The clergy of the Eastern Archdiocese met for their annual Clergy Retreat between Dec 14 and Dec 16, 2016 at Mor Aphrem Center. After the Ramsho (evening) prayers on Monday, His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak opened the retreat with special remarks on youth ministry which was the main theme of the retreat. There were a total of 10 lectures by experts, six of which were workshops by two specialists on youth ministry. The workshops discussed the history of American youth culture, understanding the postmodern youth, working with young men and women to raise up leaders, understanding transitional adults and improving the clergy’s ability to work with the youth. Our priests benefited much from these workshops and they plan to call for a youth gathering to discuss these matters with the youth themselves sometime in 2017.
Deacon George A. Kiraz gave two talks. The first on the Beth Gazo during which he presented a mobile App which is now being designed and implemented under the sponsorship of the Archdiocese. The Beth Gazo app will be a learning resource for deacons and clergy all over the world.
The second lecture was on the history of the Syriac Bible and its usage in the church. The clergy discussed the Antioch Bible and how its text can be used for a future Syriac Study Bible.
Two professional members of the community gave two lectures. Mr. Cem Ayaz presented IT solutions and apps as tools for church administration and Dr. Yamo Deniz talked about the attributes of high performing clergy. Finally, Mr. Talal Fandakly of the AEC Clergy Committee summarized the new educational program for clergy members. Dr. Christine Kiraz gave a report on Suryoyto Women’s Day and asked the clergy to help her extend the group beyond the NJ geographical area.
The clergy spent one afternoon discussing various issues regarding their duties and services and how to make them more efficient.