Dear Friends, St Elisabeth Convent is delighted to invite you to the annual Orthodox Festival JOY which threw open its doors in Minsk (24, Dolgobrodskaya st.) on 4 October, and will last until 14 October 2020. It is one of the most significant Orthodox events in Belarus. JOY is held by St Elisabeth Convent three times a year and is timed to coincide with a particular feast. It is the JOY of Easter in spring, the JOY of the Protection of the Mother of God in autumn, and the JOY of Christmas in winter. The mission of the Festival is to bring the Orthodox faith to many as well as to preserve the spiritual, cultural and family values of our society.
This autumn JOY Festival offers its visitors an exciting and busy programme including concerts, theatrical productions, workshop sessions, special projects, interactive zones, and other events that will have something for everyone, no matter what their age.
Our special on-line project “Meeting with Batushka” invites you to meet with the spiritual father of our Convent Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok, as well as with Abbot Evsevy (Tyukhlov), Archpriest Sergiy Movsesyan and Archpriest Dionisy Pyasetsky. Nun Maria (Litvinova) and Nun Nina (Zagorskaya) of our Convent will be delighted to talk with you within our on-line project “The Living Word”.
As part of the Festival, there will be workshop sessions on brooch painting, floristics, decoupage, glass painting, plasticine art, origami, straw weaving, and many more.
During the Festival, you will have an opportunity to visit an Orthodox exhibition and a large fair of hand-painted icons, ceramics, church goods, souvenirs, gifts, and other handmade products of St Elisabeth Convent’s workshops.
The children’s program at the Festival will be as interesting as ever. Young visitors are invited to view theatrical productions of fairy tales, take part in workshop sessions as well as ‘Fairy-Tale Room’ and ‘The Alphabet of Faith’ projects.
In our Festival café, you can treat yourselves to Russian, Belarusian and Serbian cuisines as well as our Convent pastries, honey kvass and sbiten.
Traditionally the guests of JOY Festival will be able to take part in the acts of charity. By purchasing the unique handmade products from the workshops of St Elisabeth Convent, you help to support the residents of several institutions including a residential care facility for children with developmental problems, and the residential homes for people with mental disabilities and the elderly.
While at the Festival, you can make prayer requests for the living and the departed, and the community of Saint Elisabeth would be delighted to pray for you and your dear ones during our liturgies.
We hope you will enjoy attending our autumn JOY Festival and join us in celebrating the Protection of the Mother of God Feast.
This homily, written in 2008, is published in blessed memory of the recently departed Metropolitan Filaret, the Patriarchal Exarch Emeritus of All Belarus. A tireless advocate of Orthodoxy, he argues that God is the same forever.