Category Archives: General Update

General Status Updates/News of Our Website

2020 U.S. Census: Make Florida Armenians Count

The 2020 U.S. Census has started and it’s up to all of us to make sure we are counted.

Why it Matters

The 2020 Census will determine how over $700 billion in federal funds are allocated each year, and how congressional districts are apportioned.

To maximize the collective voice of the Armenian American community and secure vital funding for community services, we have to make #FLArmeniansCount.

An accurate count of the Armenian American community will ensure federal funding is delivered to service our community. This will include funding for schools, hospitals, aged care facilities, colleges, housing, and other important services.

Armenian Americans in Florida are Undercounted

While it is estimated more than 1.5 million Armenians live in the United States, Census data indicates that there are fewer than 500,000.

In Florida, where the estimated Armenian population is 30,000, less than 10,000 Armenians are counted.

This means our community is missing out on millions of dollars in federal funding and grants.

How to Count

Make sure that on the Census Questionnaire Question #9 you write ‘Armenian’ as your response to ensure you are counted as an Armenian.

If you haven’t already received a letter in the mail from the U.S. Census, you can easily fill out your questionnaire online by visiting https://my2020census.gov/.

Armenian Man Dies from Coronavirus After Visiting Disney World Orlando

Jeff Ghazarian (Facebook Photo)

A 34-year-old Armenian man from Glendora, California died after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Jeffrey Ghazarian died on Thursday, March 19 at a Pasadena hospital, where he was hooked up to a ventilator for five days, after being diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 13.

He had visited Disney World in Orlando, Florida before returning to Los Angeles. He became the second person in Los Angeles County to succumb to the coronavirus.

“He suffered a lot and put up a good fight. We will miss our Jeff everyday but we are thankful for all the fun happy memories of the times we had together,” his sister wrote on his Facebook page, according to TMZ.

Ghazarian’s family told TMZ that he flew from Los Angeles to Orlando on March 2 for a work conference, but stayed a few extra days to visit Disney World and Universal theme parks with friends.

According to his family, on March 7 Ghazarian developed a cough, and the next day he coughed up blood. He flew back to LAX on March 9 and immediately went to the emergency, where he also had a high fever. The Ghazarian family told TMZ that a chest x-ray confirmed he had pneumonia. He was tested for COVID-19 and sent home with fluids and antibiotics and instructed to self-quarantine until he got the results.

On March 13, the results of his test came back positive for the coronavirus. According to TMZ, Ghazarian was given a portable oxygen meter to keep an eye on his. On March 14 he was taken by ambulance to the hospital and quickly transferred to the ICU when it was discovered his lungs were 60 to 70 percent blocked with pneumonia. Doctors decided the best path forward was to sedate and intubate, hoping a ventilator would help his lungs heal, according to family accounts provided to TMZ.

Ghazarian passed away Thursday morning. His family said he was he had a history of asthma and frequent bronchitis as a child, though he outgrew that. He also had undergone surgery for testicular cancer back in 2016.

Armenian Church of Florida Holy Week Schedule

St. Hagop Armenian Church (Tampa, FL)

Palm Sunday Live Stream 10:30AM-11:30AM

Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Governor of the State of Florida has issued a statewide “Stay At Home” order and the Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Very. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, has instructed all Armenian Churches to close until it is safe to congregate.

As such, parishioners are not permitted to come to worship on Sunday until further notice. Instead, the largest Armenian Church in Florida, St. Hagop Armenian Church (Tampa) will live stream the Palm Sunday Badarak and pastoral message of Fr. Hovnan Demerjian from 10:30AM to 11:30AM. To participate in the live stream, please visit St. Hagop’s Facebook Page.

Live Stream Schedule (Church Closed Indefinitely)

  • Palm Sunday, April 5th: Badarak & Message, 10:30AM-11:30AM
  • Holy Thursday, April 9th: Service of Darkness-Khavaroom 7:00PM-8:00PM
  • Good Friday, April 10th: Burial Service & Message, 7:00PM-8:00PM
  • Easter Sunday, April 12th: Episcopal Badarak from NYC, Time TBD

Soorp Haroutiun Armenian Church (Orlando, FL)

No one except Der Hayr and an Altar Server will be permitted to enter the Church during services. Der Hayr will pray and worship on behalf of all of us.

Palm Sunday Live Stream 11:00AM

Palm Sunday Live Streaming on Soorp Haroutiun Armenian Church Facebook Page.

