SCOBA and SCOOCH Hierarchs Celebrate 7th Annual Prayer Service
New York, NY - On Tuesday, November 13th, the combined Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCH) celebrated the 7th Annual Prayer Service for the United Nations. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Chairman of SCOBA welcomed the assembled Hierarchs, Clergy, Ambassadors and Dignitaries of the UN Diplomatic Corps and laity to the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral, the traditional site when the service is hosted by an Eastern Orthodox Church.
This year, His Eminence Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas presided at the Vespers Service, assisted by Clergy, Monastics, and Chanters of the Romanian Orthodox Church. In addition to the two Archbishops mentioned above, the following SCOBA Hierarchs were present; Metropolitan Herman of the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Anthony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Bishop Antoun of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, and Bishop Ioan Casian of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese.
His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church and Chairman of SCOOCH led the following Hierarchs of the SCOOCH delegations: Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldho Pathickal of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese, and Bishop Makarios of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Ambassadors from many Eastern and Oriental Orthodox countries were in attendance; including Armenia, Albania, Greece and Ukraine. The Romanian Ambassador to the UN, His Excellency Mihnea Ioan Motoc, led a large delegation of the Romanian Diplomatic Corps. Following greetings from Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon, delivered by Dr. Emmanuel Kattan of the UN Office of the Alliance of Civilization, Ambassador Motoc delivered an address on the theme of the evening, Global Climate Change. His Excellency was followed by a repsonse by Archbishop Nicolae, who spoke of the sacred repsonsibilty of the human person for creation.
"The ability to change the material world towards good is another unique characteristic of humankind. Every form of matter which passes through the hand of a Christian is harmonious with the natural environment, and is transformed into a means of communion with one another and with God. In our time, however, the meaning of Creation and the holy responsibility of each human person towards our world has been forgotten. Gradually, we have become less able to understand the world as the gift of God and consider it as a means for our wellbeing. We have forgotten that we have been called to be priests of the Creation, to protect and offer it back to the Creator. Today, thankfulness has been replaced by greed. We have lost the sense of our responsibility toward nature."
Following the conclusion of Vespers, led by the Hierarchs and the Diplomatic Corps, over 200 of the Clergy and Faithful attended a gala reception in the Cathedral Parish Hall.