Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Diocese’s Ecumenical Director, was elected president of Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A.—a nationwide ecumenical association of church leaders—on Wednesday, January 30, during the organization’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
“Christian Churches Together has become one of the most important Christian organizations in the United States,” Archbishop Aykazian said. “In the coming years, I look forward to working together with fellow church leaders to promote the common good for our society.”
Participants in the annual meeting, from January 28 to February 1, focused on immigration reform, and heard from immigrants and advocates, including representatives of the Hispanic Christian community and Catholic Relief Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In a statement released after the meeting, Christian Churches Together calls on “people of faith, people of good will, elected officials in Congress and the President of the United States to work together to enact just and humane immigration reform legislation in 2013.”
“The 11 million individuals now in the U.S. without authorization should be given an opportunity to earn citizenship, if the individual chooses,” the statement reads. The organization also calls for family reunification options, just enforcement measures, and special protection for refugees and asylum seekers.
Some 100 church leaders attended the annual meeting in Austin. Also representing the Armenian Church were the Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian and seminarian Eric Vozzy.
Archbishop Aykazian will serve a four-year term as the head of Christian Churches Together. He previously served as President of the National Council of Churches, from 2007 to 2009. He is also a member of the Central Committee and the Executive Council of the World Council of Churches.
Established in 2001, Christian Churches Together is comprised of more than 40 churches and organizations, including Evangelical, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, historic Protestant, Racial and African American churches. Archbishop Aykazian was among the founding members of the organization. He is also the first to serve as president of both the National Council of Churches and Christian Churches Together.