Pacific Central Deanery Young Adults Participate in CrossRoad 2.0

Pacific Central Deanery Young Adults Participate in CrossRoad 2.0

April 3-7, 2024

Pompano Beach, FL

Priest Andrew Smith (Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, Menlo Park, CA) and five young adults from the Pacific Central Deanery recently participated in the inaugural CrossRoad 2.0 retreat in Pompano Beach, FL. They represented three parishes: Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco, CA (George Luo, Ekaterina Pronichenko), St. Seraphim Cathedral, Santa Rosa, CA (Carmen Anderson, Travis Koeller), and Elevation of the Holy Cross, Sacramento, CA (Adriana Leal).

Many are familiar with CrossRoad Institute and its 10-day Summer program for High School Juniors and Seniors. After twenty years of serving youth, the institute’s leadership has begun expansion to influence 21-35 year olds in the Church. 

Meeting at the Tru by Hilton Hotel across the street from the Pompano Beach Pier, our cohort joined about 75 other young adults from across the United States (and a group from Ottawa, Canada), representing not just the Orthodox Church in America, but also the Greek Archdiocese, Antiochian Archdiocese, and Carpatho-Russian Diocese of North America.

Each day began with communal morning prayers led by a different priest each day, followed by time for breakfast or a morning walk or swim at the beach. Then there were two morning academic lectures centering around vocation (who am I?) from a scriptural and then a dogmatic theological perspective. The Rev. Dr. Calinic Berger, associate professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Dr. Michael Legaspi, professor of Old Testament at St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary, were the keynote speakers. Participants engaged in small breakout discussion groups after each talk to reflect on and digest the material. On Saturday, Presvytera Maria Drossos used her many prior years of experience at St. John the Compassionate Mission in Toronto, Canada to explain what it means to love one’s neighbor as an individual. The second talk of that day was given by Priest Nicholas Anton, Director of Operations for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. Fr. Nicholas spoke on loving one’s neighbor on a parochial level, as Church. 

The group reconvened each afternoon to visit a local parish for a service, a meal, and a more practical ‘seminar’ style talk on vocation. St. Mark Church in Boca Raton (GOA) hosted the group for Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesday, Paraklesis on Friday, and Sunday Divine Liturgy. St. Philip Church in Davie (AOCANA) hosted the group with Great Compline on Thursday. On Saturday, everyone traveled to St. Herman of Alaska Church in Lake Worth (OCA) for Great Vespers and Veneration of the Cross. The evening talks dealt with defining vocation and the idea of “Telos” (where I am going, who I am becoming), with the ‘Sanctification of Time and Money,’ and with relationships. 

The participants are very grateful to the CrossRoad Institute for extending its invitation. Most certainly, new, wonderful relationships were made. Most certainly, participants were challenged to embrace their faith on a more academic, as well as practical, level. Our prayer is that they were also inspired to ‘Go, and do likewise.’

Gallery on Facebook under Pacific Central Deanery Young Adults Participate in CrossRoad 2.0 Album. Click here.