From August 11 to 13, the Spiritual-Educational Center at Mountain View again hosted the participants of the Conference on the Orthodox Family. Our brothers and sisters from various parishes attended, including the parish served by Prot. Sergey Klestov in Queens, under the omophorion of Bishop Stephen of Trenton.

The theme of this Family Conference was: "Let my prayer be set forth before Thee. . .."

Situated in such a picturesque place of nature with a sacred church, listening to talks on prayer, discussions with the clergy, the joy of meeting one another, worshiping in the church, joint efforts for the improvement of our Center, relaxation by the bonfire -- all this created an atmosphere of a single friendly church family, and planted a good seed in the souls of the participants.

The clergy of the St. Petersburg and North-Russian Diocese, Hieromonk Ignatius (Krutkov) participated in the Conference. Father Ignatius inspired of the participants with a report "The Great in the Small" about the pilgrimage to Diveevo, Yekaterinburg, Verkhoturye, Alapayevsk and Ganina Yama, which took place just prior to the conference, and he showed the video "The Love of Holiness" dedicated to the Alapaevsk New Martyrs.

Conversations about prayer naturally led up the All-Night Vigil service and the Divine Liturgy, which was served by the ruling hierarch of the Syracuse and St. Nicholas Diocese, his eminence Archbishop Andronik.

Glory be to God that this Family Conference continued a fine tradition and became another welcome event in the life of the ROCA. The first session of the 6th All-Diaspora Council held this year, as well as the Youth Conference in February, the Children's Conference in July, and this one focused on family in August, show that church life in our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad continues to be fruitful, and the Spiritual-Educational Center plays a most important part in this.

Mountain View, 2017

Let's be friends!

Fr. Ignatius' presentation
The Alopayevsk mine
Memorial Cross at the Alopayevsk mine

Fr. Ignatius' attentive listeners
Archbishop Andronik leading the service
Holy Eucharist

Group photo
First, excavating lots of soil

Then, evenly attaching the joists
Heartily mixing lots of cement
All of the above to be done before the "Banya" can be enjoyed