On Sunday 12th of August 2018, at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church Cabramatta, the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand held its first spiritual talk for the Orthodox youth, which addressed the question: Why is it important to go to church? The event was Pan-Orthodox, with many in attendance; from within and outside the Serbian Orthodox Church.
His Grace Bishop Siluan opened the event, and outlined the Church’s initiative to engage the Orthodox youth through a series of spiritual talks given in English. His Grace then invited Fr. Veselin Svorcan, parish priest of Holy Archangel Michael Orthodox Church in Homebush and one of coordinators of this initiative, to the lectern to present the first talk in the series.
Fr. Veselin delivered a very engaging and edifying presentation, in which he illustrated the most important reasons to go to church. He first spoke of the inner yearning of our souls to find happiness and fulfilment, and explained how trying to achieve this through stimulating our physical bodies (sports, parties, alcohol, drugs) only leads to temporary happiness, which needs to be refreshed with a greater quantity each time. He explained that spiritual joy is a result of stimulating the soul, and endures for longer as it comes from God, hence, our soul can only be satisfied if it establishes a true relationship with its Maker.
Fr. Veselin then explained what the Church is, and described it as a living organism where the presence of God abides. He illustrated that Christ as the Head of the Church, along with us faithful as His Body, form a unity of love and communion. He emphasised that this was important for us to understand in order to establish a relationship with our Lord. In order to establish this relationship, Fr. Veselin also emphasised that we need to actively participate in prayerful communication. He explained that the Apostles went far and wide spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ and founded many Churches. And while the Churches were separated by great distances, they were united in God, through common Faith, and common Liturgy. He illustrated that we can, therefore, understand Holy Liturgy in terms of prayerful communication with God, and communion with God as Faith in Him.
After Fr. Veselin’s presentation, the audience engaged in a very thought-provoking discussion session, where numerous questions were asked. His Grace Bishop Siluan, and Fr. Veselin provided the many attendees with very enlightening answers, along with Fr. Miodrag Peric, Dean of St. Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Church in Alexandria, and Fr. Nemanja Mrdjenovic, parish priest of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Blacktown, who were also in attendance.
Overall, it was a fruitful and enjoyable evening, with many eagerly awaiting the next event!
Article by: Fr. Veselin Svorcan & Mrs. Aleksa Death
Photos: Mrs. Aleksa Death