H.G. Bishop Serapion recognized the importance of graduates and young professionals from early on. Understanding how they operate, he organized a committee of young professionals with several Priests. The committee used to meet regularly with H.G. Bishop Serapion to discuss issues of importance or concern to them, and plan special activities for the whole Diocese. They do not compete with youth groups of individual parishes which often cater to all youth including college, post graduates and young professionals together. Recently, graduate students were added to the young professionals group in their activities. A special committee to coordinate their services was established under the name Graduate and Young Professional Committee (GYPC), coordinated by a young priest.
Spiritual retreats have been held annually, the first of which was held in Ventura in the summer of 2003. The program includes spiritual presentations by H.G. Bishop Serapion as well as individual guest priests, laymen and visiting bishops. These retreats usually last three days.
[quote]“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” – Ecclesiastes 12:1[/quote]
Gatherings which last one day are often held in the fall and may include dinner, spiritual presentations, discussions, and sports activities. These events are often held in a hotel, on a beach, on a cruise ship or in a social hall at one of the churches.
During the past several years, groups of youth have traveled to Tijuana, Mexico to assist in building houses for a building program initiated by former President Carter, “Habitat for Humanity.” This project is under the general direction of a local building supervisor. The youth put a house together for a poor and needy family living in a squalid building or a hut. These are usually two-day trips.
The expansion of the services of this group however, is slower than anticipated. This is due in part to the small number of devoted individuals, as youth often move from the area for a new job thus creating a vacuum. The rapid pace of life, and new motherhood or fatherhood leads to marked variations of the number of committed individuals at a given time. Great effort is needed to keep it going, expand its membership and get this group more involved in church activities and administration. Some young professionals are now members of their church councils.