2017 - Responding to a need for youth fellowships in nsw
After feedback from young Christians in the Orthodox Church, the Central Youth Committee realised there is a lack of youth fellowships at individual parish levels.
We recognise how detrimental this is - each parish needs an active youth committee and youth group to ensure that the young people in their community are having their faith nurtured, and to ensure that solid relationships are built between the next generation of Christians in that parish.
In response to this, the CYC started a series of Pop-Up Young Christian Talks which would run the length of 2017. The aim of these talks was to use our inter-parish committee to facilitate youth talks at different NSW parishes, and inspire young Christians there to take up the reigns and begin their own fellowships with the support of their parish priest.
The Pop-Up Talks were hugely successful, bringing together youth for the first time in some parishes and reinvigorating existing youth groups at other churches. With the help of each parish priest and their youth representative, the spiritual talk series showed that through God, young people can unite to nurture, challenge and grow our faith in fellowship. As a result of the Pop-Up series, two parish established new youth fellowships - St George Fellowship - S.G.F Young Adults at Rose Bay and St Nicholas Marrickville Youth at Marrickville. Both these youth and young adult groups are thriving.
The 2017 CYC committee representatives with Father Nektarios at his soup kitchen
Congratulations to all our raffle prize winners at the Great Night Out, 2017.
Great night out for
a great cause.
05 June 2017, by Vanessa Papastavros
The Central Youth Committee's youth social dance raised $1,000 for charity.
On Monday June 5, the Central Youth Committee presented a check of $1,000 to the soup kitchen run by Father Nektarios Zorbalas at Saints Constantine & Helen Orthodox Church in Newtown.
Father Nektarios will use these funds in the operation of his Soup Kitchen to continue his exceptional work among the poor and homeless of Newtown. The church also freely distributes donated clothing to those less fortunate. Father Nektarios and the many volunteers at the Soup Kitchen exemplify the spirit of humility and love that Christ instructs us to show to the neediest members of our community.
All of the net profits from our 2017 youth dance Great Night Out were raised through the ticket sales as well as a raffle drawn on the night. The committee was blown away by everyone's generosity. We must also thank those who so kindly donated prizes for the raffle.
If you're keen, there are still more ways to get involved! Newtown's Soup Kitchen welcomes volunteers and assistants to help make and distribute food. You can also donate or drop off food at the Greek Welfare Centre located on the parish grounds, or you can donate any second-hand clothes or blankets to the Church so they can be given to the less fortunate. If you are interested, you can contact Sts Constantine & Helen.
2018 young adult retreat 'Come & SEE'
27 November 2018, by Vanessa Papastavros
Between 23 - 25 November 2018, CYC NSW hosted the first young adult weekend retreat in over 6 years. Situated at the tranquil setting at Long Point Conference Centre, the weekend was a distraction-free zone where we could all completely immerse ourselves in faith and friendship.
Some of us were Orthodox Christians, some of us were not - it did not matter, because we all came as we are, just as Christ asks us to. We all got to know each other; prayed for each other; worshiped together; learned together; laughed together. We were blessed to have people come from interstate, from Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, in order to join us. We hope that our new friendships in Christ always extends beyond these borders.
Our fantastic guest speakers, Father Peter Mavrommatis and Father Anastasios Bozikis, tackled our theme 'Come and See' in practical and insightful ways. Father Peter explained how when Jesus invites us to Come and See (John 1:38-39), it is an invitation to meet him where he dwells - within the Church, within the sacraments, within our brothers and sisters in Christ. But we must also respond to this invitation with our own - we must invite Jesus to come and see the wages of our sins. To see the ugly and the shameful and the imperfect parts of us that need fixing. And while we have a choice to refuse Jesus' invitation, Jesus will never refuse our invitation. Father Anastasios then followed this talk with a discussion of Confession and Repentance, understanding how through this Sacrament we can continually and progressively respond to Jesus' Grace throughout our lives. The Q&As, discussion groups and reflection activities were spiritually stimulating, and we were blessed to receive the Sacrament of Confession at the retreat if we wished.
We were fortunate to have Father Apostolos, CYC NSW's presiding priest, support the planning and running of the retreat in every way possible. Father Apostolos held several worship services for us including an evening Paraklesis, Great Vespers to Saint Catherine and a Divine Liturgy. Father was always a buoyant presence of humour, humility and love and everyone on the retreat was grateful for his presence.
We were fortunate enough to have His Grace Bishop Seraphim spend the Saturday with us, providing some words of encouragement and wisdom for the youth of the Church, and promising some more exciting CYC NSW events coming soon.