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We, the Youth Ministry Association of the Assyrian Church of the East, give glory to God for a successful and spiritually fruitful Youth Conference 2006 just completed, being convened from June 30 to July 4, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.  The theme of this year was ‘Revolution’ (Quyama)—indicating the inner, spiritual renewal and conversion to which all the Youth of the Church were called to be engaged in. The Youth further give the Lord thanks for the blessing of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, who gave permission to conduct such a gathering of the Church’s Youth.  

The almost 190 attendees, comprising the youth associations of the Assyrian Church in the United States, were gathered from among the following dioceses and parishes: 1) from the Diocese of Eastern USA, administered by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, there were participants from Mar Gewargis Parish (Chicago), Mar Andreos Parish (Des Plaines), Mar Mari Parish (Yonkers), Mar Addai Parish (Turlock) and Mar Zaia Parish (Modesto); 2) from the Diocese of Western California, headed by His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham, the participants came from Mar Yosip Parish (San Jose), Mar Gewargis Parish (Ceres) and Mar Narsai Parish (San Francisco); 3) from the Diocese of Western USA, headed by His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, the participants were from St. Mary’s Parish (Los Angeles), Mar Patros Parish (Phoenix), Mar Paulus Parish (Orange County) and Rabban Hurmizd Parish (San Diego).  Also in attendance from the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, headed by His Grace Mar Meelis Zaia, were the following representatives from the St. Peter and St. Paul English-speaking parish in Sydney:  Rev. Genard Lazar (pastor of the parish), Rev. Deacon Robin Hermizd and Robert Khnanisho.

On Saturday, July 1 we were enriched by the spiritual conferences delivered by various clergy who had attended.  These conferences included:  “The Holy Scriptures in our Daily Lives,” by Rev. Genard Lazar, pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Sydney; “The Place of the Youth in the Church Today,” by Rev. George Bet-Rasho, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Los Angeles; a brief historical survey of the Assyrian Church, and “Our Participation in the Holy Qurbana:  Heaven on Earth,” by Rev. David Royel, pastor of Mar Yosip Parish in San Jose.  The participants gave their feed-back and comments in the Q & A session, and other activities were also provided in order to have the youth to better know their brothers and sisters from the various parishes.

At the outcome of the conferences, the clergy outlined five points which we decided to make our own personal spiritual endeavors; these included: 1) changing our life for Christ; 2) reading the Word of God on a regular basis; 3) applying the Lord’s Word to our daily life; 4) finding our place in the Church; and 5) occupying our place in the Holy Church and fulfilling our obligations as faithful sons and daughters.  These guidelines will be with us until the next Youth Conference.

It was decided that the next Youth Conference (2007) will take place in Chicago, Illinois and will coincided with the happy occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Priestly ordination of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch.  Various spiritual and festive activities will be arranged in order to properly celebrate this joyous occasion.  Furthermore, in light of the up-coming rogation of St. Mary the Blessed Virgin (August 1 to 15), it was decided that the first three days of the rogation (from August 1 to 3) the Youth will fast in order to supplicate God for unity in the Assyrian Church at large. This fast was inspired by the thoughts and prayers of many of the Youth that the Assyrian Church might unite and become one Church again as before the various schisms.

At the end of the Youth Conference, a vote of thanks was offered by all of us gathered, to the parish of St. Mary’s in Los Angeles for organizing and hosting this year’s Youth Conference.  Special thanks were offered to Rev. George Bet-Rasho for his endeavors in putting the conference together.

We praise the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our hope and salvation, for this new surge of an inward stirring for holiness and the Spirit of the Lord to dwell in us as his children.  The Holy Spirit is indeed working in the Assyrian Church of the East, and in her Youth—the tomorrow of the future of both our Assyrian Church and Nation.

Los Angeles,July 4, 2006


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