By the grace of God, we have had a dynamic and successful Youth Month at the Good Shepherd.
On February the 8th, we had a Young Adults Planning Dinner to hear from them what they would like to see more of in our Parish. We prayed Vespers together and then discussed plans while we shared a meal. Plans include organising talks and acts of service, running studies and increasing the learning and spirituality of our young adults. Since this age group is our fastest-growing demographic, we are very keen to support them as much as possible. There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm among them!
On February the 9th, we had an Altar Servers Induction Afternoon. This was organised to welcome new boys and young men to the team and to clarify and reinforce expectations of reverence and etiquette together with new policies and procedures. We closed the event with a trip to an ice cream shop!
Subdeacon Timothy and the altar servers at the Induction Workshop.
During each of the Liturgies in February, we had young people involved in preaching the sermons, reading the Epistle and reading the life of the Saint of the day. Those involved took these roles very seriously, and it was wonderful seeing people step up with courage and devotion when invited.
Young adults participating in the Liturgy: Seraphim reading the Epistle and George preaching the sermon.
On 22nd February, two of our young adults, Luke and Emilia were married at St. Nicholas, East Melbourne. The Church choir, which many young adults have joined, sang at this beautiful occasion.
On 23rd February, some of our young adults attended the popular ACOY Meatfare Barbecue. We look forward to having a greater attendance and involvement at ACOY events this year.
Some of our young adults at the barbecue.
At the close of the month, on 1st March, for Cheesefare Sunday we held a Smoothies Fundraiser organised by the young adults and older Sunday School children. They spent several weeks planning, having fun deciding the flavours of the milkshakes, designing posters and tickets and advertising the event and raised $375 for our building fund!
Lively scenes after the Liturgy for the Smoothie fundraiser.
On this same Sunday, we had an Introduction to Lent talk after the Liturgy. This was aimed at people new to our community (mostly young adults) who need guidance as to the significance of Great Lent. The Lenten Embassy program was launched on this day and young people were the main purchasers of the Pascha Passport designed to assist them on their journey in the coming weeks.
Subdeacon Timothy has commenced as a chaplain and is looking forward to finding ways to connect with the youth and with the greater community at Monash University. Though the usual Orientation Week at the end of February was cancelled due to precautions concerning the coronavirus, there will be a modified version in mid-March. Following this, the students will be back on campus.
We give glory to God for the children, youth and young adults at our parish and look forward to many more events throughout the year.
We are thankful for the support and prayers His Eminence, Metropolitan Basilios, and the Archdiocese.