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Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
 Archdiocese of the Western United States





Life of Jesus







The Western Archdiocese Clergy & Sunday School Teachers Retreat

The Western Archdiocese Clergy & Sunday School Teachers Retreat was held on Saturday, April 28th at St. George Church located: 925 Harding Ave. San Fernando, CA.

His Eminence Archbishop Mor C. Eugene Kaplan welcomed everyone and began the morning session of the joint meeting with prayers. He spoke about the importance of the churches uniting and the teachers sharing their ideas and continuing to learn about our Syriac traditions and church history.

Patricia Allaf then introduced sample lessons from the new Kindergarten curriculum being written for the East and West Coast Archdioceses. Additionally, the clergy and teachers in attendance were provided with a few excerpts of the teachers’ manual to accompany lessons to be tested on students. Surveys were also given to teachers to evaluate the efficacy of the workbook and manual based on the experimental lesson. Everyone across the United States is very excited and eagerly awaits the new curriculum.

Patricia next spoke about the Annual Archdiocese Camp which will be held on June 22-24th at Mile High Pines near Big Bear. There will be a camp staff meeting to further organize and prepare for this yearly anticipated event. The registration is from April 18th till May 18th (or until full). The cost per camper is $130 (adult and child price) which includes cabin lodging, 5 meals, rock climbing, aeroball, zip-line, bus transportation, snacks, and t-shirt. Back in 2002 Patricia held the first Archdiocese Sunday School camp where a total of 10 students participated. Now 10 years later, the Archdiocese is hosting a camp for 230 people!! Truly a Blessing!!

The next segment of the meeting focused on the theological aspect which was presented by Rev. Fr. Yusuf Kallo. It focused on the Sacrament of Confession and Repentance. During his presentation Fr. Yusuf said "Repentance and remission of sins is one of the seven sacraments of the New Law ordained by our Lord when He breathed on His disciples, saying: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive a man his sins, they shall be forgiven to him; and if you withhold forgiveness of a man's sins, they are kept. (John 20:22-23)" This sacrament was ordained of our Lord in the form of a law, giving power and authority to His disciples, the apostles, to give absolution to the faithful who confess and repent of sins willingly committed after baptism. It was informative lecture which was followed by a question and answer session.

Lunch was then graciously hosted by St. George church and we extend our appreciation and gratitude for their hospitality.

The afternoon session of the Retreat was divided into two meetings: Clergy and Sunday School. Each held their own session on important aspects to further strengthen the development and progress of our Archdiocese. The Sunday School meeting focused on a segment of the DVD 'Understanding the Diving Liturgy' which focuses on the rich symbolism celebrated in our weekly Liturgy. This DVD was published by our Archdiocese in 2008 and is available for purchase by contacting the Diocese office.

Everyone was very grateful and happy with the Retreat meeting which is held twice a year. The Sunday School is a Unified Committee comprised of dedicated individuals who teach the word of our Lord to the Syriac children. May God bless them all and continue to give them the strength to serve.

Retreat Attendees:

Clergy --
His Eminence Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan
Very Rev. Fr. Abdulahad Shara
Very Rev. Fr. George Touma
Rev. Fr. Peter Rouboz
Rev. Fr. Ephrem Adde
Rev. Fr. Louis Yacoub
Rev. Fr. Yusuf Kallo
Rev. Fr. Mtanos Askar
Rev. Fr. John Saif

Patricia Allaf
Irin Simon
Sophia Allaf
Renee Eskander
Georgina Mubara
Mary Hosry
Mouna Hanoun
Shirley Machour
Carol Adde
Genel Askar
Jennifer Salhab
Lina Fandakly
Mary Bahhi
Nadine Askar
Roula Abaci
Ilyana Shahrestan

To see photos click here





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The Western Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, providing spiritual guidance and leadership to the Syriac Orthodox community, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization comprised of 10 churches and parishes in 17 western states. It was established in 1952 as the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church encompassing the entire United States and Canada. In November 1995 by the Holy Synod, the Western Archdiocese was formed to exclusively serve the 17 states of the western half United States.

417 E. Fairmount Rd., Burbank, CA 91501
Tel: (818) 845-5089 Fax: (818) 953-7203
E-mail: bishopric@soc-wus.org


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