Another activity of the Holy Metropolis of Accra is that of the youth gathering, which, by the grace of God and the blessing of the Primate of the Alexandrian Church Pope and Patriarch Theodore II, was held at the premises of St. Peter’s School in Larteh, Ghana, from 1 to 13/8/2019.
The young men and women who frame the activities of the H. Metropolis and staff the parishes with their qualifications, had the opportunity to experience moments of relaxation and enrich their spiritual knowledge by studying the Bible and the Holy Fathers’ teaching, dedicating time from their vacations and their activities.
In a pleasant Christ-centered environment, focused on daily worship and liturgical assemblies, with lectures and discussions with the bishop, the priests, and the participation of a group of volunteers from the United States of America, experienced theologians and teachers, the young men and women got answers to issues that concern them, which in their turn will impart to their ministry areas themselves as catechists.
As we know, the institution of camp is a way and place of socialization and coexistence of different individuals, where each one has their own character and way of thinking, creating a miniature of an organized large society. What unites the members is their common faith, the common chalice, possibly the same interests, the same desires, and the cultivation of the Orthodox spirit.
Campers are given the opportunity to develop their skills, personality dynamics, leadership skills, while learning to live far from the safety of their family environments.
Contact with nature, which is truly a paradise, brings them closer to the Creator God and teaches them to respect it, listen to it, protect it, recognize the species of the plant and animal kingdom, manage it and only take what they need in order to improve their lives without destroying it.
Crafts and games, whenever they need to relax, unwind and work off the daily tension, are a way to showcase their talents and promote cooperation, team solidarity and mutual help.
This period under the auspices of the Holy Metropolis, was truly a spiritual refuge for the beautiful company of the young attendees, as they experienced the meaning of love of Christian life and learned a lot of things about essential catechism and Mission.
Some people argue that Orthodoxy cannot offer solutions to building a proper society, thinking that it is simply a religion, which is wrong. Orthodoxy is a communication of persons relying on the real fact of man’s search from God Himself and not on man’s attempt to create a god. A God who approaches us to heal our passions, without us attributing human weaknesses to Him. A God who comes to settle even earthly affairs without restricting Himself solely to spiritual life.
Just as we cannot confine God, so we cannot confine Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy is not individual and selfishness does not fit within it because Orthodoxy is steered by our God and Savior Himself with His Gospel and deals with the whole of human existence. It does not separate the unity of spirit, soul and body. Everything contributes to perfection and union with the Divine. This fact of Orthodoxy is something that we Missionaries live in our ministry. We deal with the human being as a whole. We try to offer him everything, just as God offers us everything. We strive to create a society not of activists limited to ideologies, events and groups, but a real society without discrimination, conflict, opposition and trampling on the equality of persons.
All this and many more are things that we lived during our stay at the Camp. We proved that by simple means and things we can create a society of persons without opportunism and interests, mine and yours. We proved that we can coexist in peace by uniting our powers and our prayers as Orthodox Christians, praying:
«O Lord Jesus Christ our God, the one who said, “Let the little children come unto me”, bless them and make them earthly angels in this place / camp, which is like a heavenly Paradise. Bestow the transcendental virtues upon them, embellishing them with innocence and purity.
Grant to the Pope and Patriarch Theodore II, role model of our Heavenly Father, health and longevity, so that we can find in His loving heart the rest we have been longing for.
Bestow Your heavenly power upon our laboring brothers, working staff and volunteers, so that they can carry out the ministry of this hospitality, and grant that with one voice and one heart we may glorify and praise Your most honorable and majestic name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen”.
† Narcissus of Accra