Armenian Church of Southwest Florida Prepares for 2014-2015 Season

By Carole Meghreblian
FLArmenians Naples Contributor

The Armenian Church of Southwest Florida (ACSWFL) is pleased to announce the beginning of our mission parish services for the 2014-15 season. The ACSWFL celebrates Badarak during the months of November, January, February, and March, which is when the majority of our parishioners are in Southwest Florida. Services will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3901 Davis Blvd., Naples, Florida.

Our first service will be held on Saturday, November 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM. Fr. Hovnan Demerjian of St. Hagop Armenian Church in Pinellas Park will officiate. A light luncheon will follow.

Future dates will be announced soon. Social events currently being planned for the upcoming season include a Christmas dinner, Bake Sale, Lenten Luncheon, Men/Ladies luncheon, and a picnic.

For further information about our mission parish, please feel free to contact me at (239) 348-3804 or carolemeghreblian@gmail.com. We look forward to welcoming you when you visit Southwest Florida.

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A Successful Ghapama Day at St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton

Ghapama prepared by Yeretsgin Anna

Ghapama prepared by Yeretsgin Anna

By Robyn Kalajian
FLArmenians Cuisine Contributor

After much hard work and anticipation, Yeretsgin Anna and her team of devoted Armenian School-Sunday School mothers, put together a most enjoyable array of refreshments for the parishioners of St. David Armenian Church on Sunday, October 26th.

Yeretsgin Anna (back row, center-right) with the students from St. David Armenian Church Armenian-Sunday School

Yeretsgin Anna (back row, center-right) with the students from St. David Armenian Church Armenian-Sunday School

The women prepared Ghapama and Jingalov Hats as part of a Cultural Day program for the children who attend Armenian language and religion classes in the church’s Manoogian School. The students, dressed in Halloween costumes, participated by helping fill the hollowed pumpkins with a mixture of rice, nuts, and assorted dried fruit.

Students help fill the hollow pumpkins before baking

Students help fill the hollow pumpkins before baking

Jingalov Hats

Jingalov Hats

Honey was drizzled into the rice filling, and melted butter was ladled over the top of each pumpkin before baking.

Yeretsgin Anna puts the finishing touch on the ghapama before baking

Yeretsgin Anna puts the finishing touch on the Ghapama before baking

Father Paren and Yeretsgin Anna serve parishioners Ghapama and Jingalov Hats

Father Paren and Yeretsgin Anna serve parishioners Ghapama and Jingalov Hats

The result was a delicious taste of Armenia enjoyed by all!

Ghapama Day Comes to St David Armenian Church in Boca Raton

By Robyn Kalajian
FLArmenians Cuisine Contributor

Every Sunday coffee hour follows church services in the Fellowship Hall at St. David Armenian Church. It’s a great way for parishioners to meet friends and, on occasion, enjoy a cultural event.

At our last Women’s Guild meeting, Father Paren Galstyan asked if I knew what Ghapama was. I assured him I did, and that I even knew of a song which pays tribute to this traditional Armenian dish. I showed him the existing post on this very topic – click here for instructions on how to make Ghapama.

Yereztgin Anna, 2nd from right, serves her Ghapama to the congregation in their previous parish in the Mid-West.

Yereztgin Anna (left) serves her Ghapama to the congregation in their previous parish in the Mid-West.

Father Paren informed me that *Yeretzgin Anna, is quite the ghapama expert. In fact, she will be hosting coffee hour on Sunday, October 26th with her special ghapama recipe. She hosted a similar ghapama event at their previous parish in the Mid-West to the delight of the congregation.

* A special note to non-Armenian readers: Yeretzgin is a term which designates one as a priest’s wife.

What is ghapama, you ask? Father Paren was kind enough to explain it in the church e-newsletter:

“Ghapama (Armenian: ղափամա) is an Armenian stuffed pumpkin dish, often prepared during the holiday season. It is prepared by removing the flesh of the pumpkin (known as դդում in Armenian, pronounced ddum in Eastern Armenian and ttum in Western Armenian) and stuffing it with boiled rice and a variety of dried fruits such as chopped almonds, apple, corn, apricot, prunes and raisins. It is also common to pour on honey and mix in ground cinnamon or sugar. The pumpkin is then baked until it becomes soft, and then brought to the table where it is cut up and served.”

If you’re in the neighborhood on October 26th, please come to St. David Armenian Church, 2300 Yamato Rd, Boca Raton, FL. Church service begins at 10:30 AM. Then join us in the fellowship hall for a taste of this very special dish!

 

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