St. David Armenian Church (Boca Raton, FL)

Palm Sunday Live Streaming on St. David Armenian Church Facebook Page.

St. Mary Armenian Church (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Palm Sunday Live Streaming on St. Mary Armenian Church Facebook Page at 11:00AM

Holy Week Schedule:

  • Palm Sunday: April 5 at 11:00AM, Divine Liturgy/Badarak (Live streaming)
  • Holy Thursday: April 9 at 7:00PM, Darkness Hour / Khavaroum Prayer Service (Live streaming)
  • Holy Friday: April 10 at 12:00PM, Crucifixion Prayer Service
    Burial Prayer Service, 6:00 pm (Live streaming)
  • Holy Easter Sunday: April 12 at 10:30AM, Holy Resurrection Badarak (Live streaming)

ACYOA DAYS – April 5th & 6th

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A Message from Bishop Daniel

On Guidelines for Holy Week and Easter Services During the Pandemic

My Dear People:

I greet you at this extraordinary time in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lifts our burdens, dispels our fears, and fills our hearts with hope and love for one another.

As you are all too aware, government and health authorities have warned that the pandemic crisis is entering a critical phase, and have called on all individuals and institutions to redouble their efforts to slow transmission through physical separation. The worldwide Armenian Church, among all religious institutions, must do its part, and hold as its first priority the health and safety of our people.

To uphold this responsibility, we are compelled to make unprecedented adjustments to our Holy Week and Easter services. Let me say at the outset that taking such measures, even at this time, brings genuine pain to us all. But in our uncertainty we place ourselves in the forgiving hands of our merciful Lord Jesus.

Most, but not all, of the territory of our Diocese is under the “stay at home” order from civil authorities. Under such circumstances, we have sought counsel from His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians; from all of our clergy; and from medical experts of the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization. Having done so, we hereby issue the following guidelines, which we expect our clergy and Diocesan leadership to observe.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  • Clergy should conduct all Holy Week services, with the aid of one deacon (or at most two), and one singer (or at most two).
  • Clergy, deacons, and singers must strictly abide by rules of social separation, maintaining a minimum of 6 feet separation at all times, and avoiding contact with liturgical or other objects. Clergy have the liberty to adjust services at their discretion in order to abide by social distancing rules and local, practical considerations.
  • Where a priest is considered acutely vulnerable to infection, and is thereby unable to lead services, at his discretion an ordained deacon may preside over all services, except for the Divine Liturgy itself.
  • Where it is not possible to assemble priest, deacon, and singer due to pandemic concerns, services may be omitted at the pastor’s discretion. (In such cases, faithful should be directed to broadcast options; see below.)
  • Broadcasting services over the Internet is encouraged wherever possible.
  • The faithful are not permitted to be present in the sanctuary during any services. They must restrict themselves to participating in services via the Internet broadcasts, which have been readily available throughout this pandemic crisis.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR SPECIFIC SERVICES

On Palm Sunday (April 5), Great Thursday (April 9) and Great Saturday (April 11), the Divine Liturgy should be conducted wherever possible, according to the guidelines above.

On these occasions, only the celebrant priest will receive Holy Communion.

For this Palm Sunday, the “Opening of the Doors” (Turenpatsek) ceremony will not be conducted in our Diocese. However, later in the year, a special “Opening of the Doors” ceremony is planned for all Diocesan parishes, to celebrate the re-opening of the churches to our faithful.

On Palm Sunday, palms may be blessed where possible, and reserved for distribution to the faithful when the churches are re-opened later in the year.

On Holy Thursday, the “Washing of the Feet Ceremony” will be omitted this year.

On Easter Sunday, plans call for the Bishop to celebrate Badarak at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York, in strict accordance with the guidelines above, on behalf of all the clergy and faithful of the Diocese. The Badarak will be broadcast over the Internet, with the Bishop’s sermon addressed to the united faithful and clergy of our Diocese. Parishes that are able to conduct the Easter Divine Liturgy according to the guidelines above may do so, of course. But all are invited and encouraged to follow the broadcast Badarak from St. Vartan Cathedral.

Having issued these guidelines, it remains to affirm that we live in eager expectation of that blessed day when we will reassemble in our churches, to praise and glorify God, standing physically side-by-side with each other—and standing spiritually with our risen Lord. In our present circumstance, the assurance of St. Paul speaks directly to us, giving consolation and confidence for today:

“I am certain that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all Creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

With my prayers,

Bishop DANIEL
Primate