A Brief Report on the AEUNA 26th General Assembly
Updated: Jul 23
After three years of planning, postponement due to COVID-19, then restarting planning activities with caution and concern, finally the AEUNA had its 26th biennial General Assembly and 23rd Armenian Evangelical Youth Fellowship Convention in Pennsylvania, June 23-26, 2022, hosted by the Armenian Martyrs’ Congregational Church of Havertown.
The theme was Bold Love and the theme verse was Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace.” Rev. Ron Tovmassian, D. Min., was our main speaker, with musical worship times led by Henry Dabbo and his worship team of the First Armenian Evangelical Church of Montreal.
Starting with God’s unconditional and sacrificial love as the model of bold love, Rev. Tovmassian delivered a sequence of messages on “Boldly loving the sinful world,” “Boldly loving with action and in truth,” concluding by beautifully explaining the current situation of our Union and challenging the assembly participants that “God’s community requires Bold love.” After some of his presentations, there were opportunities for panel and group discussions.
On Friday, during the business meetings, AEUNA officers, committee chairs and ministries highlighted major points from their written reports which had been distributed to the participants. The General Assembly delegates approved the two-year budget of the AEUNA, voted to approve the nominated 2022-2024 AEUNA Board of Directors, and unanimously voted to call Rev. Hendrik Shanazarian to serve as Minister to the Union of the AEUNA.
A video focusing on the current situation and challenges of the Union and the importance of vision casting and working with hope and in unity was welcomed by the participants. During the business meeting, a motion was approved for this video to be distributed to churches so it could be viewed by AEUNA church boards and lay leaders. Click here for the video or watch below.
Friday afternoon, June 24, participants had the opportunity to attend two of the following five seminars:
Seminar #1 – Finding Your Hidden Potential: Cultivating Lay Leaders (Led by the Rebuilding Task Force and Team)
Seminar #2 – Stewardship: The Privilege of Giving What We Cannot Keep to Gain What We Cannot Lose (Led by Greg & Elizabeth Sarian)
Seminar #3 – Keys to Church Growth (Led by Rev. Georges Dabbo)
Seminar #4 – Church Dropouts: How to Bring Our Youth Back to Christ (Led by Rev. Dr. Haig Kherlopian)
Seminar #5 – AEYF Seminar (Led by Rev. Razmig Minassian)
During the past two years, the AEUNA Rebuilding Project / Vision Task Force has conducted interviews with a broad sample of AEUNA church lay leaders and members. They discovered several areas of common interest, and during a special Saturday session Assembly participants were given the opportunity to provide valuable feedback on topics represented by seven roundtables. The seven topics were:
1- Church Relationships and Participation in the Union
2- Leadership Skills- equipping and training future church lay leaders
3- Ministry Skills
4- Armenian Culture
5- Outreach and Evangelism
6- Financial Awareness
Outcomes of the group discussions will be used by the Task Force and Analysis Team as they move to the second phase of the Rebuilding Project: ideation and solutions for future implementation.
Following the Task Force presentation, Saturday afternoon was open and participants had the opportunity to take a tour of Philadelphia. This was followed by a successful Celebration Dinner on Saturday night organized by the local biennial committee.
On Sunday morning, Armenian Martyrs’ Congregational Church of Havertown hosted the General Assembly participants at their fellowship hall and sanctuary for breakfast, joint worship service and lunch. During the worship service the Minister to the Union was installed, after which he installed the newly elected Board of Directors. The worship service concluded with the sacrament of Holy Communion.
After the General Assembly and Youth Convention concluded, Armenian Evangelical Youth Fellowship leaders chaperoned young people on a tour of New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC.
By God’s grace, and the dedication and hard work of the local committee, our 26th AEUNA General Assembly was very successful. Many returned to their homes with great memories, looking forward to the next opportunity for our fellowship to gather for joint worship, learning, and work together!