UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Parish of New York City Holds Retreat at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Camp in Emlenton, PA
The beautiful gold-leafed hills of Western, PA and especially All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Camp in Emlenton, PA welcomed a group of parishioners of All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church from New York City, NY that traveled over 8 hours in order to spend time in prayer and reflection at the Church’s Camp.
As a group of 30 pilgrims arrived to Holy Apostle Thomas Ukrainian Orthodox Camp Chapel, Mr. Larry Kopp, Camp Manager welcomed the group to the Church’s Camping facility. Vespers service and the entire retreat was served and led by His Grace Bishop Daniel, who traveled to Emlenton, PA following the prayerful celebration of the 85th anniversary of parish ministry of the Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Lorain, OH.
Welcoming the parishioners of All Saints parish of New York, Vladyka Daniel stated that “When a parish group takes time out for spiritual refreshment at a retreat, the whole parish body benefits.”
As the retreat started, the entire Emlenton, PA community was hit a powerful rainstorm, which immediately caused everyone at the Camp to reschedule and adjust for the entire weekend. Being restricted to only indoors activities between Holy Apostle Thomas Chapel and the Dining Hall, the pilgrims spent most of their time in listening to the informal presentation of Bishop Daniel and simply enjoying the opportunity to have a 3 hours long Q/A session with the bishop.
On Saturday evening, September 16, 2016 Bishop Daniel led Vespers service with the chanting by the seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Bound Brook, NJ) Subdeacon Mykola Zomchak, Subdeacon Mykhailo Bokalo, Ihor Protsak and Yurii Bobko.
Sunday morning filled the sacred space of the Camp Chapel with numerous pilgrims, who prepared themselves and approached the Holy mystery of Confession. Once again, Vladyka Daniel, helped by the seminarians, led the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, during which he offered a though provoking sermon. In conclusion, the bishop stated “Any amount of time taken to get away and focus on God will bear fruit in the lives of individuals and the church! With a whole world of needs and possibilities facing us, how do we decide whom and what to give our life to? The life of unconditional love, service; utilizing the gifts received for the benefit of others in the service of the Lord.”
The day concluded with a delicious luncheon prepared by the volunteers of All Saints Camp – Julia Ames with her sons Charles and Mark and Carol Novosel, that have generously agreed to volunteer their time and talents, while feeding some 40 people at the retreat.
Leaving the Church’s Camp facility, the Retreat participants stated that they are leaving renewed and refreshed, as they were able to share the key precepts of Faith that gave them a new perspective in their walk with Christ; new unity developed among those at the retreat which will spread through the congregation as they return to parish setting. “It exceeded our expectations” was a comment heard again and again from the participants who were impressed both by the beauty and functionality of the facility and the wonderful hospitality they received from the staff.
Reflecting upon the conclusion of the first parochial retreat of All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox parish of New York City at All Saints Camp, Vladyka Daniel, Fr. Timothy Tomson (Chairperson of All Saints Camp Committee) and Larry Kopp (All Saints Camp Manager) noticed that one of the main objectives is to eliminate all distractions from each and every pilgrim/guest who visits the Church’s Sacred Camp grounds in order to allow the Lord to work in a multitude of lives. Mr. Kopp stated “We want the Camp and cabins to be clean when people arrive, the meals to be hot and delicious, and the retreat space to be just what the group needs. Our staff has a heart for ministry in the life of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA when retreats happen and when the encampments for the youth of the Church are conducted.”