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JOINT MEETING OF NORTH AMERICAN PRIMATES OF THE ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH

Continuing the long-standing tradition, the Primates of the three dioceses of North America, namely His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian of the Western Diocese, His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan of the Diocese of Canada, and the Very Reverend Father Daniel Findikyan of the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern) have convened a joint meeting at the Headquarters of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church in Burbank, California on Thursday, February 7, 2019.

The purpose of this meeting was to share best practices and explore new avenues for more effective collaboration on common matters that pertain to the Armenian Church in North America.

Among other issues, the high-ranking clergy have discussed the possibilities of revitalizing the youth ministries. Furthermore, the three Primates have emphasized the importance of empowering and enabling the youth, thus actively involving them in the life of the church.

Christian Education was at the forefront of discussions. It was decided to share and utilize the available resources, printed or digital, through social media or directly, to reach out to the faithful and impart solid educational foundation according to the Scriptures, the teachings of the Holy Fathers, and the sacred traditions of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The need for qualified catechists and certified Bible instructors was identified during the meeting. The participants agreed on creating opportunities for acolytes, deacons, and laity to be trained and become fully equipped to fill the gap that exists due to limited number of ordained clergy.

There was an overwhelming agreement on the part of the three Primates on the urgent need for the church to focus sharply on the authentic Christian mission of the church, aspiring to advance the faithful along the path of coming to know God through Jesus Christ more personally and deeply within the life and tradition of the Armenian Church. As the church strives to cater to the various needs of the faithful, it should be made clear that the main mission of the church is to lead the people to God by preaching, teaching, and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ in accordance to the doctrines and traditions of the Armenian Church.

In order to effectively address the rampant secularism in our society, as well as violence and hopelessness that are affecting our people, the Primates committed to joining their forces in re-kindling the mission of the church, strengthening the spiritual lives of their respective communities, and re-focusing on the salvific power of Christ the Lord.

The spiritual leaders of the three dioceses of North America will continue working on action points that arose out of the meeting in small groups as well as with the involvement of appropriate committees.

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