Though many clergy were not able to make it due to other important ministry commitments or sickness, the Syro-Chaldean Church of North America held its annual clergy conference on February 1-3 at Congregation of the Messiah in Tuckahoe, NY. The proceedings were conducted under the capable leadership of the Rt. Rev. David Flores, bishop of the Westchester, NY Diocese. Other bishops able to attend included the Rt. Rev. Bill Woodson, bishop of the Fairfield, CT Diocese, and the Rt. Rev. Alex McCullough, retired.
The conference is a time of refreshing and inspiration, and is held annually to empower the clergy to continue the transformational work of Christ through the Syro-Chaldean Church of North America. Through the preaching of the Word, participation in the Eucharist, times of prayer in the Spirit, reports of the ministry work, and times of fellowship, the Syro-Chaldean clergy were encouraged how God continues to faithfully work in and through His Church to enact His Kingdom.
The Rt. Rev. David Flores noted in his welcome address that, “Some of us are in pastoral ministries and some of us are in chaplain ministries, but what we all have in common is that we are ministers of the Gospel helping people to find and serve the Lord. The work we do is hinged upon two key principals of the Kingdom of God and that is love and unity. Scripture tells us of the importance of unity in the body of Christ. The Psalmist tells us that somehow the unity that is expressed in the body of Christ is like the anointing Aaron received at his ordination. In other words, God’s Shekinah dwells in the community where there is unity. His living Presence dwells in the unity of believers.”
One of the highlights of the weekend was the celebration of the recent promotion of Fr. Paul Dordal to the position of Chief of Chaplains at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Besides providing pastoral care to the Veterans in the hospital, Fr. Paul leads and trains twenty-six chaplains in the work of pastoral care.
All the clergy enjoyed the great food prepared by servants of the Lord who blessed the clergy with their anointed ministry of service. The joy and love felt during the whole weekend will long be remembered and the encouragement refreshed each of the clergy to continue Christ’s work through our holy Church.