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Sydney Children Commemorate the Nativity

The Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) in Sydney held it’s annual end of year Christmas Concert themed ‘A Night in Bethlehem’. Students performed the drama of the nativity, recited prayers, hymns and songs commemorating the night our Lord and Saviour was born with their families. Afterwards, sharing a meal and enjoying their last night together at ACECA for 2019. As mentioned, this event marks the end of the 2019 children’s bible studies ministry, which takes place Wednesday nights and caters to almost four hundred children. ACECA takes this opportunity to thank the teachers who commit to teaching the children bible studies on a weekly basis with fun and interactive lessons bringing the scriptures to life. Thank you also to the parents who give us the opportunity to teach the children the faith and allow them to fellowship together in the love of Christ. Registrations for ACECA commence mid January 2020. Photography courtesy of Mirna Makko.

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Sydney Youth’s End of Year Celebration

The Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association (ACEYA) in Sydney hosted its annual Youth Dine on Sunday 8th December at the Garden of Eden Room, Eden Venues. The dinner follows its yearly tradition, whereby the youth members of the church come together at the end of the year to celebrate the conclusion of the youth calendar and simultaneously the festive season. The youth calendar comprises of weekly bible studies and fellowship, charity and community events. During the official program at Youth Dine, Rev’d Fr Neil Makko parish priest of Saints Peter and Paul Church spoke on the importance of the youth and their involvement in weekly bible studies and fellowship; two major components that allow the spirituality of the youth to thrive in the church. Afterwards, awards were distributed for Youth of the Year for every parish and a prayer of thanksgiving over the meal. The evening continued with Assyrian cultural dancing, courtesy of Sonia Odisho and her team allowing the youth to engage and appreciate the cultural beauty of our Assyrian Christian identity. ACEYA’s Board thanks all the parish youth committees, bible studies leaders and youth members who have made 2019 a wonderful year. Prayers are lifted for …

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BISHOP OF CALIFORNIA REPRESENTS ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST AT SIXTH PRO ORIENTE COLLOQUIUM SYRIACUM

​His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod, represented the Assyrian Church of the East at the Sixth Colloquium Syriacum, held under the aegis of the Pro Oriente Ecumenical Foundation at the Palottihaus in Vienna, from November 25-28, 2019. ​The theme of this year’s Colloquium Syriacum was titled: “With Hope Towards the Future: Living Together and Common Witness of the Syriac Tradition.” His Grace presented a paper on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, with the title: “The Common Challenges and Opportunities of the Syriac Churches in North America, with Special Attention to the Assyrian Church of the East.” The bishop’s presentation outlined the history of the Assyrian Church’s role and activities in the ecumenical movement since 1964, and traced the immigration of the Assyrian faithful to North America—with special attention to the United States—from the countries of the Middle East. The pastoral, ecclesiastical and ethnic challenges of the faithful as a result of being transplanted to the diaspora were studied and presented in an in-depth manner, followed by discussions and questions from the attendees on the same theme. ​On Tuesday evening, November 26, 2019, His Grace partook in a public panel discussion sponsored by Pro …

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St Narsai Officially Opens Stage Three

St Narsai Assyrian Christian College officially opened its newly completed Stage Three project on Sunday 27 November 2019. The ceremony was officiated by His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Chief Executive Officer of the Assyrian Christian Schools Limited, accompanied by members of the official party, staff, parents and students. The official party accompanying His Eminence consisted of His Grace Bishop Haigazon Najarian of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Reverend Father Nektarios Nemme representing His Eminence Archbishop Basilios Kodseie of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, along with Sydney’s Assyrian Church clergy. It was also with great honour that Members of Parliament and Local Council were in attendance, including the Honourables; Ms Tanya Davies MP representing the Premier Ms Gladys Berejekilian MP, Mr Kevin Conolly MP representing Ms Sarah Mitchell the Minister of Education, Mr Chris Bowen MP, Dr Hugh McDermott MP, Mr Nick Lalich MP and the Mayor of Fairfield City, Mr Frank Carbone. Not to mention all the Assyrian and Chaldean associations, organisations, charities and entities who were in attendance. The newly opened Stage Three section of the campus encompasses the COLA (Covered Outdoor Learning Area), the outdoor courtyard garden and Building D. The new building is specifically designed to teach the …

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His Holiness the Catholicos-Patriarch Consecrates the Holy Altar of St Mar Yosip Khnanisho Parish in Gilbert, Arizona With Oil

