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Pan-Orthodox Winter Youth Retreat at All Saints Camp - 01/21/2008

Gig Harbor, Washington

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The first Pan-Orthodox Winter Youth Retreat in our area was a tremendous success as 86 youth and volunteers spent Martin Luther King weekend at All Saints Camp.  Our theme was Extreme Makeover and our young people were asked "What does it mean to be created in the image of God?"  Our speaker, Christina Stavros from Lansing, MI challenged our youth to find the differences between the image of Christ and Saints compared to the images that television, magazines and other media presented to us.  We challenged our teenagers to live their lives in Christ's image and to not be influenced by the pressures of society.    Participants also spent a day on the slopes at Snoqualmie Pass for skiing, snowboarding and tubing.  Our teenagers got to know each other and become friends through various icebreakers, skits, games and fun activities during the weekend.

A total of 66 youth participated from 4 different Archdioceses and 3 different states.  The Antiochian Archdiocese was represented by teens from Christ the Savior in Spokane Valley, Holy Cross in Yakima, St. Andrew in Arlington, St. Innocent in Everson, St. Paul in Brier, St. Thomas in Snohomish, St. George in Portland, St. John the Baptist in Post Falls, ID and Holy Transfiguration Mission in Boise, ID.  The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese was represented by teens from the Seattle Parishes of St. Demetrios, Assumption and Holy Apostles, St. Nicholas in Tacoma and Holy Trinity in Portland Oregon. The Orthodox Church in America was represented by youth from Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission in Olympia.  And the Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese was represented by youth from  St. John the Wonderworker Church in Eugene Oregon.

The retreat was made possible through the combined efforts of Nia Chopelas, Kh. Miriam Davis, Mary Wright and Lefteris Sitaras, as well as a support staff of clergy, young adults and parents that served as cabin counselors, chaperones, medical staff and kitchen staff.  Thank you to everyone who attended and volunteered and made the retreat spiritually fulfilling and so much more.

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