Sunday School Department 5th Annual General Conference Joint Statement

June 21, 2016
By Mesfin Zegeye 
The fifth general conference of Sunday school department of the patriarchate of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church was held from June 17 -19, 2016 for three consecutive days. Extensive discussion on the reports of the budget year of the department took place in which three studies on promoting the mission of the Church were presented. The session was attended by representatives of Sunday Schools from 25 dioceses.

His Holiness Abune Mathias I,  Archbishop of Axum and Ichege of the See of Saint Takle Haimanot and His Grace Abune Mathias, archbishop of Canada diocese and member of the Holy Synod attended the closing ceremony  of the conference. On the occasion the Patriarch gave a sermon quoting, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). 
Major declarations of the joint statement include:
  • We pledge to implement and operate a five-year plan (2006 – 2010 E.C) of Sunday school Department in the remaining time;
  • We ask that a five-year plan of Sunday School Department be part of each parish council’s plan and will be in harmony with the plan of each department of the patriarchate;
  • We work intensively to strengthen services being provided and to establish Sunday Schools on parish churches that have no Sunday schools based on geographical location;
  • We ask that Sunday School Department provide information collected and organized by national Sunday School Departments regarding large-scale damages and activities of current heretics to the Holy Synod;
  • We put forward a unanimous request that  council of scholars react to the heretical statement  entitled “Tehadiso Ze-Orthodox Ye’emnet Meglecha/Faith Statement of the Reformed Orthodox” –  an apostate’s statement  declared by the association of heretics;
  • We ask in unison for an urgent action to be taken on the promoters of /reformed/ heretics movement to stop anti-Orthodox Church activities;  
  • We request the harassment and detention of members of Sunday School Departments by some parish church officials to end;
  • We request the Holy Synod to advise course of action to government bodies to refrain from mistreating members of Sunday school Departments; 
  • We ask once again the (age-restricted) criteria to be member of Sunday School Department mentioned in the Qale Awadi (Ethiopian Church proclamation) and 1986 (E.C) internal church regulation to be annulled;
  • We pledge to work together with departments of the patriarchate and each Sunday school representative for the success of the television program the church has begun to broadcast;
  • We ask the patriarchate to identify Sunday School Departments which have not sent their representatives to participate in the conference and to take decisive measures up on them;
  • We announce to work as a team with Theology College graduates to solve universal church problem.