of Marathon

+ CHRISTODOULOS of Theoupolis

+ SERGIOS of Loch Lomond

____________________________________________________________________________________

ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ

Παντὶ κλήρῳ καὶ λαῷ τῆς ἐν Βορείῳ καὶ Νοτίῳ Ἀμερικῇ Ἐκκλησίας

Τῇ 6ῃ /19 ῃ Μαρτίου 2012

Τῶν 42 μαρτύρων τῶν ἐν τῷ Ἀμορίῳ

Ἀγαπητὰ τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ,

Χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Πολλάκις λέγεται ὅτι ἡ νεολαία εἶναι τὸ μέλλον τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Ἐν τούτοις, ἡ ἄλλη ἄποψις τῆς ἰδέας αὐτῆς εἶναι ὅτι τὸ μόνον πραγματικὸν μέλλον διὰ τὴν νεολαίαν, τὸ ὁποῖον ὁδηγεῖ εἰς τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ αἰωνιότητα εἶναι ἡ Ἐκκλησία. Ἀληθεύει αὐτὸ καὶ πρέπει νὰ καταλάβωμεν ὅτι παρελθὸν, παρὸν καὶ μέλλον ταυτοχρόνως ὑπάρχουν ἐν τῇ Ἐκκλησίᾳ. Εἶναι ἡ ὑποχρέωσις ἑκάστης γενεᾶς νὰ μεταλαμπαδεύῃ τὴν Παρακαταθήκην τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας εἰς τὴν ἑπομένην γενεάν. Ἐν τοῖς Ὀρθοδόξοις πολιτισμοῖς τῆς Εὐρώπης ὁ θεσμὸς τῆς οἰκογενείας ἦτο δεδομένος. Συνήθως τρεῖς γενεαὶ ταυτοχρόνως διέμενον εἰς τὸν ἴδιον οἶκον. Φυσικῶς, τοῦτο διευκόλυνε τὴν μεταλαμπάδευσιν τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου παραδόσεως.

Ἐδῶ εἰς τὴν Βόρειον Ἀμερικήν ἀντιμετωπίζωμεν ἰδιαιτέραν δυσκολίαν διότι ὁ πολιτισμὸς καὶ τὸ ἦθος τῆς Βορείας Ἀμερικῆς εἶναι ξένα πρὸς τὴν Ὀρθοδοξίαν. Ἀκόμα καὶ οἱ θεσμοὶ τοῦ γάμου καὶ τῆς οἰκογενείας πολεμοῦνται. Ἡ νεολαία μας ἔχει τεραστίαν δισκολίαν ὅταν ἀντιμετωπίζει τὰ θέλγητρα τῆς παρούσης κουλτούρας, διότι ἤμαστε ὀλίγοι καὶ ἐσκορπισμένοι. Πολλοί ἀπό ἡμᾶς αἰσθανόμεθα μόνοι μας εἰς τὸν ἀγώνα.

Ταῦτα ἔχοντες ὑπ’ ὄψιν ἠρχίσαμεν, χάριτι Θεοῦ, νὰ ὀργανώνωμεν ἐτήσια Συνέδρια Νεολαίας ἀπό τοῦ ἔτους 2005 μὲ σκοπὸν νὰ στερεώνωμεν τὴν νεολαίαν μας ἐν τῇ Ὀρθοδόξῳ πίστει, νὰ γνωρίζουν τὰ παιδιά μας ὅτι ὑπάρχουν καὶ ἄλλα σὰν καὶ αὐτά, τὰ ὁποῖα μάχονται εἰς τὸν ἴδιον ἀγώνα. Εἴδομεν ὅτι διὰ μέσου αὐτῶν τῶν Συνεδρίων Νεολαίας ἐδημιουργήθησαν δεσμοὶ μεταξὺ τῶν παιδιῶν ἀπ’ ὅλα τὰ μέρη τῆς χώρας μας, καὶ ὅτι κρατοῦν ἐπαφὰς μεταξύ των ἀνὰ τὸ ἔτος.

Ἡ ἐφετινὴ Συνέλευσις Νεολαίας καὶ Οἰκογενείας θὰ γίνῃ εἰς τὰς ἐνορίας τοῦ Τορόντο, ἤτοι τοῦ Ἁγ. Νεκταρίου, τῆς Παναγίας Προυσιωτίσσης, τοῦ Ἁγ. Ἰωσὴφ τοῦ ἀπό Ἀριμαθείας καὶ τοῦ Ἁγ. Θεοδώρου τοῦ Καντέρμπουρυ τῇ 5ῃ μέχρι τῆς 8ης Ὀκτωβρίου 2012, ὄχι μόνον διὰ τὴν νεολαίαν τῆς Ἐκκλησίας μας ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ τοὺς γονείς των. Ξεχωριστὰ προγράμματα θὰ διατίθενται ταυτοχρόνως διὰ τὰς διαφόρους ἡλικιακὰς ὁμάδας τῶν συνέδρων.

Εὐλογοῦμεν τὴν ἐφετινὴν Συνέλευσιν Νεολαίας καὶ Οἰκογενείας καὶ προτρέπωμεν ἅπαντας τοὺς πιστοὺς τῆς Ἐκκλησίας μας, κλῆρον καὶ λαὸν νὰ στηρίξουν παντοιοτρόπως αὐτὴν τὴν ἀναγκαίαν προσπάθειαν. Καὶ εἴθε ὁ Θεὸς τῶν Πατέρων ἡμῶν, ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς νὰ διατηρῇ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν ἐντὸς τῆς Ἁγίας Ἐκκλησίας Αὐτοῦ.

Η ΙΕΡΑ ΕΠΑΡΧΙΑΚΗ ΣΥΝΟΔΟΣ

ὁ Πρόεδρος

† ὁ Ἀµερικῆς ΠΑΥΛΟΣ

τὰ Μέλη

† ὁ Πόρτλαντ & Δυτικῶν Ἡνωμένων Πολιτειῶν ΜΩΫΣΗΣ

† ὁ Μαραθῶνος ΦΩΤΙΟΣ

† ὁ Θεουπόλεως ΧΡΙΣΤΟ∆ΟΥΛΟΣ

† ὁ Λόχ Λόμοντ ΣΕΡΓΙΟΣ

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