From Members of US Congress, Counties and Cities in California
The 92nd Birthday of His Grace Abune Melketsedek was celebrated in California on July 19, 2016 by his Children in God, his Associates and his Admirers. The Archbishop of the State of California Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the Secretary of the Legitimate Ethiopian Holy Synod in exile is still vibrant at the age of 92, with the Grace of God. He continues making relentless efforts in strengthening and expanding the Church based in true beliefs and traditions of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
It is amazing to reckon that, Abune Melketsedek who was born on July 19, 1924, became a deacon when he was eleven years of age, and that makes his service to the Church a solid eighty one years. Members of US Congress and a number of California Bay Area County & City government officials paid respect to the commendable service in Christ of the Archbishop by attending the celebration of his 92nd Birthday, and bestowing up on him certificates of recognition and proclaiming July 19, 2016 to be ‘Abune Melketsedek day’. The following are excerpts from the respective commendations to Abune Melketsedek:
- Resolution by the United States Congressman Michael M. Honda dated 19th July, 2016 in City of Santa Clara and Alameda Counties:
WHEREAS, Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh became a deacon at age 11 and a monk at 15, he was sent by the Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Emperor Haile Selassie I, to study at Istanbul University where he became the first Ethiopian to earn a Degree in Theology
WHEREAS, throughout his tenure, he has championed human rights, published 19 books, increased the involvement of women in the Church, and has taught countless people
WHEREAS, Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh’s commitment to improvising the lives of persons in the United States as well as Ethiopia has provided valuable insight and leadership for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church … recognized and commended for his dedication and service to the Ethiopian Community.
- Resolution by the United States Congresswoman Barbara Lee 13th Congressional district dated 16th July, 2016:
WHEREAS, Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh, in 1991 there was regime change, forcing the hierarch of the Church to change. Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh and several Bishops moved from Ethiopia to the United States.
WHEREAS, Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh, established Legitimate Holy Synod in exile here in the United States, and later the Medhanealem Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the Bay Area , expanding to four Cities
Therefore, be is resolved that we celebrate the extraordinary life of Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh on his 92nd birthday. May his contributions to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Bay Area and continue to impact the lives of others.
- Certificate of Recognition by California Legislature Assembly dated 17th July, 2016 “presented in recognition of his lifelong dedication as a spiritual leader and human rights advocate”.
- City and County of San Francisco Proclamation dated 19th July , 2016 signed by the Mayor Edwin M Lee
WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco traditionally recognizes those who have made a positive difference in our communities and City, and the dedicated work of Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh has represented San Francisco values at their best
WHEREAS, Archbishop Melketsedek established many Ethiopian Orthodox churches across the United States that have served as places for Ethiopians to congregate and support each other while teaching youth the language and culture of Ethiopia…. Therefore be it resolved and resolved July 19, 2016 as Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh day in San Francisco.
- Office of the Mayor Proclamation of Oakland California dated 19th July 26, 2016 signed by the Mayor Libby Schaaf:
WHEREAS, Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh continues to exemplify an outstanding member of the Ethiopian Orthodox and Oakland Communities with a commitment to the church as a teacher, mentor, preacher, leader and peacemaker. At the age of 92, Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh still participates in all aspects of the church services and is still a focal point of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He is still a big proponent of human rights, by speaking out against injustices especially against Ethiopians across the world; now ,therefore be it PROCLAIMED that Tuesday July 19, 2016 is Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh Day.
- City of San Jose Commendation dated 19th July 26, 2016 signed by the Mayor, two council members and the City Clerk:
WHEREAS Archbishop led to the establishment of many Ethiopian Orthodox Churches across the world, including four Churches in the Bay Area, two in San Jose, which has brought together the Ethiopian Community.
Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh on being a big proponent of human right, teacher, mentor and preacher and peacemaker.
- City of Berkley Proclamation dated 19th July 26, 2016 signed by the Mayor Tom Bates:
WHEREAS Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh was the former head of religious affairs of Ethiopia in the Emperor Haile Selassie’s Cabinet ,where he expanded the reaches of Christianity by increasing the involvement of women, establishing more than nine schools , and developing other forms of religious media;
WHEREAS Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh has been a staple of the Ethiopian Community in the Bay Area , and he played a big role to establish the first Ethiopian Church in the Bay Area, Medhan Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Berkley
WHEREAS At the age of 92, Archbishop Melketsedek Workneh still participates in all aspects of church services and is still a big proponent of human rights, speaking out against injustices especially against Ethiopians across the world … honored because his work and diligence brought so much to so many people.
- The letter of recognition for City of Santa Clara dated 1 July 26, 2016 signed by the Mayor Lisa M Gillmor:
“During your time in the Emperor’s Cabinet in Ethiopia, you published monthly magazines and religious teachings, increased the involvement of women in the church including having women sing in the choir for the first time, established more than nine different primary and secondary schools across the country, built a factory for monks to generate their own income, and established a radio station for the teaching of the Bible.. Your continued dedication for human rights and for speaking out against injustices across the world is admired and appreciated”
All that being expressed by our American Brothers and Sisters, let us join all these remarkable accolades of recognition, commendation, proclamation and Birthday wishes on the 92nd Birthday of His Grace Archbishop Abune Melketsedek not only as our Father in Christ, but also as a true and hardworking senior citizen still serving at this old age as a voice or as an advocate to all Ethiopians around the world, regardless of our diverse religious backgrounds.
Reiterating his own words, let everything that happened as magnificent as it is serve only as Glory to our Father in Heaven, our God.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” Philippians
Public Relations, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Legitimate Synod in a exile.