Fellowship of St. John the Divine Retreat in Northern California - 03/04/07Boulder Creek, California
On the weekend of March 2-4, 2007, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Father David Hovik of St. Andrew Antiochian Orthodox Church, in Washington State was kind enough to take time off from his busy duties at his parish in order to help guide the young adult Orthodox Christians along in our struggles during the weekend of St. Gregory Palamas.
“The culture we live in has tried to deconstruct Christianity, this started in 321 A.D. which is now falling apart here in the west…we live in a culture that does not believe in a ‘right worship.’” said Father David, in regards to his seminar on a Post-Tradition, Post-Christian, Post-Orthodox Society.
The weekend included 50+ young adults from northern and southern California who were excited to meet, speak, and be with one another for the weekend. Group discussions followed Father David speaking on Friday night, which then followed with games for people to hang out and reacquaint with old friends. Saturday included morning prayers, followed by another discussion with Father David. After a short discussion, we packed a brown bag lunch and headed to the Big Basin park where we walked around the amazing Redwood trees and enjoyed our lunch outside. Afterwards we headed back to the Camp, played a little basketball, played a little guitar and just enjoyed each other’s company before listening to Father David again. Our afternoon activities included a rock climbing wall, zip line and team building events, such as low ropes were used to show that not one person can achieve all goals by him/herself but must rely on fellowship within the Church and faith in the Lord.
One challenge was to place our hands to our partners, with three spotters making sure we did not injure ourselves when we fell. Participants inched their way away from the giant tree at a 45 degree angle. The exercise was to put trust in our partners and those who were willing to catch us when we fall.
We realized that we are not alone, for God is always with us, but we also are not alone in our salvation. No man is a denomination unto himself, but a collective society of ideas, thoughts and beliefs that unify us within the body of Christ.
The evening ended with Vespers, Father David speaking again, and a campfire complete with guitar and campfire songs!! Sunday Divine Liturgy was held at Sts. Peter and Paul in Ben Lomond followed by lunch. It was a great weekend and look forward to it next year!!