Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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January 2012 meeting of the Archdiocesan Executive Council

The Archdiocesan Executive Council held its first meeting of 2012 on January 18th at the Archdiocesan Complex in Teaneck, New Jersey. Dr. Yamo Deniz, the president of the Council chaired the officers meeting, which reviewed several reports and finalized the agenda of the Council.

The meeting started with an opening prayer by His Eminence. Mr. Besim Isik, vice president of the Council, chaired the two-hour session and gave a brief update on the status of the Midland Avenue property, as it pertains to the awaited final approval from the Paramus Board of Adjustments in order to begin the renovation program. The Board of Adjustments will be meeting on February 9th at which time we are anticipating the Board’s approval of the plans submitted. The chairman also spoke about an article, which appeared in the Bergen Record Newspaper talking about the plans the Archdiocese has in place for the Midland Avenue property. His Eminence thanked Mr. Isik and his committee for all their time and effort in pursuing and covering every detail of this process.

Other topics on the agenda included the amendments to the Parish By-laws. Jack Darakjy, who is spear heading this initiative, reported that he was very pleased with the number of comments and the feedback received from the parishes and council members. Mr. Darakjy noted that he and his review committee members will be consolidating and incorporating submissions in order to come up with an inclusive draft for His Eminence and the Council to review. Mr. Darkajy said he expects this to be accomplished by early February.

Semir Sirazi, Finance Committee Chairman for the Midland Avenue Property Development reported, via conference call from Chicago, on the work of the Finance Committee. He also spoke about the eventual consolidation of existing committees, including fund raising, to avoid redundancy. He complimented his fellow committee members and said a status report and a plan will be forthcoming.

Very Rev. Fr. Shamoon Asmar and Sonia Adamo reported on the Youth Director search initiative. His Eminence encouraged the search committee to look further and get the word out by utilizing the church Web-sites and publications to advertise this position. The Archbishop noted that the Youth Director is an important function and our Archdiocese is the first to take on such a challenge. It was agreed that the job description for the position will be provided to all Parish Board Presidents in order for the churches to properly announce and be adequately informed with regards to the qualifications for this position.

His Eminence reported that the Holy Synod meeting that was scheduled for the end of January in Damascus, Syria has been postponed. The Archbishop asked that we pray for peace throughout the world and especially in Syria at this point and time. He asked that we pray for His Holiness, Moran Mor Ignatius I Iwas, our beloved Patriarch and all the clergy as they continue leading our church during these difficult and challenging days.
An all-day meeting of the AEC with Church Board Presidents has been set for February 18th.

In conclusion and before his benediction, His Eminence re-iterated his appreciation for the volunteer work that is being done throughout the Archdiocese. He said that everyone is doing a wonderful job and the fruits of their efforts will be realized as we move forward with the Midland Avenue Property Development and the dynamic changes that will take place for the Archdiocese as a result of it.

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