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Joint Youth Bible Study

On Saturday August 28th, 2010 the A.C.O.E, Diocese of California youth ministry held its monthly Joint Bible Study (JBS) at Larsa Hall in Turlock, California, which saw youth members of Mar Yoisp, Mar Zaia, Mar Gewargis and Mar Addai Parishes coming together in the love of Christ and His life-giving word.  The topic for this month’s discussion was “Media and its Influence on Our Christian Lives.” The day commenced with the Assyrian Church of the East liturgical Morning Prayer lead by Reverend Genard Lazar – Diocesan Youth Coordinator, numerous deacons, and all youth members. After the prayer, all attendees were welcomed by Deacon Ramil Bivyodavid, Vice President of the Mar Addai youth ministry, which was the hosting parish for this month’s JBS. Deacon Ramil expressed his gratitude to everyone who attended and urged those who were attending for the first time to engage with this month’s topic, discuss, learn, and join their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for fellowship. After a few instructions and breakfast, as prepared by the Mar Addai Parish youth committee, all attendees were divided up in groups based on age and dispersed with their respective bible studies leaders for discussion. In these small groups, various …

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His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan Visits Melbourne

The faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East in Melbourne were this weekend blessed by the Episcopal Sojourn of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East for the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. His Beatitude visited Melbourne to assess the condition of the church and provide direction and stewardship to its faithful. His Beatitude arrived in Melbourne on Friday 27 August 2010, and gave leadership to a series of meetings with the parish priests and various committees. In these meetings, the Metropolitan discussed numerous points of importance to the parish faithful and laid out concrete measures for the ongoing success of the parish. Sunday 29 August 2010, marking the First Sunday of Elijah in the ecclesial calendar, saw His Beatitude consecrate the Eucharistic Liturgy in the St. George Church located in Reservoir. Hundreds of faithful packed the small church, which was purchased in 1979, to take part in the service. In his sermon, His Beatitude exhorted the faithful to be in constant prayer and asserted the importance of humility, good works and mutual respect in the spiritual life of every Christian. His Beatitude was assisted during the service by Rev. …

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Ordination of Reverend Narsai Youkhanis

The Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon’s newly ordained priest Reverend Narsai Youkhanis has commenced his lifetime service to the Assyrian Church of the East, following an emotional laying of the hands ceremony at St Hurmizd Cathedral. The ordination, on 22 August 2010, was led by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia and assisted by Cor Bishop Reverend Ashur Lazar and more than 30 clergy members including parish priests, deacons, sub-deacons and lectors. In a symbolic ceremony filled with ritual prayers to the Holy Spirit, H.B. Mar Meelis Zaia placed his blessed right hand on Deacon Ramsen Youkhanis, raising him to the ranking of priesthood and a commitment to work in the field of the Lord under his chosen name ‘Reverend Narsai’. Attending the early morning ordination were more than 2000 faithful, who filled St Hurmizd Cathedral with a mix of tears and joy, and took part in the new priest’s first offering of the Holy Eucharist, which followed a sermon and gospel reading for the 7th Sunday of summer according to the church calendar. Rev. Narsai said he felt confident through the strength of God, following the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands. “When …

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Ordination of Deacon and Sub-Deacons

“Follow Me” said our Lord while He walked on the face of the earth. Many heard His message and transformed their lives. On Sunday August 22nd, 2010, the Seventh Sunday of Summer, the consecration of a deacon and two sub-deacons took place at Mar Yosip Parish by His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California. H.G. Mar Awa laid his hand on sub-deacon Ashur Kanoon and was elevated to the ranking of deacon. Along with deacon Ashur, two young men, Lawrence Younan and Banypaul Beitsayad were elevated to the ranking of sub-deacon for this parish. May God bless them and guide them so that their light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven. [nggallery id=44]

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18th Annual Assyrian Food Festival in San Jose

