National Youth Conference 2019 Yes (July 13-16) in conjunction with the Church Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Dioceses in the USA
First and foremost, we are grateful to those parishes who made the effort to fully sponsor one of their youth to come to such an amazing gathering. It is truly a joy when the youth of our Church come together from all over the nation for learning, fellowship, and obviously prayer. The young people even took part in some of the meetings at the Assembly, learning what they should expect going forward and that improvements are always possible.
On Saturday, July 13, twenty-four youth delegates initially registered, but later in the day, at the presentation of Hollywood actor Jonathan Jackson, approximately fifty were present. This is definitely the highest number ever at one of these assemblies. The day included lunch, registration, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, and program attendance with all the delegates. Then the youth separated from the others and continued with their own program at a different location.
On Sunday morning the youth delegates welcomed the hierarchs of our Church and received Holy Communion during Divine Liturgy. They venerated the relics of St. Mardarije at our beloved Monastery of St Sava, ate lunch, again enjoyed the main assembly, and then went on an outing to Chicago.
Monday was primarily devoted to seven workshops. These were short lectures on ministries of our church: priests, monastics, deacons, KSS, executive board, choir, and church school. In the midst of these workshops we were pleasantly surprised and much blessed by the presence and words of spiritual encouragement of Bishop Longin and Abbot Metodije of Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos. After working hard most of the day, the youth were shuttled to a nearby mansion owned by one of the faithful from the Diocese. The pool party on the beautiful grounds there became a highlight of the conference.
Tuesday we made sure once again that no questions have gone unanswered and watched a documentary movie on the life of St. Mardarije.
These young people have quickly realized that they have much in common, in spite of coming from various parts of the country. They have truly bonded and become best of friends in three days. Glory to God for all things, and thanks again to all those parishes who invested and made the effort for their youth to be present.
The Youth Department of the Midwest Diocese