With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP and presided over by His Grace Bishop THOMAS, the 2008 Parish Life Conference for the Eastern Dioceses was held July 2-6 at the Embassy Suites, in Charleston, West Virginia. The conference was hosted by St. George Orthodox Cathedral, located across the street from the hotel.
On Wednesday evening, the clergy and their families enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner hosted by Phil & Gigi Michael. The meal was graciously prepared and served by members of the parish.
Thursday's events included the Antiochian Women’s Meeting and Luncheon, Fellowship of St. John the Divine Meeting and Luncheon, Teen SOYO Meeting, and the ever-popular Bible Bowl. Both team categories, adult and teens, from St. George Church in Little Falls, NJ took first place. Afterward, everyone gathered together to enjoy BBQ and the local bluegrass band “The Grass Stains”.
Friday showcased the Oratorical Presentations: Sarah Saba, of St. George, Little Falls, NJ won the Senior Division while Sandra Sabah, of St. George, Little Falls, NJ won the Junior Division (they are sisters). Teen SOYO enjoyed a mini-retreat Father Timothy Cremeens. Keynote Speaker Dr. Tristram Engelhardt discussed why Orthodox Christianity is so different in two workshops (Friday and Saturday). Friday night ended with a Tribute to Broadway performed by the St. George Choir, followed by a party of food, fun, and fireworks.
An Awards Presentation was held on Saturday, honoring the Creative Arts Festival, Bible Bowl winners, scholarship recipients, and Teen SOYO award winners; The Order of St. Ignatius Luncheon followed. The evening ended with a Banquet/Presentation of Seniors, and Hafli.
During the course of the conference, in addition to Bible study, attendees had the opportunity to choose from various workshops on topics such as missions, marriage/families, and Christian education. All liturgical services were held at St. George Cathedral, with the exception of Compline services which were held at the hotel.