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Annual Greek Orthodox Christian Society’s ladies’ Kyklo Retreat 2023

In the Orthodox tradition, spiritual growth is a path that involves a continuous deepening relationship with God. To make progress on this journey, we may need to break free from the restrictions of our daily routines from time to time, to pause, reflect, and rejuvenate our spirits.

With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, the Greek Orthodox Christian Society’s ladies’ group (Kyklo), held their annual retreat at Deer Park Conference Centre, nestled within the natural beauty of the Royal National Park in Sydney’s southern region. The retreat took place from October 20th to 22nd and gathered over 114 women of all ages, including interstate guests from both Victoria and South Australia. Many of the attendees are currently teaching in the various Sunday Schools of our Archdiocese across Sydney and are facilitators at the Girls’ Youth groups (Omathes). The theme of this year’s retreat was ‘I Belong to God’ (Genesis 50:19) – a verse taken from Joseph’s poignant encounter with his brothers after the death of their father, Jacob.

This annual weekend retreat has become a special tradition for Kyklo, usually occurring during the Spring months of the year. Its main purpose is to offer a spiritually enriching and uplifting experience for women of all ages. In a time when loneliness and isolation have become increasingly prevalent in our society, this retreat offers a unique opportunity for women to come together, forming lasting friendships while deepening their knowledge of our Orthodox faith.

The program includes communal prayers, the chanting of the Paraklesis to Panagia, spiritual talks, Bible Study, time for spiritual reading, the ‘hour of friendship’, indoor and outdoor games, heartwarming moments of singing. The highlight of the weekend was the Divine Liturgy which was officiated by Archimandrite Eusebius, Abbot of Pantanassa Monastery.

As we return to our daily routines, tasks and challenges, we do so knowing that whatever difficulties we face are not obstacles, but rather opportunities to exercise our faith and perseverance.

Weekly Kyklo meetings provide a forum to study the Bible, the lives of Saints and spiritual matters based on the teachings of the Fathers of the Church. Our meetings are open to all ladies who have a thirst for spiritual knowledge and friendship.

When: Saturday afternoon, 4pm – 5pm

Where: 217 Bexley Rd, Kingsgrove NSW 2207 (Cnr of Bexley and Homer St)