Orthodox prayer service & reception for United Nations Community to be held on September 30

The General Public is invited to New York City’s St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral for the 2nd Annual Gathering of UN Officials, Orthodox & Oriental Orthodox Churches

The Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCH) will sponsor their second annual Orthodox Prayer Service and Reception for the United Nations Community, at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, 630 Second Avenue (corner of 34th Street), New York City, on Monday, September 30 at 6:30 p.m.

The distinguished speakers for the occasion will include His Excellency Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN; and Mr. Benon Sevan, UN Undersecretary-General and Executive Director of the Iraq Programme. Both speakers have long and honored records of service at the highest levels of world diplomacy.

His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman will be among those in attendance this year.

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) will deliver the homily at the prayer service. The master of ceremonies for the occasion will be Deacon Bishoy Mikhail, Ecumenical Officer of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The public is invited to attend the prayer service, as well as to the reception following it in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium. Invitations have also been extended to all Orthodox ambassadors and delegates of the various missions of the United Nations, Orthodox staff of the Secretariat and the heads of Orthodox NGOs.

The Orthodox Prayer Service for the UN Community was inaugurated last year, as a way to establish an Orthodox presence for the cause of world peace and understanding, and to enable Orthodox Christians to share in their common religious and cultural heritage. Last year’s speakers at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral were Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios; U.S. Ambassador John D. Negroponte; and Armenia’s Ambassador Moses Abelian. His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius attended the first gathering in 2001.

Co-chairs of the Joint Commission are His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian (Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America) and His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese). Members of the UN committee event include Fr. Emmanuel Gratsias (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese); Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky (Orthodox Church in America); Fr. Anthony DeLuca (Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church), Fr. Simeon Odabashian (Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church) and Mr. Bishoy M. Mikhail (Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, Archdiocese of North America).