On March 1, 2016, an unprecedented joint meeting of approximately 30 Armenian clergymen serving in the Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Armenian Evangelical, Anglican and other churches in Canada, joined by Rev. Fr. Hayari Tanashian from Damascus and Rev. Fr. Eghia Kervanciyan from the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, took place at the Armenian Diocese of Canada.
On behalf of the Armenian Apostolic Church, His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Canada, at the beginning of the Morning Prayer (Arevagal), welcomed and thanked the participants for accepting the invitation, highlighting that “we are all united by the faith and language.”
Participants of the meeting prayed together and discussed various aspects of the mission of the Armenian clergy in Canada; the martyrdom according to the Old (Very Rev. Fr. Keghart Kosbakian) and New Testaments (Verabadveli Manuel Jinbashian); the losses of the Armenian clergy during the Genocide (Very Rev. Fr. Kevork Zabarian, Verabadveli Hovhannes Svajian, Rev. Fr. Vazgen Boyajian); the reconsideration of St. Leonians (Ghevondiants) sacrifice after the Centennial of the Armenian genocide (Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian).
After the presentations, the participating clergymen were asked to make recommendations for the further advancement of the Armenian interdenominational dialogue in Canada.
In their concluding remarks, His Eminence Archbishop Souren Kataroyan and His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimian highlighted the necessity of further promoting unity among the Armenian clergymen and the Armenian faithful of Canada and urged them to make such meetings a tradition. It was decided to organize meetings as such annually and to elaborate a joint agenda of issues of mutual concern. The next meeting will take place at St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church of Toronto.
Upon conclusion of the sessions, the clergymen joined for the Evening Prayer (Hskum) where Verabadveli Avedis Zarifian offered a sermon on the Letter to Thessalonians 3.1-2.
After the Evening Prayer the participants of the meeting attended a children’s paintings exhibition organized by Yeretsgin Marine Zuloyan’s Art Studio disciples.