MGOCSM Southeast Regional Retreat held from Aug 7th - 9th at Camp Kulaqua in High Springs, Florida
From August 7th through the 9th, the Southeast Region MGOCSM conducted its annual youth retreat at Camp Kulaqua in High Springs, Florida. We were blessed with the presence of three great speakers, Rev. Fr. George Mathew (Benny Achen), Rev. Dn. Daniel (Dennis) Mathai, and Mrs. Betty Varghese. The theme of the camp was “Seek the Lord” as conveyed by 1 Chronicles 16:11. Our speakers presented what it means to seek the Lord as well as why and how we should seek Him in our lives. Each presentation proved to be engaging and contemplative as the camp participants were given questions and ideas on which to reflect during each message. Without fail, our speakers sparked interest in our camp attendees with their personal anecdotes, animated personalities, and light humor.
Apart from our large group sessions, we had multiple small group sessions. First, the camp attendees were split by gender with Benny Achen leading the young men and Betty Aunty leading the young women. Both groups discussed common challenges they face and how to solve those issues. Later on, the students were divided according to age with Benny Achen leading the high school students and Dennis Semmassen leading the college students. In this session, we continued our study of what it means to seek God, and how we can do so in our daily lives. Beyond the central curriculum, the retreat offered a panel of priests from across the Southeast Region who openly and willingly answered questions and concerns from the youth directly. Additionally, the youth were even given opportunities to display their creativity through small group skits and to build fellowship through recreational activities. By the grace of God, this year’s MGOCSM Southeast Retreat proved to be successful and nourishing for all those in attendance. At the conclusion of this event, the privilege of organizing the next annual retreat was handed down to a new committee with fresh faces and creative minds. God-willing, the youth of this region will continue to be spiritually enriched, not only next year, but for many years to come.
Humbly written by: Mr. Jason Paulose (St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Atlanta, GA)