The Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College welcomed CrossRoad alumni and staff to St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in Dunlap, CA for the third annual CrossRoad Alumni Retreat March 5–7, 2010. Approximately twenty alumni participated in the weekend's events, which centered on the theme of "Facing the World." Activities included sessions led by Crossroad alumni staff members Elizabeth Mellas, Thanasi Pantazelos, and Eleftherios Constantine; discussion groups; a panel led by 2004 alumni; and daily services at the retreat center and neighboring Monastery of the Theotokos.
As part of "Facing the World," sessions were focused on how to relate as Christian young people to the world, to others, and to oneself. "I know how hard it is to face the world as an Orthodox Christian," wrote an alumna, "but with my own experiences and those of alumni I have learned it really is possible." Another participant observed that the retreat helped her understand that "I need to spend more time deeply evaluating myself and my actions." Still another attendee shared that through the weekend retreat, "I gained a sense of clarity as to my growing purpose in the church and faith."
Set in the foothills of the beautiful Sequoia National Park, St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center provided a peaceful setting for reflection and fellowship. The retreat created a warm and open environment in which alumni spoke candidly with each other about their lives, questions, and struggles. "I needed to hear that other Orthodox youth are dealing with situations similar to mine, which made me feel like there was hope," noted one participant. A fellow alumna echoed those sentiments when she stated, "The comfort of having a safe environment and group of people to speak with was what I needed."
CrossRoad, a ten-day summer vocational exploration institute for Orthodox Christian high schoolers, is sponsored by the Office of Vocation & Ministry through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment and benefactors from the greater Orthodox community. For more information, please see the CrossRoad website at www.crossroad.hchc.edu or call 617-850-1310.