Monthly Archives: August 2014

Packing List and Things You Need to Know About Coming to Unity 2014

Can it be only 2 days away? Honestly, everyone, I’m kind of freaking out… with excitement! With all the planning the Core Team has been doing since November 2012, we’re in for a great weekend. To help all of you be a little more prepared about attending Unity, here is a packing list and a few things you need to know about Augustana Campus and what will be going on at Unity 2014. If you’ve already registered, you should have received a document containing this information in your confirmation email. If for some reason you didn’t get it, the info is below. NOTE: one thing not listed on the packing list was a new or almost new and clean article of clothing you are willing to donate for the Youth Shelter in Camrose. And on to the info:

I. WHERE TO GO, AND HOW TO GET THERE

Unity 2014 will be taking place at Augustana University in Camrose, Alberta. Transportation will be available for those flying in to Edmonton.

If you are taking any form of transportation other than air or driving directly there – please contact the team at this.is.unity.2014@gmail.com or Taras at 780-236-4614.

Once you arrive at Augustana, head over to the Faith and Life Centre main entrance and you will be greeted by a wonderful hospitality crew, a welcome package, and an amazing group of young adults and spiritual leaders from across the country.

If you are driving, here is a google map link to help with your travels, http://bit.ly/XHWspg

II. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ONCE YOU GET THERE

We will have a cash bar (cheap drinks, we promise!) at the Taste of the Eparchies and Zabava. Bring enough cash with you to support your interests! There are no truly convenient ATM’s.

Augustana is a dry campus. Liquor is only permitted in the designated areas and at the designated times.

There is cell phone reception in case you need to make an emergency phone call or if your family needs to get a hold of you from home. There is limited Internet access on site.

There is no need to bring bedding, but please bring your own towel. Showers are divided but they are mainly dorm-style so you may wish to bring shower sandals.

We are trying to make Unity as “green” as possible. If you have a water bottle and/or travel mug – bring them along.

We have a fantastic team on site to accommodate you in every way possible – if you are hot, cold, hungry, confused, or just looking for someone to talk to – they’ll be there!

III. WHAT TO BRING

A packing list for you:

  • bug spray and sunscreen
  • a blanket or something to sit on for any outdoor sessions
  • cash for social events
  • a travel mug for hot beverages and water bottle
  • ear plugs, if you’re a light sleeper
  • casual clothes (for most of the weekend)
  • semi-formal clothes (for banquet and dance) – no jeans or T-shirts, please!
  • church clothes (for, you guessed it, church!)
  • toiletries
  • a small flashlight
  • a (new or almost new and clean) item of clothing to donate to the youth shelter in Camrose
  • shower sandals (optional)
  • your provincial health card
  • rain gear
  • an open mind, an open heart, and a positive attitude

IV. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Thursday, August 14th

4:00pm–Registration
5:30pm–Welcome Dinner
6:45pm–Welcome keynote
7:00pm–Vespers/Opening Ceremonies
8:00pm–Ice Breakers
9:00pm–TBA

Friday, August 15

7:45-8:30am–Breakfast
9:00am–Divine Liturgy
10:30am–Break
11:00am–Keynote #2
11:45am–Break
12:00pm–Lunch
1:30pm–Session 1
2:30pm–Break
2:45pm–Session 2
3:45pm–Break
4:00pm–Bishop’s Panel
5:30pm–Dinner
7:00pm–Akathist
8:30pm–Taste of the Eparchies

Saturday, August 16

7:15am–Optional Divine Liturgy
7:45-9:00am–Breakfast
9:00am–Third Hour
9:15am–Session 3
10:15am–Break
10:30am–Session 4
11:30am–Break
12:00pm–Lunch
1:30pm–Reconciliation Service
4:00pm–Optional Vespers
6:00pm–Banquet
8:00pm–Zabava

Sunday, August 17

7:45-9:00am–Breakfast
10:00am–Divine Liturgy
12:00pm–Lunch and Ending Keynote

V. WORKSHOP CHOICES

There will be 12 phenomenal workshops offered at Unity 2014.

The bad news:  You only get to choose 4.

For each break out session slot there will be several workshops happening at the same time.

Also – session space is limited.  You will be able to sign-up at registration on a first come, first served basis.  Please consider in advance which sessions you would like to attend.  To refresh your memory:

Workshops

Note: All sessions are offered twice, once on Friday and once on Saturday, with the exception of the talks by Srs. Emily and Zoe. Their talks will only be offered on Saturday.

Session 1 on Friday, August 15th at 1:30 pm: (choose one)

1. “Warm Bodies.” What our bodies tell us about what it means to be human. (Debbie Larmour)
-An intro to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
*For those who have little to no experience with Theology of the Body

2. “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!” (Fr. Mihajlo Planchak)
-Based on Crystalina and Jason Evert’s book How to Find Your Soul-mate Without Losing Your Soul.

