The Connect Conference was conceived with a two-fold goal in mind: present a featured theme for each year’s gathering while maintaining a core, perennial character and purpose. That unchanging purpose centers around building connections to our faith, the Church, and each other.
We become better connected to our faith by understanding better the content and character of our Orthodox Tradition; we learn that connection—to the Body of Christ through prayer and sacraments, and to our brothers and sisters through relationship—is a hugely important aspect not only of being a Christian, but of being human.
In the second century, Tertullian wrote, “solus christianus, nullus christianus”—a solitary Christian is no Christian. The elder Sophrony Sakharov, in emphasizing how vital relationship is to our very being, improved on Descartes’ formula by saying, “I love, therefore I am.” Metropolitan Kallistos Ware summarized our situation with the conclusion, “So here is the essence of our personhood: co-inherence; dwelling in others.”
The founding thesis of the Connect Conference is that connecting to our faith, the Church, and each other is the most important thing we can do. And this year’s theme—Understanding Our Purpose—is best explored within the broader context of Connect’s purpose. The wide world of different career paths, competing ideas about fulfillment, and endless options in the marketplace of identities can be an isolating place to try to work out our purpose in it all. The remedy is to approach the question in community. So join us this October to explore this theme together!
-Stephen Brannen, Website Chair & Registration Co-Chair