Clergy Conference Held Ahead of the 44th Representatives Assembly

In preparation for the 44th Western Prelacy Representatives Assembly, on Thursday, May 19, 2016, the annual clergy conference was held, presided by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and with the participation of H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian, Religious Council members, active and retired clergy.

The day began with a evening service at the “St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen” Chapel, at the conclusion of which the Prelate delivered the spiritual reflection on Colossians 3:23-24, first giving thanks to God for granting the opportunity for the clergy to gather ahead of the Representatives Assembly for collective prayer and spiritual renewal, and beseeching His protection and guidance in their mission. In the words of the Apostle, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ,” the Prelate underscored the importance of serving with heart and soul, as opposed to just going through the motions, and reminded the clergy to fulfill their spiritual calling with zeal and utmost commitment, without the expectation of reward by man, for true reward comes from God alone. His Eminence also commended Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian’s 53 years of devoted service, as he himself will mark his 40th anniversary of ordination the following month.

The conference convened at the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall with welcoming remarks by the Prelate. The election of the tivan followed, with H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian elected Chair, and Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian and Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian elected Secretaries.

Archbishop Tabakian delivered his message, first giving thanks to God for the day. He highly commended the Prelate’s tenure, noting the great successes and advancements the Prelacy has experienced in the past twenty years under his capable leadership. The reading and review of the Religious Council annual report followed.

The conference reconvened after lunch, which was hosted by the Board of Trustees of St. Garabed Church of Hollywood. The next item on the agenda was a presentation by Very Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian on the topic of Armenian religious scrolls, their relation with our faith and their expression in the art of manuscripts, which shed light on one of our lesser known cultural treasures. The conference continued with discussions on various matters and reports by pastors. The election of religious delegates to the Representatives Assembly was held, as well as the drafting of proposals to be presented to the Assembly.

The Prelate delivered the closing message, offering advice and encouragement to the clergy in their mission. His Eminence also reported on various endeavors in the coming months, the highlight of which will be the Pontifical visit of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I from September 30 to October 4.

The conference came to a close with the benediction, “Disciples of Christ” hymn, and “Cilicia.”

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