All Diaspora Youth Conference Opens

Prince Vladimir Youth Association
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All Diaspora Youth Conference Opens

All Diaspora Youth Conference Opens

Opening Address at the 14th All Diaspora Youth Conference

Stuttgart, Germany

Your Excellencies, dear participants of the 14th Worldwide Youth Congress!

We have gathered here, in the Swabian Alps near Stuttgart, to continue the more than 50-year tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and hold the 14th Worldwide Youth Congress. This year’s congress has brought together youth from around the world - today we have 130 participants from 11 countries - for prayerful fellowship, instruction, and acquaintance.

The first Worldwide Congress was held in Canada in 1973. At that time, more than 200 people from 10 countries participated. At the opening of the congress, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) addressed the youth with the words: “It is better to have a bird in hand than a crane in the sky. Therefore, do not engage in many problems at the congress. Create an organ capable of working and giving directions for further fruitful activity and practically helping your spiritual brothers and sisters live as Orthodox Christians on earth.”

The theme of our congress - “Preserving Orthodox Identity and Heritage Abroad” - gives us the opportunity to explore the question: “Who am I? And how can I keep my faith in the modern world?”

We have gathered all of you from different countries into 10 groups with the task of coming up with and presenting programs to help the youth realize the important role of Orthodox identity in the spiritual life of people and the life of the Church. Each group should plan a youth project that can theoretically be used as a model for parish work.

Your projects will be recorded on our youth YouTube channel:

YouTube Channel

so that all dioceses and parishes have access to the source - a library of youth missionary base data.

Each of you possesses numerous special talents. Let us recall the well-known Gospel parable of the talents, how one Lord gave talents to his servants and left them for a while, and upon returning, called his servants and demanded an account of how they had used the talents entrusted to them. He sternly took the talents from the one who simply buried his talent and did not multiply what the Lord had given him.

It is our responsibility, all of us gathered here at the Worldwide Youth Congress, to multiply the talents that God has given us. We have gathered here to help each other multiply our talents. I am delighted to inform you that during this week, you will meet peers from faraway Australia, various European countries, Canada, different states of America, including the Hawaiian Islands.

You have the opportunity to participate in this prestigious gathering, in the congress where your parents once participated!

I officially declare the 14th Worldwide Youth Congress open!

Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Youth Department

YouTube Channel