3. “I feel the need—the need to read (the Bible)!” How to Read the Bible (Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM)
-Is it a manual? Storybook? History? Myth? Find out in this session! 

4. “Are you watching closely?” The Beauty of Iconography (Kim Bombak)
-A look at what goes into writing an icon and how we use it to pray and further our faith.

 5. “May the force be with you! And with your spirit! Wait, what? – Divine Liturgy 101” (Jess Lastiwka)

-What really goes on during all those “Lord have mercy”s and signs of the cross? Find out here!

Session 2 on Friday, August 15th at 2:45 pm: (choose one)

6. Les Misérables: What our Bodies Tell us About our Relationship with God (Debbie Larmour)
-A more in depth look at Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
*For those who desire a deeper look at Theology of the Body

7. “Houston, we have a problem.” (Or do we?): Women Deacons in the Church (Tobias Underwood)
-The history of women deacons in the Ukrainian Catholic Church and what looking at the past means for the future.

8. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding: How to make a marriage work when there is a cultural divide” (Carol and Eric Batty)
-Delve into the life of a couple who’s managed to make it work despite the odds.

9. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” (Bishop Bryan Bayda)

-The fabric of faith that holds communities together can be seen as a gift for growth. How do we keep our faith and at the same time share it with others who belong to other world religions and faith traditions? What is UNITY after all?

10. “The name’s Francis. Pope Francis.” Get to Know our Beloved Pope. (Bishop David Motiuk)
-The man at the head of the Catholic Church: his past, his present, his future, and what that means for us.

Session 3 on Saturday, August 16th at 9:15 am: (choose one)

 1. “Warm Bodies.” What our bodies tell us about what it means to be human (Debbie Larmour)
-An intro to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
*For those who have little to no experience with Theology of the Body

2. “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!” (Fr. Mihajlo Planchak)
-Based on Crystalina and Jason Evert’s book How to Find Your Soul-mate Without Losing Your Soul.

3. “I feel the need—the need to read (the Bible)!” How to Read the Bible (Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM)
-Is it a manual? Storybook? History? Myth? Find out in this session! 

4. “Are you watching closely?” The Beauty of Iconography (Kim Bombak)
-A look at what goes into writing an icon and how we use it to pray and further our faith.

5. “May the force be with you! And with your spirit! Wait, what? – Divine Liturgy 101” (Jess Lastiwka)
-What really goes on during all those “Lord have mercy”s and signs of the cross? Find out here!

6. “Mamma Mia!” Ethical Issues Around Birth (Sr. Zoe Bernatsky)
-Learn about the newest issues surrounding conception and birth thanks to an advanced technological age.

7. Our Christian Vocation: To Boldly Go With God Where We Have Never Gone Before (Sr. Emily Schietzsch)
-Following God can be the most exciting, fulfilling and life-changing adventure imaginable. The trick is to let God take the lead and then, follow him everywhere. Sound easy? This workshop will discuss what it means to follow Christ with everything we have and offer some practical suggestions for how to do so.

Session 4 on Saturday, August 16th at 10:30 am: (choose one)

8. Les Misérables: What our Bodies Tell us About our Relationship with God (Debbie Larmour)
-A more in depth look at Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
*For those who desire a deeper look at Theology of the Body

9. “Houston, we have a problem.” (Or do we?): Women Deacons in the Church (Tobias Underwood)
-The history of women deacons in the Ukrainian Catholic church and what looking at the past means for the future.

10. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding: How to make a marriage work when there is a cultural divide” (Carol and Eric Batty)
-Delve into the life of a couple who’s managed to make it work despite the odds.

11. “The name’s Francis. Pope Francis.” Get to Know our Beloved Pope. (Bishop David Motiuk)
-The man at the head of the Catholic Church: his past, his present, his future, and what that means for us.

12. “Mamma Mia!” Ethical Issues Around Birth (Sr. Zoe Bernatsky)
-Learn about the newest issues surrounding conception and birth thanks to an advanced technological age.

13. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” (Bishop Bryan Bayda)

-The fabric of faith that holds communities together can be seen as a gift for growth. How do we keep our faith and at the same time share it with others who belong to other world religions and faith traditions? What is UNITY after all?

14. Our Christian Vocation: To Boldly Go With God Where We Have Never Gone Before (Sr. Emily Schietzsch)
-Following God can be the most exciting, fulfilling and life-changing adventure imaginable. The trick is to let God take the lead and then, follow him everywhere. Sound easy? This workshop will discuss what it means to follow Christ with everything we have and offer some practical suggestions for how to do so.

