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ERA Meets

ERA Meets

From Tuesday, June 6 through Thursday, June 8, 150 delegates (including all bishops and lay) representing Armenian communities from around the world, gathered at Holy Etchmiadzin for the sixth Ecclesiastical Representative Assembly (ERA). His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over the three-day meeting. Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, was elected as co-chair of the proceedings with Levon Sargsyan of the Araratian Diocese in Armenia. Representing the Eastern Diocese, in addition to the Primate, was Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian, Dr. Lynn Cetin, Dn. Ara Jeknavorian and Zaven Tachdjian. Delegates discussed the Bylaws Guidelines for the Global Armenian Church and a draft of the Constitution for the National Ecclesiastical Assembly. They also heard about a project to improve the operations of the Armenian Church, coordinated by Aso Tavitian of New York. His Holiness Karekin II also gave updates on developments at the Armenian patriarchates of Jerusalem and Constantinople. On June 8, Armenia’s President Serge Sargsyan addressed the ERA, speaking about the situation in Artsakh, social and economic issues facing Armenia, the resettlement of Syrian-Armenian refugees in Armenia, and the importance of maintaining strong ties between Armenia and the diaspora. Dr. Abrahamian, chief OBGYN in Armenia, also addressed the delegates about the declining birthrate in Armenia. In addition to the scheduled meetings, the lay delegates from the Eastern Diocese had the opportunity to meet with other lay delegates and discuss common global concerns. The delegates also enjoyed an exceptional concert of music and dance by talented children at the Toufayan Center and a private audience with the Catholicos. 

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