List of Speakers & Talks at Syezd 2018 – Melbourne

Life and Wisdom of the Holy Fathers

They lived well over 1,000 years ago. But, these are modern times and we have advanced so much. We know so much! Surely, their teachings and opinions are well outdated and irrelevant!?
Is this so?

You may find the answer to be surprising and quite awe-inspiring!

Introduction: Bishop George will open the Syezd Youth Conference with a talk on Thursday evening, “Who were the Holy Fathers.”

Session 1: Fr Gabriel Makarov – “The Ancient Church Holy Fathers and 21st Century Orthodox Christians

Session 2: Fr Nicholas Karipoff – “The Wisdom of the Holy Fathers being The Word and Christ

Session 3: Fr Nick Dalinkiewicz – “Fake Science! – the new modern day heresy?” New scientific advances; militant atheism; what we can learn from the Holy Fathers of the Church.

Session 4: Fr Peter Hill – “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem” The importance of theological education for all Orthodox Christians, and what the Holy Fathers said on this topic.

Session 5: Fr Milan Milutinovic “How the Holy Fathers described Christ; God-Man

Session 6: Q and A Panel

Unseen Warfare

Lecture 7 at Syezd 2015, Melbourne was given by Very Rev. Fr Nicholas Dalinkiewicz, on the topic of the Antichrist – Unseen Warfare.

Below you will find a video that is viewable by those that are registered.


How children can help us on our path to God

Fiona Polorotoff
Holy Protection Cathedral – Melbourne
20 Dec 2013“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 19.13-15)

Standing on this side of the audience at a Syezd feels very surreal after having attended in previous years, firstly as a single, then dating, engaged, and also married (all with the same guy of course!). My husband Terence was even the president of the Geelong Syezd in 2005, so in effect I have even been the First Lady of Syezd. Nowadays we are together parenting and raising our three little blessings- Maxim (5), Priscilla (3) and Faith (1), and I will go on to tell you how we came to view them that way.

To be honest with you, I was quite surprised when I was initially approached to do a talk at Syezd. Me? I thought. What do I have to offer? Especially to this age group? It’s been a long time since I’ve taken any sort of public front, so this feels somewhat confronting. Since having my children I have just been head down, plugging away in the trenches of family life with little fanfare or attention. It’s also a huge topic- marriage, parenting, children in the Church, where each of these could be a very comprehensive talk in its own right. I had to decide what to focus on, given the vast quantity and quality of resources available these days, and of course I needed to make it relevant. This talk was also written over many weeks pouring over countless books, blogs, online articles, cd’s, and tapping my own brain, usually very late at night, so hopefully it’s cohesive and you don’t fall asleep like I occasionally did during lectures. In any case, I was told they wanted someone who is ‘in the trenches’ so to speak, a “real” mum who could tell you what it’s like raising children in the world today. What is there to ‘tell’ I thought? I’ll just bring my kids in for the duration of my talk and let you guys take turns babysitting! But the talk also needed to inspire, motivate and be spiritually life-changing, wow! A tall ask for little old me, and all in just forty or so minutes, so here goes!

Why Does God Allow/Cause Suffering?

Archpriest Nicholas Dalinkiewicz Holy Protection Cathedral – Melbourne 23 Dec 2013

The question: “Why does God allow or cause suffering?” is rather straight forward, but the answer is not straight forward because suffering is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon. Suffering can range from mild to extremely severe, ultimately leading to death. Oddly, no one ever asks the question: “Why does God cause death?” Death is accepted both by atheists and believers alike – it is a fact of life, just as birth is.

The question about suffering presupposes that God exists; if he does not exist, then the question is meaningless and there is nothing further to discuss. Given then that God does exist, the biblical narrative which describes how death and suffering came into existence through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, must be included in our discussion on suffering.

Obstacles to Salvation in the 21st Century

Archpriest Nicholas Dalinkiewicz
Holy Protection Cathedral – Melbourne
23 Dec 2013

In the world of academia, in particular within the science community, as well as the general populace, there is widespread misconception that science and theology are mutually exclusive disciplines, which, at best, can coexist separately, but more often than not, they are viewed as enemies, being poles apart. Those with strong spiritual beliefs tend to dismiss science, considering it to be of secondary significance, while the ‘formal’ scientific establishment sees theology as irrelevant in the real world, totally devoid of facts.

In part, this is due to a naïve understanding, by both groups, of creation described in the book of Genesis. They see Genesis as the religious description of HOW the universe came into being. This, however, is fundamentally wrong, because the bible is not, and was never considered by the Church to be a technical manual which describes how nature works. Its purpose is spiritual; nothing more, nothing less, and any biblical reference to nature should be seen in that context.