(Syrian Orthodox) - On Tuesday, January 17, members of the Standing Conference of the Oriental Orthodox Churches met at the Archdiocesan offices in Teaneck, NJ for their biannual meeting. His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim welcomed the participant hierarchs and clergy on behalf of Eastern Archdiocese. His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church, chaired the meeting the meeting was also attended by His Eminence Archbishop Mor Titus Eldho, of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church and His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Ecumenical Director of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church, as well as, clergy representing the Coptic and the Ethiopian Orthodox Churches.
The meeting began with a short morning prayer. Discussion topics included plans being made for a youth retreat to be hosted by the Syrian Orthodox Church and possible daylong regional meetings of Oriental Orthodox clergy.
Participants also spoke about their respective Christian education programs and reviewed the Oriental Orthodox Concelebration of the Divine Liturgy held last November at the Coptic Orthodox Church of Archangel Michael and St. Mena in Staten Island, NY. Next year’s concelebration will be hosted by St. Leon Armenian Church of Fair Lawn, NJ.
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Eastern Diocese’s Ecumenical Director, and Archbishop Karim spoke about the participation of Oriental Orthodox churches in the Christian Churches Together organization and presented updates on the ongoing dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church. Turning to developments overseas, participants discussed the situation of Copts in Egypt and Christians in Syria.
The Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan gave a presentation on the new website of the Standing Conference of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Click here to visit the website for news and information about the organization.
In addition to Archbishop Karim, Very Rev. Fr. Shamoun Asmar, Rev. Fr. Aziz Hadodo and Rev. Fr. Joseph Chamoun were also present.
The meeting continued over lunch prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary of St. Mark’s Cathedral.