The third and last clergy conference of 2013 was held on Tuesday, October 15 at “Yeganian Hall” of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Pasadena. Thirty clergymen participated in the conference, which was presided by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America.
At 9:45 a.m., the clergy participated in a Morning Prayer service and in observance of the Feast of the Holy Translators, they sang a sharagan in their honor.
At the conference, the Primate briefed his fellow Brothers in Christ about his trip to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin where he participated in the bishops’ synod meeting from September 24-27 presided by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
His Eminence also informed the clergymen about the Pan-ACYO Governing Board meeting at which he presided. Archbishop Derderian highlighted the preparatory steps for the upcoming Third Pan-ACYO World Assembly. He spoke about his visit to the Turpanjian Seminary of Harichavank and his meeting with the 70 seminarians. He also visited Mer Hooys-Nakashian Home Children’s Center operating under the auspices of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
The Primate also shared with his fellow clergymen the launch of such new Diocesan missions as Campus Ministry (a youth mission focusing on the enlightening college and university students with the Gospel), Disciples’ Mission (a mission aimed at strengthening inter-parish bonds through monthly pilgrimages to Diocesan churches), and Christian Study Courses (a mission aimed at creating catechists through in-depth knowledge of the Bible, ancient Church history, Patristics, Church doctrines, etc.)
The clergy also discussed the uniform practice of such religious and sacramental rites as the Divine Liturgy and Baptism and Holy Matrimony. A special 20-page guideline, compiled by the Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Yardemian
Also present at the conference was the Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean of St. Nersess Armenian Theological Seminary in New York. Father Mardiros shared with the clergymen the current progress of the seminary’s massive expansion project. Presently, St. Nersess is home to nine Priesthood-Candidates.
The clergy shared thoughts and ideas on how on how to better cater to the spiritual needs of the community.
The conference concluded with a closing prayer by Archpriest Fr. Kevork Arakelian.
The next clergy conference will be held on February 25, 2014, the Feast of Ghevont the Priest and his Companions (Ghevontiantz).