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Inauguration Dinner of the St Narsai Alumni Association, Sydney

On the evening of Tuesday 21st June, Sydney’s Saint Narsai Assyrian Christian College hosted an inaugural dinner celebrating the establishment of the St Narsai Alumni Association. The word alumni, in its Latin definition means pupil and is commonly used to refer to a graduate or former student of a specific school, college or university. Therefore, an association of alumni collects the graduates in an organisational manner. The College saw it fit to establish such an organization due to its growth over the years, reaching over 500 enrolments currently. The main purpose of this initiative was the reuniting of the graduates in maintaining their social and familial ties, as they once had during their schooling years. A number of the graduates from the classes of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 attended the evening; reuniting friends after so many years. The official program was graced by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan along with clergy, Assyrian Schools’ board of directors and staff members. The program consisted of speeches, musical performances and video presentations. In His Beatitude’s remarks, the concept of fellowship and keeping close ties was emphasised. As the Assyrian Schools were founded on solid foundations, the friendships should last …

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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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His grace bishop Mar Awa Royel receives the Assyrian national council of Stanislaus.

On the evening of Sunday, April 3, 2016, His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and the Secretary of the Holy Synod, received at the episcopal residence the president and members of the Assyrian National Council of Stanislaus, Stanislaus County, California. Assisting His Grace at the meeting was the Reverend Cor-bishop Auchana Kanoun. ​The president of the ANCS, Mr. Youbert Valadio, expressed his thanks to the bishop for the reception and outlined in detail the upcoming program of the Council to aid the Assyrians living in the greater Stanislaus County area. The Council was formed in the early 2000’s in order to assist Assyrians living in the area with various needs, which include help with completing the citizenship process, filing governmental agencies’ applications, translations, etc. The new committee, elected for a four-year term, further noted their plans for the future to better serve the Assyrian community, addressing basic needs of the elderly and immigrants. As the ANCS is formed from among various Assyrian denominations and organization, the president and his committee sought the Assyrian Church of the East’s support and help in fulfilling their mission to the community. His Grace indicated the Church’s willingness and readiness to assist and …

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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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MEETING OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH LEADERS AND MINISTERS, OF THE THREE US DIOCESES

      July 5th 2015 marked the conclusion of the 28th annual Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association conference. During the conference, students spent most of the day in workshops led by different members of clergy, and were encouraged to fellowship with other students from different parishes. During this time, elected presidents from those parishes meet with His Grace Mar Awa Royel and parish priests to discuss ways to connect with students in a more effective way in spreading the good news of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. At the conclusion of our final meeting, His Grace Mar Awa suggested that the presidents from all participating parishes would meet in September to discuss those specific topics in more detail. September 4th marked the first day of our meeting, where His Grace along with Rev. Father Genard and Rev. Father Lawrence spent two days working diligently with the elected youth presidents in reformatting the Assyrian Church of the Easts’ final Constitution draft, conference agendas/activities, and Bible Studies that take place every week at all parishes. It was with incredible satisfaction that at the conclusion of our meeting, certain motions were put to pass that God willing will propel …

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Delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East Visits Russia and Armenia

His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, Secretary of the Holy Synod and President of CIRED led an ecumenical visit to Russia and Armenia. The Very Rev. Archdeacon William Toma and Very Rev. Cor-bishop George Toma were prevented from attending, as planned, by travel difficulties. The delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East visited the Assyrian community in Moscow and the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate (DECR) on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. His Grace Mar Awa was received by Very Rev. Cor-bishop Samano Odisho (Rector of Holy Virgin Mary Church, Moscow) together with the local Assyrian Church of the East community and a representative of the DECR. His Grace, together with Cor-Bishop Samano Odisho, visited the DECR where they were received by Very Rev. Archimandrite Philaret (Secretary), Hieromonk Stephan, and Mr. Sergei Alferov of the DECR. Meeting on July 21, 2015, the delegation of the Church of the East met with members of the DECR in discussion of bilateral dialogue. This meeting was a direct result of the historic visit of the late His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, of blessed memory, to His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, in May-June of 2014. The Assyrian Church …

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Australia and New Zealand’s Youth Associations #ServeHim at the Auckland’s 3rd Archdiocesan Youth Conference

