On October 7, the III Russian Youth Forum of the United States was held at the Russian Consulate General in New York. The event was organized by the Russian Center in New York (President - Elena Branson) under the auspices of the Russian Embassy in the United States and the Russian Consulate General in New York, and with the support of the Russian Government and the Congress of Russian Americans.
The forum was attended by the Chairman of the Synodal Youth Department of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Archpriest Andrei Sommer; cleric of St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York, Abbot Nicodemus (Balyasnikov), and the chairman of the Youth Department of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Igor Kochan.
The participants and guests of the forum were greeted by the Ambassador of Russia to the United States of America, Anatoly Antonov, representatives of the Russian government and heads of educational and cultural organizations of the United States, dedicated to working with Russian compatriots. After the official program concluded, a discussion was held on the future of Russian youth in the United States, preserving Russian historical heritage and popularizing Russian culture and language, international cooperation and the consolidation of young people.
Abbot Nicodemus gave the organizers and participants of the forum the blessing and greetings on behalf of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, who was on an Archpastoral visit to the State of Michigan. In his remarks, Fr. Nikodim drew the attention of the those gathered to the more than two hundred year mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA, which naturally supports the preservation of the native language and traditions among its parishioners: "it is evident, that modern Russian cultural organizations in the USA, tasked with the preservation and propagation of the Russian language and culture to the American people, need to also place emphasis on the mission and history of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA which can be formulated using the following examples:
- Try not to popularize the Russian language and culture as your main activity. Everyone, while remaining a practicing specialist in his field, living and working among ordinary people, can naturally become the spokesman for that national identity and beauty that he loves and preserves.
- Remember that the Russian language and culture, as well as the achievements of Russians in various fields of science and art, do not need paid propaganda just for the sake of propaganda itself: they will be better received by people of a different mentality solely due to the attractiveness of Russian culture.
"We should try to remember that the humanitarian efforts of the organizations gathered here are not in any way a means to personal enrichment and satisfaction of ambitious desires. The determining factor of all the great victories and achievements of Russia, not to mention the phenomenon of the greatness of thousands of Russian saints, has always been and will remain the personal, unselfish struggle of one man.”