On the first Sunday after the Feast of the Finding of our Lord’s Cross (15 September 2019), His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa Catholicos-Patriarch consecrated the Holy Altar of St Mar Yosip Khannisho Parish (Gilbert, Arizona) with oil.  This joyous celebration was a part of His Holiness’ first Apostolic sojourn to the Diocese of the Western United States.  The consecration was attended by the His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis Diocesan Bishop of the Western USA, His Grace Bishop Mar Emmanuel Yosip of Canada, various members of the clergy, lay faithful, and representatives of local government and Assyrian organizations.  Following the consecration of the Holy Altar, His Grace Bishop Mar Aprim Khamis celebrated the Divine Liturgy of Ss Addai and Mari and communion was distributed to over 700 faithful attendees.  A celebratory luncheon, with over 450 guests, was hosted by the new parish in honor of His Holiness the Catholicos-Patriarch and the consecration of the Holy Altar. A brief history of St Mar Yosip Khannisho Parish of Gilbert, Arizona: In August 2006, East Valley church members signed a contract with the Gilbert Public School District to use Burk Elementary Multipurpose Room for church service.  On 1 October 2006, the inaugural Qurbana …

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Assyrian youth trace steps of Christ

The Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association hosted its annual Walkathon Fundraiser on Sunday with more than 500 walkers trekking the eight-kilometre route around St Hurmizd’s Cathedral in Greenfield Park. The map traced the steps of Christ and passed major cities that signified milestones in his ministry across the Holy Land: Jericho and the Mount of Temptation, Cana and the wedding miracle, Samaria and Jacob’s Well, Capernaum and the healing of the lepers, Bethany and Lazarus’ tomb and ended in Jerusalem and the Golgotha. Walkers picked up a handout explaining the significance of the city and the church fathers’ commentary. The walk was officially opened by His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM and Reverend Fathers of Sydney parishes with a short program to welcome the walkers and cut the ribbon. The event concluded with a picnic at the rear of the church with entertainment, amusements and a barbecue. All proceeds from the Walkathon will go towards helping the needy displaced individuals and families in the Middle East, local charities in Australia and the works of the Youth Association in Sydney.

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Australian Prime Minister Meets with Heads of Churches

Source: http://www.ecaj.org.au/2019/historic-meeting-between-pm-and-faith-community-leaders/ In an historic meeting in Sydney on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with 21 leaders of major faith communities in Australia to discuss progress in the government’s plans to introduce a Religious Discrimination Bill later this year (see picture).  The Jewish, Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Assyrian and Melkite communities were among those represented at the meeting. ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim, who represented the Jewish community, hailed the meeting. “There cannot be many other countries in the world in which the head of government can have a constructive conversation over one and a half hours with such a diverse range of faith community leaders on as sensitive a topic as religious freedom  and discrimination,” he said. “Each of us outlined what was of importance to our respective communities not only with regard to the proposed legislation but also in terms of Australia’s broader cultural attitudes with regard to religion”, Wertheim said. “There was a large measure of agreement in the room about many of the principles that the government is grappling with in seeking a fair and workable balance between religious freedom and competing rights and freedoms.  This sends a positive message …

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London’s Youth Meet with Mar Awraham Youkhanis

For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3:16 His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis along with Rev. Fr Tony Malham have today met with youths aged between 14-40 at St Mary’s Cathedral in London. With nearly 200 youths in attendance, His Grace opened the meet with Our Lords Prayer. His Grace proceeded with a sermon which centered around Gods abundant love for mankind, the importance of love and forgiveness and how each one of us has the love of God in our hearts and we should always keep that in our minds in our treatment of eachother. Following this inspirational sermon, registration forms were handed out for each person to become an official youth member and receive updates about all future youth events. In the coming months committees will be formed to fulfil a variety of tasks and implement programmes for all ages. Programmes will include Bible Studies, A school for anyone who wishes to study to be a Deacon, Assyrian language studies, Social Events, fundraisers and a monthly youth magazine. We encourage ALL youth who want to serve and want to …

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32nd Annual Youth Conference – Central Valley, California

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity -Psalm 133:1 The 32nd National Youth Conference of the Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association of America (ACEYA) took place in the Diocese of California, hosted by the Central Valley Parishes of Mar Zaia Cathedral, Mar Gewargis Parish, and Mar Addai Parish, from 10 July to 15 July 2019. This youth conference had over 400 attendees from the three dioceses in the United States of America.  In particular, this youth conference was blessed with the presence of His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, Catholicos-Patriarch.  It is noteworthy to mention that His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod; His Grace Mar Yosip Sargis, Bishop Emeritus; His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, Bishop of Western USA and His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Eastern USA were also present along with many priests and deacons. This year’s youth conference’s theme was “Keys to the Kingdom” (c.f. Matthew 13:11) which expounded upon the sacraments of the Holy Church.  This youth conference’s lectures included: -Rev’d Chorbishop Gewargis Toma of Glenview, Illinois on the Holy Mysteries of Priesthood and Absolution; -Rev’d Chorbishop Gewargis Bet-Rasho and Rev’d …

