On the evening of Monday the 21st of September, the parish of St John the Baptist welcomed Alana Saliba, the Assistant Secretary of ACOY, to present to the youth of the parish on the Conception of St John the Baptist which is commemorated on the 23rd of September.

The evening began with Fr Dn Theophan Nahas leading the youth in prayer. Alana followed with a brief introduction into one of the Orthodox faith’s most important figures, St John the Baptist.

After a brief brainstorming workshop Alana delved into the account of the conception, which can be found in chapter 1 of the Gospel of Luke. Following this Alana showed how the faithful and obedient Zachariah and Elizabeth can be examples in our lives today. Just like them, we too must be persistent in our faith and remain obedient to the Lord when we are navigating through our struggles, however small or big they may seem.

Another important message to note is that God had blessed them with a child for something larger than their own immediate satisfaction. The conception of their son did not occur so that they would have someone to care for them in their old age or extend their family line. In fact, Zachariah was killed shortly after the birth of his son by the order of Herod while Elizabeth hid in a cave with her child, only to die when he was 40 days old. St John the Baptist would too be beheaded later in life for his persistent obedience to the Lord. And so, we must learn from their holy examples that the same is true of our lives.

Alana finished off with a 2nd workshop which allowed the youth to take time in silence and individually reflect and assess their spiritual life and growth.

We thank Alana for her insightful and engaging talk in which we all gained greater knowledge on the feast of St John the Baptist, as well as tools to enhance our spiritual life. We look forward to our next monthly enlightenment to be held in October +