On Saturday, April 13th, St. John's Parish held its annual Lenten Spiritual Retreat. Presentations and activities were offered for all ages, from toddlers to senions. The adults were very edified and uplifted by the presetation “How shall we live? Living as Orthodox Christians in the world today,” led by Fr. Geoffrey Ready, who is the co-director of the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College, University of Toronto.
The presentation by Fr. Deacon Yuri Hladio, entitled “Romance & Dating in the Bible: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” which explored the scandalous (and often hilarious) stories of romance and dating in the Bible, incorporating Bible stories, pop songs, and movie clips.
Children in Primary School thoroughly enjoyed the presentation by Jane Pfeil entitled “Christ: The True Vine,” reflecting on the parable of the True Vine through discussion, journalling, and artwork.
Anna Kobilaski did her usual wonderful job organizing and leading a program for the toddlers, which enabled parents to benefit from the adult session.
The program concluded with Vespers at 5 PM, followed by a fellowship meal in the dining hall.
The Retreat was held at Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church in Oshawa, whose facilities are excellent. The large athletic fields were used by the primary school students for activites; the classroom facilities, including the kindergarten area, are first-rate, and the women's Philoptochos prepared delicious lenten snacks, as well as the fellowship meal for all participants. The hospitality of our Greek Orthodox brothers and sisters is truly exemplary, and we extend our most heartfelt thanks!
St. John's wishes to acknowledge all those who contributed to the success of this retreat, our parishioners who helped organize it, and especially to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada Foundation, who offered generous financial support.
We look forward to welcoming you for our Autumn Spiritual Retreat, scheduled for Saturday, November 9th.