St. Herman's Youth Conferences
Christina Holland

I have been to the last two St. Herman's Youth Conferences, and I can't say enough about how much I loved them! They were absolutely wonderful and beneficial in several aspects. The St. Herman's Youth Conference is the highlight of my year. I definitely plan to go every single year until I'm a feeble old lady--and maybe still then!

One of the ways in which the conferences help me is in making me feel much less separated and more united. We Orthodox youth are all spread so far apart, and I sometimes feel rather isolated and alone as a result, as I think many of us do. There aren't a whole lot of Orthodox my age down here in North Texas, and my friends are all in various corners of the United States. The Youth Conferences help tremendously in this regard! It is unbelievable the difference that a few days with your Orthodox friends, completely surrounded by Orthodoxy, can make. It is so wonderful to see my friends, be able to spend time with them, and have the next conference to look forward to even as we're leaving each other. Of course the time at the conference itself is wonderful--but the benefits reach much further than this. I come away from the conference feeling immensely renewed and united. I can feel the networking of the church; I can feel the closeness. The entire Church is a tree, and every parish is a branch of it. All over the country, all over the world, are other branches of the tree, and we are all bound together by the Holy Church. At the conferences, when we're all together, I feel this more than at any other time. I take this feeling home with me, and it helps to carry me through the year. I don't feel so alone thinking of all my fellow Orthodox around the world.

The conferences are tremendously helpful spiritually. Both times I have been to the St. Herman's Conference, I have come away feeling spiritually renewed and enlightened by the many insightful lectures and glorious services, the spiritual counsel and Orthodox surroundings. I can't explain it, but I feel so much more spiritual afterwards. I'm encouraged and motivated, and am ready to try that much harder to fight against my sins and live an entirely Christian life. The conferences really are very spiritually invigorating. It's marvelous and truly amazing how helpful they are!

The glorious services…the inspiring and instructive lectures…the wonderful social time…the spiritual counsel…everything! What I've written here cannot do justice at all to the motivation, guidance, and support that the conferences provide; it's beyond description! The conferences are such a wonderful social and spiritual opportunity. I absolutely love them. I would like to take this opportunity to thank St. Herman's Executive Committee for their work, and encourage all of you to attend the St. Herman's Youth Conferences! I'm sure it will have just as much of a wonderful impact for you as it has for me.