Preserving Orthodoxy in the Hands of Our Youth


In the historic town of Wiseman’s Ferry, near Hawkesbury River and not far from Sydney, the 47th Annual Russian Orthodox Youth Conference of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of ROCOR was held.

On December 27-31, 2011, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, the 47th Annual Russian Orthodox Youth Conference of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held. The theme of the event was “Preserving Orthodoxy in the Hands of Our Youth. Speaking at the conference were renowned psychologist Dr Nadia Crittenden; Professor Dimitri Conomos of Oxford University; Protopriest Michael Protopopoff; Rev Dr Peter Hill; Protodeacon Alexander Kotliaroff and choir director Andrei Laptev. A young conference participant by the name of Paul Prozsenko gave an interesting lecture titled “Concord of Orthodox Youth.”

On December 30, Divine Liturgy was celebrated in which priests from Orthodox churches in Australia and other countries participated: Mitred Protopriest Michael Protopopoff; Protopriest Vladimir Boikov; Protopriest Boris Ignatievsky; Hieromonk Joachim (Ross); Priest Daniel Metlenko; Priest Michael Lunev; Priest James Carles; Priest Irenaios Wiwit Budi Priyono; Priest Aleksander Kobesi; Priest Simon Nekipelov; Protodeacon Alexander Abramoff and Deacon Samouil Vishnevskii.

On the final day of the conference, the participants broke up into groups and participated in games and contests. In addition to participants from Australia and New Zealand, youth from Indonesia, Ukraine, Great Britain and the US also took part. The conference not only gave the young men and women a great deal of food for thought, but allowed them to create strong bonds of friendship. For the first time in many years, Metropolitan Hilarion could not attend, but the conferees sent their beloved Vladyka a greeting, asking for his prayers, and promising to pray for success in his labors in leading the Russian Church Abroad. In the Resolution they adopted, the youth also noted that as they live in comfort in Australia, they must remember and help Christians in difficult situations, for example, in Indonesia, and those who suffered from the earthquakes in New Zealand. Also worth remembering is that in these times of heightened environmental awareness that care for God’s creation is not a matter of ideology or of politics, but our solemn responsibility as Christians.