Antiochian Village, Goulburn | NSW, Australia | July 13-14

With fear of God…

On the cold, windy, but beautiful July weekend ACOY hosted their highly anticipated, Annual Young Adults retreat for 2019.

Aimed at senior high school students, this overnight retreat, gave some young adults the opportunity to retreat from studies during school holidays, and to immerse themselves in the richness of their Orthodox faith. This year’s theme, was “FOMO… Fear of Missing Out Orthodoxy”… an Orthodox perspective on the commonly used phrase usually reserved for the fear of missing out [on the world].

Worship & Experience

The weekend kicked-off with a practical talk given by our Father and Metropolitan Basilios, on ‘Worship in the Orthodox Church’. The students and team leaders were guided by His Eminence, throughout the historic church of St. Anna, located at the monastery of St. Michael in the Antiochian Village. Sayedna discussed the appropriate way of worship, and demonstrated the different parts of the church including an explanation of how our bodies assist our spirits in worshipping the Lord.

Mr. Wissam Abwi, (an alumni and well-known member of ACOY) presented a second talk to the students about the importance of focus on Christ… How our minds are constantly flooded by worldly things: school, work, opinions, friends etc .. this leaves no room for Christ. Wissam elevated our undersrand on the importance to fill our minds with Christ through the scriptures and sacraments to counteract this.

A third speaker, the newly ordained Fr. John Daher spoke about FOMO (i.e. Fear Of Missing Out)-  that FOMO is a real physical condition that can have long-term effects; that it’s a direct result of Social Media,it is a form anxiety, and subsequently- what Christ prescribed for anxiety through His Sermon on the Mount, specifically in Matthew 6. “Therefore do not worry about what you will, or what you will drink or what you will wear …”

Warmth through spirit

Although the thermometer never went higher than 12 degrees and the winds shook the trees we were warmed by the sight of the blue skies and energised through the plentiful outdoor activities on offer at the Antiochian Village. The warmest moments came from praying the litrugical cycle:

On Saturday night the day concluded by praying altoghather the small compline with the prayer of Metalepsis (preparation to the holy communion) and on Sunday morning a Matins and Divine Liturgy was presided over by Metropolitan Basilios and other father- it was uplifting to see the group leaders chanting along with the young adult choir.

It was an incredible and educational weekend for all those in attendance. ACOY would like to sincerely thank His Eminence, Metropolitan Basilios, for his attendance throughout the entire weekend. A generous offering of his time that uplifted all those in attendance. Also Father John Daher and Wissam Abwi for their insightful talks which left significant imprints on the hearts and minds of our students.

We look forward to seeing you at our next ACOY retreat!