Last Saturday, October 30th, four Baltimore-Area Orthodox Sunday Schools gathered for the first ever Pan-Orthodox Fall Fun Day at Holy Trinity Orthodox Cemetery in Elkridge. More than 100 children and adults enjoyed the many festivities well past the mid-autumn sunset.
The late afternoon event began with Pan-Orthodox Vespers in the Saints Peter & Paul Chapel concelebrated by Priest John Vass, the rector of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church, Archpriest Gregory Mathewes-Green, the rector of Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church, and Deacon Michael Bishop from Holy Trinity. Likewise, choir members from both parishes joined together to sing during the service.
In his brief welcoming remarks, Fr. John thanked everyone for attending and explained especially to the kids how our life is based on Christ’s Resurrection and how this is expressed in many things we do.
After the Divine Service, everyone proceeded to the outdoor pavilion for a pot-luck picnic. There were plenty of grilled hotdogs and hamburgers and a wide array of salads, vegetables, side dishes, snacks and scores of delicious homemade desserts. We are grateful to all the parents who brought so many dishes to share. The cotton candy machine was a big hit, too!
And then the games began…on the playground, basket court and spacious fields. The kids not only had fun, but learned a few things too. While they were “fishing” for apples, they listened to the Scripture reading of how the Lord made the Apostles to be “fishers of men”. Then, they ran a relay race sweeping a coin from one end to the next, while hearing how Christ came into the Temple and admonished the merchants for making the place of worship into a den of thieves. These and other games filled the early evening air with much excitement and laughter. Oh, and the kids also showed their talent decorating pumpkins in hopes of winning a prize.
After the light of day retreated and the games came to a close, everyone ran to the campfire for a fun sing-a-long and, of course, for sumptuous ‘smores.’ …a perfect ending to such an enjoyable day. Every kid and kid at heart loves a good campfire! Afterwards, as we said our ‘good-byes’, we heard again and again from parents and kids: “We have to do this again next year!”
We offer our sincere thanks to Paul and Ann Marie Havrilko from Holy Trinity, for running the grill and coordinating the refreshments, and to Dr. Pat Disharoon and Roxann Ashworth from Holy Cross, for organizing the games, giving each child a generous bag of candy and decorating the pavilion. So many parents and kids from Holy Trinity, Holy Cross, Four Evangelists and St. Andrew Churches helped to make this event a success. Thank you very much!
Thank you for your support and prayers.
With Love in Christ,
Fr. John Vass