The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries welcomed Orthodox Young Adults from across the West Coast at a Lenten Retreat the weekend of Friday, March 22 – Sunday, March 24, 2024 at Saint Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in Dunlap, CA. Over forty young adults from all Orthodox traditions attended this event which focused on the retreat theme “Discovering Our Spiritual Heritage – The Ecumenical Patriarchate” with guest speaker Archon George Psefteas, member of the Metropolis of San Francisco Metropolis Council, Member of the Archdiocesan Council serving in the Finance Committee, and recent appointee to the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Committee of the Archdiocese.

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The retreat began on Friday evening with Salutations to the Theotokos at the Alex and Faye Spanos Faith and Heritage Center led by Rev. Father Manoli Aspiotis, Assistant Priest at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Belmont, CA. On Saturday, Archon George Psefteas offered an engaging presentation on “Discovering Our Spiritual Heritage – The Ecumenical Patriarchate”. Archon Psefteas facilitated discussions with the young adults around questions like "Do we appreciate how unchanged our faith has been since the time of Christ? Do we know the contributions of Constantinople and its Patriarchs in the Apostolic succession from the time of St. Andrew, the First Called? How can each of us experience the beauty and holiness of Constantinople it firsthand?” This was a beautiful opportunity for the young adults to learn more about the historical context of our Orthodox faith, and the importance of retaining a strong connection to the Mother Church and our Archdiocese.

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During the afternoon on Saturday, the young adults participated in a work project at the olive grove at the Monastery of the Theotokos the Lifegiving Spring. Saturday evening was spent in the Fireside room at the Heritage Center enjoying fellowship and a Talent Show highlighting the many talents of the retreat participants. Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning was the culmination of the retreat, followed by breakfast and the final gathering for the weekend.

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For more information on additional young adult programs, please visit the Youth and Young Adult Ministries website.