The Diocese’s Armenian Studies coordinator Gilda Kupelian and Christian Education coordinator Elise Antreassian visited two Florida parishes, where they made presentations and held meetings with local community leaders and educators.
On Saturday, July 21, Kupelian and Anteassian led a program titled “Raising Children of Faith in the Armenian Tradition – What Every Parent Should Know,” at St. Hagop Armenian Church in St. Petersburg. Over 30 parishioners attended, gathering in the sanctuary for a discussion on spiritual formation and a PowerPoint survey on important Armenian historical, literary, and cultural figures. A fellowship hour followed, during which the community considered a parish retreat in the fall or spring.
The afternoon program was arranged by the Rev. Fr. Hovnan Demerjian, pastor at St. Hagop Armenian Church. Their membership has nearly tripled in recent years according to Fr. Demerjian, who has been working tirelessly with the Parish Council to plan Sunday School, youth, and cultural initiatives to serve the needs of the growing community.
On Sunday, July 22, Diocesan staff visited Soorp Haroutiun Armenian Church in Orlando, where more than 50 parishioners gathered for the day’s program. Visiting priest Rev. Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan celebrated the Divine Liturgy.
Following services, Ms. Kupelian gave a PowerPoint presentation on Armenian heritage and culture. Ms. Kupelian and Ms. Antreassian then met with the pastor, Parish Council member Rita Harvey, parishioner Anna Stepanyan Vega, and teaching volunteers to discuss the launch of a new Sunday School in the fall. The school will offer both Christian and Armenian studies for parish children and teens.
SOUTH FLORIDA ARMENIAN COMMUNITY GATHERS AT ST. DAVID ARMENIAN CHURCH FOR EASTER CELEBRATION
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, April 8, the South Florida Armenian-American community gathered at St. David Armenian Church to celebrate Easter Sunday, reported Florida Armenians (FLArmenians). The sanctuary was filled to capacity and the adjoining Church hall accommodated 500 people so that all could participate in the day’s service, festivities and celebration. Led by Very Reverend Fr. Nareg Berberian, Pastor of St. David Armenian Church, parishioners came with their families and friends to celebrate the most important feast day in the Armenian Christian faith.
“I am pleased to see almost 700 people gather together in our Sanctuary to celebrate the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. With Christ, our souls are resurrected and in Christ our hearts are created anew. I encourage all our congregants to become more active in sharing their God-given talents and gifts with our Church community, especially since this year has been designated as the year of the ‘Lay Ministry.'”
Holy Week is the most important week of the Church calendar and St. David Armenian Church held religious activities in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. As is tradition in the Armenian church, the greeting “Krisdos haryav ee merelotz” (Christ is risen from the dead) is used on the joyous day of Easter, followed by the response “Orhnyal eh harouteunn Krisdosi” (blessed is the resurrection of Christ).
“It was wonderful to see so many of our community come out to celebrate this day,” stated Parish Council member Carol Norigian. “As our parish continues to grow, the St. David Armenian Church Parish Council is pleased to continue serving our vibrant south Florida community,” stated Norigian.