Despite the appearance of Hurricane Sandy on the eastern seaboard days earlier, the Orthodox Institute 2012, themed "Culture, Morality, Spirituality," successfully convened at Antiochian Village from November 1-4, 2012. The Institute, a project of the Archdiocese Department of Christian Education , focused on surveying current cultural viewpoints, beliefs of the Church, and the moral challenges facing today's youth.
One hundred people attended the conference, which hosted eleven courses related to the theme. Dr. Peter Bouteneff, associate professor of Systematic Theology at St. Vladimir's Seminary,  offered the keynote address, "Postmodernism," in which he emphasized that modern man is touched and changed by beauty, rather than by polemics. "It was a a great introduction to postmodernism and religious relativism," noted one attendee. "I feel like I can explain these now."
The Institute recommended that Christian educators take three courses during the weekend, and offered certificates to those who completed all three. The first course, offered with Dr. Bouteneff, was titled "Contemporary Culture and Religion," and expanded on the keynote talk.
The second course, "Issues Involving Sexuality," presented by Fr. David Subu (St. Mary's Romanian Church in Falls Church, VA), gave a thorough assessment of the ways in which sex has been perverted, robbed of its intent, and for many, has become an addiction.
The third course, "Spirituality and the Internet," was presented by Mr. Niko Tzetzis, a seminarian at Holy Cross. He spoke of how the internet and social media can be harmful, but also shared ways in which they can serve the purposes of our churches.
Participants who filled out a survey after the Institute expressed gratitude and enthusiasm for the weekend. "Thank you so much for giving us the Institute!" wrote one, while others noted that they had particularly enjoyed the wine and cheese receptions, and the chance to interact with other Orthodox educators, both clergy and lay.
Ancient Faith Radio recorded five of the Institute lectures, and they are posted under Specials on the AFR website .
For those who were unable to attend the recent Orthodox Institute, a CD with all the recordings, the theme-course papers and handouts from the presenters, a reference piece for the Orthodox position on moral issues, and valuable articles will be available for a check of $65.00, made out to:
The Department of Christian Education
105 Leader Heights Road
York, PA 17403.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org  now to reserve your copy! Include your name and address.