Youth Associations of the Archdiocese met in Auckland, New Zealand on Wednesday the 1st July. His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan, Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis (Sydney), Rev’d Fr Ninos Elya (Sydney), Rev’d Fr Antwan Mikhail (Melbourne), Syriac Scholar Prof Rifat Ebied (Sydney) and members of the youth from Sydney, Melbourne and Wellington were welcomed by the Auckland Youth Committee, parish priest Rev’d Fr Toma Kanoon and the Church committee. The clergymen and conference speakers and attendees checked into Auckland Mercure Hotel in the heart of the city. The 2015 youth conference officially began with a warm and traditional welcome by a Maori entertaining group performing the Haka in honour of the guests followed by prayers in St Mary’s Church Manurewa led by His Beatitude. Following the prayers, welcoming speeches were presented in Mar Narsai DeBaz Hall (rear of the Church) by MC Deacon Oliver Sliwa, Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis Youth Chaplain, Rev’d Fr Toma Kanon Parish Priest and His Beatitude Mar Meelis. The second day of the conference comprised of seminars at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where Rev’d Mark Beale of the Anglican Church spoke about Serving God in Body and Spirit, Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis spoke …

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His Grace Mar Emmanuel Yosip Awarded Doctorate in Canada

His Grace Mar Emmanuel Yosip, Bishop of Canada has received the award for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Syriac Studies from the University of Toronto after many years of diligent study. His Grace’s dissertation is entitled ‘The Book of Resh Melle by Yohannan Bar Penkaye: An Introduction to the Text and Study of its Literary Genres’. It was defended in a Final Oral Examination at the University of Toronto’s School of Graduate Studies on May 28, 2015. The examination committee for His Grace’s defence was comprised of:  1. Professor A. Harrak (Supervisor) 2. Professor P.A. Beaulieu 3. Professor A.K. Ali 4. Professor A Becker (External Examiner) 5. Professor V. Li (Exam Chair) In addition to his undergraduate studies, His Grace also holds a Master’s Degree in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto. Assyrian Church News offers its congratulations to His Grace on this significant achievement, praying for his continued success as shepherd of the Assyrian Church of the East in Canada.   

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Inaugural ACERO Benefit Dinner Held In Sydney, Australia

On 1 February 2015 ACERO Australia in association with NSW Ecumenical Council were proud hosts of the Inaugural ACERO Benefit Dinner held in Sydney, Australia. The blessed evening was presided over by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. The inaugural ACERO benefit dinner was held with two key aims which were focused on raising awareness of the plight of Assyrian and Christian minority groups across the Middle East in addition to raising much needed vital funds for ACERO’s life giving relief works across this region. The occasion was a resounding success and saw in excess of 500 guests across Sydney’s local and wider community gather to offer their collective support to the Middle East’s Christian communities. Guests were treated to informative presentations on the subject of Christianity and plight of Christians across the Middle East from the following esteemed individuals; – His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon – The Very Reverend Father Shenouda Mansour, General Secretary of the NSW Ecumenical Council; – Sr Elizabeth Delaney, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia; – Reverend the Honourable Fred Nile MLC, of the Christian Democratic …

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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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Californian Youth Retreat a Spiritual Success

This past weekend, from Friday January 9th to Sunday January 11th, youth from across the Diocese of California convened upon Mount Hermon near Santa Cruz, California, for the Diocese’s 2015 Winter Youth Retreat. With the blessing and guidance of His Grace Mar Awa Royel, this year’s retreat, was themed “Built by Him and for Him,” and was dedicated to meditating upon the life and teachings of Mar Aphrahat the Persian Sage (born c. 270 AD) who was a member of the bney qyama (or Sons of the Covenant) and also an important teacher and defender of the true faith in the early Eastern Church. The focus of the retreat was centered around three Bible Study sessions, based upon the Demonstrations of Mar Aphrahat himself; on faith, deeds, and communion with God. The sessions were taught by various deacons of the Diocese and invited the youth to imagine themselves as each being a dwelling for God, with their foundation in Our Lord Jesus Christ, and their walls built sturdily from righteous internal (such as prayer and fasting) and external (such as charity toward the needy) deeds. With a strong foundation and edifice, according to Mar Aphrahat, and through continual effort and …

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