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|Committee Chair:||Mr. Derik Ghookasian|
Mission of the Stewardship Program
The mission of the Stewardship Program is aligned with the Armenian Apostolic Church’s principal mission of being a light to all Armenian believers, providing the faithful with the spiritual knowledge and nourishment to ensure their growth toward becoming mature Christians [1 Corinthians 2:15]. In practical terms, therefore, the mission of the Western Diocese Stewardship Program is to ensure the future vitality and growth of our church.
The fulfillment of this mission requires that we address the following issues and bring them into a successful closure:
1) Preparation of Pastors – This aspect of the Stewardship Program entails Christian Education. One of the most important needs of our Diocese, as foreseen by our Primate, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, is to educate the next generation of pastors to ensure the continued spiritual vitality and relevance of our Armenian Churches and communities. This initial need arose from a significant influx of Armenians from Armenia and the Middle East, which resulted in the establishment of several new mission parishes. In addition to these changing demographics was the ageing of our current clergy, many of whom were near retirement.
2) Mission Parish Support -- Once the near-term pastoral needs of our Diocese has been addressed, the attention needs to be focused on ensuring that the mission parishes can become viable and fully-functioning self-sufficient parishes as quickly as possible. This aspect entails providing both financial and knowledge assistance to the mission parishes for a limited period of time [1 Corinthians 16:1-4, 2 Corinthians 8-9]. This is envisaged as a partnership between the Diocese and the Mission Parish in that as the Diocese’s involvement and support will decline over time and more responsibilities will be taken over by the Mission Parishes as they become better organized.
3) Youth and ACYO Programs -- We believe that the future vitality and growth of our Diocese depends on our ability to motivate young Armenian students to become active participants in our church. Our Christian legacy critically rests upon bringing our youth back to church; this will in turn have a double positive effect. It will ensure our communities will conform to local conditions but will not be fully assimilated and thereby will retain their Armenian heritage and culture. Also this will guarantee that they will be part of their church and retain their Christian identity [Psalms 71-17 and 119:9].
Preparation of Clergy
The Stewardship Program has supported several clergy candidates over the last decade. The support provided included stipends, health insurance, tuition and books, and travel expense reimbursement. We are grateful that several qualified clergy candidates have accepted the Lord’s calling to become clergy of the Armenian Church. The following list provides the names and current assignments of clergy who have been participants of the Stewardship Program of the Western Diocese:
Mission Parish Support
The Stewardship Program has supported/or currently supporting several mission parishes to ensure their success. Given below is a list of mission parishes supported by the Stewardship Program:
Additionally support is provided to the Diocesan Mission Parish Director and clergies at large (visiting pastors).
Youth and ACYO Programs
The Stewardship Program supports the personnel assigned by the Primate to address Diocese-wide youth program development and coordination as well as supporting Campus Ministries as needed.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Your help is crucial for the success of the Stewardship Program and the future of your Armenian Apostolic Church. You can financially assist the program at a level you feel comfortable.
Currently there are seven levels of Stewardship Categories:
1.Steward of Faith - ($100/annual pledge)
2.Steward of Hope - ($250/annual pledge)
3.Steward of Love - ($500/annual pledge)
4.Steward of the Light - ($1,000/annual pledge)
6.Benefactor Steward - ($25,000/one time)
7.Grand Benefactor Steward - ($100,000/one time)
For more information please contact any member of the Diocesan Stewardship Committee.
The Stewardship Committee thanks all Stewards of the Western Diocese for with your donations we were able to fulfill our mission. We further promise that we will be wise stewards and will use the funds at our disposal to do our utmost to help our Armenian Church.
THE STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate and President
Dr. Vahram Biricik, Chairman
Derik Ghookasoan, Vice-Chairman
Dcn. Dr. Sarkis Mesrobian, Treasusrer
Margaret Lulejian, Secretary
Arsen Danielian, Esq.
Simon Simonian, MD