In commemoration of the 90th birthday of Sathya Sai Baba, the SSIO of Russia held a 15th annual conference of the Northwest Region, on 6th–7th February 2016, near St. Petersburg. The event was attended by 66 delegates from nine Sathya Sai Centres and Groups.
The group decorated the venue beautifully with flowers, and lined the walls with pictures of selfless service activities conducted by SSIO members throughout the year. For example, Sai Spiritual Education children, ages 3–7, had accompanied their parents in November 2015 to distribute hot meals to the needy in St. Petersburg. The children helped fill boxes with chocolate for the underprivileged, which were distributed later by Sathya Sai volunteers.
The conference opened with a welcome by Valery Voshchinin, Chair of Zone 8 of the SSIO. Participants then presented reports of the activities conducted in 2015. In addition, delegates discussed their spiritual journeys and personal transformations through service in the SSIO. Uplifting talks and beautiful cultural performances were presented by SSIO members from the Sathya Sai Centres of Kupchinsky, Svetlanovsky, Pioneer, Cupcino, and Lotus in Cherepovets, a city in the Vologda Oblast region. Every contribution was unique and fostered a sense of unity and love among the members of the SSIO, Russia.
Many inspiring discussions were held, and the delegates were reminded that the best form of worship is to follow the Lord’s commandments with simplicity and honesty, for receiving His grace. The cultural performances were a fitting tribute to the conference theme, “Love Through Unity; Unity Through Love.”
Reports were presented on both the Sai Spiritual Education Conference held from 1st–3rd August 2015, and the 10th World Conference in November 2015, in Prasanthi Nilayam, India. The Youth Regional Coordinator spoke of her participation in the Sathya Sai International Youth Leadership Programme, also held in Prasanthi Nilayam in November 2015, with emphasis on the importance of self-purification. The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion delving into important questions on various spiritual and practical topics.