Conference in honor of St. Herman of Alaska to be held in Moscow

The great Russian missionary to America St. Herman of Alaska will be honored with a three-day conference in Moscow December 22-24. The Second Annual St. Herman Readings will be held at the Moscow podvoriye of Valaam Monastery, St. Herman himself having originated from the northern Russian Valaam Monastery.

The conference, which will include lectures and conversations with missionaries, a round table on modern missions, and the First Congress of Missionary Societies, promises to be one of the major missionary events of the year, according to the podvoriye’s website.

Among those invited to the readings are Archpriest Oleg Stenyaev, Archpriest Christopher Hill, Andrei Solodkov, Athanasius Zoitakis, and a host of active missionaries and preachers. Topics will include the asceticism of the missionary, problems of missionary polemics, the history and modern condition of Orthodox missions, the organization of parish missionary programs, the rehabilitation of people coming to the Church from other religions, and the missionary heritage of St. Herman of Alaska.

The central event of the conference will be the First Congress of Missionary Societies, which will bring together leaders and representatives of missionary communities from Moscow and other regions. The congress is expected to develop a 2018 strategy and work plan for the newly-established Association of Missionary Communities.

Since 2014, the Moscow Valaam podvoriye has also been home to the missionary Brotherhood of St. Herman of Alaska, which was born from the initiative of a group of laymen interested in growing missionary, educational, and parish activities. The brotherhood is currently composed of about 15 members, most of whom have received an Orthodox education in some form.