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Honoring a Common Mission

Protestant Reformation

In two ecumenical events last week, Diocesan clergy engaged with their counterparts from other churches to honor the common Christian mission.

At New York City’s Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a festal Eucharist marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation was attended by Diocesan Vicar Fr. Simeon Odabashian, representing Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian. Fr. Odabashian, the sole Eastern Christian cleric among attending the Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy, took part in a procession to the singing of Martin Luther’s stirring hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation.” The Rev. Dr. Robert Rimbo, bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was the celebrant.

Also last week, Eastern Diocesan clergy participated in the semi-annual meeting of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCH). Representing the Primate were Fr. wigth Finidkyan, Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Fr. Tateos Abdalian, and Fr. Diran Bohajian, who met in fellowship with Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Syriac and Malankara Syriac Orthodox clergy at the St. Ephrem Center of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch in Paramus, NJ. Topics under discussion included the annual Oriental Orthodox con-celebrated liturgy, the Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic consultation; a joint clergy conference; and a major youth gathering.

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