February 16, 2016
Albany, NY: Nativity of the Mother of God Parish hosts Annual St.
Herman Youth Conference
the last days of December, over 120 young people of the Russian
Church Abroad gathered in Albany, the capital of New York State, at
parish of the Nativity of the Mother of God for the annual St.
Herman Youth Conference. The conference has been held annually since
the 1970s, and is arguably the most important youth activity of the
Church Abroad. Each year sees its own remarkable highlights, and
this year was no less successful.
speakers enlivened the conference with interesting talks followed by
lively discussions. Priest John Whiteford delivered a lecture
entitled "Answering Atheists," which outlined many of the arguments
and points of debate often encountered by young people in
educational institutions. Dr. Nadezhda Sexton spoke about how our
psychological needs are met in various addictive misdirections in
life. Her talk was entitled "Grant Me a Pure Vision."
The divine services were incredibly beautiful and led by His
Eminence Gabriel, Archbishop of Montreal & Canada, Director of the
St. Herman Executive Committee, and His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of
Manhattan. Serving were sixteen priests from America, Canada, and
Russia, six protodeacons, and many altar servers. The youth choir
added to the beauty of the services under the direction of
Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky, assisted by youth representatives.
the first day of the conference, all of the participants traveled on
a pilgrimage to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY where they
are greeted by Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), abbot of the
monastery. After a day of lectures, workshops, and tours, the youth
joined in a bonfire beyond the chapel of Ven. John of Rila near the
the spiritually rewarding observance of the feast of Ven. Herman of
Alaska, the patron saint of all the Americas, the clergy,
parishioners, and conference participants attended a banquet in the
church hall. After the festivities, there was laser tag for everyone
on the church property. In the evening, after a Chinese Buffet, the
annual talent show was well received and a joy for everyone. All of
the participants enjoyed each other’s company for the rest of the
evening and departed for their homes on Saturday morning.
It was announced that the 2017 St. Herman’s Conference will be
hosted by the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, DC.
We look forward to another wonderful year of preparation and
anticipate a tremendous attendance in the nation’s capital in a
Archpriest Alexis Duncan