The prevailing mood at the first face-to-face National Representative Assembly was one of joy and optimism, after two years in which the world was shaken by a global pandemic, wars, and new ways of interacting and working as entire countries went into lockdown. Yet many challenges lie ahead, which were addressed in the course of the sessions at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia on May 12-14.
In the message addressed to the Assembly, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I stressed that the church is not an organization. “It is a mission,” he said, and clergy and delegates worked in that spirit as they mapped out their plans for the future of the Prelacy.
Other than the standard reviews and voting, one major novelty at the last Assembly was the decision to create a committee that will review and catalog existing content on Prelacy sites (AREC, ANEC, Crossroads, etc.). This new body will also develop an integrated content and marketing outreach plan; develop guidance for churches on content and digital outreach; spearhead the development of new, innovative and professionally made educational videos, live videos and other materials, and will allocate funds for this endeavor which may include content development, marketing consultants and paid advertising.
The move is based on the Prelacy’s bold response to the unprecedented challenges posed by the Covid pandemic, which forced it to embrace digital communication to reach out to the faithful. As the world returns to its pre-pandemic routines, it is also clear that new communication and work habits are here to stay. This committee will be the Prelacy’s response to the new normal.