Prelacy NRA Comments Activities of Prelate and Councils, Ratifies School By-Laws

LA CRESCENTA–The 35th Prelacy National Representative Assembly convened on May 18 and was presided over by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and with the participation of Central Executive Council member Khajag Dikijian, Religious and Executive Council members, members of Boards of Trustees and parish councils, Board of Regents, principals and directors. The Assembly took place at the Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian Hall of the Prelacy. The Assembly officially opened with a prayer and a hymn led by the Prelate, followed by remarks. The first remark was the taped message of H.H. Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. His Holiness commended the completion of the new Prelacy headquarters as well as the efforts and devotion of the Prelate, council members, and supporters of the Prelacy then focused on two vital topics, education and spiritual guidance of youth. His Holiness urged for special care to be given to our schools and for new schools to open because our schools and churches collaboratively are the institutions that offer spiritual nourishment for the new generation. He also noted that special attention must be given to the youth and real efforts have to be made to draw them closer to our national institutions. His Holiness concluded by offering his blessings to the Assembly. Chairman of the Executive Council Dr. Garo Agopian then welcomed the delegates and in speaking of their duties reminded them that their mission is not limited to this meeting but rather is an ongoing process that they should be carrying out throughout the course of the year. He concluded by thanking the Board of Trustees of Forty Martyrs Church for hosting the Assembly. In his remarks the Prelate firstly also thanked the host church and commended the Prelacy staff for their hard work especially in the preceding few months. He then greeted the newly elected delegates from the Crescenta Valley parish who were participating in the Assembly for the first time. The Prelate expressed his thanks and gratitude to His Holiness for his message and guardianship and continued by briefly referencing the fundamental activities that are the framework of the Prelacys mission. He concluded by wishing success to the proceedings of the Assembly. The next speaker was Central Executive Council representative Khajag Dikijian who urged the delegates to spare no resources in drawing our people closer to our church, and to not be satisfied with the status quo but rather to continually work to establish new parishes and schools in service to our people and to meet the needs of the new generation. On behalf of the host church Hrair Jermakian greeted the delegates and wished them a productive meeting. At the conclusion of remarks and the election of the Resolutions Committee, representatives from each parish gave their annual activities reports followed by the presentation of the financial report by Executive Council Treasurer Vahan Bezdikian and the report by Auditing Committee member Zareh Markarian. Before proceeding to the items on the agenda, the Prelate reminded the delegates that for the past few years, it has become a tradition for the Assembly to honor individuals who serve our church and people. This year, Chaplain Raffi Garabedian was honored and was presented with a memento by the Prelate for his decades-long service and commitment to the Armenian Church and more specifically for the spiritual guidance he offers to Armenian inmates in our area. The reports continued with Board of Regents Chairman Avo Kechichian addressing the current state of our schools, with regards to both quality of education and financial situation. In speaking of Armenian subject instruction, he assured the delegates that the Board of Regents is in the process of drafting programs for the enhancement of this field. Supplementary reports were given by Religious Council Chair Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian and Executive Council Secretary Boghos Sassounian followed by a question and answer session. At the end of the reports and discussion, the Resolutions Committee deliberated and issued the following statement: After hearing the reports of the Prelate, Religious and Executive Councils and supplementary reports, the financial and auditing reports, as well as the questions and commen’s of the delegates and responses, the committee finds the activities of the Prelate, Executive Council, Religious Council, Board of Regents, and Christian Education Department highly commendable. The resolution was adopted unanimously and the session was closed at 9 p.m. The second day of the Assembly was officially opened on Saturday morning with prayer. The first item on the agenda was the analysis of the revised schools by-laws. Dr. Garo Agopian gave a brief account of the revision process and thanked the contributors for their input. After close assessment, the Assembly voted to adopt the revised by-laws. The Assembly then proceeded to draft a yearly agenda and welcomed suggestions brought forth by the Religious Council parish representatives and delegates. Following the approval of the budget for the next fiscal year, the election of a new auditing committee, and a discussion of unforeseen matters, concluding remarks were delivered by Dr. Agopian and the Prelate commending all the servants of our church for their hard work and urged them to continue their service with loyalty and commitment. Prior to the official close of the Assembly with prayer, the Board of Trustees of St. Marys Church expressed their readiness to host the next Assembly.

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