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Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon

Sydney Youth Meet with Archbishop

On Tuesday 4th February ACEYA (Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association) Sydney held its annual Youth Meet, presided over by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM and clergy. Youth members attended the Meet in listening to His Beatitude’s keynote address about the challenging times we as Christians are facing in the society and the importance of God in our lives. With helpful tips, His Beatitude worked through the challenges with the youth and delivering guidance on coping mechanisms to persevere in faith. The youth had the chance to fellowship afterwards with one another and share in a delightful meal together as a family in Christ. This marks the beginning of the youth ministries across Sydney parishes for 2020. The Church in Sydney takes this opportunity to thank all volunteers in ACEYA for their hard work and dedication in teaching and working for the youth and the wider community.

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Melbourne Ordains Priest

On Sunday 26 January the faithful congregation of Melbourne gathered to witness the ordination of a newly instated priest for the parish. Reverend Father Morris Daoud, a committed and longserving clergyman of the church was elevated to the priesthood by the Diocesan Bishop, His Grace Mar Benyamin Elya accompanied by visiting prelate from the Diocese of Western Europe, His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis. The ordination took place at St Odisho’s Cathedral in Coolaroo, with hundreds of parishioners gathered for the occasion. Afterwards a celebratory breakfast was hosted in Mona Lisa Hall with heartwarming speeches by the newly ordained Fr Morris, and their graces Mar Benyamin and Mar Awraham. Biography of Rev’d Fr Morris Daoud: Fr Morris was the first born to his parents Dawood Yaqo and Nadira Mesho on the 13th June 1980 in Messan Emara, Iraq. In 1985 the family moved to Baghdad. Fr Morris gained his knowledge in the Assyrian language from Deacon Shimon in the church of St Ephraim in the village of Bersiveh, the village of Fr Morris’ parents whereby he spent many of the summer breaks. In 1990 the family moved to Mansouria, where Fr Morris further studied under Deacon Akheqar until 1993. In October …

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Sydney’s Children Roaring at VBS 2020

The Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) hosted its third annual summer program, from Monday 13th January to Friday 17th January 2020. The week long program, themed “ROAR” set an epic African safari that taught the children all about God’s goodness. Each day 250 children were lead into spiritual lessons with 50 of ACECA’s most dedicated and hardworking teachers and volunteers. Through station rotations: imagination station, stampede sports, KidVid cinema, and wild bible adventures, the children experienced God’s goodness in every situation – when life is unfair, sad, changes, scary and even when life is good. The last day of the program featured a special assembly where the children welcomed His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon, accompanied by His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis of the Diocese of Western Europe, upon his visit to Australia. The presentation showcased all that the children learnt in the week. His Eminence Mar Meelis reinforced the importance of seeing God’s goodness in every situation.

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Sydney Parishioners Gather for Carols

On Sunday 15 December, the Assyrian Church of the East events committee (Awyuta) hosted its 6th annual Carols by the Cathedral. Thousands of parishioners gathered for the event to celebrate the upcoming Holy Feast of the Holy Nativity. The Carols programme featured the gifted Paulini Curuenavuli from Australian Idol 2003, Diana Rouvas winner of The Voice Australia 2019 and Jessy Harfouch, along with Sydney Parish and Schools choirs. The day comprised of a variety of rides and amusements, delicious food and a concluding fireworks finale! Awyuta thanks all the sponsors, service providers and parishioners for making it a wonderful day for the entire family.

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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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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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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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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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