Recent Posts

Sydney’s Children on their Second Annual VBS

The Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) in Sydney held its second annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) from Monday 7th January till Friday 11th January 2019 on the premises of St Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School, Greenfield Park. The “Shipwrecked” themed event catered for 200 children that often attend the association’s regular weekly Wednesday night ministry. The VBS included five days of fun and interactive learning, starting at Castaway Sing and Play in the morning and ending with Sail Away Send-off in the afternoons. Stations throughout the day included: Bible Discovery, Ship Rec Games, Imagination Station and KidVid Cinema where seven groups rotated daily to cover all content. Children learnt that when you are lonely, when you are powerless, when you do wrong, Jesus rescues! The children became buddies with the daily bible point characters; Hope the jaguar, Beacon the toucan, Ray the manta ray, Guac the Iguana and Moe the sloth, taking them home with them daily. The children also enjoyed scrumptious treats and lunches each day fitting for anyone who is shipwrecked on an unchartered island. ACECA extends its immense gratitude to all the volunteers who worked behind the scenes leading up to the event, and all …

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Pope prays for peace in Middle East with head of Assyrian Church

Pope Francis spoke about the “great suffering” that many Christians are enduring in the Middle East, and prayed for peace in the region, especially in Iraq and Syria. The Pope was meeting Friday with Mar Gewargis III, the Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. He said many Middle Eastern Christians are following in the footsteps of Christ, as they are forced to leave their homelands to escape violence. Pope Francis noted that the Christians fleeing persecution belong to different communities. “They are forging fraternal relationships among one another,” he said, “and thus becoming, for us, witnesses of unity.” He joyfully recalled Mar Gewargis’ presence at the Day of Reflection and Prayer for Peace in the Middle East, held on 7 July in the Italian city of Bari. Thanksgiving for theological dialogue Pope Francis then turned to relations between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. He said the two Churches share a “particular reason for thanksgiving to God”, which is the Joint Committee for Theological Dialogue. The two Churches signed a Common Statement on “Sacramental Life” on 24 November 2017, which set out a shared vision of sacramental theology. Pope Francis said the Committee …

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Commission for Dialogue between the Assyrian Church of the East and the Russian Orthodox Church holds its third meeting

On 23-27 October 2018, the third meeting of the Commission for Dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East took place at the Novodevichy Convent of the Holy Resurrection in St. Petersburg. The Moscow Patriarchate’s delegation included Bishop Kliment of Krasnoslobodsk and Temnikov, co-chairman of the Commission; Archimandrite Stefan (Sado), chief librarian of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy; Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), secretary for inter-Christian relations of the Department for External Church relations; and Mr. Sergei Alferov, DECR staff member. Representing the Assyrian Church of the East were Bishop Mar Awa Royel of California, secretary of the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East, co-chairman of the Commission; Cor-Bishop George Kanon Toma, cleric of St. Andrew’s Church in Glenview, Illinois, USA; Priest Ephraim Alkhas, personal assistant to the secretary of the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East; and Deacon Roland Bidzhamov, cleric of the Assyrian diocese of Northern Iraq and CIS. As the Commission members noted, the academic contacts between the two Churches have been successfully developing. As part of the student exchange project, in autumn 2018 an Assyrian student was admitted to the Moscow Theological Academy. On 5-11 October 2018, …

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Moscow Patriarchate Hosts Summer Institute for Assyrian Church of the East Delegation

Between October 5-11, 2018, an official delegation from the Assyrian Church of the East visited Moscow, Russia to participate in a Summer Institute programme organized by the Moscow Patriarchate’s Saints Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies. The 8-member delegation visited Moscow at the invitation of the Russian Orthodox Church, Holy Synod, Department for External Church Relations and by the Apostolic blessing of His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.  Assyrian delegates from Iraq, India, the United States, Sweden and Australia reflected a number of key backgrounds including ordained serving clergy, theological students, educators, youth ministry workers, parish administrators and charitable workers. The existing Bilateral Dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East was first established during a meeting between His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill and His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV, of thrice-blessed memory, on 28 May 2014. The First Session of the Commission for Dialogue met on 18 May 2016 in Moscow, Russia and the Second Session met between 23-26 October 2017 in Modesto, California. The Third Session will be hosted in Moscow, Russia in late October 2018. The Commission …

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St Narsai Christian College students break the code

There is a secret code at St Narsai Christian College – it its seven letters and starts with the letter ‘S’. Can you guess it? Yes, that’s right: success. Students Alana Sellanes, Georgis Ishak, Carmen Dawood, Lana Lazar and Melis Cherie excelled at the recent National Computer Science School (NCSS) Python Coding Competition. From the more than 20,000 students from Australia and New Zealand who participated in the NCSS Challenge Alana, Georgis and Carmen finished at the top of the leaderboard with perfect scores. Not to be outdone Lana and Melis finished with scores of 409/410 and six other students received a high distinction (scores of 380 plus) in the competition. The students competed for five weeks, learning to code by solving interesting and engaging problems.   Coding in action. “Eight questions were released for students to use the python programming language to solve. Python is considered as the base language for computer programming,” Technology and Applied Studies Faculty teacher Laura Stewart said. “This term students have been studying software development and programming and worked collaboratively to complete each question. “By completing each challenge from a project-based approach and with little prior knowledge to computer programming prior to entering this competition, all students have done not only themselves …

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The Assyrian Schools Council publishes new Assyrian Language Curriculum including 12 new textbooks

The Assyrian Schools Council publishes new Assyrian Language Curriculum including 12 new textbooks   The Assyrian Schools Council of the Assyrian Church of the East in Australia under the leadership of his beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia has published the Assyrian Language Curriculum, which includes twelve textbooks from the kindergarten to tenth grade, as well as a book for beginners who are recently enrolled in the schools. The course is written by Assyrian Language Coordinator Anwar Atto and designed by Mr. Ashur Harmis. Each book is divided into four units of work. Each covers a topic that reflects students’ interests, suits their age and meets their language needs using the modern standard Assyrian language in a communicative and comprehensive method of teaching the language including listening, understanding, speaking, reading and writing skills as well as the Assyrian culture, heritage and history integrated in the teaching of the topics.

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