|Committee Chair:||Arsen Danielian, Esq.|
With the inception of "Ambassadors of Faith" in 2013, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, envisioned a new leadership strategy, which would utilize the influence of well-respected community representatives in communicating and promoting the mission of the church as imparted to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The final outcome is a shared commitment to the common faith and commonweal of the Armenian community and the Western Diocese.
Historically, the laity has always been involved in the life of the church at different levels, including in the leadership. The lay leaders have represented the views and expectations of their respective communities in different church councils as well as served in various advisory boards. In today’s multidimensional ministry, more than ever, the church leadership should be a joint venture that equally engages the clergy and the laity working together for the common vision.
Secularization, alienation, and lack of interest in organized religions are some of the modern day challenges that hinder communities from fully participating in the life of the church. Teaching from the pulpit, pastoral care and outreach, Christian education and social activities, although effective, are not sufficient to explain the mission, the vision and the objectives of the church. Loyal to the teachings of our Lord, the Armenian Apostolic Church, and her sacred tradition, Ambassadors of Faith (AOF) are called to be facilitators between the hierarchy and the congregation by translating the “hefty” church language and making its “lofty” perceptions more comprehensible on a peer-to-peer level. In other words, AOF provides a voice to articulate the message of the Armenian Church, the role of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and the goals of the Western Diocese as well as its function in the society at large.
As a representative body, AOF works hard to attain a positive image for the Western Diocese and its St. Leon Cathedral among Armenians and non-Armenians throughout the geographical region of the Western Diocese. On a practical ground, AOF gathers and studies information about broad social, religious, and cultural trends in order to assess challenges and opportunities confronting the Church progress and growth. After an in-depth study, AOF formulates practical conclusions and addresses the pertinent issues in collaboration with the Diocesan Primate.
Besides educating, leadership training, helping to understand the Diocesan By-Laws and other administrative issues pertaining to the day- to- day operation of the church, AOF tends to strengthen the religious and liturgical life of the church and aid the faithful to appreciate the ample offerings of the Orthodox Christian faith. In the words of AOF Chair Arsen Danielian, Esq., "It is the sole purpose of every Armenian to discover the immeasurable wealth of our ancestral Christian Faith, as well as to preserve and uphold the sacred traditions of the Armenian Apostolic Church."
Last but not least, AOF strives to remain faithful to the spirit of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19), which grants us the privilege and the responsibility to share in the discipleship of the Apostles according to the Lord’s exhortation, “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”