On the 29th of April 2023, a joyous gathering unfolded at St George Church as over 100 young Orthodox Christians convened for the much-anticipated Combined Fellowships Dinner. Organised by the St George Youth Fellowship (SGF), this event marked a significant milestone, serving as one of the largest collective fellowship dinners in several years.
Representing eight prominent youth fellowships from across Sydney, including esteemed groups like SOFIA USYD, SOFIA UTS, The Nest - Crows Nest, Orthodox Cafe and Bookstore - Gymea, Belmore Youth Community, St Spyridon Youth Cafe - Kingsford, and The Three - Liverpool, the evening provided a golden opportunity for young Orthodox Christians to reconnect with familiar faces and forge new connections.
Hosted in the vibrant hall beneath St George Church, the atmosphere was electric with laughter, heartfelt conversations, and the harmonious mingling of diverse fellowship groups. The festivities commenced with an exquisite dinner featuring an array of delectable dishes.
From sumptuous entrees to tantalising desserts, the culinary delights seemed to transcend mere sustenance, evoking a sense of shared pleasure and connection.
As the night unfolded, the space became charged with infectious energy, fuelled by the enthralling live music and bouzouki performances by the renowned musician Tassos Bouzouki. Tassos, a celebrated figure in the Greek community, entertained the youth with a captivating repertoire, ranging from traditional Greek songs to contemporary tunes.
The dance floor became a stage for collective unity as young Christians embraced their heritage through spirited Greek dances that carried on until the late hours of the night.
Guiding the evening's proceedings were the esteemed parish priest, Fr Gerasimos, and fellow SGF committee member, George Apostolou, who served as the emcees. They eloquently conveyed the significance of such events in fostering unity among the youth. George passionately shared, how:
“Us, as young Christians were fortunate to be raised in the Orthodox Faith, where churches were built, priests appointed and fellowships already established by our grandparents and relatives, not only for their benefit, but for ours – to keep our faith alive in Australia. As young Christians, we are the future of the Orthodox Church, and it is our responsibility to carry the baton and keep our churches open for the next generations to come”.
The St George Youth Fellowship (SGF), the gracious host of the dinner, was re-established in 2018 by a group of passionate young individuals committed to strengthening their relationship with Christ and their community.
Since its revival, the fellowship has flourished, attracting over 20 attendees each week for engaging discussions and friendly gatherings.
Currently, SGF convenes on Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm in the St George Church Hall, where they host distinguished guest speakers and priests who delve into topics relevant to the youth. From exploring Christianity in the corporate world to navigating modern-day dating, these insightful discussions provide valuable guidance and encouragement to young Orthodox Christians.
In addition to their weekly talks, SGF organises various social events and engages in community service, providing young individuals with opportunities to give back and forge meaningful connections.
The fellowship, welcoming those aged 18 to 29, is overseen by the dedicated parish priest, Fr Gerasimos, affectionately known as Fr G among the youth. His approachability and relatable analogies have endeared him to the younger generation, fostering an environment where spiritual guidance is readily sought.
For more information about SGF and its vibrant activities, interested individuals are encouraged to visit their Instagram page @stgeorgefellowship. Whether you have a child or grandchild who may find the fellowship appealing, we invite you to explore this vibrant community and discover the immeasurable joy.
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