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Diocese of Worcester Gathers for Lively PLC

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Worcester and New England held its 76th annual Parish Life Conference (PLC) from June 19-22 at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth Harbor. The conference was organized and hosted by the parish of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Boston. The theme of the PLC was taken from the Gospel according to St. Luke; "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself." With over 300 people in attendance throughout the four days, the PLC proved to be a tremendous success.

Some highlights included lively question and answer sessions led by His Grace Bishop John (Abdalah) as well as daily Bible studies, divine services and inspirational homilies led by our beloved Diocesan clergy. The teens of our Diocese showcased their knowledge and talents at the annual Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals. The winning teen Bible Bowl team of Thomas Marge, Anthony Marge and Alex Dalton came from the parish of St. Mary in Cambridge, MA. For the Oratorical Festival there were a total of five orators this year and the winner was Kamal Hourani, 16, from the host parish of St. George, Boston.

We are all very proud to have the winners of both the Bible Bowl and the Oratorical Festivals representing our Diocese on the national level at the Antiochian Village on July 19th. We were also blessed to have some terrific sessions and workshops led by Rev. Dn. Nicholas Belcher, Dr. Anthony S. Bashir, Kh. Erin Kimmett, Mr. Jamil Samara, and Ms. Carole Buleza. (View a detailed description of the sessions.) The PLC is also a time of fellowship for our Diocesan family and the host committee provided excellent opportunities to do just that. Some of these events included a fantastic traditional New England clambake dinner, a Hafli led by Georges Maalouf, and a very popular sunset dinner cruise across Plymouth Bay.

The PLC culminated with the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning led by Bishop John, twelve priests and three deacons. During his homily, Bishop John exclaimed that he is a "very wealthy man" in reference to the talents and love he has in the form of his clergy and laity throughout this Diocese. He also remarked that he found the weekend to be the "most vacation-like" PLC he has ever attended. Sayedna also expressed his sincere gratitude to the host pastor V. Rev. Fr. Timothy Ferguson, as well as the PLC Chairman Dr. Hani AlDayaa and the entire PLC Committee for their tremendous efforts.

Please check out a complete gallery of photos from the PLC on the St. George Facebook Page.  

Submitted by by Brendan Ferguson

Host of 2014 Diocese of Worcester PLC, Fr. Timothy FergusonHost of 2014 Diocese of Worcester PLC, Fr. Timothy Ferguson Vespers on the first day, with Bishop JohnVespers on the first day, with Bishop John Youth and SOYO field tripYouth and SOYO field trip
Award winners with Bishop JohnAward winners with Bishop John Always a highlight: the HafliAlways a highlight: the Hafli Clambake dinnerClambake dinner