A day for the books….new experiences, friendships blossoming and perfect weather, even the mosquitoes enjoyed!
Today’s Flex session was Diakonia, where we learned about Orthodoxy in Korea. Diakonissa Pat Hamalis shared her experience living in South Korea and touched upon the Pan-Orthodox environment of the Church and how the Church in Korea incorporates the local customs and traditions of the Korean people into the practice of the Orthodox faith. She also spoke about the english camp that is run through the Metropolitanate of Korea and how many of the staff of Fanari have assisted in this camp. After hearing about the church in Korea, we had the opportunity to make Feast day Icon books, that will be delivered to the Orthodox English Summer Camp in Korea by one of our very own staff members, who will be volunteering her time there this summer.
It was another gorgeous day of weather for outdoor fun at free-time! The Delphians were the first to experience the new Marina and all the canoes, paddle boats and row boats. Others took to the fields and courts to play soccer, volleyball, and basketball. For those who wanted to keep cool, campers splashed around in the water slide, the Main Lodge had visitors at the Camp Store buying up treats and Fanari swag, while all our soccer fans caught the World Cup Soccer semi-finals game of Belgium vs. France.
After dinner, we welcomed Archon Dr. John Fotopoulos, who educated our campers on our Patriarchate, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the five key issues the Archons have been championing for many years and also, the challenges they face.
Tonight’s evening activity was the calming “Night with the Saints”. Campers rotated between two activities. In the first rotation, Fr. Christos spoke about the lives of the various saints that we were blessed to venerate: Sts. Nicholas, Raphael, & Irene of Mytilini; St. Nicholas; St. Irene; The Holy Unmercinaries Kosmas & Damianos; St. Patapios and St. George. Fr. Thomas also spoke about the life of St. John Maximovich and his ministry, and we had the blessing to be anointed with holy oil from the church of St. John Maximovich. In our second rotation, we discussed the Holy sacrament of confession and campers were able to ask questions and have time to reflect in their journals and prepare for confession tomorrow. It was a true blessing to discover the beautiful teachings and traditions of our Orthodox faith, and humbling to be in the presence of such holiness tonight.
Wrapping up our glorious day, our Athenians and Delphians were awarded spirit sticks for all their enthusiasm and unity throughout the day! At Closing Day, our spiritual vitamin was provided by Staff Director Maria Pentaris who talked about focusing on being our true authentic self after receiving the sacrament of Holy Confession tomorrow.
After singing the hymn “Lord of the Powers”, campers headed back to their cabins to settle in for the night and do their devotionals with the clergy before confession tomorrow. After such a full and blessed day together, we’re all sure to sleep well tonight. Glory be to God!