On Saturday the 13th April 2019, the Education Department of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, held a teacher’s day retreat, at St Nicholas Punchbowl. The day retreat incorporated a practical guide to understanding the purpose of our lives as Orthodox Christian and how to develop the spiritual awareness of the importance of communion with God through the mind, the heart and the will. The participants learned the elements of Orthodox spiritual life and how essential this is in raising and educating children. The day retreat commenced with a Matins service followed by two sessions presented by Mr. Wissam Abwi.

His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios joined the retreat participants for lunch and then invited them to attend a service of laying a foundation stone at the construction site of the new Archdiocese education & youth centre, across the road from St Nicholas Parish. The blessing prayers and chanting on the construction grounds and the laying of bricks in the shape of a cross was another reminder to all participants that all things must begin and end with the name of Jesus Christ.

His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios encouraged the participants to undertake spiritual readings and to develop their knowledge about the Orthodox faith to be attuned to answering the inquisitive questions that our young people may ask in our day and age. Children have been entrusted to parents and teachers, they are in a blessed and privileged position of influence and need to be diligent and watchful of themselves. The participants reported excellent feedback of the retreat and felt it was spiritually beneficial and inspiring to all. The follow-up retreat will be held later in 2019, details to come.