BURBANK, Calif—On Tuesday, July 9, the quarterly meeting of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Bishops of the Western United States was held at St. Ephraim Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in Burbank. The meeting was led by the spiritual leaders of the churches: Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and Bishop Serapion of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and with the participation of clergy members.
The Prelate was accompanied by Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian and Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian.
The Council discussed the civil unrest in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, and specifically the difficulties facing the Christian minority communities, hoping and praying for peace and stability to be restored to the region. They also discussed the recent alliance of Middle Eastern Churches, which have collaborated in assessing the human rights and religious freedoms of Christian Churches and communities in the Middle East and how the Diaspora can lend support to ease their struggles.
The Council concluded its meeting with the drafting of future endeavors. The Sunday School Committee will continue to organize gatherings and events as it has been for the past few years. The Youth Committee will be revitalized and reorganized with the appointment of a committee comprised of one representative from each Church. It is anticipated that the committee will begin its service in August. The annual joint religious service will be held on March 23rd, 2014. The next meeting of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Bishops will be held on Monday, October 8, 2013 at St. Athanasius Coptic Church. The day concluded with a luncheon and fellowship.