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The 34th Annual Convention
of the
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese
of the USA, Canada and Australia

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Presiding

In Conjunction with the
My Life In Christ Youth Conference and the
Fifth Annual Popadias' and Deaconissas' Conference

July 17-19 2009
Saint Sophia Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church
404 West Oakton St. Des Plaines, IL 60018

Very Reverend Father Gruiou Tzonkov, Rector

All who attended the 34th Annual Diocesan Convention, The Popadias & Deaconissas Concerence and the My Life In Christ Youth Conference
In July of 2009, the Clergy, Popadias, Lay delegates and Youth of our Diocese gathered around His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph for the 34th Annual Diocesan Convention at St Sophia Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, Illinois. During the week of July 13-19, in conjunction with the Diocesan Convention, the 5th Annual Popadias Conference and My Life in Christ Youth Conference were also held.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Youth Apostolate under the direction of Fr. Philip and Pda. Junia Tolbert gathered over 50 young people together for a week of prayer, instruction, recreation and fellowship. The young men and women were greatly inspired by their time together. They also inspired everyone at the Convention by their participation and beautiful singing of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.

The Popadias & Deaconissas’ Conference once again brought the Popadias and Deaconissas of our Diocese together where they could share their joys and struggles over the previous year. Their special time with His Eminence and his encouraging words strengthened and inspired them to continue their irreplaceable ministry of service in our parishes. Thank you Pda. Junia for organizing another successful year!

The Diocesan Convention went smoothly and all the business was completed in a timely and harmonious manner.  We were inspired by both the words of His Holiness Patriarch Maxim and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to our Diocesan Assembly. Finishing our business meeting, we enjoyed a wonderful Dinner Dance together reacquainting ourselves with friends old and new. During the dinner, the winner of the Oratory Contest, Stephanie Kon, delivered her speech with great passion to a fervent round of applause. 

Sunday morning we had a beautiful Hierarchical Liturgy with 30 priests and deacons gathered around His Eminence at the altar. The young people filled the choir with their beautiful voices and everyone was touched by the grace of the Holy Spirit. 

Our special thanks go to the Very Rev. Fr. Giuou and Popadia Parasceva and all those in the parish of St. Sophia for their wonderful hospitality, generosity and invitation to Des Plaines for our Convention.  We thank Fr. Griuou for inviting us back in 2010 again. If you were unable to attend this year, please consider joining us next year at St. Sophia’s to strengthen our Diocese and its mission.

Finally, we thank you, Your Eminence, for your untiring efforts and prayers for all of us. May God grant you Many Years!
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