The Diocesan Council
Under the presidency of the Primate, the Diocesan Council consists of 11 members—four clergymen and seven laymen—elected by the Diocesan Assembly. The Council convenes once every month, typically at the Diocesan headquarters in New York.
The Diocesan Council supervises the parochial institutions and organizations of the Diocese and the activities of its officers. Jointly with the Primate, the Council examines and renders decisions on matters relative to the establishment of churches, educational and charitable institutions, and organizations within the Diocese.
The Council also approves proposals for the establishment of new church communities or parishes, or other church or community organizations.
Additionally, the Council is responsible for preparing and presenting an annual operating budget to the Diocesan Assembly.
Diocesan Council Officers
President: Bishop Daniel Findikyan
Chair: Rev. Fr. Krikor Sabounjian
Vice Chair: Lisa Kouzoujian
Secretary: Mona Karoghlanian
Assistant Secretary: Alex Topakbashian
Treasurer: Roseann Manoogian Attar
Assistant Treasurer: Richard Papalian
Rev. Fr. Vasken Kouzouian
Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian
Rev. Fr. Hratch Sargsyan
The Diocesan Assembly
Elected representatives from every parish in the Eastern Diocese constitute the Diocesan Assembly. Each parish is represented at the Assembly by a delegation proportional to the membership of the parish; a typical delegation includes the parish pastor, its parish council chair, and some number of elected members.
The Assembly meets annually to help guide the Eastern Diocese in its spiritual and cultural work. Currently, the Diocesan Assembly convenes during the first weekend in May. Special Diocesan Assemblies are occasionally convened on an ad hoc basis, to deal with matters of immediate concern.
The Diocesan Board of Trustees
The Diocesan Board of Trustees exercises supervision and proprietary control over all the real property or property rights in real estate used as a place of worship. It holds the title to real property and property rights in the name of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and retains possession of all deeds and other evidence of title to such property.
The Board of Trustees consists of no fewer than nine and no more than eleven members, elected from among the members in good standing of any church or parish in the Eastern Diocese. Members of the Board are elected by a majority vote of delegates at the Diocesan Assembly. Their election is subject to the approval and confirmation of His Holiness, the Catholicos of All Armenians.
Mission Statement of the Eastern Diocese
In 1993, the Eastern Diocese created an official Mission Statement to help focus its ministry and guide its faithful. The statement runs as follows:
“The mission of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church is to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to proclaim its message of salvation. This mission is realized through worship, education, witness, service, and the common life in Christ as expressed in the distinctive faith-experience of the Armenian people. All members of the Armenian Church—both clergy and lay—are called to participate fully in its mission.”
In 2000, Diocesan leaders issued the following additional guide for the Eastern Diocese, called the Statement of Intent:
“Our intent is to make the Armenian Church significant in the life of every Armenian living within the geographic boundaries of the Eastern Diocese, and his or her family.”
The Statement was accompanied by a list of five “focus areas” to lend structure to the Diocese’ efforts. The focus areas are: Worship, Leadership, Stewardship, Communication, Youth.