Orthodox women of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission welcomed the Orthodox Peace Fellowship to Madison, Wisconsin with a traditional lunch and coffee ceremony on Friday, September 16, 2011. A representative group of OPF staff, members and conference speakers had a warm and relaxing welcome.
Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission women, Wieni Tesfamichael and Suset Monat, helped with a wonderful welcoming to Orthodox Peace Fellowship conferees who arrived early for lunch before the actual conference began in th evening of September 16, 2011. The lunch was traditional Ethiopian fare, cooked by Wieni and other women of the mission. with Suset making the traditional coffee ceremony. Fr. John-Brian gave a blessing for the food and the gathering. Alex Patico, the Secretary for the Orthodox Peace Fellowship - North America and conference organizer (pictured upper right) was especially appreciative.
Both Fr John Brian and Teresa participated in the program along with Lynn Siewert and Christopher and other friends of our mission who were attending due to mission outreach to them. Fr. John Brian led an opening prayer and introduced the International Forgiveness Instiute founder, Dr. Robert Enright, who was the keynote speaker. Teresa introduced Milwaukee attorney Erin Manian, who spoke on "The Armenian Genocide and Forgiveness." Fr John Brian also introduced the Saturday morning speaker Very Rev. Fr. George Morrelli of the Antiochian Archdiocese. The entire conference program was a mix of secular and religious views of forgiveness. Teresa wrote an article about the conference for the Orthodox Peace Fellowship internationla newsletter. Christopher (and his friends) recorded most of the speaker sessions.
Stayed tuned in here for updates about those audio and video recordings.
On Sunday, a few of our mission families joined many conferees in visiting Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Madison.
It was an honor for our small community to be involved in such a spiritually and socially significant event as the Orthodox Peace Conference annual North American conference.
Let us all pray for peace and forgiveness for ourselves and each other.