December 2014 – The Albanian Orthodox Church
About 380 young people, ages 18-30 years old, gathered on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at the Cultural Center of the “Resurrection of Christ” Cathedral, in Tirana. The representatives of youth groups from different cities of the country came together for the further development and strengthening of the Orthodox Youth Association of Albania, which has been created in accordance with the Statutes of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. The Association’s goals are the active participation of youth in the life of the Church, the cultivation of friendships, and a deeper knowledge of the Orthodox faith, Christian witness and service.
The coordinator, the Bishop of Apollonia Nicholas, conducted the Assembly in two parts: First, youth groups from different cities offered a festive Christmas program. In the second part, Archbishop Anastasios gave a lecture on the topic: “Seeking the Four Great Values of Life”, beginning with a verse from T.S. Eliot, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” The Archbishop concluded saying, “I wish with all my heart that your life be a continuous ascent from simple information to genuine knowledge, from mere knowledge to “the wisdom that comes from above”. May it be an uninterrupted ascent from egocentrism, to responsible liberty, and bring you ultimately to true freedom; from irresponsible, apparently affective relationships, to stable effective relationships, blessed by God to experience essential Christian love (agape); a leap from the merely mechanical observance of rituals, or a hazy “spirituality”, to a genuine spirituality and a living faith in God, wherein the Holy Spirit orders and illuminates our lives and gives wisdom and strength. Faith opens our existence to the eternal, and to the presence of Him who is Love – Christ who is all”.
Then the election of the members of the Executive Council took place. First the Bishop of Bylis, Asti, made known to the Assembly members the method for voting. The nominated candidates were voted for directly in the hall by the participants who were divided into four groups: the Archdiocese and three Metropolises.
In conclusion, the Executive Council, composed of 13 members (seven men and six women), held its first meeting in the Office of the Archbishop, who emphasized that the Orthodox youth must have a responsible and regenerative and role in the Church.
December 15, 2014
The Press Office
Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania