2011 Baltimore Leadership Camp held on July 28, 2011 to July 31, 2011
The 2011 Baltimore Leadership Camp was hosted by the MGOCSM youth of the DC/MD/VA area in Frostburg State University from July 28th-31st. The theme that was chosen for the camp was Going Beyond Borders. The Baltimore Leadership Camp Committee created this unique theme after drawing from their experiences with MGOCSM in their own area. Since the DC/MD/VA area is split up into three regions, the MGOCSM leaders have had to go beyond various physical borders in order to stay united in Christ. In the same vein, the BLC committee decided that many youth across the nation also had to go beyond not only physical borders, but spiritual borders as well. Surpassing such limitations requires youth leaders to be confident in the Lord to grant them the endurance necessary to persevere through such adversity, hence the verse taken from Isaiah 40:31 seemed fitting. "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
With a theme and verse fully established, the committee decided it was necessary to start an initiative to exemplify how the Church itself related to this theme. Thus they took many weeks into creating a concise video which highlighted key individuals and moments in the Church’s history which were pivotal in maintaining Orthodox doctrine amongst Keralite Christians. From the Holy Apostles to our very own Thirumenis, this video gives its audience a glimpse into the lives of past saints as well as a greater appreciation for the more recent leaders of the church. As youth in an ever modernizing world it is extremely difficult to relate oneself to the ancient traditions of Orthodox Christianity. This project makes these traditions relatable and understandable. This historical timeline culminates into a call to action for the youth, to follow the traditions of their forefathers, to join a ministry which has been Going Beyond Borders for over 2000 years.
The main speaker of the Baltimore Leadership Camp is also a physical embodiment of how our church is starting to go beyond new borders, specifically by reaching out to the Oriental Orthodox community. Fr. Anthony Messeh, a prolific speaker at various retreats, is a priest at St.Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Fairfax, Virginia. Father Messeh is reputed for his ability to convey Christian principles in a compelling and engaging way. Ever since the launching of our theme, not only has the camp committee reached out to an Oriental Orthodox speaker, but the MGOCSM of various regions have been doing the same and establishing relationships with our Orthodox brothers and sisters of various ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, The MGOCSM North American Council saw it fitting to adopt the theme of Going Beyond Borders for the whole year.
This theme is especially relevant because of the large amount of growth the Indian Orthodox Church in North America has seen in recent years. In order to better function and serve the laity on an administrative level, the decision was made to create two separate North American Dioceses, the Northeast and the South West. The MGOCSM council of North America was conscious of an underlying sense of division. Despite this Diocesan borders, the youth remained united under the banner of Worship, Study, and Service. Such ideals and a love for Christ allowed for youth activity to flourish amidst changing conditions. Such growth has only been possible because of the astounding amount of faith the MGOCSM leaders had in Christ; He would take them beyond any obstacle which had gotten in their way.
The Indian Orthodox youth of North America seem to have an endurance that is limitless. With this renewed energy, many have heeded the call to carry the cross of leadership for the remembrance of the past, stability of the present, and the progress of the future. They are going beyond borders to stay faithful to God Almighty.
Click here to view gallery.
BLC Presentation Videos
Fr. Anthony Messeh - Going Beyond Borders
Rev. Fr. Gheevarghese John - Evangelism
Ms. Asha Thomas - Public Speaking
Rev. Dn. Jake Kurian - Debut of the English Sh'himo Namaskaram Book
MGOCSM, National Leadership Camp
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