The 2018 Annual Ecumenical Fundraising Dinner took place on Saturday 12 May in the Edgarian Hall at the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection in Sydney.

The guests were treated to a traditional Armenian dinner whilst Ms Wies Schuirninga, the President of the NSW Ecumenical Council (NSWEC) ran the proceedings as MC for the evening.

His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan Assyrian Church of the East opened the evening’s proceedings with Grace. Father James Collins from St Pauls Anglican Church followed with a brief explanation of the feast of Ascension, which had just been celebrated throughout the Ecumenical Churches.

Father Shenouda Mansour, the General Secretary of the NSWEC informed the guests of the history of the Ecumenical Council and the continuing role it plays by bringing churches together with a commitment to a journey of peace and reconciliation for ourselves and our world. At the end of his talk, Father Mansour was presented with a gift from the NSWEC for recently obtaining his PhD with a Doctor of Philosophy.

Throughout the evening two youths from the Armenian Church Youth of Australia entertained the guests with Isabelle Marcarian singing Hymns from the Armenian Divine Liturgy followed by a beautiful rendition of “Hallelujah” accompanied by the delightful Boghos Keleshian.

His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian from the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Australia and New Zealand was the keynote speaker of the evening with a fascinating insight into the Armenians in the past, present and future within the Diaspora.

The evening concluded with closing prayers by Rev. Dr. Manas Ghosh who is an ordained Minister of the Word at Leigh Memorial in Parramatta.