(SF Orthodox Institute) - The Sts. Cyril & Athanasius Institute is pleased to announce its fourth set of regional symposia, on the theme of The City a Desert: Living the Life of the Desert in the Midst of the World, to take place both in Southern California (Riverside, near LA) from 7th-8th February, and in Northern California (San Francisco) from 14th-15th February 2015.
St. Athanasius the Great, one of our Institute's patrons, famously wrote of the young monastic movement: "And the desert became a city, filled with monks." So great was this avenue of spiritual life that it gave rise to giants of asceticism, hesychasm and prayer that have remained central to the Orthodox Christian life for centuries. But what of Christians who live in that very different sort of "desert": the city? Is there hope for such spiritual progress for those who live in the midst of the world?
This fourth suite of regional February symposia will address the way that "the city may become a desert" — that is, a fruitful place for life-changing, deep spirtiuality and the Life in Christ. As always, our symposia bring together leading Orthodox lecturers (this year's speakers include Metropolitan Joseph of All North-America, Dr Christopher Veniamin, Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel), Hieromonk Alexii (Altschul), Archpriest Josiah Trenham, Priest Andrew Cuneo, and others; see the program for Riverside and for San Francisco), celebration of the Divine Services, panel discussions, opportunities for fellowship and many other dimensions that make these weekends important and prayerful events.