Prelacy 38th Representatives Assembly Concludes With Election Of New Religious And Executive Councils

LA CRESCENTA—The 38th Prelacy Representatives Assembly convened at the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall on Friday, May 14th, 2010, and concluded on the afternoon of May 15.  The Assembly was presided over by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and was hosted by Holy Martyrs Church of Encino, with the participation of delegates, clergy members, Central Executive Council member Khajag Dikijian, Religious and Executive Council members, Board of Regents members, principals, and invited representatives.

The Assembly opened on Friday afternoon with the invocation by the Prelate, during which prayers were offered in memory of those who entered eternal rest in the past year, among them Prelate of Tavriz Bishop Neshan Topouzian, retired Prelacy priests Archpriest Anoushavan Artinian and Archpriest Vatche Naccashian, Central Executive Council members Dr. Levon Davtian and Daron Avedissian, delegate Noubar Chorbajian, long-time servant of St. Mary’s Church Stepan Kabadayan, former Executive Council member John Shirin, and long-time servant of St. Garabed Church Mihran Chatoyan.

The Prelate then invited pastor of St. Gregory Church of San Francisco Very Rev. Vaghinag Meloian to read a message from His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. In his message His Holiness stressed the importance of strengthening parishes, preparing new clergy, and strengthening Armenian education in our schools and after commending the endeavors of the Prelate and Councils during the past year wished success to the Assembly’s proceedings.

Welcoming remarks were then delivered by Khajag Dikijian, Chairman of the Executive Council Dr. Garo Agopian, and pastor of the host parish Rev. Father Razmig Khatchadourian.

The Prelate then delivered his message, first and foremost giving thanks to God for granting another year to serve our church and community, and expressing his thanks to His Holiness for his guidance and care.  He continued to give a general overview of the activities of the past year, calling attention to some of the realities of the past year such as the global recession, which affected the Prelacy and parishes as well, and noteworthy accomplishments.  The Prelate noted that one of the most important aspects of the Prelacy’s mission is the educating and spiritual nurturing of our youth, and that we are more committed than ever to engaging our youth in our church and community life.  His Eminence then reflected on the accomplishments in the past year with regards to our newer parishes, such as the North Hollywood parish elected its first Board of Trustees and delegates, and the purchasing of a property by the Las Vegas parish which will soon house a church and cultural center.

Finally, the Prelate noted that with each passing year the Prelacy’s realm of service expands to meet the ever changing needs of our communities and thus, “as we embark on a new year of service, let us look to moving forward and not be satisfied with the status quo.  Let us think outside the box, welcoming new ideas and new modes of operation in order to experience unprecedented successes and secure a brighter future for our church and our nation”.  In the words of our Lord, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few”, the Prelate concluded by stating “It is our duty to be good laborers, to participate in the activities of our church, and to selflessly dedicate ourselves to serving our church with compassion and love.  The Armenian Church is established on a strong foundation, based on the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love.  It is up to us to ensure that the foundation remains solid with our devotion to our Christian faith and our active participation in the mission of the Armenian Apostolic Church”.

The election of the permanent chair followed with Nazareth Sadorian being elected chairman and Herair Jermakian and Khatchig Titizian elected as secretaties.

The Chairman or representative of each Board of Trustees was then invited up to present a brief report of their parish’s activities.

It has become a tradition during each Representatives Assembly to honor and commend a devoted servant of one of our parishes.  This year, two individuals were honored.  Given that this year we celebrate the Year of the Armenian Woman, one of the honorees was years-long secretary of Holy Cross Cathedral Verjouhi Sarkissian.  Accepting the plaque on her behalf were the pastors and Board of Trustees Chair of Holy Cross Cathedral.  The other honoree was Chairman of the Las Vegas parish Adroushan Armenian, who was commended for his part in the advancements the parish has experienced in a relatively short time.

The second session focused on financials, briefings by the Board of Regents and Religious and Executive Councils, and a discussion on the merit of the annual activities of the Prelate and Councils, which the Resolutions Committee found to be “highly commendable”.

The Assembly reconvened on Saturday morning.  During the first session, the activities of the Councils for the forthcoming year were drafted with regards to Christian Education, our parishes, new clergy preparation, and schools-educational.  The 2010-2011 budget was also presented and approved.

The election of the Religious and Executive Councils took place during the second and last session of the day, with the following results:

Religious Council
Very Rev. Father Muron Aznikian, Very Rev. Father Barthev Gulumian, Archpriest Father Vicken Vassilian, Rev. Father Nareg Pehlivanian, Rev. Father Vazken Atmajian, Rev. Father Razmig Khatchadourian and Rev. Father Ardak Demirjian.

Executive Council
Levon Kirakosian, Esq., Garo Eshgian, Khatchig Yeretzian, Vahrij Pilavjian, Rima Boghossian, Kahren Beniasian, Vahan Bezdikian, George Chorbajian, Toros Kejejian, Bill Sahatdjian and Sako Shirikian.

Following the elections, the Prelate expressed his thanks to the outgoing Councils’ members for their service and contributions during their term.

Prior to the close of the session, representatives of Holy Trinity Church expressed their readiness to host next year’s Assembly in Fresno.

Concluding remarks were delivered by the Prelate during which he commended the delegates and all the participants for their input and suggestions, stressed the importance of cooperation and collaboration as we embark on the activities of the forthcoming year, and wished success to the new Councils.

The Assembly officially came to a close with the benediction and the singing of the Cilician and Armenian national anthems.

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