The 18th annual Assyrian Food Festival took place Aug. 21 and 22 in San Jose, California. His grace Mar Awa Royel Bishop of California attended this event, along with Rev Archdeacon Nenos Michael of Mar Narsai Parish, San Francisco, and Father Lawrence Namato of Mar Yosip Parish, San Jose and many other dignitaries from the state of California and the city of San Jose. This year we were blessed with record number of attendees, approximately 5,000. Those who attended had their choice of beef, chicken, and vegetable kabobs, as well as rice with dill and lima beans, a traditional yogurt soup called boushala, Assyrian eggrolls called bourak, hummus, mixed olives and dishes with exotic names like kouba, jajik and goupta. Desserts include dates, baklava, a rice pudding called booshalad khalva and familiar items such as ice cream. While food is the focus of the event, there is a parade, live folk music and dancing and a special area for children with activities. The festival is designed to showcase Assyrian traditions and to educate others about the heritage of the land called “the cradle of civilization.” The festival took place at the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Yosip Parish, located …

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Assyrian Genocide Monument Begins Process of Healing

The power of a united Assyrian community was realised on Assyrian Martyrs Day, which was commemorated by the official unveiling of the Assyrian Genocide Monument in Bonnyrigg Heights, Sydney on Saturday 7th August 2010. The monument, the first of its kind for the worldwide Assyrian community, was officially approved by the Fairfield City council on December 15, 2009 and sponsored by the Assyrian Universal Alliance in honour of the 750,000 Assyrians who perished through orchestrated massacres and deportations in southeast Turkey in 1914 and following years of World War 1. The unveiling was witnessed by more than 2000 Australian and Assyrian community members at a passionate and patriotic ceremony, opened with a smoking ceremony by Aboriginal elders and marked with a one-minute silence of respect for the fallen. His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia, Metropolitan of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East in Australia and New Zealand, praised the passion of the present generations while leading a prayer for all those who had lost their lives in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. “Bless all this world so that it may comprehend Your will, compassion and Your son’s sacrifice. So through Him we can learn …

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Delegation Visits Washington D.C.

In response to an invitation from the Westminster Group of Washington D.C. and Barnabas Aid USA, a delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East visited the U.S. capitol from July 10-15, 2010. The Westminster Group had hosted a delegation of the ‘Council of Iraqi Christian Leaders’ to meet with various senators, congressmen and the State Department in Washington. The Iraqi delegation was headed by Archbishop Avak Asadourian, the Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Iraq and the General Secretary of the Council; His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Metropolitan of Iraq & Russia for the Assyrian Church of the East; Rev. Joseph Al Sakka of the Presbyterian Church in Iraq. Accompanying the Iraqi delegation were other prelates from the U.S., namely: H.G. Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod (appointed by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV to attend the meetings); Metropolitan Mor Cyril Aphram Karim, Syrian Orthodox Bishop of the Diocese of USA; Bishop Yousif Habash of the Syrian Catholic Church, Diocese of USA & Canada; and Mons. Emmanuel Shalita of the Chaldean Catholic Church (Detroit). Other Assyrian social and political activists from Chicago, Illinois and London (UK) were also present. Some of the …

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11 Young Men Ordained

“You shall serve the Lord, your God…” On Sunday, 9th May 2010 at 10:00am (VI Sunday of the Resurrection), the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands (Syameeda), was bestowed upon eleven young men of the Church, through the hand of His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California & Secretary of the Holy Synod. The service was conducted at Mar Addai Church, followed by the offering of the Holy Eucharist (Qurbana Qadisha) by His Grace. Those first ordained were the Readers: Mr Michael Nissan, Mr David Baghdasarian, Mr Sargiz Eshaq, Rameil Youkhanna, Eilen Shahbaz and Mr. Delmon Khoshaba. Then, two Sub-Deacons were ordained: Mr. Ramsin Youkhanna and Mr. Raymond Rasho. Finally, those ordained to the Diaconate were: Mr. Edson Joudeh, Mr. Antovan Ousipsargezzadeh and Mr. Ramil Biviyodavid. It is apposite to note that the above ordained were educated and trained by Rev. Fr. Jameel Wardah, Parish Priest of Mar Addai Church, Turlock. We beseech the Lord’s merciful grace to be bestowed upon the newly ordained, granting them the desire and strength to serve His holy church. [nggallery id=44]

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