VI. CONTACT INFORMATION

Here is the contact information for Augustana. In the case of an emergency, please contact Millie directly at (780) 446-1061.

The University of Alberta Augustana Campus
4901 – 46 Avenue
Camrose, Alberta
T4V 2R3

Phone: (780) 679-1100

See you soon!

The Unity 2014 Planning Team

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Speaker Spotlight: Carol and Eric Batty & Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM

Last one, everyone! We are only 3 days away from Unity 2014 and all of here at the Unity 2014 Core Team are super stoked for this fabulous long weekend of events we’ve got planned. Another great reason to register if you haven’t yet (yes, we are still taking registrations): Carol and Eric Batty & Fr. Daniel Wach!

10564886_10204155736154731_1220220021_nWe are very excited to have Carol and Eric with us to give a session on making a marriage work when there is a cultural divide, not only for their personal experience with the Ukrainian Catholic faith, but also because two of their children (Margaret and Catherine) are working on Unity as well. Here’s what they have to say about their session:

Eric immigrated to Canada at the age of 19. He spent time in several cities either being educated or working. Fate (or actually a wedding) introduced him to his future wife, Carol, a practicing Ukrainian Catholic. Would love be enough for a non-believer and a faith-filled individual? We welcome you to follow a story of strength, understanding, three children, and a lot of fun along the way.

Sounds like quite the thriller, if you ask me! Speaking of thrillers, I would consider The Bible to be of the same quality, you know, with all the blood and guts and misbehaving going on in it (in the Old Testament anyway). I will admit, however, that’s it’s been tricky for me to really get into the Bible. so it’s a good thing we have Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM, to give Unity participants some tips on how it was put together and how we can relate to something written thousands of years ago.

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As for the man himself, Fr. Daniel writes:

Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM was born and raised in Winnipeg. He received bachelor degrees in: agriculture (Manitoba), philosophy (Rome) and Theology (Rome). He has been a member of the order of St. Basil the Great for 37 years and has served as a priest for 30 years in Western Canada. He has a great love for study-ing and teaching the sacred scriptures and spending a day in a “poustenia” (hermitage) in the woods of the Mundare farm. Currently he is the director of the Basili-an Fathers House of Studies in Edmonton and the pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic Parishes in the Lamont district.
A very learned man, indeed, so no doubt he can shed some light on our most foundational document.
Seriously, folks, we are now counting down with more vigour and anticipation, and I hope you all feel the same.
T-2 days, 21 hours. Eek!
Joyanne 😀

Our Last Supper

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With only a week to go until Unity 2014, members of the Core Team and Edmonton Eparchial young adults gathered together for a final grand meeting to touch on some last-minute points before Unity begins. In an alarming coincidence, we realized that there were 13 of us seated around the table… just like Jesus and His 12 Apostles at the Last Supper. Can you guess where Jesus and Judas sit in this picture?

#OneMoreWeek!

Joyanne

Speaker Spotlight: Sr. Emily Shietzsch, SSMI

The Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate are a very important part of Unity; after all, it was Sr. Marie Bielski, SSMI who came up with the idea! As a result, we are so blessed to have some of the SSMI with us for our Unity weekend. One such lady is none other than Sr. Emily Schietzsch.

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Sr. Emily will be giving a session on vocations entitled, “Our Christian Vocation: To Boldly Go With God Where We Have Never Gone Before.” Sr. Emily did a session on Vocations in Pinawa in 2012, but her session touched so many hearts that the Core Team knew they just had to have her again for this Unity! I also think this is the point where I’m supposed to mention that Sr. Emily is a minor Trekkie, so that may or may not come up in her session. As for her professional bio, she writes the following:

I was born and raised in Edmonton, AB. I joined the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate in September of 2010 and currently reside in the Provincial House in Toronto. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theology. I enjoy alpine skiing, walking and serving the disabled, the need and the frail.

A true sister, through and through! I’d love to hear what she has to say about finding our way to what God intends for us, wouldn’t you?

Peace,

Joyanne 😀

Core Team Spotlight: Erin Mayko

Another Core Team Spotlight?! How many people are on this Core Team? Just enough, my friends, just enough. On this episode of the Core Team Spotlight it’s sibling time once again with Beth’s younger sister, Erin Mayko.

photo

Catching up with Erin, we were able to chat a bit about Unity 2014:

So, Erin, Unity’s right around the corner! Remind me and our audience what your position on the Core Team is.
My job on the core team is organizing and implementing the non-liturgical, social elements (mainly the Icebreakers, taste of the Eparchies, and banquet/Zabava). I also help out with the other areas when needed.

