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Eastern USA

The Suffering, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Suffering, Death, Burial and Resurrection Of Jesus Christ It is recorded in The Scripture that the High-priests, The Scribes, the Pharisees, the learned theologians of that time in history were possessed of a particular hatred for our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus was not accepted by the above mentioned figures for the following reasons: 1. The majority of regular people followed Him and His teachings, accepted His miracles, etc. It is written: “And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching.” (Mark 11:18) Again it is written: “They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.” (Matthew 21:46) Again it is written: “Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.” (Luke 19:47-48) 2. He was straight forward with His teachings, and revealed their teachings as false.  It is written: “Again …

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Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The second Qnuma (person) of the most Holy Trinity, God the word, is called the Son of God. This same Son of God, God the Word, became man, and was called Jesus.  It is written in the Holy Bible that He was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary and He was called Jesus.  The Prophets of the Old Testament and the Evangelists of the New Testament, who had expected the coming of Him to save humankind called Him Christ. It is written: “She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Again it is written: “And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.” (St Luke 1:31) Saint Matthew in the book of the generation of Jesus says: “And Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah…” (Matthew 1:16) Pilate the Roman Governor calls Jesus the Messiah which means Christ the anointed one. It is written: “So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want …

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Martyrdom

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)              Martyrdom-Introduction Martyrdom in the Old Testament: Cain and Abel: The history of sacrifice and martyrdom began in the Garden of Eden with Cain killing his brother Abel simply because God was pleased with Cain’s sacrifice and rejected his. Joseph, the son of Jacob: was sold into slavery by his brothers because his father showed more compassion and love to him than to the rest of his brothers plus he told them his dream that he was to be exalted above his brothers. Martyrdom of Shmoni and her seven sons: “Early in the morning the faithful Shmoni offered prayer to God saying: God do my Judgement. From the cruel Antiochus: For he is slaughtering my sons like lambs: and he is threatening me as a lion.” (Khudra volume III page 328 Commemoration of Shmoni and her seven sons) Daniel and his two friends were cast into Furness of fire were saved by the Lord. Martyrdom in Christianity and the New Testament: Martyrdom has been an important part of our Christian Church history from the moment of its birth.  It first started with the persecution of our …

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Diocesan Spring Youth Retreat of Illinois

There was complete silence as we walked through the 2 mile hike.  We saw wild turkey, eagles, and beautiful spring scenery in the forest of Kansasville, Wisconsin without a word.  When else would children get an opportunity to be completely cut off from the world and learn how to be silent, still, and listen to the voice of God through nature?  The 2016 Assyrian Church of the East Spring Youth Retreat was a perfect chance for our youth members (ages 14-21) to not only have fun and grow closer as a youth, but also to learn biblical skills through bible studies and activities.  We were blessed during the retreat from April 22nd-24th to have His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, and St. Andrew’s Parish Priest, Rev. Cor-Bishop Fr. George Toma join us during the weekend.  The retreat theme was discipleship and the bible verse from Matthew, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  You are never too young to disciple to others and as church leaders we want to ensure that our children know how to preach the Word to their peers and family members.  The weekend was split into three parts.  Friday’s lesson …

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The Lord God

The Lord God Who is the almighty God? What is he like? From reading the divine words of God written in the Sacred Scriptures we can find answers for all the questions we have regarding the almighty God. Of course our intention from asking all these questions about God should not be to understand and comprehend the divine nature God completely. We human beings in our limited mind can never be able to comprehend and grasp all the knowledge about the almighty God. No one has ever perfectly understood God except his only begotten son Jesus Christ. We Christians believe in the presence of God even though we do not have a complete knowledge and understanding of His divine Nature.  If a human being has difficulties understanding his own being, how much more he will have difficulties understanding the divine Nature of God? God through his divine revelation reveals to us the necessary knowledge we need to know about Him. The Holy Bible teaches us that God is a real person. God is not just a man made Idea. God has revealed himself as a person to Moses. He spoke with Moses as a real person who has a name …

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Observing the Sabbath – Saturday v. Sunday

Why do Christians worship on Sunday not on Saturday? “One Sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they were silent. Then he took him and healed him, and let him go. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well, will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” And they could not reply to this.” (Luke 14: 1-6) Introduction: The place: The house of the ruler of the Pharisees. Time: Saturday (Sabbath day) Purpose: Jesus was invited to dine at the Pharisee’s house. Characters: The ruler of the Pharisees. A man who had dropsy: The Pharisees brought this sick man and have him sit him before the Lord not to because they wanted Jesus to have pity on him and heal him but rather they wanted to trap Jesus. To see if He will break the Law of observing the Sabbath or …

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First Catechetical Course – Eastern USA Diocese of the Assyrian Church of the East

Religious education is a pivotal aspect in the life of the Church.  It strengthens the internal life as a community of believers and her external activity as a missionary Church.   In fact the Church is bidden to offer catechesis her best resource, in people and energy in order to organize it better and to train qualified personnel. In the context of the ongoing spiritual and theological awareness, evangelization and conversion process that is the goal of the Church for every Christian., the Eastern USA Diocese has successfully completed the First Catechetical Course (March-October 2014).  It has consisted of five fundamental theological topics: Life in Christ: Morality in the Life of Assyrian Church  Instructor: HG Mar Paulus Benyamin This course delved a loving relationship with God in Christ. It will present the dignity of the person,  the moral responsibility conferred on us by God’s gift of freedom, the process of conscience formation, the social  teaching of the church, and the personal and social responsibility to live in justice as members of the Assyrian Christian community and steward of God’s creation: 1. Sources of Knowing How to Live Justly: a) Natural Law; b) Dignity and Freedom of the Human Person; Grace and …

