We are days away from the expected landfall of Hurricane Irma, the strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded. As we anticipate the storm, we would like to provide our readers with important information to help us all prepare properly, for ourselves and our neighbors.
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On Tuesday, Governor Scott declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties in Florida. This preliminary move activates federal agency assistance and prepares state and local agencies to deliver emergency services, disaster relief, safety equipment and critical supplies well in advance. In Florida, County Governments are responsible for shelters, evacuation routes, deliver of aid and emergency services, so please check your County Government website for more information.
Below you will find important information regarding hurricane preparedness, government agency and emergency contact information, as well as notices from our Armenian Churches in Florida.
We hope you will find this information useful, and will follow the guidelines to ensure you and your families safety.
Taniel Koushakjian & Arsine Kaloustian
Florida Armenian Church Advisories Regarding Hurricane Irma
Below is a summary of Florida Armenian Church advisories of cancellation of religious services for Sunday, September 10, 2017:
St. David Armenian Church (Boca Raton, FL)
Services Cancelled This Sunday
For the safety of our parishioners, the Parish Council and I have decided to cancel all the activities for this weekend including the Morning Service and the Divine Liturgy for this Sunday, September 10th, and we are praying for the Lord’s Divine protection around you and your families during this upcoming hurricane.
St. Mary Armenian Church (Hollywood, FL)
St. Mary to Serve as Hurricane Shelter, Services Cancelled This Sunday
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
As we all know by now, the hurricane Irma is set to hit South Florida and travel northward covering almost all of Florida.
Those of you who may need special help, please contact your nearest fire station, police department or designated shelter to plan your safety ahead of time. Once the hurricane approaches South Florida, there won’t be enough time to plan and prepare. THIS IS THE TIME TO PLAN YOUR SAFETY.
Also, should you need to evacuate whether voluntarily or mandatory, please let me know by Saturday. I will open our church to serve as a shelter for all our families.
Get gasoline, batteries for your radio and flashlights, non-perishable food and water today.
Keep praying with me and everyone else so God may weaken the hurricane’s strength and save us from all harms.
God is with us,
Cell: (954) 296-1406
St. Hagop Armenian Church (Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL)
Services Cancelled This Sunday
Due to potential high winds and heavy rains, St. Hagop Armenian Church will NOT have services this Sunday September 10th. We will resume on Sunday September 17th for the Feast of the Cross and our new first day of Sunday School. Please help us spread the word. We have a number of parishioners who do not do e-mail. Call them!
If you become aware of a pastoral emergency during this time, as always please call Fr. Hovnan’s cell at 727-771-5270. If you are having a medical emergency or the effects of the storm require emergency help, call 911.
Advisories from Sourp Haroutiun Armenian Church (Orlando, FL), and the Jacksonville Armenian Church Mission Parish have not been issued at this time.
Hurricane Irma: Be Prepared
As Florida Armenians prepare to celebrate Christmas on January 6th, the following programs will take place across Florida:
St. David Armenian Church of Boca Raton will hold Armenian Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy on Thursday, January 5th at 6:30pm, and Armenian Christmas Day Divine Liturgy on Friday, January 6th at 10:30am.
The Armenian Church of Southwest Florida (ACSWFL) will observe Armenian Christmas on Sunday, January 8th at 1:30pm. A Badarak Service and Armenian Christmas Dinner with V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3901 Davis Blvd., Naples, FL 34104.
St. Hagop Armenian Church will hold Armenian Christmas Eve Service on Thursday, January 5th at 6:30 pm. Armenian Christmas will be observed on Sunday, January 8th.
St. Mary Church of Hollywood, FL, marked its 18th anniversary on Sunday, December 11. Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate and Ecumenical Director of the Eastern Diocese, celebrated the Divine Liturgy, with the Rev. Fr. Vartan Joulfayan, parish pastor, assisting.
During the celebratory luncheon following services, Archbishop Aykazian stressed the importance of parishioners’ involvement in the life of the church. More than 100 people took part in the event, which also included musical performances and other speakers. The luncheon was sponsored by Jack and Maria Esmerian and family; it was chaired by Women’s Guild member Carmen Masraff.