LA CRESCENTA–The Council of Oriental Orthodox Bishops of the Western United States gathered at the Western Prelacy April 1 for the first time after the construction of the new headquarters for their regular meeting, which was hosted Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian.
Participating in the meeting were Bishop Serapion, Primate of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Primate of the Syriac Orthodox Church, and Very Rev. Dajad Yardemian and Rev. Arshag Khatchadourian representing Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Clergy members from the four churches also participated in the meeting.
Upon their arrival, the Prelates and clergy gathered at the “St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen Chapel” for a collective prayer, following which the Prelate guided them around the new headquarters to familiarize them with the various departmen’s and activities of the Prelacy. The Bishops and clergy congratulated the Prelate on the successful realization of the project.
The meeting began with the election of the divan with Bishop Serapion being reelected as Chairman and Fr. Antony Attallah as Secretary. The Council members commended the work of the divan and congratulated them on their reelection. An evaluation of past Sunday School and youth group events took place and was followed by the Council deciding on the next Sunday School event which will be hosted by the Prelacy at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale. With regards to the youth groups, a committee of representatives from each Church was reestablished to oversee these specific activities.
The next item on the agenda was the discussing and designating of a church in need of assistance. Three years ago, a tradition was established for member churches to set aside a day of fundraising at their respective parishes and to allocate the proceeds to a church in need. The Council designated St. Vartanants Church in the Bourj Hammoud area of Lebanon for which the Prelate expressed thanks. The meeting concluded with the Prelate presenting the Prelates and clergy members with mementos.
The gathering concluded with lunch at the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall hosted by the Prelate and organized by the Ladies Auxiliary.