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NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES USA MEETS WITH THE ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST’S CIRED

On Friday, January 16, 2015 the Ecclesial Relations Committee of the National Council of Churches USA met with representatives of the Assyrian Church of the East. The cordial, all-day meeting took place at the rectory on the campus of St. Mary’s church, in Roselle, Illinois. The Assyrian Church of the East was represented by His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and the President of CIRED (Commission on Inter-Church Relations and Educational Development), and His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern USA. The National Council of Churches was represented by Jim Winkler, the General Secretary and President of the NCC-USA, Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, the Associate General Secretary of the NCC-USA, and other members of the Ecclesial Relations Committee. ​The meeting began with a general overview of the goals, mission and mandate of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, founded in 1950 in the US in order to foster ecumenical cooperation among the various member Churches and to address social issues and concerns in the United States. There are 37 member Churches or communions who are members of the NCC-USA thus far, which include the various Orthodox, Protestant and Historical African …

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U.S. Bishops Hold First Episcopal Conference

The bishops of the dioceses of the Assyrian Church of the East in the United States held their first episcopal conference from October 30th to the 31st, in San Diego, California. The conference, blessed by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch, was attended by: His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, Bishop of the Western United States, the chair of the episcopal conference, His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod & President of CIRED, and His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Diocese of the Eastern USA and President of ACERO USA. The bishops were also in San Diego to take part in the rite of the consecration of the altar of the Rabban Hermizd Parish, which took place after morning prayers on the First Sunday of the Hallowing of the Church, November 2, 2014. His Grace Mar Yosip Sargis, bishop emeritus, was also present for the consecration rite. ​The meeting of the bishops’ conference was held at the offices of St. Rabban Hermizd Parish in San Diego, and was hosted by His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis. The items on the agenda for discussion and implantation in the United States dioceses included, among others: …

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H.G. Mar Paulus Benjamin Testifies at US Senate Human Rights Caucus

On 10 September 2014, His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of Eastern USA testified before the United States Senate Human Rights Caucus. The said caucus included an inaugural discussion on the Islamic State (IS), which has driven 200,000 Assyrians from their homes. The Caucus was launched by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.). Testimony was given by the following persons: • Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor • Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom • Pascale Warda with the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization • Manal Omar from the United States Institute of Peace • His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East • Sarah Margon from Human Rights Watch The full text of His Grace’s testimony is below: Senator Mark Kirk, Senator Chris Coons, Brothers and sisters, honored guests, friends: I come before you today to tell you of the horrors and difficulties my people, the Christians of Iraq, are undergoing. We are an ancient people and we have suffered much. Whether we are called Assyrian, Chaldean, or Syriacs, we are one. We are a Christian people that still speak and …

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U.S. Bishops Visit Office of the National Council of Churches USA

While attending the In Defense of Christians (IDC) Summit in Washington D.C., His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, Secretary of the Holy Synod and President of CIRED, along with His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of Chicago and the Eastern USA, visited the headquarters of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 11:00 am. ​The two bishops were received by Mr. Jim Winkler, the President and General Secretary of the NCC USA. The purpose of the visit was a courtesy call, and an exchange of information regarding the plight of the Christians in Iraq and the Middle East at large. For their part, the NCC president apprised the bishops of the work of the Council among the various Churches in the US. The NCC just moved into their headquarters on Maryland Avenue in Washington D.C. ​The NCC USA was first founded in 1908 as the ‘Federal Council of Churches’, and then reorganized into the ‘National Council of Churches’ in the 1950’s. Some 40 different Churches and denominations are members of the NCC in the United States. The membership of the Assyrian Church of the East in the …

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Catholicos-Patriarch Calls 3-Day Rogation for Christians of Iraq

His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, has sent an epistle imploring all members of the church and the Assyrian nation to hold a 3 day fast (Rogation) beginning Monday the 1st of September. The purpose of this rogation is to beseech the mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ upon our Assyrian nation and all who are being persecuted in the Middle East, in particular Northern Iraq. May God accept our rogation just as He accepted the rogation of our forefathers the Ninevites.

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Director of Hong Kong based Jingjiao Fellowship Received by Catholicos-Patriarch

In the afternoon of Friday, July 4, 2014, His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, received in audience at the patriarchate Mr. David Tam, director of the Jingjiao Fellowship, who was accompanied by Mr. Faust Chan, a research student on Christianity in China. Also in attendance of the audience were: Their Graces Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, President of CIRED and Secretary of the Holy Synod, and Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern USA. Mr. Tam apprised His Holiness of the developments of Jingjiao since he first wrote to His Holiness in May 2009, expressing the wish to establish contact with the Church and return to communion. The highlights of events in these few years were His Grace Mar Awa’s visits to Hong Kong in 2010, and to Xian and Hong Kong in 2012. During these visits, His Grace celebrated liturgy the first times in many centuries on Chinese soil, gave seminars on history and sacraments, spoke to seminarians and scholars, and met with prelates of the various Christian Churches in the country. These visits helped raise the awareness of the Church of the East and Jingjiao, and their success …

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