LOGC and TYA in DC
Being Tewahdo in the 21st Century: Navigating collegiate and professional life
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” Prov 16:3
The LOGC conference initiated important discussions targeted towards middle and high school students. The students were welcomed with breakfast by the hardworking and caring members of St. Mary’s church. The program was then opened with prayers by Keshi Amanuel Teklemariam from Holy Trinity Church in Maryland. He led an introduction to the topic regarding success and allowed for students to separate into groups and outline their definition of success. These ideas were used to move the discussion of success further by acknowledging that success can not be defined by only one factor, but rather many that are unique to us. The primary lesson was greatly received by students with the understanding that God will lead you to success if you put your faith in him first.
The students were also taught the meaning of the theme “Being Tewahdo in the 21st Century”. Though Tewahdo is unchanging, the challenges of the century are unique. Thus the theme explains the phenomena of dealing with the trials of the 21st century with an enduring and eternal faith.
Last but not least, the final lesson that was taught that day was understanding that there are many meanings of the Church. It began with an activity called “build your dream church”, in which everyone got into groups to come up with suggestions such as using the church as a homeless shelter, having a judgement free church, and more paintings in the church. Then we briefly covered the Church according to the Bible. From the smallest scale to the largest, the Church is described as a temple within us, family unit, physical church, and the body of Christ. Overall, the day was filled with learning how to navigate life with God in our presence. That day will be remembered because God made that day just a little more special.
The Tewahdo Young Adult (TYA) portion of the conference was filled with joy, laughter, and inspiration as we heard the Gospel teaching, listened to 3 panelists speak, and dug into a variety of discussion topics. We began and ended in prayer, sung hymns, and fellowshipped with peers from across state lines.
The sermon was delivered by Dn. Yowhanns Semaie of St Michael Church in Maryland. The lesson was on the theme verse in Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” The message was to put God first in all that you do; especially while figuring out your mission in life. We learned that Proverbs 16:3 means having trust, patience, commitment, a responsibility to serve, and to roll your burdens unto God. With this lesson we are encouraged to turn to God in our struggles and to have patience in his plans for our lives.
Another highlight was the panel discussion moderated by Dn. Mussie Eyob from St Gabriel Church in New Jersey. The panelist were Dn./Dr. Ermias Semaie of St Michael Church and Luwam Mebrahtu and Natsnet Mengesha Haileab of Holy Trinity Church in Maryland. The panelists touched on a number of topics, including bad and good advice received in life; challenges of juggling school, work, and spiritual life; spiritual role models; etc. Dn./Dr. Ermias stressed the importance of not fearing the unknown and to strive to achieve success in all its forms. Luwam offered a lighthearted and wise perspective on marriage, career, school, and parenting that stressed putting God’s will first and all things being possible. Overall, we are encouraged to put God first and use our talents in the Church as servants while pursuing worldly aspirations.
Before closing with prayer and mezmur, we briefly discussed a case study that looked at common mistakes made in dating and how seeking council from one’s father confessor can mitigate these problems. We also discussed our role as servants in helping our fellow brothers and sisters overcome dating mishaps. We are enlightened by the grace of God to pursue a deeper spiritual life through these lessons.
glory be to God,
to his virgin mother
and Holy cross .