The Department of Religious Education (DRE) Launches Unique Initiative at the 2024 Clergy-Laity Congress during “MIND. BODY. SOUL. sessions"

On July 3, 2024, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s Department of Religious Education (DRE) launched a unique initiative live at the Clergy-Laity Congress, “MIND. BODY. SOUL. sessions.” This workshop, described as “a cross between a masterclass and a spiritual retreat,” explored the interconnected ability of the mind, body, and soul to cultivate God’s presence within oneself. 

 

The packed workshop’s atmosphere was peaceful, joyful, and grace-filled. The workshop was open to delegates at all levels of their spiritual journey and led by His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos, National Director of the Department of Religious Education (DRE).

 

Attendees received special gifts, including handmade prayer ropes blessed on the holy relics of Saint Nektarios of Aegina. The first 33 attendees (representing the earthly life of Christ) also received a rare candle, lit from the Holy Light at the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

  

Bishop Athenagoras went beyond simply explaining how to practically follow in the Saints’ footsteps to connect with God amidst life’s busyness. He led all attendees through a real-time guided prayer, stillness (meditation), and contemplation session. It was an immersive and transformative spiritual experience. 

 

His Grace emphasized that sharing the faith requires experiencing the faith and that the best way to do that is with a spiritual guide. His Grace reinforced that everything he shared had been passed down to him directly by Church Fathers, his spiritual guides such as Saint Ephraim of Katounakia and Saint Paisios the Athonite, from his time living on Mount Athos. He humbly expressed his hope to pass on these precious and timeless teachings because that is how the faith has come to be all the way back to Christ and His Apostles.

 

“MIND. BODY. SOUL. sessions” can be tailored for beginners to advanced levels of the spiritual journey. For group bookings or more information, contact the DRE at [email protected].

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