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Countdown to Miami: 2017 Antiochian Archdiocese Convention FAQ

The community of St. George welcomes you!The community of St. George welcomes you!Summer draws near, and so does the 53rd biennial convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese, July 23-30, 2017 in Miami. The Very Rev. Fouad Saba and the host parish of St. George Cathedral of Coral Gables, Florida took time from their busy schedules to talk about the features of what looks to be a historic gathering of the Archdiocesan clergy and faithful.

Who are the featured and keynote speakers this year?

The Grand Banquet will honor His Grace Bishop Antoun on Saturday night, July 29, where we anticipate our beloved diocesan hierarch will reflect upon his lifetime ministry and experiences in his service to Christ’s Holy Church. Fr. Antoine Melki, professor of computer science and technology at Balamand University in Lebanon, will be the keynote speaker during the General Assembly on Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29, and in other scheduled workshops and events. The host committee is excited to welcome Fr. Melki, who will present interesting insights on the effects of technology in the modern world on the Orthodox Christian family.

We have learned the convention will honor Metropolitan Joseph, Bishop Antoun, and Bishop Basil. Please tell us about that.

Planning a convention requires hard work and dedication.Planning a convention requires hard work and dedication.The 2017 Convention will celebrate the 25th anniversaries of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Grace Bishop Basil in the Holy Episcopacy. We will honor them in the History Journal and during the Grand Banquet. With Sayidna Joseph’s blessing, we are dedicating the Grand Banquet and History Journal to commemorate the retirement of Sayidna Antoun and “His Lifetime of Service and Eight Decades of Love, Humility and Sunshine.” (His favorite song is “You are My Sunshine.”) Bishop Antoun has selflessly served this Archdiocese in many capacities since he arrived in the U.S. in 1959. He has been our beloved bishop in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast since 2003. The 2017 Archdiocesan Convention Committee is honored to have the opportunity to host all of our brothers and sisters in Christ at the festivities for Sayidna Antoun.

Who is the convention for? What age groups? What key events will the convention offer them? 

The Convention is centered around family with something fun-filled, educational and exciting for every age group. The week will begin with “The Welcome to Miami – Antiochian Game Show,” which promises to be so much fun. There are humanitarian and social events for teens (SOYO) as well as Young Adult Ministry (YAM) which offer great opportunities for interaction and bonding with one another, as well as spiritual development in the Orthodox Christian Faith. The Bible Bowl always bring tremendous excitement for the teen participants and everyone watching and cheering on their Diocesan teams. The Convention will also feature “Club Saint George” for our younger children to come throughout the day and participate in arts and crafts, spiritual lessons, group activities, and more. The 53rd Biennial Convention in Miami will also feature a new and enthusiastic event on Thursday evening, July 27 – The Dinner and National Debke Competition. These are just some of the many exhilarating events awaiting everyone.

How will the convention emphasize spiritual connectivity with Christ?

Meeting with the hotel management is a key part of the planning process.Meeting with the hotel management is a key part of the planning process.The 2017 Convention Committee will prepare a large, beautiful chapel to serve as the spiritual center for the entire week. The Convention theme this year is “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Mark 11:17) All of the sermons from our gifted clergy will concentrate on understanding this theme. The various spiritual and educational events scheduled promise to help uplift all those present. We will have Bible studies and “Ask Abouna” sessions to revitalize the spirituality of our youth and adults.

Tell us more about "Ask Abouna!" 

“Ask Abouna” is an educational and spiritual event where teens and adults come together to ask the priests any questions they might have on various topics of the Orthodox Christian Faith. Bring lots of questions!

What unique attractions does Miami have to offer?

Miami is home to miles of famous white sandy coastlines. The diverse array of influences from Latin America is evident in the architecture, delicious food, music, and hospitality. All of these amazing and exciting factors can be found at the 2017 Convention venue – the Diplomat Beach Resort and Spa. Need we say more?

Join us from July 23-30! For more information, visit the Convention website.Welcome to Miami!Welcome to Miami!