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Message of Congratulations from His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia   to His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis

Message of Congratulations from His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia   to His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis     Beloved brother in Christ, His Grace, Mar Awraham Youkhanis  , Bishop of Western Europe. Greetings to the Lord Jesus Christ “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ, for he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight in love” (Eph 1-3-4) I am rejoiced to see our Lord Jesus Christ choosing a great and distinguished priest, with the grace given to him from the heights, devoting himself to serve the Church of the East. In that holy hour of your episcopal consecration, as the Holy Spirit was descending upon you, I thanked the Lord for that, and for His good divine will and His heavenly blessings, for setting me a witness to all your consecrations from deacon to bishop. As you serve His holy Church in the heart of London and lead the diocese of Western Europe; which you will make it a spiritual lighthouse for the advancement of the blessed Assyrian Church of the East, as you have …

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Episcopal Censecration of Mar Awraham Youkhanis for Western Europe

The Assyrian Church of the East’s St Hurmizd’s Cathedral in Greenfield Park was the site of a major milestone for the Assyrian community and the Archdiocese on Sunday 26 May 2019. Prelates of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East gathered to consecrate Reverend Archdeacon Narsai Youkhanis, the bishop-elect for the Church’s diocese of Western Europe to be based in London. The Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iraq, His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa was joined by eight other prelates from across the world for the consecration. Thousands of parishioners and members of local council and parliament attended the official service in the morning. The church held a celebratory dinner at Edessa Reception in the evening for the newly consecrated bishop, who will be known as His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis. The new bishop, who has been a priest for nine years doing youth work in the local community, will make his way to London in late June to start his work in the church for the Western Europe diocese. The prelates present for the consecration were: His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. His Grace Mar Awa …

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Rev’d Cor-episcopa Narsai Youkhanis to the clerical rank of Archdeacon

On Sunday 5th May 2019, His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon raised The Rev’d Cor-episcopa Narsai Youkhanis to the clerical rank of Archdeacon. The service, held at St Mary’s Church in Fairfield, Australia was attended by a large congregation of faithful. The Metropolitan was assisted by priests and deacons during the ordination and the Eucharistic Liturgy which followed. The newly ordained Archdeacon presently serves the Archdiocese as Secretary to the Metropolitan and Chaplain of the Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association and Children’s Association. Congratulations to The Rev’d Archdeacon Narsai Youkhanis. May Almighty God shower His grace, mercy and blessings on him as he continues his devoted service in the Assyrian Church of the East.  

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Youth and Children Ministries Resume in Sydney

In the week starting on Monday 18th February 2018, the youth and children’s ministries commenced in Sydney whereby hundreds of youth gathered on Tuesday and likewise hundreds of children gathered on the following day, Wednesday as they resumed their weekly spiritual and social programs. On Tuesday 19th February ACEYA (Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association) Sydney held its Youth Meet, presided over by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM and clergy. Hundreds of youth attended the Meet in listening to His Beatitude’s keynote address about the challenging times we as Christians are facing in the society. With helpful tips, His Beatitude worked through the challenges with the youth and delivering guidance on coping mechanisms to persevere in faith. His Beatitude also ceased the opportunity to announce the upcoming consecration of Reverend Chorbishop Narsai Youkhanis to the ranking of Bishop, to take place on Sunday 26th May 2019 in Sydney, Australia. The youth had the chance to fellowship afterwards with one another and share in a delightful meal together as a family in Christ. On the following day, the Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) Sydney recommenced their weekly children’s bible studies where more than 300 children gathered …

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Dean appointed for Nisibis Assyrian Theological College

On Thursday 17 January 2019 His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Archbishop of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon held the third meeting to discuss the establishment and academic teaching commencement of the Nisibis Assyrian Theological College in Sydney. During this meeting Professor Dr. Matthew Del Nevo was appointed as Dean of the theological college. The meeting was held at the St Narsai Assyrian Christian College’s Horsley Park campus and included His Grace Mar Benyamin Elya bishop of Melbourne and New Zealand, Reverend Chorbishop Narsai Youkhanis and Reverend Father Shamuel Shamuel. The meeting covered agenda items that addressed administrative aspects of the College, teaching professors both from within the Assyrian Church globally and from sister institutions, and respective units offered. His Eminence Mar Meelis stressed the importance of this College to the newly appointed Dean, as a college with the vision to teach the holy doctrines of the Assyrian Church of the East to its students who will come from all paths of life; young men who wish to take on high rankings in the Church such as deacon hood, priesthood, etc., teachers who wish to teach Christian Studies at both St Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School and St Narsai Assyrian Christian …

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