Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Antiochian priest is received into Assyrian Church of the East

By way of clarification: I was informed by someone in the know about this that no release was given from the Antiochian Archdiocese. He simply informed them of his intent and made the change.

(Assyrian Church) - On the Fourth Sunday of Summer, 28 July 2013, His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of the Diocese of California, formally and publicly received the Rev’d Qashisha Ephraim Ashur Alkhas into the Assyrian Church of the East for the Diocese of California. The reception by clerical confession of faith, oath of obedience and vesting was given and completed before the witness of the clergy and faithful at Mar Zaia Cathedral in Modesto, California.

​On 14 July, Fr. Ephraim was officially but privately received into the Assyrian Church as a priest of the Diocese of California. He was received from the Diocese of Los Angeles of the North American Archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch (الروم الأرثوذكس).

​Fr. Ephraim grew up in Saint Mary’s Assyrian Church of the East in North Hollywood, later Tarzana. Here he was baptized by Qashisha Barkho Oshana. During his teenage years he enjoyed participating in the daily services at St Mary’s. He learned to love the Church and her services through the Very Rev’d Cor-Bishop George Bet-Rasho and Rev. Deacon Dan Daniel, his close lifetime mentor and friend. He was tonsured and ordained a Reader by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch, at the new St. Mary’s church in Tarzana, California, in the Summer of 2001. After completing high school and receiving his B.A. degree in Spanish Literature, he continued his studies at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary where he completed his MDiv in 2010. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 28 June 2009, having been a deacon since 2008.

​He and his wife Elaine live in Modesto, with their daughters Shoshanna and Elishwa. Fr. Ephraim will serve the Diocese as an assistant priest and serve full time in the offices of CIRED (Commission on Inter-Church Relations and Education Development), and will be continuing his graduate-level studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.


  1. From the story, I'm having trouble figuring out where he ever had anything to do with Antioch to begin with. Is the story or am I missing something?

    1. Not made plain in the story beyond him being a priest for the archdiocese.

  2. From his blog:

    "I am Rev Fr Ephraim Ashur Alkhas, a presbyter in the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, Diocese of Los Angeles and the West. While I am a presbyter in the Eastern Orthodox Church, I grew up and served as a reader in the Assyrian Church of the East, so I am both fluent and comfortable in both these expressions of the Church’s tradition.

    Having grown up speaking the Urmia dialect of Modern Aramaic, I was taught classical Syriac in the Assyrian Church of the East. Modern Aramaic is my first language and Syriac is the language I grew up using for prayer and scripture study.

    After High School, I came into the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese and, after getting my BA in Spanish Literature, went to Saint Vladimir Orthodox Seminary where I received my MDiv in 2010.

    I am blessed by God to serve the parish of Saint Herman in Wasilla Alaska, where I live with my wife Elaine and daughters Shoshana and Elishwa."