What a wonderful treat it was to spend time with the people at the retreat this weekend! Yuri Hladio and I had the pleasure of joining the Eastern Eparchy for their first-ever June retreat, in Grimsby, ON at Golden Gate Camp.
The theme of this retreat was "Retreating Lakeside" and learning to connect with one another. It was a special retreat in that youth & families were able to attend the days they were available for. Some came just Friday night, some only Saturday afternoon, and some the entire weekend!
Highlights of the weekend included a family-spaghetti-dinner Friday evening, lots of games, and Saturday morning-trivia, trying to figure out who amongst us liked Star Trek, was born on an island, used to play bass guitar in a punk band, and wanted 12 children!
We had sessions in the kitchen with Dobr. Tania Hladio, with Fr. Jaroslaw Buciora talking about loneliness, games with Yuri, and then a circle-talk with our guest priests asking our questions about beards and childhood dreams. After a short drive to St. George's in Grimsby, we celebrated vespers together in the sun-filled church!
After an excellently BBQ-ed supper, we snacked on cookies made by the participants and fresh fruit as his Grace, Bishop Andriy, answered (random but excellent) questions! Yuri led us through the questions from female deaconnesses, his childhood experiences at church, to what he thinks is his most important duty as Bishop.
With dusk falling, we started with the sparklers as families got settled for a night of camping. All in all - it was a super special weekend of inter-generational relationships! Truly intimate and like a family!
Thank you to Natalie for organizing everything and to her team - Fr. Bohdan, Dr. Peter Kondra, Dobr. Tania, Lydia, and Victor!
Clergy present: Bishop Andriy, Fr. Jaroslaw Buciora, Fr. Bohdan Hladio, Fr. Bill Makarenko, Fr. Greg Mielnik, Fr. Pohraniczny
Parishioners present: St. George (St. Catharine's), St. George (Grimsby), St. Vladimir (Hamilton), St. Demetrius (Etobicoke), St. Anne's (Scarborough), St. John the Baptist (Oshawa)