So, basically, you’re in charge of fun! What a great role to have. Does this mean that if there aren’t enough party hats, we can complain to you? Just kidding; I know there aren’t any party hats. You’ve been to Pinawa for Unity 2012 and your sister, Beth, also attended Unity 2009 in Ancaster. No doubt this Unity is going to be different than the previous two. What do you think the Edmonton Eparchy has to offer in order to make this Unity awesome?
We have a large youth following in Edmonton/Alberta, so we have the man power to make it awesome.

Strength in numbers. I like it! I’ve asked everyone else this and you’re no exception: what are you most excited about Unity 2014?
I am most looking forward to meeting new people and making more connections with people my age who share my faith.

One last question: if you could convince someone to come to Unity in one sentence, what would you say?
How many people can say they have a group of friends that not only have a mutual passion for The Lord, but are also willing to express it and walk through their faith journey together?

Eh? Pretty great answers! Just another reason to register, register, REGISTER! By August 7! Cheques and credit cards are welcome and don’t forget to email us with any questions you may have by filling out the Contact Form.

God bless!

Joyanne 😀

Speaker Spotlight: Jess Lastiwka

Ever wanted to know more about the Divine Liturgy and what’s really happening during all those “Lord, have mercy”s and signs of the cross? We’ve got just the person to walk you through it: Jess Lastiwka.

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Learning more about Jess means understanding the following in her own words:

Jessalyn Lastiwka is a cradle Ukr Cath born and raised in Sherwood Park. She has a love of learning and thus has been going to school, as a teacher or student, for 29 years.   She first obtained a degree in Environmental and Conservational Science and immediately after that lived for one year at “ Welcome Home”, a mission of the Ukr. Catholic Redemptorists in Winnepeg.  Jessalyn met her future husband Father Bohdan Nahachewsky at various youth events during this time. Something had begun between the two of them and she followed him to Ottawa where they both studied Theology. They were quickly convinced of God’s plan for them and were married the next summer. God blessed them with 3 children- Theo, Joseph, and Seraphine. In between being a mom and a seminarian/Deacon/priest’s wife Jess was able to complete a Bachelor of Theology degree in Eastern Christian Studies.

The family was stationed in Lloydminster for the past 10 years. There Jessalyn taught music lessons to young children and subsequently decided to pursue teaching. She completed a Bachelor of Education degree in 2011 and has been teaching elementary school ever since. They moved to Calgary this past summer and are now serving at St Stephen’s Parish.

Whew! Busy lady, indeed! No doubt with all the knowledge she has obtained through her studies and marriage Jess will be able to lead those attending her session into a better understanding of our Divine Liturgy. Another #GreatReason to attend Unity 2014.

God bless,

Joyanne

Core Team Spotlight: Damian Rudiak

Core Team Spotlight time. Who shall it be? My dear baby brother, Damian Rudiak!

Damian

To help all you get better acquainted with Damian, I went ahead and interviewed him for just that purpose.

So, Damian, here we are about 2 weeks away from Unity 2014! Let’s start by telling everyone what your position on the Core Team is.
I don’t know what my job is on the Core Team. I give my insight when I feel it applies, which doesn’t happen that often since this is my first Unity. I guess I’m a voice for the people who are new to Unity since I’m new as well.

That’s a very good point, and a really important perspective to have, especially since we hope a lot of new people will attend Unity this August. Going through all this planning, then, what does Unity mean for you?
I spend most of my time talking about God with kids so Unity is a chance for me to talk with people my own age about God and share in our experiences and struggles.

Ah, yes, the joys of being the Assistant Director of Camp Oselia. I’m sure you’ll find no shortage of inspiring conversation at Unity. Speaking of which, what are you most looking forward to during Unity?
I’m excited to spend time with all our guests and really get to know them and just hang out. Oh and talking. I’m really excited to talk.

And people say we aren’t siblings… that gift of gab really does run in the family! But enough about our family. Since you are a newbie to Unity, which, as we’ve already discussed, is an valuable perspective to have on the Core Team, why would you encourage others to come to Unity?
People should come to Unity for the sole purpose of meeting me…obviously. If you’re unsure about your faith or you’re very passionate and want a deeper understanding, why not come to Unity? It is the place you will get your answers which hopefully lead to more questions…and then more answers…and more questions and answers and staying up all night having a discussion about Christ in a non-judgmental environment where everyone understands how you feel and what you’re going through and they just want to support you in the hopes they might find some comfort in sharing God with you.

*Sniff* Wow, I didn’t know my baby bro had it in him! Well, peeps, you heard the man! Get yourselves to Unity. Only 13 days until we begin! Make sure to get your registrations in by August 7 (otherwise you might not have food…).

Peace,

Joyanne 😀